The upside of the awards was that - from what I heard about the shows I didn't see and what I remember of the ones I did - I think that the judges largely gave the right awards to the right shows.* Not 100%, of course, but that never happens. And the show that I loved a lot and thought was done excellently by all concerned copped some of the big awards, so I regarded spending $10 to get to applaud for them again as money well spent.
The downside was that the judges largely got it right and what's more fun than insinuating that the highly respected, volunteer judges who put in a hours and hours of work and generally find something positive to say no matter how wretched a show might be and who are taking those hours from their actual work lives as theather professionals, what's more fun than insinuating that they must clinically insane crack-addicted drunks and then trashing the horrible shows one hated that got a bunch of completely undeserved honors because now those untalented maroons are going to prace around like they just got Tony awards, not that they would know good quality work yadda, yadda, etc, etc.
Ahhh. Good times.
Anyway, we got settled in and ordered and because the 4Ps carries my favorite Scotch, I got to order m'self a Laphroaig (pronounced, La-froyg), a simply lovely, smokey, peaty masterpiece that should never be drunk any way except neat. Yummmmmmmm. (I first heard about it in a Dick Francis book and decided to try it and unlike some other things that I read about in books and then decided to try, the Laphroaig worked out very well indeed.) None of the ladies had ever tried the Islay Blesssing, so I passed mine around, creating a bond in us that may last for all time. The men were drinking beer, so we don't have a bond with them.
When I go the Maryland festival or the Eastern States, I don't know folks as well, so the socializing is always lighter, maybe more superficial. To really get into the fine print of these sorts of things, your local festival is the way to go. Like family reunions, it's much easier to raise the eyebrow to one's sisters and cousins about the in-laws than it is to one's third cousin-once-removed about yet another branch. Of course, it's safer to keep the subject of that sort of thing the long deceased reprobates who feature in the colorful stories, I guess, but who's going to do that?
Art and artistry may be the foundation of theater, along with dedication and teamwork, but the pillars are definitely the drinking, the flirting, and the gossip. At least they were last night.
*I know a lot of very talented people who participated in the festival and did not receive a bunch of nominations/awards. If you are one of them and read this, I think you're great, really great, and deserve all kinds of awards. Stupid judges. What do they know? A travesty, that's what it was. Just a travesty. Okay? Okay.
**Note: Of course, none of us would ever do that. Theater isn't competitive. Theater people are only kind and generous. And we can only admire the bravery and dedication that goes into putting on a show anywhere ever. Any snarky comments made at these sorts of gatherings should only be used for comarison purposes. This blog post should not be construed as recommending a particular course of action. Should you wish to do a post-show analysis, the advice of a competant professional should be sought.