Archive for March 2005

Gregory Maguire must be spinning in his grave[1]

After our unsuccessful attempts at getting Wicked tickets last year in New York, we immediately pounced when they started selling tickets earlier this year for the tour stop in Toronto.

We just got back from the show. It’s been something like 3 years since I read the book, so I don’t remember the plot details very well; Bonnie sure does though. She rattled off a list of differences in the car, then extended the list as we looked through this photo gallery, finishing it off with a disapproving, “It’s all wrong, it’s ALL wrong.” It was eerily reminiscent of me after each of the Lord of the Rings movies.

As always, the whole thing would of course be no fun without one of my patented self-inflicted “adventures”. So Bonnie gives me the tickets to carry on the way down to the theatre (mistake #1) . She also says, “Very important, do not lose” (mistake #2). Suffice to say, shallow pockets combined with sharing the pocket with my cell phone equals trouble (mistake #3). I knew I dropped the envelope between the subway station and the theatre, so I was all set to retrace my steps, but Bonnie brilliantly suggested that we just appeal to the box office. The guy didn’t even blink, so I guess this kind of thing has happened before. They even have a rubber stamp to mark the tickets as reprints.

It doesn’t end there though. A couple minutes after curtain time, an usher appears with a couple of strangers in tow, asking to see our tickets. She inspects them under her flashlight, hands them back, then leads the strangers away. Five minutes later, another usher appears by herself, asking to see our tickets again; this time she takes them and runs away!

First thought: “Aw crap, that wasn’t an usher, that was the scammers taking our tickets so they can come back later and kick us out.” That didn’t happen, someone else returned our ticket stubs at intermission. Bonnie asked her if there was a problem, and she explained, “It just looks like they double-booked somehow. Someone else has tickets for the same day, same time, and same seats.” At this point we tried explaining the situation, but it seemed like she either didn’t understand or didn’t care and went back to standing by the door. Sigh, guess they just seated them somewhere else.

Second thought: “Man, I just let someone see this show for free. This sucks. Shouldn’t the box office be able to see that we just requested reprints?

Third thought: “Hmm, maybe a scalper picked up the tickets and sold them to those two strangers. If I were in their position I’d probably argue with the theatre too despite any resistance they offered. Man, I just enriched some random scalper. This sucks.” Though for some reason this scenario appeals to me more than the first one.

Fourth thought: “Hey wait, can’t I see all shows for free by pulling this scam on purpose? Maybe even make money off of it? I buy tickets, sell them on eBay, then get to the theatre on the night of the show before the auction winner and get reprints.” The auction winner has to deal with the hassle and the theatre is always left holding the bag. Replace eBay with some other more anonymous method of sale and the scam goes even smoother.

I think I’m getting old and slow; I can’t believe the scam didn’t cross my mind until the fourth thought, which was during the bowing and applause. It was one of those classic “lightbulb above the head” moments that in my younger years would have been my first or second thought. Sigh, now I’m just waiting for the receding hairline, bi-focals, and my gut to jut out far enough that I can no longer see my feet.

[1] Yes, I know Gregory Maguire is still alive. It’s one of those long-running jokes we have at work. Initially it was used for former employees when we gutted their code/ideas, but now we also use it for current employees, often in their presence.