Friday, September 28, 2007

An Evening (cough) with Sir (cough,cough) Ian McKellen (cough, cough)

Oh, the humanity. I am totally mortified -

A colleague, and friend, invited me to see a visiting production of The Seagull with her tonight. The biggest selling point? Sir Ian McKellen, himself, was appearing in this Royal Shakespeare Company production. Awesome, right?

Well, it was, and I am still enjoying it. However, my lovely readers, you may recall that I had that awful flu a few weeks back. I THOUGHT that I had gotten rid of it. If only...

About 15 minutes into the first act, I got that tickling feeling at the back of my throat. I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. That feels like a cough tickle." So I turned to my left and to my right, to eye my placement within the row. Yep, right smack in the middle. Then, the first COUGH. Maybe it would pass? COUGH, COUGH, COUGHCOUGHCOUGH. I tried to relax, but then started thinking about the fact that I was sitting in the SECOND ROW. Directly in front of SIR IAN MCKELLEN!! Yeah, that realization didn't help so much.

The coughing continued. I couldn't stop, and started to feel like this was only going to get worse and worse.


Decision time - keep annoying this great actor a mere 10 feet from me, as well as disturb everyone around me, or tumble over all the people in the row.

Uh oh, the cough was getting bad - I decided to bolt out of there. Ran out of the row, darted up the aisle, across the theater, down the stairs.

Where was the bathroom? What if this cough triggered my gag reflex? Even a water fountain would have helped.

I wound up getting lots of caring assistance from the ushers - they were so concerned and kind. They handed me a free bottle of water, and a hard candy (as if they were prepared for this kind of thing?). They helped me find another seat further back, on the aisle, for the remainder of the first act. I reunited with my friends at intermission. At the end of the show, some of the ushers checked in with me again, to see how I was feeling.

And Sir Ian? Well, he never missed a beat. That's true acting - thank goodness I didn't disturb him.

Ever have something like this happen to you???


Shan said...

OMG--first off, let me say I am soooo jealous. He is fantastic and I would have died to be there...that close.

Secondly, I am sorry that happened. It had to be horrible...a few months ago I was battling a cough and I went to yoga class. During our beginning meditation, my cough tickle popped up and suddenly I had to rush out of there.

But your story trumps mine...hands down. Hope you are feeling better.

ZBTzahBTzoo said...

You are a peach. I have endured entire concerts waiting for the poor person beset with a coughing fit to do the right thing. Upon reflection, I decided that if I had responded with feelings of empathy as opposed to resentment, things might have gone differently :-)

Glad your tickle settled down so you didn't have to miss the entire program!

It's Airborne season, Marci B. I swear by this stuff! As the only family member who sailed through last year's flu season while everyone else made fun of my "snake oil," I'm happy to see the little effervescent tablets mysteriously disappearing from the vitamin cupboard.

Be kind to yourself, kid.

Skittles said...


I get tickles in my throat almost anytime I'm in a quiet place like a movie. (Smoker.)

Cooper said...

You made the right move. That's why Sir Ian makes the big money....

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer said...

ooh! what a crazy story! hang in there, i'm sure no one else even noticed you after a few moments...they were so wrapped up in the performance:-) i'm sure this has happened to on rosh hashanah during the Torah reading!?

Skittles said...

I've tagged you with a fairly easy meme called Desktop Theme. :)

Kristin said...

I would have bolted too... my son and I are among those poor slobs who, when they get a cough, it lasts for just shy of 11 years... we have had our fair share of hustling out of movies/church/story time!

BipolarLawyerCook said...

Good for you, and I'm glad Sir Ian was his excellent self! Hope your coughs stay away!