Oh my life. I was walking back to my car following a despondent evening spent listening to people drunkenly defend Confederate statues in a Trump-loving county when I thought I heard the accompaniment to Mr. Cellophane coming from a bar. Was it just my pummeled psyche trying to force an emotional reset to normal? No. Upon closer inspection I discovered this was no everyday watering hole. It was a brew pub. There was a brew pub. An oasis in a hipster-desert. But still, musical theatre? It had to be a mirage.
The instrumental strains of the chorus pulled me like a siren song. There was no way I was going home now.
I crossed the street to discover it was karaoke night at the Callicoon Brewing Company. Yes! (Insert fist pump here.) I entered. It was cool. Very cool. Trendy shiny poured-cement floor of just the right hue somewhere between industrial gray and amber. Giant gleaming beer things. What are they called? Vats?
The karaoke music mixes were really good and the singers weren’t bad. No one was under sixty-five (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just painting the picture) and they sounded all right. There were four diners. Three people at the bar plus me. A bartender and one waitress. Plus the guy who ran the karaoke machine.
I had a glass of Shiraz. Don’t judge me. I’d had wine at the last place and didn’t want to mix.
I thought I might have to sing.
Okay. I sang. I did Skylark. (Bonus points if you knew that Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics about his longing for Judy Garland with whom he’d had an extramarital affair.) Finding the first note was a challenge but then it went well. The waitress was complimentary. The bartender became chatty with me. Though when she found out I was a liberal she stopped short and said, “Well. That’s alright.” I was allowed to stay.
Then, to the surprise and delight of the waitress and bartender, the lanky aging hippie/libertarian? (It’s hard to tell these days) scraggly gray ponytailed cook emerged from the kitchen. Sporting dungarees, a white t-shirt, and smeared cook’s apron he sang The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
It was the best night I’ve had all summer.