Putting my money (or time) where my mouth is.
By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
After going on about how easy it is to get tickets for Shakespeare in the Park, I had to try it myself. I have Mondays off, so I knew that was the day I would be going. And since this past Monday was the last one before opening (otherwise known as “when people stop being polite and start getting BATSHIT CRAZY!”), I knew I had to do it this week.
I found out from the box office that the last person to get tickets on Friday had arrived at 9 am for the 1 o’clock distribution. So I deduced that a safe time of arrival would be 6am. I wouldn’t have to camp out on Central Park West, but it would leave enough wiggle room in case the line was incredibly long.
Because I work in theatre and don’t properly function before the sun comes up, I ended up not getting to the park until 6:30. It had rained the night before which deterred people from camping out overnight. As I walked to the end of the line to take my place, I saw several people with blow up mattresses and sleeping bags. A group a bit ahead of me was playing a rousing game of Settlers of Catan. Basically, people were settling in for a wait.
I had brought a picnic blanket, a hoodie (it’s always colder in the Park than it is in the rest of the City), AM New York, some snacks, and my iPod loaded with podcasts from Nerdist. I was prepared to spend a glorious morning in the Park. And then be handsomely rewarded with tickets to a Sondheim classic. So you know what I ended up doing?
I changed from pajamas to yoga pants, and moved from a bed to a grassy knoll. It was still my one day off and I spent it resting.
When 1 o’clock rolled around, we all trounced our way up to the box office to pick up our two tickets per person. I checked out the pile of tickets they still had left after I took mine, and there was a good chunk. I’m sure if you had arrived at 9 or 10 the day I was there, you would have gotten tickets.
And the show? Well, there is nothing quite like seeing a show in the Delacorte. And with this show, I had a perfect view of Belvedere Castle rising up beyond the make believe woods on stage. It created the perfect setting for a journey Into The Woods.
RACHEL JAMES is a native New Yorker and theatre baby. Her plays have been produced by The 52nd Street Project and Starfish Theatreworks. She currently makes a living working the various box offices of Off-Broadway.
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