This weekend we went to Shakespeare in the Park and IT. WAS. AMAZING. The tradition behind this annual summer series is quite cool. It's a free production but tickets are only made available on the day of each performance and can only be obtained by waiting in line that morning. Tickets are distributed at noon, but people tend to line up eeeeearly, like camp outside the Best Buy on Black Friday to make sure you get that half-off stackable washer/dryer style early. It's kind of a right of passage for New Yorkers, and everybody has a story about the time they did it. People bring blankets and food and games and it's very much a community affair. The festival is so popular that huge stars are cast each year - past performers include Meryl Streep, Kevin Klein, James Earl Jones, Michele Pfieffer, Jeff Goldblum, Anne Hathaway, John Goodman, Amy Adams, Christopher Walken...and on and on and on...
My darling husband, wonderful man that he is, woke up early and snuck out of the house as quiet as a mouse to go wait in line while I slept in. JACKPOT LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! A few hours later I picked up coffee and bagels to bring him while he waited, but made sure to stand back enough so as not to arouse any suspicion from those in the near vicinity as New Yorkers in general, and those putting in the time for this event in particular, are VERY SERIOUS about line cutters.
He scored our tickets around 1pm, then came home and we took naps in order to gear up for our big night out. Picked up dinner at our favorite local deli and headed back to the park around 6:30, since doors opened at 7:30 and show was slated to begin at 8pm. It had been blistering hot, but thankfully started to cool down as it got nearer to sunset, and was quite pleasant by the time we headed inside to find our seats. The Delacorte Theater is open air and gorgeous, nestled right up against the Turtle Pond and Castle, in the heart of Central Park. Super exciting to attend a show in such an iconic theater.
We saw Judd Apatow and Ira Glass strolling around outside the gates just prior to show time.
Because of course they hang out. Quintessential NYC celeb sighting.
I love a picnic! Turkey meatballs, sun dried tomato chicken salad and a smattering of other goodies for dinner.
Do something Shakespearean!
Sorry this is all I got.
The show was INCREDIBLE and the cast was even better than expected. John Lithgow was fantastic, of course, in the title role. He got the crazy part dowwwwwn. First bizo daughter comes out and it's Annette Benning. Say what?! The woman playing the second daughter looked and sounded so familiar to me, I spent the entire first act trying to figure out what the heck I knew her from. A quick intermission google search revealed her to be none other than Susan from Friends (new spouse of Ross' now-lesbian ex-wife). So great.
The weather was perfect right up until the end. Clouds started moving in and it began to sprinkle ever so lightly, but not enough to even draw anyone's attention away from the stage. Then the final scene began, where Lear staggers onto the stage carrying his dear Cordelia after she's just been killed and the skies OPENED UP. It was like the rain was a part of the show. The actors just went right on with the final scene, people were glued to their seats. It was so badass. Five minutes later, the rain stopped, and we all walked out of the theater sans umbrella.