Memories: Shakespeare in the Park Rush Lines of the Past

There are certain theatrical events that are worth a good 12 hours on the street. This is one of them.

The last time I’d waited on an early morning line for tickets to a show was at the Public was probably 2007. Long before a HAIR revival was a glimmer in any producer’s eye, The Public presented a one-weekend only staged concert production of it in honor of its 40th anniversary. I love HAIR more than my friends (I kid, but you get the point) and I’d yet to see a professional production of it, so this was a must-see. It was also high on the priorities list for my friend Kristen who was matriculating at NYU not far from the Public at the time. I remember getting a call from Kristen around 10:30pm the night before the concert and her saying, “people are already at the Public,” and all I could reply was, “see you by eleven!” and hung up. I was living in FiDi so I packed a bag and met up with her where we chatted, slept or stayed caffeinated, ate, and played card games as the hours ticked by.

About 30 minutes before tickets were given out, the sky opened up and it not only rained, it poured. It was a little annoying, but mostly magical. Here’s photo evidence:


We went home, drenched, but with tickets in hand.

We toasted with the friends we’d made in line in front of us around noon. It was brunch time soon anyways, right?

The concert was, obviously, worth every second on the street that night. And the next summer it came back, and that season HAIR was back on Broadway.

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