Nights on the town

Feb 11, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Culture, Real Life, Theatre  //  No Comments

The other day, I participated in a focus group that was part of a study commissioned by a theatre company in Calgary, to explore theatre-going trends and opinions in the city. The focus group that I was part of was one of three types: people who have been to the theatre within the past six months; people who have been in the past (2 or more years ago), but not more recently; and people who have never been to the theatre. Of course, this one was the first type, and most of the people there were even more frequent than every six months. I think that I was the only theatre professional in attendance, but most of the others were season ticket holders, and many regularly attended shows presented by more than one company.

The first question we were asked was, “What is your ideal night out in Calgary?” (And I, at least, differentiated this from something like having dinner at another couple’s house. That’s sort of a night out, but it’s also a night in.)

Around the table, the answers were very similar: Dinner out, a show or other event (mostly another type of arts event or else a sporting event), coffee or drinks afterward. The variations were in the specifics: the company, the event, the location for dinner or drinks. The moderator asked us, then, whether this “ideal night out” was something we did on a fairly regular basis. And, again, around the table, the answer was yes. Maybe not as often as we’d like, but at least every few months or so, we go out this way.

What makes it ideal — makes it a fantasy, really? The details. The confluence of perfect moments convening on one night: Someone else paying for it. The right coffee shop being open late enough to go to afterward. No time pressures getting from dinner to the show. A great new restaurant to try. The right company. A limo to ride in. Cabs readily available. Good parking. Great weather.

I was thinking about this afterward, wondering what the responses would be from the other two groups. Would there be more variety in the description of an “ideal night out”? Would there be people whose ideal night was the same as ours — they just didn’t do it all that often (or ever)? Was an ideal night out something that was just dreamed about, but never followed through on?

We (both Colin and I in particular, and this focus group of 10 in general) are lucky people to have our “ideal night out” be something that we do on a regular basis. If all that stands between the absolutely perfect night out and me are the details like the weather, that’s a pretty good place to be in.

And then it really made me wonder: if you’re not having your ideal night out at least once a year, why not?

Seriously. Why not?

Forget waiting until all the details fall into place; just have that night out, even with the crappy downtown parking and the lack of cabs in Calgary and the rush from the restaurant to the theatre and the coffee at Denny’s afterward because every decent coffee shop is closed.

Leave a comment

Blog Categories

Contact Me