Do you like stage plays?
*glares* DO YOU???
When I was 14, my aunt took Anna and I to see a production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe touring in the area. Being my highly skeptical *cough* pessimistic *cough cough* self, I didn’t expect much. Because… magic! Talking animals! Child actors! LIONS! How could a low-budget Christian arts college possibly pull these things off in a feasible (let alone believable) manner?
I was not prepared to spend two+ hours rooted to my seat, utterly spellbound at the magic woven onstage.
Since then, my family made a point of going to every single Chronicles of Narnia production to ever to hit their stage. And the most recent episode in their series of plays? You guessed it — The Horse and His Boy. Disregard the fact that we now live in Michigan and these things are in South Carolina. They say “Narnia!” and we say GIMME.
And, y’know, it doesn’t hurt that we have family we could visit along the way. We didn’t drive 18 hours just for a play.
(Though we would have, if required.)
(Do not underestimate our devotion to the Logos Theater.)
Our journey began bright and early one morning after several days of staying at my aunt and uncle’s house socializing (well… sort of) and having an existential crisis every time I considered the fact that this was actually happening. There are many things I could recount to you about that journey, like the overwhelming heat or the exhaustive drive, but the extent of our tired hyperness can be summed up in Anna randomly turning to me and commanding, “Sarah, take a picture of my eye.”
I mean, it’s a nice eye, but…
We had a brief dinner at Cracker Barrel, where I finally met him whom my soul loves:
It was glorious. Green mist came out of the eye sockets. I want it to sit among my books and breath ominous air at anyone who dares to touch them without my permission.
We spent the rest of the day lounging around our hotel room, driving each other crazy, taking terrible selfies and hyperventilating that we’d somehow be late to the performance.
Hint: We weren’t.
And then, finally, we were there. After two years of waiting, the moment of truth was almost upon us. A large line was also upon us, as well as a long wait since we were there an hour early, but we were patient. We could wait.
*Thranduil hair flip*
I was yet unaware that our wait would be the dominoes leading me to the biggest surprise of my life. For lo and behold, there in the hallway where the line to get tickets formed, were glass cases. And in those cases…
Yes. They had all the original props and costumes from the Narnia films. Things hand-crafted by Weta Workshop in New Zealand and used by the Pevensie actors. Some of the clothing even had the costume department tags still attached.
It was at this point that my brain fully and finally exploded. I never knew the meaning of bliss until I was able to study the intricate etchings on Susan’s quiver, or stare at the White Witch’s wand, or examine the many plate-metal pieces of Peter’s gauntlet in person.
They were right there. No screen between us. I could look at them. With my eyes.
It was, without question, the most euphoric experience of 2019.
This is my favorite picture of Caspian’s Dawn Treader armor because that poor unsuspecting girl’s reflection is glorious.
We finally got our tickets checked and proceeded to our seats. We were in the second row, with empty chairs in front of us. The view of the stage was amazing, and I practically bounced out of my seat as I crowed to Anna about how nice it was to be right in front without a single human to impede our line of vision–
That’s when an elderly gentleman — an incredibly TALL elderly gentleman — took the seat directly in front of me.
I couldn’t see a thing.
He left a moment later (to get popcorn or something, I’m not sure) and in his absence, I took the opportunity to express my displeasure to Anna. I mean, he had an entire auditorium to sit in (good grief, the entire row) and yet he had to choose the chair in front of ME?!
Anna looked at me askance. “Sarah, you know who that is, right? That’s the founder of this theater.”
I stopped complaining after that.
I thoroughly enjoy this picture because of the poor woman caught unaware while eating her… whatever it is she’s eating. She seems to be enjoying it, so I say bully for her.
And then, the lights flickered and dimmed. The curtain went up. And I almost died of brain implosion for the second time that day.
It’s cheesy and cumbersome trying to explain something like this if you weren’t actually there, so I won’t bother with, “There was this… this THING that looked like a HORSE!” or, “And then the sound went FLOOSH and the lights went BLEBLEBLEW and the actors all SCREAMED and it gave me SHIVERS!”
Suffice it to say, the production was phenomenal and far outdid my expectations. If you ever find yourself in the area of Greenville, South Carolina, I highly recommend stopping by the Logos Theater for one of their shows, Narnia or otherwise. These are not cheesy high-school plays we’re talking about; the skill and professionalism in their productions is at a level where Douglas Gresham himself came to see their Prince Caspian several years ago, and they were even nominated to go to the biggest theater festival in the world.
Let’s give a round of applause for Christian artists, folks. This is God-glorifying craftsmanship done right.
Also, Anna bought me a shirt. As you can see, I was pleased.
The next day, we wandered around downtown Greenville to help piece our minds back together after the thrilling show the night before.
Please notice my father’s head in the lower right corner. It just wouldn’t be a Baran trip without the Baran Family Photo Bomb.
We found statues.
We mocked the statues.
Mom and dad sat by, wondering how they ended up with such odd children. I’m not sure what dad’s doing with his face, but I appreciate it.
This is Anna’s favorite part of the entire trip. A collapsed table. She finds it enormously funny.
I found a thing…
We eventually ended up in the middle of a farmers’ market, where mom and I were stretched to our limits trying to keep an eye on Anna and dad. Those two have a dreadful knack at wandering off and losing themselves.
After having thoroughly explored Greenville, we finally embarked on the long journey home. (It was even hotter than the trip down…) At some point in time, I made mention of the fact that I was hungry, having never had lunch. We didn’t have any food in the car, so when we stopped to get gas, mom went into the little convenience store and found a snack-package thingy for me. It was quite elegant; little compartments for crackers and cheese and salami.
I didn’t bother reading the package, because I was too hungry to care. I tore into that thing with the savage zest of a feral hamster. Only after I’d eaten most of it did I glance down at the package, and…
HOLD UP. Does that say…
Yes, it does.
Apparently, my mother didn’t read the package either. To those who wonder why I acted so giggly and strange during that road trip — blame it on her.
And that, my friends, concludes another installment in the saga of Awkward Tales of an Abnormal (and antisocial) American. It was a good trip. Thank you for bearing with my mental combustion.
Have a trailer.