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Attention Theatergoers!

ATTENTION THEATERGOERS: I know that there are many of you who go to see plays and musicals because you love them, and you own the soundtracks, and you know the plot, and you have great respect for both the members of the cast and your fellow audience members. I'm not talking to you.

I'm talking to the rest of you: you people who go to see theater for some mystery reason that I have not been able to quite figure out. I mean, you don't know the plot. You've never heard the songs. You usually end up not liking the performance very much at all, and then commence to fidget, crumple, whisper, talk, and noisily leaf through the Playbill every 5 minutes to see how many songs are left before Act Two is finished. Here's a thought: how about all of you bored, middle-aged people with nothing better to do than to plunk down anywhere from $70 – $200 for a pair of tickets to see a show that you don't even really want to see, for Christ's sake, how about leaving if you don't like it. How about doing us all a favor, — "us" being those of us who have budgeted money, who have scrimped and saved for tickets to a show that we love and will actually sit still for the 3 hours of the show — do us a favor and when you stand up at intermission, go out into the lobby and keep walking straight back to your hotel, or your mansion, or your yuppie loft, or wherever it is that you live. (I mean, I can't believe that so many clueless people pay top dollar for a show and then walk out at intermission, but at least they're not bothering me anymore.&#41

This rant was inspired by our experience of finally winning the Rent lottery last Friday night. The Rent lottery is a drawing before each show for the $20 tickets for the first two rows of seats in the theater. When Jonathan Larson created Rent, he wanted people that wouldn't necessarily be able to afford regular seats to be able to attend theater performances, so he came up with the $20 seats. Back in 1993, the first two rows were sold on a first come, first served basis, which was the official beginning of "The Line," where people ("Rentheads"&#41 would wait for days on end for the seats. The New York line (and lines across the country&#41 have now been discontinued in favor of the supposedly safer lottery. The first two rows are largely populated by the same people who would wait in The Line — dedicated fans who have seen the show 10 times or more, at least. In San Francisco, we have witnessed middle-aged tourists who had nothing better to do win the seats, watch the show and rudely fidget/talk through the whole thing. This, to me, is a damn shame, because 1&#41 there are people who would sit in those seats and love them (like us&#41 and who will appreciate the experience for the rest of their lives, and 2&#41 the tourists who do win, more than likely could afford good regular seats. In my opinion, there should be a rule that you have to have seen Rent at least 3 times to enter the lottery, but that'll never happen in this liberal fucking city.

Posted in Scowls.

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