Carnevale!

Let’s start with a visual, just so you know what you’re in for:

"carnevale!"

And now ask yourself: do you feel a.) intrigued, excited, or vaguely aroused for reasons you can’t quite articulate?

Or more b.) like you’ve been transported back to the halls of your high school, at that exact and ill-fated moment between classes when a well-meaning fellow misfit shoved a stack o’ Sandman into your arms, promising that OMG THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, I SWEAR (…and then it didn’t, and then it was awkward, because they kept asking you what you thought of it and you didn’t really have an answer).

If you answered “a.)” then please proceed to the rest of this post.* If you answered “b.)” you have my permission to RUN LIKE THE WIND — or at least avert your gaze and politely pretend not to notice that someone is trying to convert you to some cosplay-centered cult.

Saturday last, we three — being My Fella, Myself, and our dear friend Professor K. — attended a fundraiser for the Goathouse Refuge. The theme was “Carnevale di Venezia,” and it took place in one of my old workplaces, downtown Chapel Hill’s venerable Varsity Theater.**

"varsity theater"

Saving kittens is serious business: there was a band, pictured above. There was a Commedia dell’Arte troupe from Elon University (not pictured, due to both bad lighting and privacy concerns***). And then, of course, there were gorgeously costumed performers wearing exquisite masks:

"carnevale costumes"

As you can see. And they did much dancing round and round the theater. I wish the weather had been more cooperative (it was raining, then snowing, then raining again — all freezing), for I think they would have looked amazing parading down Franklin Street. Better, at least, than the tailgating morons who usually clog the sewer-scented streets of downtown Chapel Hill — sometimes, but not always clothed in Tarheel blue (or anything else, for that matter) — on weekends (yeah, I said it!)

"venetian"

Then, there was an intermission, which — now that I’m actually looking at the photos — seems like a missed opportunity to perform an exceedingly highfalutin Harlem Shake.

"theatrical"

Especially because they were already dancing. And occasionally, pretending to purchase one another’sĀ  services, retreating to darkened corners, and engaging in rather elegant and, I daresay, expertly choreographed dry humping. I think they may have added a little liquid courage to their Italian sodas, which — for this theater, at least — is standard practice.****

"lobby revellers"

And that, more or less, was Carnevale. Cats were funded, prizes were raffled off, and a good time was had by us, if not by all — there were a handful of grumpy souls seated near us who seemed annoyed at having to sit and be entertained, which makes me wonder if they thought they were buying tickets for a matinee of Argo or something. In which case, their “WTF is this?” expressions were probably justified.

*My answer is — now and forever — “b.)”, but alas, I’m the blogger, so no “Get Out of Jail Free Card” for me.
**Of course, since I used to work there, I absolutely could not bring myself to litter toss spaghetti streamers around with abandon (I assure you: those kids do not earn nearly enough to have to clean up that festive $#!+). In fact, on the way out, I did a quick sweep through the aisles and scooped up masses of colorful paper twirls…which reminds me, here’s a professional tip: if you’re going to leave a mess in a movie theater, drop a 20-dollar bill on the floor with “Pity this fool who can’t be taken out in public, and please accept this small gratuity along with my sincere apologies” written in pen across Andrew Jackson’s face.
***Aware that not everyone wants their image floating around cyberspace, I try not to include photographs of unmasked, otherwise recognizable people without their permission. So, if you were ever wondering why you don’t see a lot of humans on this blog, it’s less to do with not having any friends and more to do with not wanting to violate the privacy of the few I’ve got.
****And, for the most part, we always turned a blind eye to their hijinks. Unless they staggered upstairs to puke in the sinks or the urinals. Not cool, freshman who can’t hold their liquor. NOT COOL.
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