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I just simply refuse to put up with the traffic, the construction and the grit of New York City, unless I am also taking advantage of the perks… like the restaurants, the museums and live theater.

Which is how my husband and I ended up at the Soho Playhouse on Saturday night, to see, “Life in a Marital Institution (20 years of monogamy in one terrifying hour).” Yes. Actual title.

An off-broadway one man show – apparently about marriage and all its terror.

My husband Rick seemed a little apprehensive about the show, especially as we were directed to the front row. When you’re in a small, intimate theater, about to view something that could be just awful, it’s always better to NOT be in the first row. Because the front row means NO EXIT STRATEGY.

I was sort of expecting a humorous look at the institution of marriage and family life… you know, funny musings that would suddenly remind me that I’m not the only who once in a while wouldn’t mind skipping the 10 millionth trip to the playground and instead, being instantly transported to Rome where I tear around on my pink Vespa, only stopping to eat chocolate croissants and drink cappuccinos and charm the Italians who for some reason can’t stop complimenting me and my model-esque physique.

Turns out, there was no mention of Vespas or croissants.

But the playwright and star, James Braly, did talk about his wife, who made him crazy by breastfeeding their two sons until one was 6 years-old and the other 4-years-old. Now I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding but that does sound a trifle long.

Braly’s wife also insisted on burying one of their son’s placenta – which at the time had been in their freezer for 3 years. Turns out she wasn’t so odd though, because the rest of their friends were grilling and eating their kids’ placentas.

Yup. We got to hear all about this from the the front row.

The thing about the first row is that you can see the actor constantly spitting as he passionately delivers his lines, which is sort of distracting.

Plus, I had to pee for the entire 70 minute show, which is entirely too short a production to get up and make a big production. I mean, wouldn’t they think I had a urinary tract infection or something? Who can’t sit through a 70 minute show?

So I just kind of sat there, laughing at the sharp writing, watching the saliva fly and waiting to pee.

Now you see why we stay in New York City.

On the way out, a pretty girl stopped Rick to ask, “Are you Rick Folbaum?”

Of course, she was an old camp friend because everyone and their stepmother went to Jewish overnight camp with Rick. For all I know, Rick and this camp girl are now planning a romantic excursion to Rome, to ride their matching Vespas, because while they chatted it up, I high tailed it to the ladies room – to finally pee.

mama bird notes:

If you haven’t had a chance, check out Contributing Mama Erin Butler’s post on when to take the leap from one baby to two. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

25 Responses to life in a marital institution

  • It’s something about the UAHC camps. A few years ago I realized that an old college friend lived in my area (one who had also gone to these camps) and I called him up. I got his wife on the phone and explained, somewhat awkwardly, why I was calling; and she just sighed and said, “Everyone knows Jamie. Everywhere we go.”

  • Hey — glad you made it to that show — sounded like something I’d want to take in if we were still in NYC.

    Saw The Dark Knight finally on Saturday, and had to pee (of course). Luckily, I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything at all.

  • Cat says:

    Ever the optimist aren\\\’t you!
    I once dated a guy who was breast fed until he was six. He was odd, but I doubt it had anything to do wit \\\”Tom-Tit\\\”.

  • Portia says:

    I love Off-Broadway. I saw Fuerzabruta on Friday night. (Union Square area) I unfortunately cannot describe it…it’s something you just need to see. Totally unconventional. Kelc your show sounds like it took the cake girl!!

  • Raz says:

    We can make a deal… I’ll get you a pink Vespa if you let me have one of the retro green ones, and we can ride around Rome together. Good stuff.

  • kristen says:

    sounds like your evening was fun.

    we were in the city last night, a truly perfect summer evening.

    i was surprised that you weren’t at the beach this weekend and in the city instead.

  • Cathy says:

    It reminds me of the Chicago art scene, too. I had to go to a lot of really bad plays in small theaters with my aspiring actress friend, who ended up a stripper in Vegas. Listening to the actor talk about grilling and eating a placenta while you had to pee–man, you suffered for art last night. πŸ™‚

  • Memarie Lane says:

    My Uncle Frank is an actor in NYC and has done a few one-man shows that got good press. My cousin’s daughter is there now also, going to Columbia, also acting. Keep an eye out for them: Frank Blocker and Charnele Crick.

  • You’re killing me. I keep telling myself this is “a great place to raise children,” and it is, but I so miss life in the city. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see a play with that title? But I will definitely pass on the grilled placenta, thanks.

  • Dixie Chick says:

    Thank you for the momentary funny diversion (as my power is still on here in Baton Rouge.) No one person plays here – just tropical storm wind and rain at the moment. I have some relatives who continued to breastfeed as the child was asking for it or rummaging under the blouse, ICK! And I’m an advocate as well. But somehow it crosses a line after a year or two…

  • Rhea says:

    I breastfed both my boys until they were 2 years old, but I know someone who did it until their child was 6 or so. That grossed me out, but I know some women would be grossed out by my breastfeeding so long also.

    Anyway, the play sounded hilarious. Eating placentas? That’s called cannibalism, right?


    I haven’t been to the theater is so long. I need to go. I miss it!

  • You just brought back flashbacks of all the horrific little plays I’ve had to sit through when I was in the industry. And some quite amazing ones for the fringe fest.

    Luckily the bad ones were all in L.A., so Gotham’s reputation still holds.

    And as always, I miss NY so much.

    (Found you through wiggle rooms)

  • kate says:

    hilarious. Although, I’ll admit, I once had a friend actually ask me to take her placenta home and put it in the freezer for her. No lie. I’m jealous, though, living where I do, that you have the option to go to the city and see bad plays and eat good dinners!

  • I dont know you or Rick but the idea of you guys on vespas about made me pee my pants. So did the breastfeeding till her kid was 6. That would be grounds for divorce in my family, my hubby could never handle it! You are too funny!

kelcey kintner