The Playgoer: Saturday Night Fever

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saturday Night Fever

Intrepid NYT theatre reporter Campbell Robertson has a Sunday gem tucked inside the Week in Review today. Question: what's the wost night of the week to go to a Broadway show?

It’s Saturday night! Jill and Jack decide to hire a babysitter and take in a show. “Might as well make a night of it,” Jack says, so they go to a nice restaurant for a pre-theater dinner. Jack has a drink — it’s Saturday, after all! — and then a glass of wine with his steak. Oh, heck, how about another. Jill sticks to her glass of Chardonnay. Maybe two glasses. No more than three. (It’s Saturday!) They rush to the theater a few minutes before curtain time for the Serious, Well-Reviewed Play. Once in his seat, Jack promptly falls asleep, snoring loudly and forgetting to turn off his cellphone, which makes its presence known during a tragic death scene. Jill giggles uncontrollably throughout the first act. But you, sitting behind them, barely notice because half of the theatergoers around you are just as tipsy. The only thing you’re thinking is: why didn’t I come to the theater on Thursday?

Yet more evidence for moving curtain times. 5 o'clock matinee, anyone? Saturday or not, after- dinner is seldom the best time for a long serious play.

Plus, New York has now lost its once-great after-theatre social scene, with everyone rushing to get home at 10:30pm.

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