Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#3: Angry Box Office Denizens

This is about when Cheryl and I were waiting in line for the student rush tickets of Promises, Promises.

Student Rush tickets are available for many Broadway shows. They're usually $20-30, and you get them by standing in line before the box office opens in the morning and, when you get to the window (if there are still tickets left - you usually have to get there pretty early so as not to be too far back in line), showing your student ID, which allows you to buy up to two tickets (you get what seat you get).

So Cheryl and I decided to do this for Promises, Promises. The box office opened at 10; we planned to arrive at 8 but due to a slightly late start and then a mix-up transferring at 45th Road to a train that turned out not to be working at the time, which I would have known if I had checked HopStop, and then having to walk all the way back to the 7 and wait for another train and then have a slightly longer walk though (a delightfully empty due to it being the morning) Times Square, we did not arrive until 8:45. We were about the 15th people in line.

This concerned us. How many tickets were available? we wondered. I've done student rush a few times, but not enough to know what the standard number of available tickets is. Plus, everyone could theoretically be buying two; I was there myself to buy two, as Alex wanted to come but had to work at 10. But people kept filtering in behind us and seeming confident enough - and we remembered that there were two shows that day, a matinee and an evening show, and a lot of people seemed to be buying matinee tickets (we were headed for the evening show), so we stayed in line.

Then Cheryl realized that although she'd thought she had her UCI student ID, she actually had only her Arundel ID, which doesn't say specifically on it that she is a teacher, but we were not convinced that even little Cheryl could pass as an elementary school student. However, her Arundel ID conveniently (although for no reason either of us could guess) has an "S" on the bottom under her picture, which we figured could stand for "student teacher" in a pinch, right? But I texted Alex anyway, asking him to bring his student ID by on his way to work if possible.

We fretted for an hour, and then Alex arrived with a surprising amount of time to spare and his ID, which he gave to Cheryl. We all assumed that this would be fine, because as long as there is one person standing in line and one seemingly-current student ID, who cares if they match? It's not like any extra tickets are being gotten out of the deal.

Tell that to the angry ticket seller in the box office window! He was middle-aged and astonishingly angry. Here is how our interaction proceeded.

Cheryl: Are there still three tickets left for the evening show?

Angry Box Office Denizen: (growling) Yes. Where are your IDs??

(Cheryl and I produce IDs)

ABOD: (to Cheryl, after looking at Alex's ID) Who is that?

Cheryl: Um, that's my friend?

ABOD: (extremely sarcastically) Where is he?

Cheryl: (in a small voice) He had to be at work....

ABOD: (impatient and furious) Well, where's YOUR ID??

Cheryl: (in a very small voice, pulling out Arundel ID) Um, I have my student teacher ID, although it's not a proper college ID....

(ABOD grunts and turns away for about 30 confusing and nerve-wracking seconds, then turns back around)

ABOD: (growling) Sixty dollars.

(The website and also the sign said that student rush tickets were $30 each, so we are confused and concerned at this pronouncement.)

Me and Cheryl: (as politely as possible) Wait, how much?


(I hand over sixty dollars. ABOD again grunts and turns away without saying anything for a nervewracking thirty seconds, then turns back around with 3 tickets, which he pushes to us.)

Me and Cheryl: Thank you, sir.

(ABOD does not respond, and we scurry away)

(End scene)

So that was astonishing and intimidating, but we got three tickets for less than we expected! All was well (despite our being somewhat shell-shocked), and I bought a grilled cheese sandwich from a cart and used the bathroom in a hotel and we headed for Battery Park! The end.


  1. I thought part of the requirement for being a new yorker is being angry, or at least looking/sounding angry.

  2. That's what they say about New York, but it has not been my experience, until this guy. People can be a little abrupt, but they aren't angry or mean. They're actually generally very helpful and sweet, so far as I can tell.