It took us about 1.5 hours to get ourselves sorted with the GPS and fight through traffic to Midtown, so I walked to the Brooke Atkinson Theatre by myself, with almost no hope of seeing “After Midnight,” the Broadway show featuring the music of Duke Ellington and the poetry by Langston Hughes, produced by Wynton Marsalis, but they let me in a few minutes late, with a full-price ticket: $147. As much as two cheaper tickets put together. Ah, well. Before I spend my money, I always like to hear what “real” people have to say about a show, so here’s my two cents (American) for anyone who’s considering buying a ticket. Overall, just a fun, classy, funny, witty feast for the senses. You like music? There was a 17-piece orchestra playing. Periodically, their stage would move forward, and they would solo. You like singing? I loved the singing. “Women be wise,” by the understudy, was perfect: the singing, the humour, the mildly suggestive gestures. The four-guy piece, complete with the best hats and shirts of all delicious colours (claret, wasabi, midnight blue…) and an older guy wearing glasses and oozing charm and hilarity. Fantasia, much beloved by the audience, made me laugh out loud with “Zuh Zuh Zuh.”  I think that by missing the beginning, I missed a piece or two of the trio of women, but the little I saw of them was bang on. How about the dancing? The “Penguin guys,” as I nicknamed them in my head: four guys sidling out, with mostly comically neutral expressions, although my favourite was the guy in the back who seemed to ooze humour and sexiness. Two guys, a short and charming guy who could do just about everything, and a “bad guy” with dreads who broke it down. The women—a blonde and two brunettes—did kicks and twirls and swoops effortlessly, while wearing high heels. And tap dancing. Who knew that, in 2013, there’d be a sudden demand for a hit Broadway show with tap dancers? I stared at them and thought, When they were spending years learning to tap, other people probably told them, “Who wants tap dancing? That’s so 1920s” (or whatever year that it was popular). “You’re better off with hip hop.” But here they were, tapping up a storm. Just like with writing, if you follow the crowd and what’s popular, you may get lost, whereas here are ten of the top tap dancers in the U.S., bringing down the house. Sometimes, I’d just stare at the costumes. The way the dresses swirled or the arresting gold shoes. There’s been much ballyhoo over the costumes, and when I read one of the designers saying that she also paid attention to the way the clothes sounded, because they added their own notes to the show, I knew I was in for excellence. And I was. And the lighting and staging. I don’t know what you’d call it, but it made the stage a feast for the senses. The white tails and dresses with red balloons. The lights that changed colour and matched Fantasia’s costume for “Stormy Weather.” The arched stairs that they climbed up, danced on, and sang on. Overall, I thought that it was a perfect show to lift your spirits and make you feel better about yourself, and isn’t that what we’re looking for? I’ve been thinking about humour lately. There’s my most popular book, The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World and Other True Tales From the Emergency Room. Why do people buy it? Why are comedy and humour some of my top tags on Amazon? Kobo Director Mark Leslie Lefebvre asked me about this too, in our upcoming podcast (Edit: now live. Click here), since he and I were taking pictures, and after the usual standing-beside-each-other-with-our-arms-around-each-other-and-a-fake-grin, I was like, “You know what’s my favourite? Crazy pictures.” I told him, “I’m always trying to laugh. People in the emerg make jokes all the time.” Life is hard. Sure, life is also ecstatic and superduper, but a lot of the time, we don’t have enough time or money or love. People want to escape. So they read. Or, if they have $147 to spare, they can go see “After Midnight.”