Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Score! Even theater is like a sport

The national sport here might be football, but I think theater is a close second. A group of us went to see Wicked on Tuesday night, and it struck me how much the two activities have in common.

Tonight's main event: Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
To start, people plan vacations around what shows are playing and the specific stars they are eager to see perform live. Secondly, many shows play to sell-out crowds night after night. Thirdly, there is a ton of memorabilia available for sale at each show: T-shirts, programs, stuffed animals, hats. If you can name it, the theaters probably have it.

And finally, roaming vendors sell candy, ice cream, water, beer and even "chilled wine" during the intermissions. Yes, that is completely different from the States, where most Broadway theaters wouldn't trust you with a bottle of water in your seats, let alone a cup of double chocolate ice cream.

It's the best shot I could get of the vendor walking through the Apollo Victoria Theatre with a cooler strapped to his back and selling "Ice Cold Beer."

An ice cream saleswoman at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where we saw Billy Elliot.

(Incidentally, the ice cream I purchased was delicious, even though a few members of our party had a little trouble with the tiny spoons that came in the packaging).

However, the theaters aren't quite as full service as they could be, despite what the signs said.

The corresponding sign on the other side said "Gents' Toilets."

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