***This giveaway has concluded***
It’s been 5 years since Amy Morton first screamed, “I’m running things now!” on Broadway in August: Osage County. Now the Tony nominee is back on the boards and mad as ever in the 50th anniversary revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. As if that wasn’t reason enough to see it, August playwright Tracy Letts joins her onstage as her embittered husband. Stage Rush is giving a lucky reader a pair of tickets to see these two powerhouses duke it out at the Booth Theatre.
Fill out the form below to be entered into the contest.
Only one entry per person will be counted. Read more
Broadway has given us some great family dramas recently, but that juicy genre becomes elevated when the kin in question are warring over something bigger than themselves. This is the case in Jon Robin Baitz’s new play Other Desert Cities, which stars the stellar cast of Rachel Griffiths, Stockard Channing, Judith Light, Thomas Sadoski, and Stacy Keach. The Wyeths are all together for the holidays in the patriarchal home in Palm Springs, but the jovial gathering gets intense when novelist daughter Brooke reveals she’s about to publish a manuscript that reopens the wounds of the passing of her brother. In addition to the family’s still-unresolved grief, the fact that he was an accessory in an attack on national security doesn’t help matters.
The No. 1 Reason To See Other Desert Cities: The constant switching of who deserves the audience’s sympathy Read more
Religion is taking a beating on Broadway this season. That isn’t to say theater is pointing its gun at God, but rather shining a light on faith and daring audiences to make their own informed conclusions. First, the new musical The Book of Mormon takes religion out of its precisely manufactured packaging and encourages that we just believe. Now in the new dark drama High, playwright Matthew Lombardo asks the audience—how much do you believe?
In High, Kathleen Turner stars as Sister Jamison, a foul-mouthed, ex-alcoholic nun working at an addiction center. Father Michael (Stephen Kunken) assigns her a new patient, Cody Randall (Evan Jonigkeit), who will prove to be the ultimate test of her faith. Cody is a 19 year old who has been on drugs since he was 8 (and raped at that time too). He has been brought in by authorities after being discovered at a grim motel scene, where a 14-year-old companion had overdosed and Cody attempted suicide. Can you feel the heaviness yet?
Cody, however, doesn’t want to get clean, and the stubbornness of the 19-year-old drug addict and the ex-alcoholic nun mixes together like gasoline and matches.
While High’s narrative might be all about Cody and the attempt to save him, the story is really about Sister Jamison and her unraveling. Right off the bat, she is introduced to us as bold, brash, and strong. She wears her former addiction and her raw past like a medal. Yet as she sinks deeper into Cody’s darkness, the strength that initially emanates from Sister Jamison reveals itself to be a façade. Read more
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.
The rush for Next to Normal is about as organized as a rush can get. Let this one stand as the example for all rushes. Theater employees distribute wristband numbers to the people in line (no, you don’t have to wear the wristband). This eliminates line cutting and allows people to run briefly to the bathroom or get a snack. I can’t express how many times the pals of people in front of me have joined them in line while I’ve been in place for hours. This isn’t a problem on the Next to Normal rush (just watch that it doesn’t happen before the wristbands are distributed).
Not only is this rush organized, but it’s generous. This is a general rush, meaning you don’t have to be a student to take part. The tickets are $25 a piece (each person can buy two, and the box office doesn’t tack on the usual $1.50 facilities charge). Furthermore, the seats are in the front row, which is a special experience for this show (more on this later). I’ve heard that once the front row is filled, rushers are put in the mezzanine and sometimes a box. Read more