Monday, May 29, 2006

Shakespeare in the Park tips

Some advice about getting seats and autographs at Macbeth from the Liev Schreiber forum:

...From my expeience in past years, the wait all day in line can be pretty tough (those people in line can get pretty onry - don't even try to let friends cut in or more than a freind or two join you later - they will call you out, or even report you to the Theater volunteers who keep the line in line). I usually try to get tix at the Delacorte in the Park, since at least I have the trees to keep me company. Bring a blanket to sit on, an umbrella & a book to pass the time. Be prepared to either enjoy or be annoyed by the musicians who busker the line.


If you can't wait all day in line for tickets, then you wait in the "standby" line at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park just before the show starts. It's in the same place as where the regualr ticket line all day is, but much much shorter. Usually the all-day line has all the tickets handed out in the afternoon. Then people start getting in the stand-by line about an hour or two before the show starts (so about 5 or 6pm if the show is at 7pm).

The stand-by people get the tickets for no-shows or people who turn in un-used tickets. I have lucked out a couple times and got front row & third row seats this way for Liev's show last year. It was fantastic being so close.

What they do at the start of the standby line is have the sets of no-show tickets - then they ask how many are in your party (1,2,3 people...) and then they start handing them out based on that & what tix are available (1 seat, 2 seats together, 3 seats together). You can get even better if you're willing to split up and not try to get seats together. Don't be daunted if there are 100 or so people in line already, this line can go pretty fast right up until the minute the play starts. Then again, there is always the chance you might not get in, so it's always iffy.

Also, either almost right as the play starts or during the first admission, if there are still empty seats in the theater, they let stand-by people rush in and try to find the best ones (basically a free for all) but by that time, it's usually only the seats at the very top far away, or the extreme sides left.

And, if there are sprinkles of rain and few people chicken out & leave early, you may score their seat. whimps. The best show I saw last year was when Liev & the gang toughed it out through the drizzle - real troopers. The show will be cancelled, however, if it is raining (for safety, the actors mikes & elect. equipment).

And, finally... for those of you wishing to get autographs & pics afterwards with Liev, wait on the right side of the Delacorte (near the public bathrooms) by the stage door. If Liev isn't in a hurry to get away on his bike, he usually happily signs & chats away.

PS- For sold out shows I couldn't get into, I'd just go hang out at Belvedere Castle across the pond from the Delacorte. The view isn't great, but you can still hear the show. It's just something fun to do.

Another poster answers Tess' question over there in the tagboard about when to start queuing:

The public theater is the best place to wait. how long you have to wait depends on how great the production is. i think this one will be in pretty high demand given that liev and others in it are well resognized and respected by the public theater going public. to be assured decent seats, i would recommend waiting from 9am-ish. you will probably get tickets if you wait until 10 or 10:30, after that point it's questionable and all a matter of your luck that day. i HAVE gotten tickets lining up as late as 12:30 (last year) but there was a high likelyhood of rain that scared people off, and i don't think it was a very popular play. weekends are slightly worse than weekdays but the tickets are gone every day. the tickets are given out at 1pm.

of note, the rain policy is, that unless there's a deluge, the show WILL go on. they might take rain breaks or suggest slickers, but if it's a little drizzley or there is a possiblity of rain, don't let that deter you.
i'm going to have to go on a sunday; i'll post when i figure out which one for sure. mabe we can coordinate this year.

ps, i have heard of certain VERY high demand performances in the past when you really did have to camp out for tickets. i haven't seen that in the years i've been going though and don't think that will be the case this year.

No comments: