Saturday, October 21, 2006

The morning line becomes the afternoon line

One thing ticketing changes at this year's Met have done is effectively eliminate the weekly standing room ticket ritual. Standing room is now sold on a day-of basis, and the rezoning (on weekdays) of much of Family Circle as $15 seats has made them less important.

Anyway, except for galas and the like the standing room line had already become less important -- with the drop in sell-outs of late, one could usually get whatever standing place one wanted without going to the Saturday morning ritual, and often on the evening of the performance.

But what would an opera house be without endless queues? Maybe it was for this that Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman bankrolled the Met's new rush ticket program. The 200 spots that took over an hour to sell out on the offer's first night now seem to generate a line that begins in the early afternoon and is full-blown -- if not necessarily full -- well before these tickets actually go on sale (two hours before the evening's curtain). Note that last I checked this early line is, like the now-defunct standing room edition, not by the box office but down on the concourse level beginning just off the staircase to the box office.

I haven't tried it enough to say which orchestra balance tickets end up being offered in the program (some are much better than others), nor when the last person to get a ticket will get in line, but line length may make it a bit of a waste unless you're a student or otherwise unoccupied tourist. It's an experience, though, I'm sure.


  1. Thanks for the info. Is this line still ridiculously long these days?

  2. Not sure -- haven't checked of late. I'll look in next time I'm there in the afternoon.


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.