One of the first things you have to know about Pomona College is the number 47. The origins of this phenomenon are somewhat unclear to me, but once you know how important it is in Sagehen lore, you start noticing it everywhere.
The school is totally in on this, and every year, the freshman class is challenged to complete as many things off a “47 Things to do in LA” list as possible. Some of the items: 1) Watch the sunset at Joshua Tree National Park; 17) See one of LA’s ten professional sports teams play; 24) Learn about the history of LA through the murals of the Great Wall of Los Angeles; 46) Check out the muscles, musicians, and performers at Venice Beach.
ASPC (the students’ association) helps with this by running free or significantly discounted trips all over the place. This past week, I got my first taste: Lion King the musical at the Pantages Theater. Cost, courtesy of ASPC? $15, transportation included.
The off-Broadway musical trips are always wildly popular. So three friends and I did what was necessary to secure a spot: camp outside the ASPC hallway the night before sign-ups. When one of us checked around 6:00 pm, there were already about 20 people in line. So we took turns running home to get our sleeping bags and homework, and prepared for a rough night. After enduring the not-so-cold So Cal night, fluorescent lights, and chatty schoolmates, we managed to get our tickets at 7:30 the next morning.
The following Wednesday was the trip. No photography was allowed inside the theater itself, but the lobby was luxurious. The show was, almost needless to say, fantastic. The entire cast was amazing, and if you haven’t gotten a chance to see Lion King the musical, take it when it presents itself! The animals are all represented by puppets and elaborate moveable costumes. One of my favorites was the giraffes, who were people walking on stilts with both feet and hands, with giant hats shaped like giraffe neck+heads. The whole production was a fantastic visual spectacle, not to mention the incredible singing. I especially liked the woman who played Rafiki – her voice was flawless, and she had a commanding stage presence. Scar was perfectly-acted and hilarious, especially when interacting with the young Simba, played by an actor who can’t have been more than ten. I could go on and on about it!
Though it put me in a time crunch for homework, it was totally worth it. I missed most of the 47 Things trips just because I slept through the signup periods (8 am….), but after this one, I’ll be lining up for them all. The fact that Pomona can offer such great deals on awesome things in LA is an opportunity I’ll most definitely be taking advantage of!