We got Dillon tickets to Radio Lab Live for his birthday – they were in Milwaukee last week and he was REALLY excited. The show was at the Riverside and we met Rachel at Mo’s for dinner first, and allowed D to order both soda and dessert, which I never do (special occasion dispensation). But the food was pretty good, and since it is a block from the theatre you can’t beat the location.
Small parental pet peeve – when the ticket says ‘doors open at 7pm’ but does not inform you when the show will actually begin. So we got there a little after 7pm but ended up waiting in the hallway for forty minutes. Then, they open the doors for real, we get to sit in our seats, and the usher gives us a package containing a button-cell battery and an LED. It took D all of a minute to figure out how it worked, and we had another 20 minutes or so to play with it before the show actually started. I know I am more uptight about this than I used to be, but it was a long day of soccer games and running around, and knowing that we actually had an extra hour to get to our seats would have been useful.
Going into it, with the show starting at 8ish, it was already a late night for the 11-year-old. And they started the show with a hilarious (and according to Dillon, inappropriate for kids) set by Dave Foley. It was great, but I feel like a number of people in the audience were there more for him than for Radio Lab, most of the questions were about him during the Q&A at the end of the show… but the overall show was really wonderful. If you get an opportunity to attend, you probably should. It is just like the radio show/podcast, only with a visual dimension which at least in this case, really added a lot to the experience. I am not even going to try to describe it because I know I won’t do it justice.
The local NPR affiliate had a fundraiser and sold tickets to an after party, which I heard about and asked D if he wanted to attend. He did, and he put a lot of thought into what he was going to say when he met the hosts of Radio Lab, Jad and Robert. He was really funny about that, how much he considered it and kind of worried about it in a way… and when he did have the opportunity to talk with them, he got a little tongue-tied and shy. But he said something to them and we got a picture with them, though I wasn’t really close enough to hear what happened. He had a favorite show all ready to ask them about, and a ton of questions, but it was really noisy and crowded and I think he used up all of his assertiveness just figuring out how to get in line and speak to them.
After he got to talk to them, he didn’t want to stay at the after party to talk to any of the other performers (though I tried to get him to talk to the dancers from the really excellent dance troupe that performed in the show since that is another of his interests). He wanted to go home. It was after 10:30pm and he was clearly beat. On our way out, we ran into Thao Nguyen in the hallway, and D was fabulous. She’s a really lovely singer/songwriter who played the music for the show, and Dillon was adorable, telling her in his genuine little-kid way how much he loved her parts of the show.
Overall, it was a memorable evening and we all had a great time.