Does trying to score discount tickets to a show a week after it won the Tony for Best Play seem overambitious? Not if you just played The Ultimate Rush.
Since God of Carnage did, in fact, win that prestigious award just a week before I decided to get standing-room-only tickets for it, I knew I’d have to get to the theater early. (It’s one of those pesky shows that doesn’t offer a student rush. Excuuuse me!) Thanks to a summer Fridays policy at my work, I was able to arrive at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre at 3:45 p.m. (standing tickets go on sale two hours prior to the performance). I was the first on line, and thus, felt pretty confident in my chances of getting a ticket. I had asked the box office attendant where we standing-room hopefuls should line up. I always think that’s a smart way to go; it’s better than having them rearrange the line later because you’ve all formed in the wrong place. Not long after I took my place outside the theater, about 25 people joined me in line, and over the course of two hours, we experienced The Rush of Dumb Questions. “Are you in line?” a woman asked no one in particular in our linear formation. “Are you waiting for tickets?” a woman queried me (being at the head of the line also has its disadvantages). The taker has to be the woman who asked, “What are you waiting for?” Me: “Standing room tickets.” Woman: “So you stand?” (pause) Me: “Yes.” Don’t they read this blog?? But all was made better when a very enthusiastic, possibly homeless man (who am I to assume?) answered a young couple who asked him if the show offered marked-down tickets. “This show doesn’t have discounts! Do you know how many Tonys they won??” At 6:10 p.m. (a little late), the box office attendant ushered us into the lobby. I purchased my standing room ticket for $26.50 (you can buy up to two) and “prepared myself for the chaos and the carnage,” as the theater usher would ask me, deadpanned, later when I took my spot for the performance. Read more
Kym, my date, and I arrived at Radio City Music Hall at 6 p.m. We had butterflies in our stomachs and were laughing because it wasn’t like we were nominated or performing. As we lingered around the entrance at 6th Ave and 50th St, trying to figure out how to approach entering, Best Featured Actor in a Play nominee John Glover from Waiting For Godot passed by. We twiddled our thumbs for a few more minutes, waiting to cross paths with more arriving celebrities, but soon decided we better find the commoners entrance and start making our way in. The entrance line for regular ticket holders stretched nearly around the entire block. We waited in line and felt the discriminating eyes of the tourists parked on Rockefeller Center benches meandering over our outfits. As we crawled toward the security check, we saw Heidi Blickenstaff from [title of show], accompanied by Christopher J. Hanke. As we entered the venue, we realized that Heidi had to enter the same way we did—which we felt extremely bad about. The girl was not only in a Tony-nominated show, but she was also Ursula in The Little Mermaid! [title of show] just gets no respect (which we realized again during the ceremony). Read more
Like many things in life, the big scary moments that we all anticipate loom in front of us like they are impenetrable, but they often come to pass like a cool breeze. The Ultimate Rush lived up to its expectations, in that it was completely unpredictable, and nothing went the way I expected. And it definitely ranks as the most scary, fun, crazy, stressful rush I have done. It makes it even more memorable that I was able to cover it not only for Stage Rush, but also for BizBash [Tonys Offer Discounted Tickets for Those Willing to Spend the Night in the Rain].
In the day that preceded The Ultimate Rush, I was on the verge of throwing up all day. The thought of sitting outside all night in the rain for tickets that weren’t even guaranteed was enough to turn my stomach. Don’t think there wasn’t a temptation to just skip it and watch the ceremony from the comfort of my couch. But I forged ahead with the plans anyway. While getting ready at my apartment, I packed an umbrella, poncho (which I have never worn in my life), hoodie, blanket, towel, and gloves. I even shaved so that I would look more like my student ID picture (you can’t tell me that’s not dedication).
Get your game faces on, Rushers—your ultimate challenge has arrived. The Tony Awards has announced that for the first time ever, student rush tickets will be offered for the ceremony.
(Have you recovered yet? Well do so, because you’ve got a tough road ahead of you.)
When examining the details of this rush, all I see in my head is Mario struggling to hurdle over all the obstacles in the final, most difficult level of Donkey Kong. This rush is like jumping through fire and water, and then battling the most fearsome video game BOSS. This is The Ultimate Rush.
- The first 200 people in line will be eligible.
- They then must enter their names into a ticket lottery. This is a double rush!
Have you ever tried to play a ticket lotto with 200 people? My guess is that 50 tickets will be given away. A hundred seems like too much—that would make the odds 50/50 and that just sounds too good to be true. In addition, most people will definitely be signing up for two tickets (yes, each winner is entitled up to two tickets), so that will cut the number of names drawn down to about 25. And what time should you arrive? Is 3 a.m. even too late? Honestly, I’m thinking midnight/1 a.m. (shudders). But for Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele’s final performance in Spring Awakening, student rushers started lining up at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre during the performance the night before! This one’s a tough call, but I’ll be shooting for 1 a.m.
Here are the rest of the details about The Ultimate Rush:
- WHERE: The Broadway Concierge & Ticket Center, 1560 Broadway, between 46 and 47 Sts.
- WHEN: When you arrive is up to you. First 200 in line will enter their names into the lotto at 11 a.m. The lotto drawing will take place at 3 p.m. Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis from Rock of Ages and fellow cast member James Carpinello will conduct the drawing.
- HOW MUCH: $40 per ticket (cash only), up to two tickets per lotto winner.
- WHAT TO WEAR: Well, if you’re a winner, you must have black-tie attire for the Tony Awards ceremony.
That’s it, Rushers. The Ultimate Rush awaits you. Check back here at Stage Rush for full coverage of the Tony rush (I will be doing it. And it is supposed to rain. all. night.). May the best Rushers win!