Just like last weekend, I am finishing up my second double in a row at work because I am apparently a masochist who doesn’t think it is necessary to feel my feet anymore. The point is, I’m very tired. Therefore, I will not go into discussing Poland now. Instead I will tell you a story about an amazing opportunity I had a few months ago. I need to backtrack a bit first though and start at the beginning.
I was visiting NY with my mom in the summer of 2004 when we decided to see a Stephen Sondheim show called Assassins. I knew very little about it besides that it was about all of the presidential assassins. My mom and I knew going in that it would be more up my alley than hers, but she went with me anyway. The cast was all people I hadn’t heard of except for Neil Patrick Harris (back before he was suuuuuper popular again). I was absolutely spellbound. The acting, the singing, the music, lights, concept – I was in love and obsessed. Very unfortunately for me, it happened to be closing the next day. We had seen the Saturday matinee so there were only 2 performances left. I knew the closing show would be absolutely impossible to see, but I had to see it again. We went directly to the box office after the matinee and asked for one ticket to the night show. The lady laughed at me and pointed to the very long line of people waiting for cancellation tickets. My dreams were dashed. I left pouting as we headed to find other tickets for a show that night.
My mom bought a ticket for something I didn’t want to see, so I got a cheap ticket at TKTS for Little Shop of Horrors which I had already seen and liked. I was fine with this choice, but I was still just so upset. The theatre where Assassins was playing was only 2 blocks from Little Shop so I decided I’d just try for a cancellation ticket and run to the show if I didn’t get one. I was almost positive it wouldn’t work, but I had to try.
The cancellation line for Assassins was ridiculous and I was at the end. I knew this wouldn’t happen, but I told myself I’d stay until 7:55. No one had gotten a ticket by 7:50 and it was looking very bleak. And then I heard a man ask a theatre security guard a magic question: “If I have an extra ticket can I get my money back at the box office?” Before the guard could even answer (no) I was running up to that man feverishly telling him I’d buy it. You would have thought this was a drug deal. I needed my fix! He was happy to sell it to me at face value! Unbelievable!! Just as I was about to hand him money, the woman in the front of the line had come over understandably very pissed off. She said he had to give it back to the box office so they could re-sell it and it would be fair. He didn’t care, he was just happy to have it sold and clearly I was not going to give up without a fight, so I begged him to sell it to me and I won! YESSS!!! As I was going into the theatre the woman shouted at me, “I HOPE YOUR SEATS ARE OBSTRUCTED!!” Hahahah! What a ridiculous insult. Only in NY.
I sat there even more in awe with chills watching the show for the second time in one day. I knew I was seeing some of the best actors ever to be on Broadway. And the scenario of the show absolutely fascinated me. It was gorgeous and haunting. I was the happiest person ever.
After that, I was just obsessed. I bought the recording, a bootleg video, and a bootleg audio and listened to it constantly. When I started at Boston Conservatory a year later one of my first assignments was to write a 5 page paper about the most underrated Broadway show in your opinion and defend it. Can you guess what I chose? This teacher hardly ever gave out As and I got an A. I was so ridiculously obsessed and passionate about it that I convinced him. My favorite thing about the show (besides the phenomenal acting and music) was that the assassins honestly thought and believed they were justified. The show is about 9 presidential assassins or attempted assassins telling their stories. Their first song is titled, “Everybody’s Got the Right to be Happy”. These people legitimately thought they were doing all they could to be happy. They thought killing the president was their only way to their dreams. They’re insane, but it’s fascinating to me.
Years go on and I still adore the show and follow most of those actors’ careers. Several of them got Tony nominations for the show and/or for other shows. I still love it, but don’t think of it too often anymore. Until…. I got a story forwarded to me from my mom that there was going to be a one night only benefit concert of Assassins starring 100% of the original 2004 cast in the original theatre!! I HAD to see this!!! Unfortunately for me, it is a benefit concert and all of the “cheap” $150 tickets were sold out. The cheapest that were left were $500. Yikes! $500?! Could I justify spending $500 on this? Yes, yes I could. I have never spent that kind of money on one thing, but I just had to. I wouldn’t have done it for any other show or any other cast. This is my favorite musical ever with the dream cast all reunited. I couldn’t turn that opportunity down. I work very hard slaving away at my stupid restaurant job and I decided to treat myself.
My friend Maddie was in town staying with me for the week. I told her that I was doing this and apologized for ditching her for the night. She had already heard this story and heard me go on and on about the show before, so she wasn’t surprised with me choice. But her deciding to see it with me was a surprise! She concluded that being from London, they would never do this show there and if I loved it that much then it had to be good. Wow, she trusts me a lot. And also that’s only about 250 pounds, so it’s almost half off for her! I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself!!Dolled up and ready to go see Assassins!!Oh god, I couldn’t wait. I tried to take a picture during curtain calls, but clearly the lights didn’t work out in my favor. But I remember it. Oh, and I’m a sneaky ninja who audio recorded the entire show on my iPhone!! The sound quality is perfect!! I listen to it often and am so happy I thought to do that.
This was one of my favorite theatre experiences ever and I am so so grateful I had this opportunity. I don’t regret that purchase for an instant!