- Thank you for making 30 episodes of SRTV possible!
- Winning the American Idiot ticket lottery and getting a detailed view of the show
- Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson cast rocks the press and gives sneak peak of show
- Trust underwhelms, but the acting saves
- Broadway grosses
Have you gotten a close-up view of American Idiot, Rushers? Are you marking your calendar’s for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’s first performance on Broadway? What did you think of their performance for the press? Did you catch Zach Braff in Trust? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
- Interviewing Chad Kimball’s understudy, Bryan Fenkart, from Memphis
- Loss #1 at the American Idiot ticket lottery
- Million Dollar Quartet rocks out at a private jam session
- Broadway grosses
As a nice last-minute rush alternative upon discovering The Addams Family did not have any rush tickets for their matinee performance, I hopped on over to play the ticket lottery for The Miracle Worker. I had good vibes about this lottery, after being skunked by Addams.
For the play about Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan who gave her the gift of language, about 15 people entered and the attendant announced they’d be selling 10 lottery tickets. Now keep in mind, it was more like 30 people were playing, since most people register for two tickets. I kept positive and was the fifth name called! The lotto attendant directed the winners to line up in the order our names were picked. We did, but upon directing us to line up in the same order at the box office window to purchase our tickets, the attendant walked away and the order disintegrated. A woman who was called after I was zoomed to the front of the line. I suggested that the woman whose name was called first should be the first to purchase her tickets. The woman protested my suggestion, saying that she was waiting to play the lotto since 11 a.m., and should purchase first. I told her that wasn’t the way a ticket lottery works, to which she called me a “ticket Nazi.” So to the box office workers of the Circle in the Square Theatre, this ticket Nazi is telling you that you should keep your lottery more organized in the future.
Aside from disorganization, The Miracle Worker ticket lottery is a good one. From what the attendant said, 15 people was the most he’d seen play the lotto, and the tickets are $16 a piece, up to two per person. The seats are in the back row of the theater, and that brings me to my first point of review for this show—the scenery. 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.
In the words of Melchior in Spring Awakening, “HHHHNNNOOOOOO!!” Next to Normal will end its excellent rush policy October 12 and begin a ticket lottery for day-of seats. Granted, this means no more cold, early mornings, but with it comes the uncertainty of seeing the show. I am greatly disappointed by this news, not only because it makes getting rush tickets for the Yorkey/Kitt musical significantly more difficult, but I’ve always felt the “snobby,” we’re-too-good-for-you shows employ ticket lottos.
Let the facts speak for themselves. Hair, In The Heights, Rock of Ages, Shrek, West Side Story, and Wicked all hold ticket lottos. With few exceptions, these are shows that generally sell at least 90 percent of their tickets every week. Shrek is an odd beast in that it hasn’t consistently sold well since it’s opening last December and it also has a (overly-priced) student rush policy. In The Heights was a huge seller for a year after its 2008 Tony win for Best Musical, but has recently dipped to dangerously low numbers (some suspect it might close in January). But Hair, Rock of Ages, and West Side Story are monster-sellers and crowd pleasers, not to even mention the mega-bucks earnings of Wicked, which always sells out the 1,809-seat Gershwin (aka. the largest Broadway theater).
Now in my mind, Next to Normal is the best musical currently on Broadway. But we have to think of this from a mainstream perspective: Next to Normal is no Wicked. The show has been on a massive high from its Tony wins, but attendance has slipped to the high 80s in recent weeks (still strong, but a decline nonetheless). And Broadway’s prized theatergoers—families with kids—are not going to see this show. And there is nothing wrong with that. Next to Normal caters to theatergoers who aren’t afraid of a dark, depressing, thought-provoking show. But this is not the show to start a ticket lottery with. As much as I’d hate to see its sales suffer, I would be surprised if it maintains its current momentum into the post-holiday winter.
Lotteries are for shows—such as Wicked and Hair—that have certain longevity. But if recent trends have taught us anything, is anything on Broadway certain?
What do you think, Stage Rushers? Are you happy about this new lotto policy for Next to Normal, or are you clenching your fists in an anguished grip?
PS: In perusing the updated show rush policies, I noticed that the new musical Memphis, currently in previews, has a rush policy “in effect only for preview performances.” Memphis, I really want to see you; I do. But let’s not play the we-can’t-have-a-rush-policy-because-we’re-going-to-be-too-popular card until we’ve opened, shall we?