Last week I saw a show with Stephen Sondheim. And James Franco. Me and the guys.
Yeah, that’s obviously not the whole story. In fact, that’s an entirely different story than the one I’m going to tell. Instead, I’m going to offer a little bit of insight as to why I happily stood for NINE HOURS on Friday to see my friends in their little show. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Got just a bit of attention recently, what with the FOURTEEN TONY NOMINATIONS. Holy moly, color me excited. And also totally ahead of myself.
I went to New York for the second School of Drama Showcase, and had the chance to see a few shows while I was in town. I knew I wanted to try to see “The Book of Mormon” if at all possible, because everything I’d heard about Josh Gad and Rory O’Malley’s performances fills me with intense, 100% non-creepy pride and honor to have known them in school before the rest of the world figured out how awesome they both are. See “Tony Nominations”, above. Also: squee.
The thing is, the show is kinda the hottest ticket in town and that’s exactly what I didn’t have. Rory could get me backstage after the show, but it was up to me to get into the show in the first place.
So my last full day in the city, after a super productive meeting that officially ended the work part of my trip, I decided to spend in the Standing Room Only line so I could see the show. I arrived at the theater at 2:06pm for the 8pm show. I was officially the fourth person in line.
Let me tell you something about waiting in line with like-minded (read: crazy) people for six hours. You either bond (Hi Stephen! Hi Stephanie!) or you don’t (Hi weirdo guy who will be the punchline for my story!) but it’s basically impossible to ignore humanity that entire time.
Oh look! Here are some of my line friends now:
Care to guess who was the weirdo? Even better, who ended up being a scalper?! His inanity is actually too mind-numbing to go into here, but suffice to say that sleeping on the concrete, taking up the *entire* space nearest the ticket window – the only dry place to sit – was the least annoying thing he did all day.
But at long, long, loooooong last, SRO tickets went on sale for $27 at 7pm, and I knew for certain that I was going to see the show.
And my god, what a show. What. A. Show. I don’t know if part of it was the rush of seeing Rory and Josh on stage, or the fact that the show is seriously brilliant, but my feet stopped hurting for the duration of the performance (hours six through nine of standing for the day) and I had a stupid grin on my face the whole time.
Afterwards, I got to see them both backstage (thanks, guys) and talk to Rory specifically about some of the amazing work he’s doing with Broadway Impact. (I’m so, so overwhelmed by this organization he co-founded. It means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll take a minute to learn about them and maybe even donate to the cause of marriage equity, which to me is about basic civil rights in general.)
So that’s how I ended up seeing “The Book Of Mormon” the same night Stephen Sondheim and James Franco had legitimate-seat tickets for it, by earning the right to stand during the show by standing for six hours prior.
Best deal ever.
Have an amazing run, guys. The entire Carnegie Mellon School of Drama family will be rooting for you June 12!