Saturday, June 7, 2008

Everyday Ham(let)

Since I have moved to New York City, I have always wanted to go to Shakespeare in the Park. Every summer, The Public offers free performances in the outdoor theater in Central Park of different Shakespeare plays. Sitting outside in a park and watching theater--now that's what summer goodness is made of.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Here's the catch: You have to wait in a long ass line and pick up your free tickets the day of the show. I remember four years ago, when I was training for the New York City Marathon, running the 6-mile loop in Central Park at 9 in the morning with Danielle, running past an extremely long line of people sitting on blankets and lawn chairs.

"What are you waiting for?" we asked them.

"Tickets for Shakespeare in the Park."

Running the second loop an hour later, we would pass the same group of people. I wasn't sure who was more crazy: these people spending their entire mornings waiting in line for tickets or us, running 12 miles in one day.

Apparently in my sick head, I decided the 12 miles was more sane because I never waited in that line and I did eventually finish the marathon. A few weeks ago I got an email about the performances this summer: Hamlet and the musical Hair, and so I suggested to Dan we go see at least one of them. Lo and behold, Dan was able to secure free, no-waiting-in-line seats for us from work, and so yesterday, we sat in front and center second row and saw Hamlet.

It was amazing. Seriously. While certainly an admirer, I am not a huge Shakespeare fan. I have seen many a performance, especially when I studied abroad in London, and I have to admit that I usually get a little bored or my mind wanders a bit in the midst of the plays. I have seen Hamlet before, but none were as compelling and FUNNY (yes, this Hamlet was FUNNY) and inspired as the performance we watched last night. I was riveted until the end.

So if you were in the city and want something to do: go wait in that long line. It's worth it! If Dan doesn't score another hook up, I just might be doing the same thing to see Hair next month.


Anonymous said...

I've been to Shakespeare in the park back in '97 and we only waited in line for like two hours. I also thought it was a great experience!

Annette said...

Hair is my favorite musical EVER!!! If Dan can get an extra ticket let me know because I am SO there!