Le Bell Canto by June LeBell

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Play

Posted August 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

by June LeBell

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We went to see "Family Secrets," the one-woman extravaganza by Sherry Glaser and Gregory Howells at the Florida Studio Theatre the other night and some of the conversation in the audience was almost as good as what Carolyn Michel was giving us from the stage.

It's no longer a secret that FST and the Gompertz, where "Family Secrets" is taking place, allow the audience to bring drinks to their seats. Somehow, this play's title cried out for a touch of alcohol so my husband and I thought a gin and tonic would go nicely on a hot, theatrical evening. Alas, there was no ice so we settled on ice cold beers.

Of course, the Gompertz is more off-Broadway-type theater than a modern-movie house with cup holders. There's also not much floor space so, when I gingerly placed my still-full bottle of beer under my seat, my neighbor, a handsome woman of a certain age whom I'd never seen before, smiled and said, "Watch me knock it over."

"I'll probably do it first," I answered with a grin.

What she said next could have been part of the brilliant play we were about to see: "Lick my foot," she replied.

Is that like the "Bite me" that was making the rhetorical rounds a few years ago? Or Alice in Wonderland's growth cookie that beckoned, "Eat me" when she was locked in that funny little room?

Between the stuff in the bottle and my seat neighbor's odd invitation, I was set to have a good time at the theater. Michel turned in a tour-de-force on stage and there was 'narry a drop of beer on foot nor floor. No foot sucking that night.

They've extended the run of the show. Go, but wear strappy sandals. You never know what can happen.

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