Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Roundabout Theatre/Studio 54: Beguiled Yet Again

Roundabout Theatre/Studio 54: Beguiled Yet Again

What is it with Roundabout Theatre's Studio 54 that makes essential parts of the theatregoing experience so needlessly unpleasant? Perhaps I mustn't kick it around, but seems I could write a book.

As regular readers may recall, my February visit to Studio 54 had me paying full price for Row B Orchestra seats outside of the sightlines. The ushers in their little den of iniquity could have cared less.

My latest outrage occurred just this past Sunday afternoon, when after waiting and waiting and waiting for the line for right mezzanine seats to physically place me inside the actual theatre space (that alone took nearly 15 minutes), I then learned that they had run out of Playbills. Zip.

"Run out of Playbills?" I asked the befuddled usher.

"Yes, they didn't print enough for us," was her response.

Bothered and bewildered, I went downstairs at intermission. One Studio 54 hand told me I could buy a souvenir program. Right. Maybe in the United Kingdom, but not on my beloved Broadway. Yet.

In truth, no one seemed to care. Certainly nobody bothered to say, "I'm sorry."

As it turned out, I found a discarded Playbill upon exiting the theatre and scooped it up.

What do I care for a Playbill? Well, I realize times are tough on Broadway, but for a theatre aficionado like me, Playbills are essential to the overarching experience. In this case, not only would I have been able to tell who's who in the production or the crew responsible for my enjoyment of the show itself, but I would also have been able to share a private chuckle over this month's unfortunate feature story on Christian Hoff, who had been set to star in Pal Joey, but has since been replaced by Matthew Risch. Playbills are forever.

Shame on the Roundabout for not having the foresight to have a requisite number of these keepsakes on hand.

If you're attending tonight's performance, I just hope that they've received a new shipment, or else you're out of luck in figuring out the cast and crew. Talk about doing it the hard way.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 09 December, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

They ran out of Playbills?! That is unbelievable and totally unacceptable. I would have been so steamed. At least they could have taken your name and address and offered to mail you one.

I agree with you - it's essential. I can never understand why people just leave them at the end of the show. But I'm glad you found one!

Btw, I know what you mean about the sightlines. I was in the right orchestra, row H, three seats from the end and luckily, I could see fine. But if I'd been in the last seat in that row, I definitely would have missed part of the action.

At 09 December, 2008, Blogger Vance said...

I'm actually still looking for Saved Playbills from the Playwrights Horizon because they ran out the day I went to see that too. ARGH... annoying since I keep all of them.

But yeah. I've noticed many people usually leave them on the ground.

As for Studio 54, I find the seats one of the most uncomfortable ever.

I was lucky though that somehow they screwed up my tickets up to Pal Joey and ended up giving us GA seats which meant we waited until the very last minute and they seated us in the best available seats (which was Row D on the sides but generally it was fine).

Were the ushers volunteers? Cause Studio 54 employs some volunteer ushers too.

At 09 December, 2008, Blogger Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

This happened to Roxie and myself when we attended "Applause" at Encores. We were in the third tier, front gallery and were handed a folded program, made for cheaper than those of a high school drama club!

Fortunately I took Roxie to the mezzanine on intermission to meet Sarah and Kari and by our good fortune, they actually had extra lying around so we took them.

I still don't quite comprehend how they can run out of them. Perhaps they had an issue regarding the printing of new playbills featuring Mr. Risch?

As someone who collects old and new playbills, I am glad you were able to get one!

Which always raises my frustration regarding those who toss playbills on the floor. I don't understand why people wouldn't want it as a souvenir, but I can't help but think that it's a display of poor manners to not bring out what you've brought to your seat.

At 09 December, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, Yes, it is completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, their ushers didn't seem to care, which is even more unacceptable.

Vance, I'll be on the lookout for Saved Playbills. And yes, Studio 54's seats are very uncomfortable and they provide next to no leg room.

TAAL: I couldn't agree with you more. Nothing worse than having to step over other people's Playbills, candy wrappers, cups, garbage, etc.

At 10 December, 2008, Blogger gay CME guy said...

I would be completely pissed. THat's totally unacceptable and inexcuseable. And moreso because it was Broadway.
I have every Playbill of every show I've ever seen (including small storefront theatres).
Other than that, how was Pal Joey?


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