For most of the past thirty-some years, our family has engaged in the ritual of going to see a production of Shakespeare In The Park at the Delacorte Theatre. Some years, waiting in line is an easy gig; others, it requires more of a commitment.
This year’s production
includes some heavy-duty talent in its cast.
The challenge each year is to arrive at the line at a time which, we hope, will guarantee our getting tickets. This is a delicate assessment since that magic time-frame fluctuates from day to day. Based on our personal market research, we determined that 3 a.m. would guarantee us tickets.
Because Central Park is closed from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. daily, the line forms along Central Park West at the W. 81st Street entrance, the Hunter’s Gate. This year, we were actually The Line. For a short time. Until other similarly mentally afflicted individuals arrived. Promptly at 6 a.m., a staff member of the Public Theatre made his appearance at the head of the line, a.k.a. right in front of us, and led us, parade style sans music or fireworks, into the park. We discovered the real benefit of being at the head of the line: it provides easy access to the ladies room!
Being at the head of the line, we answered the question “What time did you get here?” a couple of hundred times, at least. A small price to pay for being relieved of the anxiety of whether or not we’d get tickets! By 10 a.m., the line stretched way beyond our sight line.
Sugar, the German shepherd, was, by far, our favorite line comrade. She exuberantly fetched anything her human companion would throw for her. Here you see her catching a breath between fetches!
In addition to the general public line, there are separate lines, and tickets set aside, for senior citizens and physically challenged people. Yes, age does matter!
And, yes, the production was worth the wait!