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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Seinfeld in Roanoke

After seeing Jerry Seinfeld last night, I now know what it means when you get seats "in the pit" at the Roanoke Performing Arts Center...the chairs you will be sitting on, are the pits. Although they were technically the "best seats in the house" first row, center stage, they were probably the most uncomfortable ones...four kitchen chairs from a 1970's set squished together. Based on the price we paid, had Jerry noticed, I'm sure he could have worked it into his routine.

The opening act, Mario Joyner, did comment on the "lavish" set of the RCC..."Wow, I see you went all out. Nice black curtain." When he began his act I had a hard time hearing him through the PA and thought to myself, "Oh shit, the sound is going to the back and is muddled up here. This sucks." Luckily when Jerry hit the stage the audio got better and I didn't have to read his lips.

Being that close to the stage is a definite boom as I was able to see Seinfeld's facial expressions during his routine. Jerry is one of the few comedians that can make an audience laugh without being vulgar. His new material focused on social media, being married, everyday minutiae, including weather forecasting, and the annoying scroll bar across the bottom of television screens. "If I want to read, I'll pick up a comic book."

He did a bit on movie theatres now asking the patrons to pick up the trash off the floor and said something to the effect that there's an agreement that the theatre over-charges us for snacks, and in return we are able to just drop them on the floor when we are finished. I feel the same way about us not being able to take pictures at his show. We pay a lot for tickets and in return we are able to get a few shots with our phone camera. Clearly I have a crappy one.

After his routine, he came back on stage and took questions from the audience. As a former New Yorker, I'm too "cool" to ask anything, (once I rode an elevator with my idol, Patti Smith, and pretended I didn't know who she was) although if I did, I probably would have asked, "Are you going to team up with Larry David again?" or "Why didn't you take Colin Quinn with you to Roanoke" or "Is your Brooklyn show with Quinn going to have different material?" or "What film did you see at the Grandin Theatre today?"

Instead, the questions he got from the audience was, "What do you think about flying?" and "Can I take a picture with you?" and "Did you ever do Elaine?" After that last one, he had to explain to the audience, just like he had to the last time he was in Roanoke, that Elaine, George, Kramer et al, were fictional characters. Apparently no one was asking him the questions he thought he would get asked, so he volunteered some answers such as his favorite Seinfeld episodes.

Seinfeld seemed to really enjoy himself last night, was quite animated, and even remarked that he thought it was a really good show. Based on the applause and standing ovation, so did the audience. My only complaint about the show, besides the actual chairs, was that it was too short. Was it worth the $82 per ticket? Absolutely...

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