Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chuck "Sings" With Evita

The Evita Poster announcing our arrival at the Marquis Theatre in NYC

               I make no secret that I’m a Jersey girl, born and bred.  And, I suppose, that Chuck, my rascal cat can be considered a Jersey boy, too.
One of the advantages of living in New Jersey--the so-called Garden State--is its proximity to New York.  Once Chuck and I returned from our trip to China, we decided to quickly undertake another perilous journey.
Where? To the BIG APPLE. The city that never sleeps.
I wanted to see the musical that everyone was talking about: Evita.  Because I’d heard that Ricky Martin was playing the part of Che, one of the main characters, and Bob and I had seen said pop singer years ago in concert in of all places--the Lisbon Zoo.  

Peron and Eva

Well, not exactly in the zoo.  The Lisbon Zoo had a kind of amphitheatre attached to it where performances were given, and it was just our luck to wander in at the exact moment one day when Ricky Martin was on stage performing one of his greatest hits--La Vida Loca.
It was an electrifying moment.  And maybe it was nostalgia, I’m not sure, but Ricky Martin was partly the draw that pulled us into the city to see Evita.  
Chuck--who is not a big fan of musicals--wanted to see Restaurant Row.
Because--you guessed it--when you saunter down Restaurant Row, you are accosted by some of the most delicous smells in all of New York City. In those few square blocks you pass a wide variety of eateries, and he’d heard stories of how fabulous the cuisine was in New York.
So . . . we compromised.  We’d see Evita and then have dinner in one of the fave restaurants.  

Walking through Restaurant Row on the way to the theatre

We rarely drive into the city.  We either take the train or the bus.  This time we caught the bus from Bloomfield and drove into the Port Authority in plenty of time for the Wednesday matinee at 2 p.m. 
It’s a short walk to the theatre, and it was quite exciting to see the large posters advertising Evita coming into view when you arrive at the theatre.  Posters used to be the best way to advertise in the theatre a hundred years ago--before television and radio and the internet.  In fact, the great Czech artists, Alphonse Mucha, launched his own career and that of stage actress Sarah Bernhardt in Paris at the turn of the century by creating posters for her in the Art Nouveau style, advertising her performance in various plays. 
Chuck hardly noticed the Evita posters, but he went bonkers for the large escalator that we rode to reach the theatre.  


Now I can imagine what you’re thinking. Are you crazy to bring a cat into a sophisticated place like a Broadway theatre?  But luckily we didn’t have the best of seats.  We were sitting towards the back of the theatre, and I was very careful to keep Chuck well hidden in my bag until the lights went down.   And for cat as jumpy as Chuck usually is, he was remarkably well-behaved.
For the first act.
Evita is all about the music.  
Don’t cry for me, Argentina.  
     I kept my promise.  Don’t keep your distance.
I can only explain what happened next--Chuck’s partial breakdown in the second act--by suggesting that, perhaps, the music got to him.  
Imagine the stage beautifully lit up, dancers twirling around, the music blaring through the theatre . . . and my rascal cat--I think this is what happened--must have gotten so excited--he began to “caterwaul” with the music. 
At first, you couldn’t hear him because the music resounded through the rather intimate setting of the theatre, but then you could . . . hear him.
“Shsh,” I said.  “No singing.  You’re not on stage.  You’re not the star.”
Immediately, he quieted down because for the moment the music stopped.  
But in Evita, one song leads into the next.  The entire play is a story set to music. So another song started and, of course, the “caterwauling” started.

The sets, the staging, the singing, the costumes--fabulous

“Chuck, did you hear me?  No singing.”
But he seemed to be a cat possessed.  
“Chuck, stop singing.”
But he couldn’t seem to keep himself from making noise.
Bob tapped me on the shoulder.  “Is that Chuck?”
“I can’t get him to stop singing.”
“I wouldn’t call that singing,” he said.
“What are we going to do?”
There were two ladies in front of us who were beginning to shift in their seat.  They were beginning to notice something.
“Snacks,” Bob said.
The magic antidote to all Chuck’s problems.
I reached into the outer pocket of my bag.  Thank God.  Temptations.  Half a bag remained.  Just in case of an emergency.  
I stuck my head into my smart bag.  “Chuck. Snacks.”
In mid note, all “caterwauling” ceased.  We were saved.
The lesson learned was: 

To read more adventures about Chuck, log onto www.katelutter. com.

Wild Point Island, my paranormal romance, is now available in ebook and paperbook formats from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.  

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