The Playgoer: 15+ Hours

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

15+ Hours

From today's "Arts, Briefly":

Waiting for ‘Mother Courage’

Since Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, began performances on Aug. 8 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, lines have begun forming the night before for free tickets, which are distributed on the day of the performance, beginning at 1 p.m. On Tuesday night the first hopeful turned up at 9:30, said a spokesman for Shakespeare in the Park, presented by the Public Theater; more often, ticket seekers begin to appear around midnight in the park and at the Public Theater on Astor Place, where tickets are also available. And with the show playing to capacity (1,880), a standby line gathers at the theater at show time in case of cancellations. The play runs through Sept. 3. Such extraordinary ticket demand was last seen in 2001, when Ms. Streep and Mr. Kline starred in Chekhov’s “Seagull.”

I remember at The Seagull when you went to see the show at 8pm, you could already see the line forming for the next day.

On the one hand printing this is a public service, vital information for anyone interested in seeing the show to know. On the other, it's also unavoidable that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you hear of one person getting there at 9:30pm, you want to get there two. And you bring two friends. And so on...

The result? More buzz for the Public. More grief for the public.

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