October 04, 2006

Aisle witness

Lorinne and I recently went to see Fame Becomes Me, the Martin Short revue currently on Broadway. The show was highly entertaining, but that's not why I'm writing this blog entry. I'm here to sing the praises of our usher.

When we arrived, our usher said (as he said to everyone, as far as we could tell), in a rapid monotone, "Welcome to the Martin Short show, Fame Becomes Him and Only Him, it's a short show, no intermission, here are your short seats." I couldn't imagine that saying this didn't get old, so I appreciated the choice (or direction) of adopting a put-upon tone so that the effect would be the same whether the usher was tired of saying it or not. He pointed us to our seats, which were off to house right, near the back -- obviously bought-at-TKTS, not-the-best-in-the-orchestra seats, but still with a good view of the stage.

And as it happens, our view of the stage was even better than it might have been, because the seat in front of me (slightly to Lorinne's left, between her and the stage) was still vacant just as the show was about to start. But then an opportunistic fellow presumably seated up in the balcony appeared and asked the woman sitting next to the empty seat, "Excuse me, is that seat taken?" I've seen people do this at intermission, but never before the show! I guess you have to make accommodations when there's no intermission. Anyway, she shrugged, and he started stepping over her and her date to get to the seat. I was silently cursing this change in our fortunes when suddenly, the usher, who had been way down at the front of the aisle, used his super audience radar powers to detect this man's presence and pounced! "Sir? Is that your seat? May I see your ticket?"

"Um...I don't have it on me. Let me go get it," he lamely responded. He never reappeared. I don't know if a laxer usher elsewhere let him slip in, but ours staunchly defended his territory! Well done, house right usher! You were our hero.

Martin Short also contributed to our enjoyment of the evening.

Posted by Francis at 08:25 AM

There should be a musical about the competitive world of Broadway ushers. I'd call it "When Ush Comes to Shove" and you'd see the struggles of the young hopefuls trying to get into Local 306.

After they join, they discover the not-so-fun part of the job, trying to make sense of it all, and the leading man usher sings the poignant ballad, "I Don't Think That's Your Seat, Sir (So Please, Find Where You Belong, For the Love of God)".

Posted by: Lorinne at October 12, 2006 10:39 PM
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