What I Learned This Week: #229

Monday, February 7 –

(Super Bowl) Sunday, February 13, 2021

The Week in Broadway: The second of my Broadway Across America shows rolled into town this week, the classic My Fair Lady. Despite the excellence of the music, I was hesitant to see the show because of the wildly out of date sexism in the way Professor Higgins treats Eliza Doolittle. Still, it was written in a different time and for a different audience, so I was going to roll with it.

I was very pleased that, with very minor tweaking, this version of the show becomes a story about Eliza as she overcomes her circumstances to become a very capable women. Higgins and Eliza are closer in age in this production than the somewhat gross age difference between Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn in the movie. The relationship between the two in this show is more like George Bernard Shaw intended in the source play Pygmalion, and the result seems very modern. The cast was also energetic, something I don’t always see in the traveling shows, and the audience, a near full house on a Wednesday night, was highly appreciative. When Freddy finished singing “The Street Where You Live,” and as the audience was applauding, the lady behind me gushed, “I just love that song.” It’s one of several great ones and playing Eliza as a strong character should keep this show around for a long time to come.

The Week in Pre-Gaming – Apparel: The week before the Super Bowl was the most Orange and Black I have ever seen. People pulled out their old gear and went nuts buying new stuff. I walked into a sporting good store and they had pushed all the other team merchandise out of the way to make room from Bengals items. The store was packed. The checkout line was long, and, on the Saturday before the game, the racks were getting rather bare. Around town, shoppers could find an array of non-NFL sanctioned items as plenty of empty parking lots around the city and suburbs became homes to pop up tents loaded with knock off merch. I bought a Joe Burrow scarf from a random guy on the corner standing with an armload of them. It’s a good scarf!

The Week in Pre-Gaming – Mood: Besides dressing up, we all got very, very happy. Despite all the weirdness of our world and the blah mood we’ve been under for 2 years, this week Cincinnati perked up. As I walked home on Saturday night, downtown was busier than usual for a cold, Covid-era night. The streets were filled with groups of people shouting Who Dey at each other. It was magical.

To add to general atmosphere, several buildings around town bathed their buildings in orange light. From Union Terminal and TQL stadium to the north, down to the Courthouse, the Great American Insurance building, and the Proctor & Gamble towers all showed their team support.

Phone picture does not do the orange lighting justice.

The Week in Pre-Gaming – Shit Show: On game day, downtown was astir earlier than normal and the bars were already mostly full by 3 pm (for the 6:30 game). I took a walk around thinking I could grab a beer at one of my local favorites, but they were all full and they were full with people I didn’t know. A whole bunch of non-regulars had appeared and were ready to party. Around 4 I walked though the Banks area where the City had set up a few screens for an outdoor watch party. That place was packed with lines to get in the bars (bars that no one was leaving). There didn’t seem to be enough food trucks or beer vendors for the size of the crowd and I was very happy that I had a friend’s house to watch the game at in comfort.

The Week in the Super Bowl: And finally, the game. My Bengals lost, but they gave us the best season and the best run up to a game we’ve had in a long time. They gave us the greatest week to be a Cincinnatian, as if we needed an excuse. This town and our extended Cincinnati fans know what’s up. Plus, we’ve all got new gear! Who Dey in 2023!!!

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