Dessert at intermission

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A while back, I was asked by a charitable foundation if I’d be willing to be part of a silent auction package at a fund-raising dinner. The prize? The highest bidder would join me on one of my reviewing assignments. Fair enough, I figured, and asked around to see if any arts group might be interested (with the understanding that offering the prize wouldn’t in any way influence my review).

Not only did American Cabaret Theatre generously donate an extra pair of seats for a performance of “Victor/Victoria,” but the folks at ACT spread the word and biggie-sized the package, adding in a dinner at the Rathskeller and a bottle of vino from Mass Ave. Wine Shop.


Of course, this obligated me to more than just two hours or so in a darkened theater with strangers. I had to actually socialize before the show.

Luckily, the high bidders were truly delightful guests. And an outstanding dinner at the Rathskeller (they had me at the soft pretzel in the bread basket) helped considerably.

Our guests (one local, one her out-of-town date) were regular arts patrons, although not loyal to any particular presenter. They often didn’t know if or what they would see by the Thursday before a given weekend—and they were just as likely to catch something at IndyFringe as they were to spend an evening at the opera. And they were critical without being cynical.

In short, they were the kind of people that the Indy arts scene could use more of. And it was a pleasure to introduce the out-of-towner not only to ACT but also to the Rathskeller and the wonderful Athenaeum building itself.

Conversation (and wine) flowed and, before we knew it, we found ourselves up against “Victor/Victoria” curtain time upstairs. Thankfully, the Rathskeller has a new policy with ACT: Order dessert in the restaurant and it will be delivered upstairs during intermission. A win-win-win move for us, the restaurant and the theater—although it aroused jealousy in those at surrounding tables.

The evening not only got me thinking more about dinner-and-show options, but also about the pleasures of experiencing arts and entertainment with others. I tend to go to events on my own or with one guest, but there’s great pleasure to be had by expanding the group. I know a number of couples who book season tickets as foursomes and look forward to these regular grown-up nights out.

Something to think about when you consider buying season tickets for your favorite Indy arts group. (You are considering buying season tickets, aren’t you?)

For my review of Victor/Victoria, visit here.

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