Wednesday, May 16, 2007

High School Musical

There is a new Disney show that all the kids are crazy about (at least, the kids around here...) called High School Musical. The story line is similar to Grease - a boy and a girl from opposite sides of the school cliques meet while on vacation and end up attending the same school. The story ends with the cliques "un-cliqued" and the whole school coming together in harmony.

They made the movie into a theater production that came to Raleigh recently. We knew months ago that it was on the way but kept forgetting to get tickets. Well, a few days before opening night, I started looking for them. Get this - it was here for about 10 days, maybe 3 shows a day? And I think our theater holds about 2,000 people. All of them, every single show, every single seat was SOLD OUT! So I started asking around and searching on the web..., nothing!

Now, many moons ago, my husband and I went to Las Vegas. We decided on the spur of the moment to see a show and the only thing showing that moment was Louis Anderson. We went the the box office just after the show had just started. As it turns out, they save VIP seats until the last minute and if the VIP's don't show, they're up for grabs. We ended up sitting at a white linen table right by the front of the stage. I was literally resting my elbow on it!

I figured as a last resort, I'd try this same strategy with High School Musical. At least, I thought, someone would certainly be out front hawking their spare tickets. So, my daughter and I headed downtown and waited in front of the theater.

As it turns out, there were no hawkers. We went to the box office. The reception area was jam-packed with girls in their High School Musical duds, my daughter saw a girl she goes to school with, tables were lines with T-shirts and backpacks, the noise was deafening. Donna, the box office attendant, informed us that the show was completely sold out. However, there were occasionally cancellations but she's already started a waiting list. Well, I said, it couldn't hurt to add us to the list. She scrawled my name and cell number on a tiny spot of a sticky note. Not the most reassuring feeling, I can tell you.

Back outside we went. More girls arrived, a limo pulled up (I'm not kidding), more girls and moms piled out of it. We waited and waited. The crowd outside was getting sparse. My daughter holds my hand and sadly watches these girls file into the theater. "Mommy", she says, "I really want to see this show!" Geez, I think, what I'm I doing out here! This is torture for my child, how can I do this to her!?!

Just as I'm about ready to call the whole thing off, the phone rings. "Hi, this is Donna from the box office, come on in, I might have something that will work for you..." Hallelujah, Donna! We race inside. She has 2 seats by the sound booth, it's an obstructed view, only $32.00 total, $16 each. I say, "Well, I think that will work, right, Maddy? If we can't see the stage, we'll just listen to the music!" By this time she's hopping up and down, "Oh, yeah, that will be just fine!"

We race upstairs and enter the theater. Before us is the grand High School Musical banner on the stage, surrounded in lights. The theater is packed, the excitement is palpable. I hand our slip to the usher. He says "I just sent two people away looking for seats in this same place! The row is full - there are already ticket holders in them. Go back downstairs, tell the girl that these seats are taken!"

Have you ever felt crushed, really crushed? My daughter says "But mommy, I really, really want to see this show." I take her hand. My heart is being ripped out of my chest, I can feel the disappointment rising into my throat. I'm a terrible mother, I should have bought these tickets ages ago!!

We head downstairs and the curtain must have risen just then because all we can hear are the screams of 2,000 girls going crazy. I kneel down and look my daughter in the eye, my sweet, wide-eyed child and say "Remember, sweetie, I said that it was very, very unlikely that we'd get tickets to this show. We'll come back again and try the 7 pm show, maybe that will work..." (What am I saying!?! Can I go through this agony again?)

We reach the box office and dear sweet Donna says, "Hold on - I'm doing the best I can." Doing the best she can?? What happened to the refund and the pat on the head?

She thrusts another sheet of paper at me. "Here you go, try this! Straight down the hallway." Would you believe we got seats directly behind dress circle, the ones lined up on the walkway, the ones used for the media and other VIP's! We had a perfect view of the stage and were so close, you could make out the detail of every costume, every facial expression! It was absolutely unbelievable! Divine intervention, I'm telling you! An absolute miracle!

So, there are two lessons here - one, always get your tickets in advance, especially for the kids shows. Two, if you are completely scatterbrained like yours truly, try showing up at the box office right before showtime. You might get lucky after all!

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