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re: "The Seagull" (2001) - Any experiences waiting for tickets?
Posted by: andPeggy 11:25 pm EDT 08/20/21
In reply to: "The Seagull" (2001) - Any experiences waiting for tickets? - YessicaHaircut 04:30 pm EDT 08/20/21

A group of friends and I got in line at about 10PM the night before the performance we wanted to see. We brought beach chairs and blankets and slept for some of it. At midnight we were told the line needed to move out of the Park. In a pretty orderly way, we moved to Central Park West. I forget what time the line moved back in the next morning. Since I was in a group we could leave to grab food and go to the bathroom. We got friendly with the people around us as one does in these situations. We were told not to hold spaces for anyone, but there was a solo person near us and we all held his spot when he grabbed food...

At about 9AM a staff member from The Public told people a few in front of us that they were pretty much guaranteed tickets. We and the people right around us were told there's no guarantee we'd get in. The people several behind us, who had gotten in line not that long after us, were told it was very unlikely they'd be getting tickets. Once the line started moving we did get stand-by tickets and were told to come back an hour before curtain. We did, and we got in.

Marcia Gay Harden was out. Her understudy was Robin Weigert. She was fine, but against that starry starry cast, she didn't have the wattage. Portman entered on a horse. Streep was exceptional. I recall her doing a cartwheel and blessing herself "backwards," but of course that's how a Russian Orthodox would. The generational difference between the characters was something that was very clear. You had these exceptional older actors whose work we all knew, and some exciting new talent. The conflict of the generations was very clear.

Stephen Spinella was heartbreaking. Streep and Hoffman's relationship was beautiful. Portman played it a bit small, but you could see why she was intrigued by Konstantin and pulled in by Trigorin.

I've seen other productions of the play since (Kristin Scott Thomas, Kate Burton), but this is the definitive one for me. I feel like I do about the Broadway production of The Delicate Balance a few years earlier. Since I've seen that production, I don't ever need to see another.
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