It was the best of theaters, it was the worst of theaters.
In the past week I've been entertained at the best theater I've ever been in (the Starlight Theater in Kansas City) and the worst theater (a movie theater some miles away from my home).
Best Theater: Starlight Theater in Kansas City
The Starlight Theater is in Kansas City, and frankly, it is better than any venue in Saint Louis. Here's a photo from their website:
That shows off the brick proscenium, which is itself impressive, but it doesn't show the Disney-like array of fountains and flowers and wine bars you snake past on the way to your seat. It's just ... cunning, that's the only word I can think of for it.
Our seats were not the very best, but they were good:
This was the first BNL concert I've ever been to where there were seats in the mosh pit area. One of the openers, Howard Jones, had to plead with people to stand up and dance. I eyed the aisles leading up to the stage (and the large aisle in front of my seat) and thought, "Well, I guess there'll be dancing in the aisles, then." But no. See that lady in the purple shirt? People who tried to boogie their way to an upgrade got a dance-withering stare.
(Given the recent events in Orlando, many thanks to that lady for providing any security at a concert or dance party.)
The BNL Concert was, as usual, hugely enjoyable. I haven't watched Game of Thrones but I can imagine the words to the theme are indeed, "Horses,Tits and Horses." For the first time, though, I didn't recognize most of the songs in the encore medley. I need to get on that. I'm sure if I listen to one pop radio station for one hour I'll be caught up.
My only regret is that I spent half an hour getting Moscato and I missed seeing the bulk of OMD's set.
Worst Theater: Regal Cinema in Winghaven
We went to see Two Nice Guys at a movie theater that is a few miles from us. Just a few miles away, but in the Twilight Zone.
For some reason Gary wanted to see this comedy with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. He knew the critics panned it. He was aware that he'd wanted to see it last week, and that this week suddenly we could only find it in one theater.
But, then, he read this quote, and he was sold.
"Dad, there are whores here n'stuff."
"Don't say 'n'stuff.' Just say, Dad, there are whores here."
And, to be fair, I laughed out loud a number of times. I also sat there in ... what's the German word for bored and in disbelief? Unglaubengelangweilt. I was in Unglaubengelangweilt. There was a final chase scene that must have lasted twenty minutes. EVERY car blew up (with no provocation.) EVERY major character crashed through something made of glass. EVERY minor character fell from a great height. Ridiculous, but not hah-hah ridiculous.
And the venue? A movie is supposed to take you out of your environment, and it didn't, because our environment was just creepy.
A) This cinema in Winghaven is one of the Regal Cinema chain. I have never heard of this chain. It's all AMC and Weherenberg in my suburbs. During the trailers various celebs showed up in pre-show ads promoting Regal cinemas. It was like we were at an off-brand cinema.
B) I don't know about other Regal cinemas, but the row we sat in had only two seats, because the rest had been removed ... I assume because of blood splatter or vomit or something else. Or, perhaps, they're replacing them with the leather reclining heated seats and our row was the only one they'd done the demo on.
C) It was isolated in a spooky farm field. This theater sits on a new exit in highway 40, Winghaven, where they opened the MasterCard headquarters ten years ago. There's a fancy shopping center, and executive homes I once gawked at, and a place where I once spent fifty dollars for lunch. However, the theater's not on the executive side of the highway, it's on the other side, and in my city that makes all the difference. There's nothing on that side of the highway but wildlife. You can tell they situated themselves in the middle of an imaginary shopping district that never materialized.
I suppose to be completely parallel, with good venue/ good art / good staff in KC, the cinema should have bad venue / bad art / bad employees, but all the employees were great. Funny, helpful, laid back, great. I had four interactions. The ticket seller was funny, the concession guys were helpful, and the ticket taker let us wander in and out for the hour we spent killing time because Gary will be late for weddings, funerals, but THE MOVIE IS STARTING IN NINETY MINUTES WE CANNOT BE LATE.
I'd go back to the Starlight to see a bad play, and I'd go back to the Regal Cinema to see BNL.