New Experience #5: BALLS! A Holiday Spectacular

I mentioned in the New Experiences guidelines that a performance could be a new experience if it was a new “type” or genre of performance. Well, last night we experienced something that certainly fit the bill. Our friend Jenn invited us to attend BALLS! A Holiday Spectacular, a production co-founded 7 years ago by her sister-in-law. Jenn had invited us in years past, but when I was teaching this was always a crazy time for me AND I was not then on a mission to find new experiences. Also, this was the final year for the production and thus our (and everyone’s) last chance to see the show.

So what was the show? It was sort of a variety show, with music and singing (including audience sing-alongs), juggling (balls, remember?), poetry, fill-in-the-missing-lyrics games, guest performers, and… sock puppets.

My Sock Puppet--Blue

The humor was mostly just fun, with an edge of risqué and irreverent. The singing was quite good, with a perfect mix of fun and holiday warmth. One of my favorite songs had a refrain that went something like this (after a few lines about things that were not so right in the world):

But my house is warm,

There’s wine and whiskey in the cabinet,

And I have two thousand sixty-eight friends on Facebook,

There is no doubt I’m truly blessed.

The setting for the show was Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, in the basement of this building:

In cabaret fashion, the audience sits at tables and is served by waitresses skilled at winding among those tables–we saw one almost-disaster averted by a quick-reacting waitress who managed not to spill any of the drinks she was carrying. We had already eaten, but it had been a hard day and it was a cabaret after all, so we decided to imbibe a little. I had the “Lannie-tini,” while Maureen had a Manhattan with Knob Creek Rye. Tasty, and strong enough to justify the typical Denver cocktail prices ($10-12).

The show was a benefit for The Gathering Place, which provides help for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty or homelessness. This is only one of the many charities the BALLS group has supported over the years. It was actually possible to keep one’s sock puppet for a $20 donation…we did not, which kind of makes me wonder what will happen to them since the show is over.

In any case, it was a fun show, I’m really glad we went, and though there are no more opportunities to see BALLS, I can recommend the performers and the venue. And the power of sock puppets to help with public singing. ☺️

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