View Full Version : The Show Must Go On...

07-13-2008, 11:50 PM
...even if we don't know agree on what a show is.

I'd almost forgotten about this phone call from 15 years ago. It's an good example of how a minor misunderstanding can lead to major brain burps on both sides of the conversation.

A bit of BG: I'm sure everyone here knows what I'm about to explain. Before the encounter I'm about to relate, I thought every adult in the Anglophone world knew it . How wrong I was.

In the art world we call exhibitions that travel from venue to venue 'shows'. So for us, the "'Treasures of Tutankhkamun' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" became the 'Tut Show at the Met'. We're so used to this that we don't think anything about it until we come across someone like the Showman.

S = The Showman. A decent sort with a very literal sort of mind.

LL= Me, doin' the best I can.

[ ] Thoughts and second thoughts.

Phone rings

LL= Good day. X Library. May I help you?

S= Yeah. I hear you got a show there.

LL= We have several shows up at the moment. The big one is the Impressionist show. Is that the one that interests you>

S= That sounds right. I like Rich Little. Any dancers in it?

LL= [Barely registering. DUMB-da DUM-dum] Yes, sir. there are several Degas dancers in the show.

S= Dago dancers? You mean they're Italian?

LL= No sir. They're French. Petty much the whole show is French.

S= Any singers?

LL= I do believe there's a cabaret singer or two in the show, sir.

S= Okay, what are the times.

LL= Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

S= Oh, continuous performances then?

LL= [Finally, Dawn breaks over Marblehead] Sir, this isn't a stage show. It's a picture show.

S= Ah, it's a French movie.

LL= A small introductory film is part of the installation but this is an art show. The singers and dancers are people in paintings. There are pictures hanging on the walls and sculptures standing on the floor. This is not a theatrical entertainment.

S= That doesn't sound like much fun but thank you for your explanation.


07-14-2008, 09:51 PM
Yeah, I can see where all that can be confusing. To me a 'show' is on a stage. To others, it would be on a screen. Silly terminology.