Act Like a Tourist: Shakespeare in the Park

Photo from Shakespeare in the Park

Photo from Shakespeare in the Park

I am not a lucky person. I mean, I don’t have terrible misfortunes fall upon me. I just never win anything. I think the last time I won something gambling was playing roulette on Neopets (RIP my neopet, I wish I remembered your name or my password). Keeping that in mind, I entered the Shakespeare in the Park online drawing system with low expectations, anticipating having to enter every single day and still probably never getting them. Except I got them the second day I entered. The one day in the entire program I had late night class. Most people line up at the buttcrack of dawn to get these tickets, and here I was with tickets from taking five minutes to enter my name into the drawing, and it was the one night I shouldn’t actually go.

The other drawback? It was raining that day, and they tend to postpone or cancel performances if the rain is too heavy, and it was raining HARD when I rolled into class at 6pm. But, being the good student I am, I excused myself early and jetted over to Central Park, crossing my fingers that the rain would let up. I got to Delacorte about five minutes late and sweating profusely from the most intense powerwalking I have ever done, and the show was still on. If you get there early you can buy booze or foodstuffs, but I was like, “no no, good sirs, no time for that, I must use the restroom at breakneck speed and sprint over to my seat.” I sat down, and kept my fingers crossed the skies would upon and dump buckets on my dreams.

I was there for The Comedy of Errors, and since I’ve already established myself as such a good student, I should probably admit that, if we ever read this in high school, I did not read it. Or I killed those brain cells in college. But both Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater were starring in a 1940’s take on the early Shakespeare play about mistaken identities, and despite the website stating that it had been running since May 30, I somehow ended up there on a star-studded June 18 opening night. Zachary Quinto was there! So was Sofia Vergara! Oh, is that motha effin’ Edie Falco?! Not that I could tell. About five minutes before curtain, the rain was back, and everyone looked like lucite gnomes in the ponchos we were given by the ushers.

Despite the rain and the very soggy sandwich I was eating, I loved the whole thing. I ate it up (the play…well, and the sandwich). I went by myself, had an absolute blast despite some kid behind me asking questions every two seconds, and would probably count it as one of my top nights since moving to New York. I’m not sure I would have stood in line for four hours to see it, but I’m glad the first time I win something, it was definitely worth the wait. And you best believe I’m entering right back into the online ticket drawings for Love’s Labour’s Lost.

The details: Shakespeare in the Park takes place every summer, and generally draws big names for its free performances. You can stand in line to score tickets, but I’d recommend online ticketing, which is what I did. You simply register, sign in between midnight and noon the day of the performance, and wait for an email letting you know if you’ve won. Performances take place at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, which I accessed from the west entrance off 81st

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