Next to Normal, #6
Two months ago, I winced at the news that Next to Normal was axing their general rush policy and starting a ticket lottery. For the obvious reasons, you can control a rush—how ambitious you are depends on you—but a lottery is completely up to chance. If you’ve planned your day around seeing a show, do you really want to leave it all up to chance? (And if your response to that is, “Buy a ticket!,” why are you reading this blog?)
So yesterday, I ventured to 45th St. to try my hand at Next to Normal’s fancy new lotto. I entered my name at 6 p.m. and retreated from the 45-degree drizzle to the covered passageway at the Marriott Marquis. One Scrabble victory on my iPhone later and it was time to report back to the Booth Theatre for the drawing. Since Next to Normal has a bit of a Broadway monopoly on Monday nights as most other shows are dark, I expected a larger crowd. By shrewd estimation, I counted 25 to 30 people. The theater representative announced there were 26 seats up for grabs—more than the usual 18 I’ve heard for this show. Maybe not enough people know about the Monday night performances.
The names kept being pulled and none were mine. Particularly grating was the fact that most of the winners only wanted one ticket (like me), so more names being called that weren’t mine was even more torture. The theater rep announced there was only one seat left. Just under the wire, he pulled my entry! I was definitely amused by the timing.
Being the last name called, I missed out on the front-row seating. But this being my sixth time seeing the show, a different perspective is always interesting. I was the last seat in the left box. At first I groaned at the extreme side view, but being that I was the furthest seat back, I was practically sitting in the mezzanine and had a fine view. Besides, with a slight lean over the right pole, no one’s head was in front of me. (I could also see director Michael Greif sitting in an aisle orchestra seat taking notes. Would love to know what ended up on those index cards!)
Of course, a lottery is only satisfactory if you win it. But victory aside, the lotto is still two tickets for $25 each with great seating. Next to Normal is still one of the best rush deals on Broadway.