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Archived Scowl

ATTENTION THEATERGOERS: I know that there are many of you who go to see playsand musicals because you love them, and you own the soundtracks, and youknow the plot, and you have great respect for both the members of the castand 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, youdon't know the plot. You've never heard the songs. You usually end up notliking the performance very much at all, and then commence to fidget, crumple,whisper, talk, and noisily leaf through the Playbill every 5 minutes to seehow many songs are left before Act Two is finished. Here's a thought: howabout 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 showthat you don't even really want to see, for Christ's sake, how aboutleaving 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 fortickets to a show that we love and will actually sit still for the 3 hoursof the show — do us a favor and when you stand up at intermission, go outinto 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 believethat so many clueless people pay top dollar for a show and then walk outat intermission, but at least they're not bothering me anymore.&#41

This rant was inspired by our experience of finally winning the Rent lotterylast 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 JonathanLarson created Rent, he wanted people that wouldn't necessarily be able toafford regular seats to be able to attend theater performances, so he cameup with the $20 seats. Back in 1993, the first two rows were sold on a firstcome, first served basis, which was the official beginning of "The Line,"where people ("Rentheads"&#41 would wait for days on end for the seats. TheNew York line (and lines across the country&#41 have now been discontinued infavor of the supposedly safer lottery. The first two rows are largely populatedby the same people who would wait in The Line — dedicated fans who haveseen 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 theshow and rudely fidget/talk through the whole thing. This, to me, is a damnshame, because 1&#41 there are people who would sit in those seats and lovethem (like us&#41 and who will appreciate the experience for the rest of theirlives, and 2&#41 the tourists who do win, more than likely could afford goodregular 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 happenin this liberal fucking city.

Posted in Scowls.

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