Where is theater etiquette enforcer Patti Lupone when we need her?
See this delicious pricy theater concession swag? Would I ever in a million years pay $7 for a cup of coffee in a theater lobby or $5 for a giant box of Red Vines?
So here’s what happened. As a last minute surprise I was able to get us steal-of-a-deal tickets to Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.
I have never been late to a live theater performance before, and to my horror, that’s exactly what happened. We got caught in a funeral procession on the 101 then all the parking lots off Hollywood Boulevard were full, and we were about five minutes late.
So we were held in the lobby (along with about 60 others; who knew so many people were late to theater matinees) and at a break the ushers began seating people.
When he got to us, we learned someone else was in our seats. We continued to wait in the lobby (where we could watch the show on monitors; “the PHAN-tom of the opera is here!!!!!”) and it seemed like something unusual was going on. More and more ushers got involved, then our original guy came back to let us know the people were REFUSING to move.
Okay so maybe I’m just a goody goody rule follower, but who has the balls to ignore an usher? That’s the person who will save you when there’s an earthquake or a fire. Who is told, “Ma’am, you’re going to have to move because you’re in someone else’s seat,” and refuses?
So these badass ushers marshaled and they completely emptied the entire row! This is a long row way back in the cheap seats completely out of Patti Lupone cellphone-grabbing territory and I’d say they had about 30 people marched out into the lobby.
Meanwhile the show continued! All of this was during the first twenty minutes of Phantom of the Opera. Candles and mist on the waters of the Phantom’s underground lair….and usher flashlights flickering as people are marched into the lobby.
A manager came over to us and gave us free swag! Yay! The girls each got a “snack pack” which was any one food item (of course they chose huge boxes of candy) and a drink. I got a beverage voucher good at the bar but the line was too long so I opted for “just a coffee” which turned out to come in a reusable Phantom of the Opera tumbler. Nice.
I kept saying, “It’s our fault because we were late! I’m so sorry!” I was really embarrassed but they were so taken aback by the bad behavior of row VV that our lateness was not an issue. (And I guess people are late a lot. Who knew?!)
Turns out that entire row was all sitting wrong and the ushers solved it by seating the girls and me first, then gradually allowing everyone back in and hand placing them in the proper seats.
I was a little worried that conversation would be awkward during intermission but we solved that issue by running to the concession line to get our free food and drinks so it was all good.
The show was great but of course Jane’s rendition of the day to Scott when we got home was one big run-on sentence about, “the chandelier fell and there was fire and they shot him and lassoed him then he disappeared which was weird because did he die? and all the people were in the wrong seats and wouldn’t move which was crazy so they gave us a bunch of Red Vines.” Ah, the theater!