The new home of the Guthrie Theatre stands nearby the Mill Museum. A blue glass structure my nephew thinks looks like an oversized IKEA store. Rather dark inside it is a complex of three stages and several restaurants and bars which were, as we were soon to discover, complex. As we entered there were posters announcing the shows playing at that time. "Disgraced" an excellent Pulitzer Prize winning drama. I had the good fortune to see it in Chicago. It opened the Goodman's 2015/2016 season. As well as the Oscar and Hammerstein warhorse "South Pacific". A deck on an upper floor affords one another excellent view of the river, the green expanse of a park along it's shore and the venerable arched bridge we had traversed earlier in the day.
We reentered the building prepared to make our way out and move forward with the adventures of the day. This is when things started to go a little south. In an effort to "conserve energy", a noble cause, the escalators, which we had used not 30 minutes before, had been shut down and roped off forcing us to find an alternative route to the first floor and the exit. We went down corridors which all seemed to terminate at doors marked "authorized personnel only" or "emergency exit, alarm will sound". Several elevators surveyed did not go all the way to the ground floor. If we had tickets to a production the pathways to various seating areas were clearly marked, however these were no help to us in our present predicament. We passed by the aforementioned bars and restaurants, all closed so there was no one we could ask for directions. I began to feel like a mouse whose intelligence was being tested by being run through a maze ala "Flowers for Algernon". Eventually we did locate an elevator which let us off at the ground floor just before my patience and sanity had reached their breaking point. Bear in mind I had gotten up at 3 a.m. that morning in order to make my plane. The 8 year old grandniece fared better than I, partly due to the fact that she had been bribed by the promise of an ice creme cone at a local shop after we left the theatre.
In a moment of irony the only time the sun broke through the clouds that day was the period of time when the ice creme was purchased and consumed. I left this activity to my nephew and his daughter while I copped a 10 minute cat nap on a park bench, my baseball cap, a memento of my trip to Italy, pulled over my face.
The trio of us returned home via my first UBER ride. It is an app unnecessary in Chicago, one of the few city's in the U.S. where an upraised index finger is just as effective, if not more so, than a cell phone.