A view from the balcony; 83: See Magyar Theater

View of the Balcony, originally uploaded by saknicole.

(for more pictures of the theater, check out my flickr)

On Friday night I attended my first bit of Hungarian theater. It was a sort of optional trip for Irodalom (literature). I paid 2720ft (somewhere around 17usd I think) for the ticket, which apparently was the fancier kind. I along with me fellow exchangers Kelsey (from NY and on the right), and Sofia (the fabulous, from Argentina, on the left) got our own balcony! I am ashamed to say that this is the only picture that turned out well of the balcony. To help you all imagine it I will describe it a bit.

Every surface was covered with slightly worn red velvet, the same that the curtains of the balcony were made of. There was the front section (where we sat) and the small back, consisting of two seats behind the red velveted banister pictured. Behind those two seats was a mirror that hung upon the deep red classically designed wall paper. Next to the door (yes we had our own door to our balcony) was a golden colored coat rack of some five hooks to the left of the door.

As for the play, we attended a supposed comedy named “A Tümdérlaki lányok”.*** I didn’t understand much; but from what I did and was explained to me later here is a bit of the plot.

The story consisted of quite a bit of quarreling in a family of many women, a strange gym teacher of sorts who liked clicking his heals a lot, and some more women. Among the women there was…

a. the main character I think, a women of dark beauty, who apparently was engaged or was the mistress or something of some nasty old man; but was supposedly in love with a very handsome man named Sandor (SHandor).

b. the bother brunette, a bubbly 16 year old sister, she is crazy, always eating cherries and fights a lot, sometimes physical.

c. crazy blond sister, older, with the crazy gym teacher.

d. uptight blond sister, I don’t really think she was very important.

e. Mother, well she was the mother.

NON FAMILY

a. Sandor, in love with brunette main character, very handsome, and sweet!

b. old man, engaged or whatever to main character brunette lady.

c. the crazy gym teacher man who jumps around frequently.

The plot was a bit confusing, at one point I think the 16 year old tried to seduce the old man. Also until after the second intermission I thought that the old man was their father, so you see how this can complicate matters a bit. Hum, well basically Sandor proposed to brunette lady, they kiss a bit, and she doesn’t want to marry the old man. Then something happens with the 16 year old trying to seduce the old man again, and the brunette lady come to the old man and tells Sandor they aren’t going to get married. Then the entire thing ends with her crying into the old mans lap.

I was thoroughly confused and hated the ending. Of what I understood I was appalled that she didn’t end up with the Sandor. Apparently it was a comedy, but the end wasn’t very comedic if you ask me.

I felt a bit like a mix between Anastasia (the cartoon movie, where she is in the balcony at the ballet), and those two grumpy Muppets who sit in their balcony together.

That is my take on my first time at Hungarian theatre. I enjoyed the experience as a whole, but am not sure I will repeat it soon.

***Here is the summary of the play from the plays webpage translated fabulously by Helen. Thanks so much! It is much better than my stupid description of it.

The “Tündérlaki lányok” (tündér = fairy)  is a nice, warm-hearted Pest-tale where’s four girls seeking love, happiness and welfare in Budapest, the place that just grew up a metropolitan city but before some moments of the first world war.

In this funny story one beautiful girl saving her family by being a bankers mistress. But later she meets the real love when she meets a poor poet (or she thinks that she found “the one”?)… and then she ask herself: is the self-sacrifice worth it?
But this moment not just about the self-sacrifice but the real love too.
We see a little bit in a family’s life, and we see the good and bad decisions. In our past we can see our future. The “Tündérlaki lányok” is Heltai’s best play, that promises good performers and a really warm-hearted show.

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