SoporificBy T. Alex MillerJeff had been writing theatre and film reviews for the newspaper in his small town for —what was it? — five or six years now. He was driven by what he told himself was a truelove of theatre, but there were other reasons. At $35 a pop for a ticket, being on the presslist was a real savings – especially if he brought a date, which he nearly always did. He’dlost track of how many different women he’d surprised by asking them to “the theatre,” thephrase rolling off his tongue with the suggestion not of one particular venue, but of amagical place where everyone is smart, dressed nicely and somehow more polished thanthose attending the tractor pulls, the bingo tournaments, the drown nights at the local bars.It took about 90 minutes to drive from his mountain town to most of the Denver theatres;more if it was snowing. That gave him plenty of time to acquaint his new date with his vastexperience with the theatre. He never laid it on too thick; just enough background to fill inthe picture for them. Implied beneath it all was the fact that, not only was he taking her tothe theatre while other local suitors were plying their dates with Jell-O shots, he was thengoing to write about it, critique the show, and the review would appear in the local paper.And not to mention that, when they arrived at the theatre, the PR person would treat himand his date like royalty. He’d get the folder with the tickets, the press release, the CD fullof production photos. They’d be given excellent seats, and the flak would seek him outafter for a quick reaction:
How did you like the show?
Sometimes, wise theatres even gavehim drink tickets. But not always. You couldn’t count on it, so he always had to bringsome cash for drinks and, at the bigger venues, parking. He chafed at the expense, butsmiled to himself when he watched all the other schmucks paying top-dollar for tickets.