Free is Good

Ms. M and I have been friends for fifteen years now. We are firm believers in the adage that some of the best things in life are free. While many of our adventures have had a price tag attached – like meeting up in Paris! – most of our favorite moments together have been free.

Ms. M and Tammy in Paris
Ms. M and Tammy in Paris

Now that is not to say that all our freebies have turned out well. Then again, like my plastic bag traveling memory, some of the monumental fails are still fond memories because we shared them together.

As a frequent user of Goldstar, the discount ticket purchasing site, I often receive notices for free passes. My favorite “it’s so bad it’s good” adventure was a few years ago around Halloween and involved free tickets to a theatre production that was near our homes. It was billed as a series of vignettes that were Halloween themed.

We were so excited to visit a new theatre and see a new production company. Once the curtain raised, the excitement diminished quickly. There were half a dozen people on stage and only one who could act.

Just before intermission they performed Poe’s “The Raven”. It was the main billing on the ticket, and I’d been really looking forward to it. The puppet that they used during that scene was the best part of the whole production!

Raven Puppet

At intermission we left. We felt bad because the audience was so small, but we couldn’t sacrifice any more of our lives to these free tickets. Over the years we have spent more time discussing that performance than we did sitting in it. It was worth it for that if nothing else.

That is not to say that all our free adventures turn out poorly. Most are wonderful in their own right.

Recently we went to go see a movie at our brand new downtown public library. The facility is spectacular, we enjoyed looking around, and they had free parking in the underground garage – so vital in that part of town.

The movie was one neither of us had ever heard of, Stuck in Love.

Stuck in Love

Both Jennifer Connelly and Greg Kinnear have aged so well and were joined by a great younger supporting cast. We both found the evening to be a delight.

In what free activities have you participated lately? or What other actors impress you by how well they have aged?

10 thoughts on “Free is Good”

  1. I once sat through the first half of “Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolfe?” at the Old Town Theater with free tickets. We gratefully left at half time and thought it would have been more aptly named, The Assault!(on the audience! We had trouble getting to our car across the street with the throngs of people escaping with us! I gave it another try when they presented another show and all I can remember was doors slamming and people stomping up and down the stairs on the set. Awful. Another assault on us but this time it wasn’t the yelling dialog but the doors and the stairs. I haven’t been able to subject myself again. I love the La Jolla playhouse though!

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    1. I’ve never walked out of a performance at either Cygnet in Old Town or La Jolla Playhouse, but I have walked out of a few performances at Lamb’s Players – and I fell asleep in at least one more! Maybe I should learn!

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  2. Free tickets probably isn’t a good sign – although for the chance to see The Raven on stage, I would definitely be there. It’s one of my favorite poems and I’ve read it dozens of times. Hmm, let’s see…what have I done that was free? Actually I went to my mom’s piano concert. She did it as part of her graduate degree in music. She performed for about a half hour and it was advertised in the paper and people came to see her. It was really cool to see her and her performance was amazing. That’s probably the best thing I’ve ever gone to that was free.

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    1. Normally the free tickets are for preview weeks of shows, and many have been quite good. Like you, they had me “The Raven.” Unfortunately Poe was rolling in his grave over that performance. At least the raven puppet was good!

      It must have been really cool to see your mom perform. That would be a really memorable night, whether free or not!

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  3. I can’t think of anything free that was worth it recently, but back in the late 90s we went to a July 4th celebration and on the bill was a free concert by Rick Springfield. It was not great. More recently he’s putting on shows for money, so he’s definitely riding a new wave of fame. Good for him. Has he aged well? You know, I think he has.

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    1. I remember Rick Springfield from his General Hospital days! That would have been cool, simply to be able to say that I saw him. An added bonus if he still looks good!

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  4. Yes, we’ve had a few downers but all in all we done very well with our freebes!
    Though, “Paris is always a good idea” (Audrey Hepburn) 🙂

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    1. Audrey was one smart woman! That Paris trip was incredible. So have been our movie sneak peaks, the gorgeous walks along the bay, and building our own city!

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