Monday, February 22, 2010

A Little Night Music Mishap

It started out as an exciting and festive evening. My niece Micaela was visiting and we all had tickets to the much acclaimed revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical, "A Little Night Music." We enjoyed a cheese plate and some hummus before the show and we were all jaunty and chatty as we fairly skipped to the theater, just a few blocks away. Micaela had acquired her ticket in the usual way and already knew where she would be sitting, so we sent her into the theater and we all agreed to meet during intermission. Karen and I had gotten our tickets through the discount group known as TDF, so we got into a surprisingly long and slow moving line at will call and impatiently wondered if we would get our tickets in time for the curtain. When we finally reached the front of the line, we were told somewhat curtly that our names were not on the list for tickets. This, by the way, had never, not once, happened to us before. Karen dug into her blackberry and actually showed them our confirmation number which then led them to explain that the tickets had actually been sent to us by mail ahead of time. Stunned that perhaps they had gotten lost but also just a bit chagrined that absent-minded Steve might have tucked them into the little purse where we keep all our tickets and proceeded to forget about them, we hurried back to our apartment, grabbed the forgotten tickets, and then hailed a cab back to the theater entrance. We showed the usher our tickets, who looked at his watch, noted we were 40 minutes late, and then smiled and added sweetly that the best parts were still to come. They let us right in to the back row of the orchestra section which is where our seats were located. We watched the end of the first act, first with a taint of disappointment, but then with increasing pleasure as we settled into the story and the clever musical numbers.

At intermission, we never did see Micaela, in part because the theater is so small and gets incredibly congested when everyone leaves their seats at once to go to the bathroom or buy refreshments. During the second half, we almost forgot that we had missed the whole first half of the first act, and derived considerable pleasure, not only from the great Angela Lansbury, but also from the very fine singer who was the substitute for an absent Catherine Zeta-Jones (this had been announced beforehand which is why we got such good seats.

When we finally reunited with Micaela at the end of the show, we all exclaimed how much we had enjoyed ourselves. But when we explained to Micaela how we had missed the first 40 minutes, she hesitated and at first hinted that we hadn't missed much, and then enthused about her favorite numbers, all of which seemed to be in that first 40 minutes! Karen and I smiled at each other and silently agreed that's what you get for not being more careful. But, hey, we were glad for Micaela, and that even we, despite missing all the best stuff, had, in the end, enjoyed a delightful, well performed show.

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