When the Federal Government announced that international borders would remain closed until mid-2022, I began to wonder if I’d ever go overseas again in my 20s. Even when the borders open up, I feel like the way I look at my savings (and spend them) has changed. I’m not saving up to travel, but for material things and at-home experiences. Deep down, however, I do still miss it.

If, like me, you miss the rush of international travel, have you considered that The Star Casino gives off exact same chaotic airport energy?

Look, I know what I’m talking about here. I’ve been to the Star’s Lyric Theatre three times in the last year and a half. I saw Hamilton the Musical and Shrek: The Musical—and then Shrek again and no, I will not elaborate on that. Don’t even begin to @ me on socials either.

I also depressingly know my way around the panicked feeling of being at an airport. I was once stuck in the second-tier terminal of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport for 24 hours and spent eight hours of those hours in the dark. Trust me when I say, I saw all kinds of rushed yet sleep-deprived madness in the pitch-black. I still think about the random elderly Japanese woman who, despite not working there, would spend hours late into the night tucking in chairs, a copy of the Christian Bible, and the latest volume of One Piece ~at the time~ poking out of her pants pockets. Bonkers, I tell you.

Anyway, the point still stands. It’s been quite a while since we’ve all been at an airport experiencing international travel, but anytime I visit the Star Casino, I get war flashbacks to those fateful manic days. Here’s why.

~Food, Food, Food, All I Want Is (Well-Priced & Decent) Food~

Airports are known for having wildly overpriced and average food. Think $15 for a muesli bircher bowl or $8.50 for a small cappuccino or, god forbid, nearly $30 for what’s essentially a bacon and egg roll (!!!). Thank the stars Macca’s is international.

The Star Casino is no different. When I went to see Shrek the first time (again, no questions, please), I was starving. My friend and I thought we could eat at the Star before the show and have an adequate and satisfying meal. But, we were wrong. Worse, we were robbed of a good mouth time. Sadly, there were no trips to flavourtown here.

See, I went to go buy myself some sushi and found the biggest portion was a single salmon sushi roll sliced into six micro pieces for *checks notes* ten dollarydoos. It wasn’t even that good, either. I remember eating it within seconds of sitting down and feeling like it was extremely aggressively average. And yes, I know that Gojima exists but also who wants to eat something so greasy when you’re dressed up in your finest of silks for the ~theatre~.

It’s also worth mentioning that that same time I went, my friend with me, who ate *something* at the Star, and shortly after, got very sick in the middle of the show and had to leave abruptly. FYI, I’m not saying The Star Casino gave her food poisoning, but it *is* worth noting.

People At The Star Casino Are Always Running, And For What?

There’s an uncomfortable sense of urgency and urgency anxiety at the Star Casino that feels eerily similar to the feeling you get when you’re trying to rush through security and customs to catch your flight. It’s unnecessarily stressful, panic-inducing, and confusing.

As that famous Vine goes: why are you running? Why are you running?

The Lines. Oh God, The Lines.

Check-in lines? What is this, an airport? Look, I understand that during the pandemic, venues need to take precautions but the bollards upon bollards, impatient crowds and orange tape everywhere feels like a crime scene from the departures.

There Are Just *Too* Many Families And Screaming Children For One Venue

Okay, this may out me as a Disney villain (I mean, I am gay), but the Star Casino always has big families and screaming children everywhere and it’s always exhausting. Amidst all of the chaos of people scurrying to their non-existent terminals, there are these clusters of people loafing about the hallways and just orbiting the vicinity.

Then, there are the screaming children that sit around you in the theatre and cry during the best song in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songwriting career—psst, it’s “Satisfied”—and you sit there wondering, ‘maybe I should’ve forked out on the second-tier seats?’ I don’t think I need to connect the dots here folks. Raise your hand if you’ve been personally attacked by a screaming baby during take-off? Yeh, I thought so.

So, What Does This All Mean?

If you’re reading this and thinking I’m overly dramatic then, yes! That is who I am, baby! But, also, if you’re a fan of Hamilton, you get what I’m saying here. Thanks to The Star Casino’s Lyric Theatre, those of us who like musical theatre are now stuck with living this experience every time a banging long-awaited production we’ve wanted to see comes to Australia. Y’know, like Shrek: The Musical.