Have you heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need? It’s a psychological theory on human motivation that includes things like safety, self-actualization, and love/belonging. I think my hierarchy would include a segment for theatre tickets. I’m not saying a big piece… but still a piece. In the past few years regular concerts have lost the power that they once had for me, but Broadway has inched its way into their place because they offer a more immersive experience, since it’s hard to find at a concert unless I invest the effort to be front row, which I do for the right artist.
Theatre tickets are expensive, though, so what I’m willing/able to pay varies pretty heavily by my interest in the particular show…. It’s a whole other Hierarchy of Need. For example, I LOVE Hamilton, but I can’t bring myself to pay $250 for the last row of the balcony with the current cast. However I would have done it a year ago, if I could have, with the original cast. I did willing spend $150 to see Brenden Urie in Kinky Boots from the second row of the mezzanine…. Even though I was just in New York three weeks ago and swore I wasn’t going back for a while so that I could go somewhere new. Listen to “Soul of a Man” and imagine him singing it and you’ll understand.
This isn’t new for me. I’ve done trips to New York just to see Broadway shows before; twice each for American Idiot and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I’ve also tacked a show on anywhere I could on other visits. When I travel I’m usually trying to find the cheapest way to get through the day, including 99 cent slices of pizza, and that extends to theatre tickets, too. Below is the result of years or experience and research on how to get myself in to the shows I love, even when I’m broke.
This is long overdue since I was in Minneapolis in early March, but I’m going to play the better late than never card. I’ve also made two trips since then and I’ve decided I’m not allowed to post about them until posted about this one.
It’s 9:02 on Sunday morning.
I waddle up the street, in layers of coat, sweater, leggings, and more to protect my week southern constitution against the Minnesota winter, the added layers and my yet-to-be-broken-in Dr. Martens accentuating my penguin like physique and gate. I’m trying to walk quickly and failing. After arguing with myself on the merits of a giant breakfast vs my warm bed followed by two wrong turns the less than one mile walk from the hotel, I am late. They opened at 9:00.
The skinny store front of Al’s Breakfast occupies a former ally between two much larger buildings, one also serving breakfast. Despite being open a mere two minutes, all 14 stools running longways through the center of the scant 10 feet wide storefront appear to be taken and a line of 15 more is waiting along the wall behind the diners. After following Butch Walker around the country and spending as much as 12 hours in line in a single day, I am a pro at waiting in line and I am ready to do my time as I take in my surroundings.
As far as I’m concerned if you don’t come home from vacation tired and sore you must be doing something wrong. If I don’t hobble off the plane and limp for a week then I have failed. The game is to get as much stuff crammed into those few days as possible, because it’s all one big scavenger hunt (like that time I spent 3 days driving all over the Mississippi Delta looking for blues landmarks.). I don’t go on vacation to relax and I’m more likely to spend half a day on the sidewalk in front of a music venue to ensure a good spot then I am to spend it sitting on a beach. It’s no surprise then that I have just as much fun compulsively researching a trip as I do actually taking it, because how else am I going to cram ALL THE THINGS into a few days without ALL THE RESEARCH?