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Public Theater Rush Experience

ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/9/13 at 09:04pm
Throughout the last few years, I have done the general rush for shows at The Public with no problem. Get to the box office around 5, stand by the pole (my mind is blanking on what it's actually called), read/check my phone/talk to other people on line, buy tickets at 6, see the show - easy.

Today, I got to The Public at around 4:45, and I stopped at the box office to see if they would be selling rush tickets to Fun Home. I was told that there was one ticket that was still available, but there was a possibility that someone would buy it before 6, and also a possibility that tickets would be released. I was the first in line, so I got to the pole and waited patiently, hoping no one would buy that ticket for full price between 4:45 and 6. By 5:30, there were about 10 people in line. A few were waiting for Arguendo, but it seemed most were waiting for Fun Home.

At around 5:35/5:40, one of the box office workers came out of the box office, whispered something to a man who was in the middle of the rush line, and then he approached the box office. There was definitely a ticket sale/some sort of transaction, as I saw him get out his wallet, hand over cash, and get a ticket. Right after that, the same box office worker came to the line, and she said that Fun Home was sold out, so there would be no rush tickets available, but we could wait for full-price ($90) cancelation line tickets.

While I obviously can't say for sure, it seems that the last rush ticket was sold to the man in the middle of the line as a rush ticket. If this is true, that is very unfair. I don't know if any other BWW posters were there today and could speak to this more, but I'm highly considering writing a letter to someone at The Public Theater - I assume I would write to the box office manager.

I apologize that this is a rant/complaint, but I had to get it off my chest.
April Saul
Broadway Legend
joined:2/17/06
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/9/13 at 10:32pm
I haven't tried to rush the Public in a while, mostly because I live too far from NYC to take too many chances...HOWEVER, I did consider this for Here Lies Love and Fun Home, and was frustrated even trying to get the info from them on what might be available. Very early on in the Here Lies Love run, I called and was told there'd be availability; then, showed up to discover there wouldn't be a rush for the performance I wanted after all. I was going to rush the first Fun Home performance, was told when I called not to try because it was sold out...and then, after I'd given up, I saw here that they did have rush for that night.

It looks to me to be pretty do-able for most shows, but to be a tortuous experience for the really popular ones. I don't blame the Public because they're going to try to get the best prices they can for the tickets, but it's clearly based on availability, and if someone offers full price for a ticket before you actually buy it as a rush, you'll be out of luck. They'd probably be better off just telling folks like us that they have no idea what they've got for rush until they're actually ready to sell it as such two hours before showtime...
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mikem
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/04
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/10/13 at 12:49am
Aahrealmonsters, I'm not sure I understand what happened. Had there been any interaction between the box office and this guy before he was pulled out of the line? It seems pretty weird to randomly approach someone in the middle of the line.

Some guesses for what might have happened that wouldn't have involved any shenanigans: the guy wanted tickets to Arguendo and the announcement was a coincidence; the guy was affiliated somehow with the show or with the Public; he paid full-price for the ticket, had left to get cash, and came back to pay.
"What was the name of that cheese that I like?" "you can't run away forever...but there's nothing wrong with getting a good head start" "well I hope and I pray, that maybe someday, you'll walk in the room with my heart"
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/10/13 at 07:44pm
I understand it's totally unfair and whatnot, but on the flip side, my first experience in NYC My mom and I went to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and I really wanted to see Norbert because he's my favorite actor, etc. and my mom had talked to the guy doing the lotto and basically he set aside a pair of tickets for us. It was a magical evening, so I understand it sucks, but who knows. Maybe he was the boyfriend of a cast member or a creative team and couldn't afford a real ticket either, etc.
ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/10/13 at 08:51pm
My assumption is that the man is a friend of the box office worker, and she sold him the ticket at rush price. I've seen people "cheat" at theatre rushes and lotteries, and it's really unfair for those of us who play by the rules.
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/10/13 at 10:35pm
You have no way of knowing WHAT he bought a ticket for nor how much he paid. IF he did indeed buy the ticket, he could very well have paid full price. Perhaps he WAS a friend and was told that IF he wanted the one last ticket he'd have to pay full price. Perhaps it was for a different show, and someone ELSE bought the ticket which could have been in person or online or via the phone.

While I can understand having suspicion, there is no point in torturing yourself OR assuming something was done on the sly -- there is at least as much of a chance that everything was on the up and up. You seem to be judging the public without any real standing. (You cant claim its unfair if you don't actually know it to be.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
Public Theater Rush Experience
Posted: 10/11/13 at 08:08am
dramamama-I rushed Fun Home last week and they didn't separate the line based on show. My first thought was that the patron might well have been seeing "Arguendo". Why it was handled the way it was I will not understand. However, I would give the Public the benefit of the doubt here. They were only too happy to sell rush tickets when I was there. And I would never accuse them of anything shady-I've been a happy customer with them for years and have never witnessed anything that seemed unfair. The person also may well have been paying full price. (If cash was handed over, the ticket may have been paid for already-it might have been a 'cancellation' which needed to be paid for in cash. I know with Broadway shows that are big sellers, they re-sell tickets that patrons turn in on a cash only basis.) But, I wouldn't go so far as to accuse anyone of shady dealings here. The Public seems better to me than many other rushes I've done (my only gripe is that it was really confusing since they didn't separate us by show but left all of us in one line, so there was no way of knowing how many wanted "Fun Home" and how many wanted "Arguendo"). But that likely had to do with box office procedures.

Updated On: 10/11/13 at 08:08 AM