|Sardi’s on West 44th Street in in the Theatre District— by Flickr4jazzz|
When we arrived, it was just another night at the theater, or so I thought. The last time I got the deal of the decade on tickets was just that– a decade ago.
Prepared to pay the discounted Broadway Box price, I stood in line with my tattered computer print-out while an annoying woman delayed my purchase. The cue was growing by the minute, and it seemed like an eternity. I waited. She was one of those people who took her sweet old time, talked about her kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and her dogs while buying tickets. On top of it, she had the most annoying voice I’d ever heard.
My mother said, “Alright already lady. Buy the damned tickets!” This is coming from a good Catholic woman who works with difficult children on a daily basis at a daycare facility. If her patience was wearing thin, well, let’s just say mine was non-existent.
Finally, annoying Annie moved aside. The two women in back of her inquired about rush tickets. I thought these were only available for students — I had no idea we could qualify as adults, but I was definitely going to ask.
From what I’ve been told, rush tickets are unbelievably cheap. Often, they are in the front row, or odd seats that most theater-goers wouldn’t want. I got up to the window. I asked. The gentleman at the window said, “Well, you are just in time.” I got two mezzanine seats for $63.00 to End of the Rainbow. Wow…crazy how timing is everything in this city. For once, it was on my side.
We left with our bargain Broadway find, and went straight to the bar. Mom and I love to go to Sardi’s, even thought it’s incredibly overpriced, and somewhat touristy. Believe it or not, I have been there during the week, and found regulars at the happy hour, ordering standard after-work cocktails. So the downstairs bar does have a bit of local blood from time to time.
|No Cosmos for us tonight–credit|
We skipped the Cosmos because we wanted to remember the show, and went with two glasses of red wine instead. José was bartending and assured me it would be a fantastic performance. He’s been at Sardi’s for 20 years or more, and knows what’s going on in the theatre world. Did you know that even today, when a show opens, the cast goes to Sardi’s and waits for the review to be released in the NY Times? Even today. Amazing after all of these years. This is why we go to Sardi’s. One day, I am convinced I will have the chance to be there waiting for a review of some new smash hit.
It was almost time for curtain, and we made our way a few blocks to the theater. We were thrilled with our own ladies’ room on the mezz. This rarely happens! The last show required traipsing up several flights of stairs to find the rest room. Secure in our seats with a clear view, we studied the program and sat in anticipation.
There were many free seats, but then again, it was previews. I was one seat off the aisle, and expected that seat to be filled soon enough. A gentleman came and said, “Excuse me.” I glanced, and I thought he intended to take the spot on the aisle to the right of me. I was resting my arm on the seat since the size of the chairs would barely fit a 12-year-old. Then I realized that he needed to climb over me and my mother and get to the other side. The space in front of us was so unbelievably tight, no one could fit unless we stood, grabbed our handbags and sucked it in. It took me a moment to complete all of these actions.
He was bothered by the fact that I hesitated, and made the comment under his breath, “When someone says excuse me, you get up!” He then got to his seat with his date (who happened to be a lovely man with a pleasant personality), and glared at me for at least 10 seconds. Really?
I couldn’t believe this happened. I’ve been going to the theater for years —probably 35 to be exact, and I never….well let’s just stop there. I responded loudly, ” I’m sorry I didn’t get up quickly enough for you!”
At that point, I was in a movie or a sitcom, just pick which you prefer. Everyone seated in the near vicinity turned and looked at me, and looked at him. He put his head down, and ignored my comment. I guess he thought I wouldn’t respond. Let’s just say, the comment was inappropriate, but the look was completely uncalled for. If looks could have killed, my funeral would have been three days ago.
Did he actually think I wouldn’t let them get to their seats? For the remainder of the evening, his partner, who was sitting next to mom, made polite comments and tried to compensate for his date’s lack of manners and class. Meanwhile, grumpy Gus complained that “people” were texting during the show, because we had our phones out at intermission. Obviously, this poor gentleman was in andropause. Who can go through life being that miserable? I forgave, but I didn’t forget. Well, I didn’t really forgive, but I didn’t let it ruin my night.
After the show, we talked about it and laughed. Mom and I agreed that he couldn’t have been a New Yorker. Locals are way more tolerant in crowds and public places because it’s our way of life, (not that I was slow), and it takes longer than five seconds for us to lose our patience. I stood in that ticket line for at least five minutes before I started to whine about Mrs. Slowpoke, and I was in good company.
After an unforgettable Broadway performance that brought us to our feet, we wandered to Joe Allen for more red wine, after-theater noshes, and a cab ride home. It was the perfect ending to a less than perfect, but typically unpredictable New York night. It reaffirmed that anything can happen in Manhattan.
|The bright lights of the Theatre District at night|