If you asked me to describe my happy place I know exactly what I'd tell you. It'd be sitting in a cushy red velvet seat in the middle of a dark theatre surrounded by other theatre goers thumbing through their playbills as the orchestra tunes up their instruments preparing for the show. Suddenly, the place goes dark, the overture begins and everything falls silent as the curtains open and the set and actors are finally revealed.
By this point I'm probably teary with goosebumps trailing up and down my arms and the person next to me is probably staring, but I really don't care because I'm so excited to witness art about to unfold on stage.
Most people I would tell this to would probably cock their head to one side and ask me the same question, "So what's the difference between that and a movie?" To which I throw my hands up in agony because just about everything is different between that and a movie.
A movie is the same every time that you see it. You can see it a million times and that actress will always deliver her line the same way. But when you see a show, you never know what you're going to get. The show could be having a rough day and set cues could be overlooked, causing a catastrophe on stage. Or the lead actress could be feeling a little cocky one day and decide to go for a super risky riff on her huge high note that garners a standing ovation. Bottom line, you could see a completely different version of a show than someone who saw the same show the night before.
Movies are forever. And sure it's nice to have your very own copy of Legally Blonde at your disposal for whenever you want to watch it, but what's so special about that? Every show closes at some point. And even though it's sad to see your favorite shows close, it's special that you get to see them while they're around and they stay with you in that way forever.
My favorite thing about shows is how much easier it is to connect with the story and characters than in movies because you're literally RIGHT THERE. Like when Angel dies in Rent (spoiler alert sorry) the audience is close enough to see everything and is so much more effected by what is happening on stage.
Don't get me wrong, I love curling up with some popcorn and my favorite chick flick as much as the next person, but the way I feel in a theatre before a show is about to start is incomparable from any movie theater experience I've ever had and the two just cannot be compared.