My husband and I recently went to a live concert by Celtic Woman. He’d seen their show before and remembered it was exciting, energetic and concluded by fireworks. We stumbled upon an opportunity for access to a suite purchased by a Fort Worth business, which meant premium seats, cushy sofas in a semi-private room, our own little kitchen and access to “The Club,” as well as right-by-the-door parking. I was quivering with anticipation of all these new experiences.
We dressed to the nines and arrived early, found our suite and chattered like school kids waiting for the prom. We watched the theatre fill up from our perch smack in the middle of the third floor balcony. About the time the show should be starting, white lights began to flash all around the stage and up the aisles, then whistles blew. We looked left and right, expecting the performers to start their dance and song from out in the midst of the audience.
Instead of music, we heard an announcement over the P.A. system, telling us to vacate the building because of a fire!
We swiftly made our way out of the suite and down the winding hall, to where a couple of dozen patrons were gathered at the half-flight of stairs leading to the nearest lobby. A uniformed woman with a walkie-talkie told us with authority this was “probably a false alarm” but we should wait there “just to be on the safe side.” After ten minutes or so, she received the clearance to send us back to our seats and let the show begin.
Celtic Woman put on a fantastic performance, with dancers and drums and bagpipes. Their songs ranged from operatic to Irish pub to a contemporary telling of the birth of Christ. The little pixie wraith, Máiréad, danced up and down the stairs and played her fiddle with incomparable enthusiasm. It was quite a satisfying evening out.
The fireworks never came and we were a little disappointed. When I think back, though, I realize the big excitement was the pre-game show–the fire alarm and the rush into the hallway. There’s nothing like audience participation to make a production memorable.