Sorry, I haven’t posted in a little while. I just haven’t been feeling “it”. There are tons of new things downtown and I do hope to get down there this Sunday, though I doubt much will be open. In the past two weeks, though, something has gone in Walls of Clay’s old location, the extension of Facets has opened, Local Yokel has opened, The Canine Cookie Company has opened, and goodness only knows what else. I really have been derelict and I will make up for that.
I did make it down to see Sister’s Christmas Catechism at MPAC last Friday. We were allowed to take photos only when she said and the moment was brief, so the picture is … not so good.
I had expected a pure comedy and was even nervous that it might be offensive to Catholics, having talked to my neighbor who is Catholic and has had bad experiences in the past. Although it was funny, I think it really was a catechism. Even though the sister did sometimes incorporate TV and movie plots into the lives of the saints, she most certainly knew her stuff. And not just about Catholicism.
It was an audience participation show and she singled out several people to ask them their religion, quiz them on the history of their denomination and share a few facts. It was not a good idea, as some found, to get up to go to the restroom while she was talking. Likewise, when someone accidentally knocked over an empty beer bottle on the concrete floor in the balcony across from us, the unmistakable sound put the entire theatre’s focus to finding the culprit (who was readily located due to the tattle tales nearby arching their hands up high in the air and pointing in his direction). An unforgettable moment was when an enthusiastic Lutheran, when asked if she knew who had founded her faith, proudly claimed the father of the church to be Martin Luther King.
She was so fast on her feet, I suspected that some of the people participating might be plants. For instance, a young man visiting from Minnesota held up his hand to either ask or answer a question and, when asked his name, said his name was … I can’t spell this, but it was pronounced A-ver-ee-zee. He explained that his name meant something like “the anointed one” and she quipped that she was glad he had explained because she had assumed it had something to do with printing envelope labels.
The show was wonderful and I would definitely pay to go again, but that leads to the main thing that I’ve been thinking about recently.
The reason why I attended the Sister’s Catechism is that a friend at work came up out of the blue and said, “I can get tickets to see this show for ten bucks. Would you be interested in going?” She had not heard of the show and didn’t know what it was about but it sounded like a good deal to her. I’d heard of it, had a vague interest, and knew that ten bucks was a great deal.
So, how did this happen? Groupon. For those who don’t know (and I am only newly initiated), Groupon is a free app you can install on your phone and it will post a local deal every day. Actually, I think it posts three or four. If you like the deal, you have to jump on it right then. You snooze, you loose. The deals are only valid for a limited time – a few days, a few hours. So, get this, a person who has never heard of the show and doesn’t know anything about the venue but has an interest in deals in her area suddenly basically has something say “Hey, you want to do this for a great price?” and, where she probably would never have even heard of the show, she’s bought tickets. All this over her phone as she sat at her desk, working. (Seriously, it only took a minute or two from seeing the promotion to buying the tickets).
For Christmas, I got a smart phone. Groupon is one of the first apps I activated. I love it. Downtown definitely knows about this app too. Obviously, there’s MPAC. I saw that 209 Downtown Salon ran a promotion on there. I think my friend said that Doug & Lynda’s Ski Shop had a deal on there. (My friend did her Christmas shopping through Groupon deals this year). I also saw a couple of our other merchants had had promotions on Groupon too but I don’t remember which ones.
The Groupon experience could have gone a little more smoothly for the catechism. The director of the Arts Center did say before the show that it was the first time they had used it and did a quick poll. Most Groupon buyers were first timers to MPAC. It’s proof, to me, that people will jump, sight unseen, on a $10 ticket. My only concern is that the balcony left and balcony right seats are so poor. We were not able to see most of the show. All of the nativity portion was way over in the corner of the stage that was completely obscured by the balcony itself. The center balcony seats are fine and somehow not as uncomfortable. I would jump on a Groupon deal for a center balcony seat but I don’t think I would even consider one of the sides again, regardless of the show.
So that’s my rant tonight. Groupon. Get the app. Bookmark it on your computer. Fantastic idea. Whoever dreamed it up deserves to get filthy rich.
One last thing, kudos to Doug & Lynda’s Ski Shop for supporting the news programs on NPR in the morning. I love hearing them mentioned every morning as I drive into work.
I hope this finds everyone safe at home or with family, warm and happy.
btw, the Christmas lights in the Historic District are worth a drive by. I understand that El Dorado has another outstanding display this year too.
Merry Almost Christmas!
(and Happy Shopping)