02 August 2013
I love live theater. What I don’t love is the cost to see a performance. With that in mind, about the closest I’ve been to a production in recent years has been to watch the Tony awards on TV. In years gone by I would keep up with news of the latest plays and especially the musicals. (In another life I will write Broadway musicals.) But I’d even given that up so as not to fell the anxiety associated with not being able to afford such luxuries.
However, the other day while glancing through a local paper, I saw an article about Berkeley Rep's production of No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter. That normally would not have caught my eye –but the cast did. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, two of my most favorite actors, would be live on stage, and not in San Francisco but right here in my hometown.
I immediately went online to purchase tickets, but of course everything was sold out. The Berkeley Rep site advised me to stay tuned to Facebook and twitter for the possibility of available tickets. I tried that a few times and then decided I would call the box office.
A lovely gentleman answered the phone and told me that some single seats were actually available. I couldn’t believe my luck and waited breathlessly while he leafed through his calendar and found a matinee ticket. I’ll take it, I said. He began to tell me where the seat was located, which I didn’t really care about, so happy was I to get a ticket. And since he hadn’t said front row, for an additional second I assumed it would be affordable. Or maybe not. I stopped him and asked the price. My heart sank when he told me it was $90. For some stupid reason I hadn’t even considered that of course there would be no such thing as a cheap seat for this play. I thanked him for his time and effort and rang off feeling quite sad.
The two perfect men are in town, and I could be seated just a few feet away and listen to their lovely words. But it’s not to be. Downtown Berkeley is rather small and I bet I could run into the boys out having a coffee. But that won't happen either.
One day I will be able to purchase theater tickets whenever I want and never even have to ask the price. Or at least that's what I've been telling myself for the longest time. At least I did experience about ten seconds of sheer joy thinking that I had beat the odds and scored a seat to watch Mr. McKellen and Mr. Stewart perform. And it does feel nice just knowing that they are in town.