1. “less than an hour ago, I was explaining New York’s Shakespeare in the Park program to an out-of-town friend.”

    I’m having a hard time imagining have to have “Shakespeare in the Park” explained no matter how out of town you are.

    It’s Shakespeare. And it’s in the park. What more needs to be explained?

  2. The logistics of the program, woozy. And the history of it. She’s not an idiot, I wasn’t defining the basic concept.

    Can you imagine it now?

  3. Especially in need of explaining is that even though they say free tickets are available at 1pm at the Public Theater, the reality is that if you don’t get on line by 8 am (15 years ago, anyway), you will not get a ticket, and that by 1:10 pm, they are all gone, and no one is left to even indicate that they were giving tickets away, and if you ask at 1:10 pm where are the free tickets they will give you this withering look like you are a complete and utter cretin, never mind that how are you supposed to know when all the publicity says free tickets at 1pm…

    Then there’s the whole culture of spending the morning waiting in line in Central Park, what is and isn’t acceptable behavior in the line (yes, you can ask the people in front of you to hold your place while you go to the bathroom; no you can’t ask them to hold your place while you disappear to do other things all morning), the people you meet, the things you bring and do to amuse yourself for the duration.

    Shakespeare in the Park in NYC is top-of-the-line, big name, expensive production — for free! (Where free means you have to be able to spend the entire morning of the day of the show standing in line for two tickets, and you can’t be absolutely sure you will get them…)

  4. Except if you’re a member at a high enough level, you’re guaranteed tickets. Which is a HUGE loophole in the whole “free tickets” thing.

  5. Oh, and it’s only “in the park” in that the big specialty built open-air theater and stage happens to be located within Central Park; it’s not like you’ll be pulling up a few blankets on the sheep meadow while actors duck in and out behind trees — there is assigned seating with ushers and coat checks and everything, and a full stage with lights, sound and everything else.

  6. Anyone remember the Three Investigators book with the parrot which said “2-2-2-B or to 2-2-2-B”?

  7. I was a big Three Investigators fan as a kid. That book was The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot.

  8. Absolutely adored them growing up. And they’ve held up well. I bought a bunch on eBay a few years back to share with my kids. Did you know that later editions removed Alfred Hitchcock and replaced him with some generic character?

  9. I did not know about the seating at Shakespeare in the park – I knew about the stage, but had presumed it was lawn seating. Shows how much culture Robert and I go to.

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