It’s 11:17am, it’s sunny (as it always is in Philadelphia 😉 ), and I’ve just finished my Middle-Aged-Women-And-Me-Wednesday-Morning Class at the gym. I’m chatting with some friends about the weather (how Canadian!), when my fitbit vibrates. I look down, and a text message is scrolling across my fitbit: “You won the Spring……” My heart stops, and speeds up, all in the same moment. Did I?! Could I?! I think…. Right there, on the Streets of Philadelphia: You won the Springsteen on Broadway ticket lottery for the 04/19 Eve show! Check your email for details. I flail in excitement, hitting my friends with my water bottle numerous times (sorry Kirstin!), as I squeal out again and again, “I won! I just won tickets to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway!”
I try to message Derrick, but my fingers won’t hit the right keys. I’m shaking like the Spice Girls Reunion is actually materializing. I zip home, open my laptop, confirm it’s true, book my seats, and take a breath. We just won seats to the more-impossible-than-Hamliton-to-get-seats show! To clarify, we didn’t actually win tickets to the show. We won the opportunity to buy tickets (for $75).
So wait? You just won the chance to buy tickets?! That sounds silly!
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you Dancing in the Dark. 20 some years ago, Rent became so popular that people couldn’t get tickets. Wanting to capture that La Vie Bohème feeling, they started offering an in person lottery for a set number of seats to that day’s show. People would hope they win the chance to buy day of tickets, typically ranging from $20-$50. Most other shows adopted this process. When Hamilton came along, the in person lottery became a safety hazard as crowds filled the streets, and the game went digital.
Recently I learned about the lottery hub www.luckyseat.com. It’s a one stop shop for a tiny chance to win seats for a super reasonable price to incredibly popular shows (including Springsteen on Broadway)! And anyone can enter: you don’t need to be Born in the USA, just be ready to book a plane ticket if you win.
For Springsteen on Broadway, every ticket was sold for $500 each through a pre-code sale, from now until December when it closes. It was just so unattainable, I didn’t really look into it. Yet two weeks ago, I felt like a relapsing gambling addict, and committed to entering us daily for tickets to Springsteen on Broadway. It’s kind of exciting really, thinking we had a chance to see this show. Every day we’d check. For ten days, we lost. I’d say to Derrick “we’re going to win this once. I just know it”. I just felt good about it. And on our 11th entry, we are winners! Glory Days!
Moral of the story: play the Broadway lottery. Someone has to win. And if you do, I’ll go with you! Also, as another fyi: In addition to the lottery, there’s often day of rush tickets at the box office, and standing room for almost every show (aka = the cheapest tickets to AWESOME Broadway!). For all Broadway info, click here. For Off Broadway info, click here.
So you’re probably reading this wanting more of the Bruce lottery story, eh?
Okay. So our tickets are for the following day. I bus in from Philly, and Derrick trains in from work. We have time for a quick bite, a cupcake, and a kiss, before we head over to the Walter Kerr Theatre. When we arrive at the box office, I toss over my ID to claim my tickets. As the box office lady retrieves my tickets, she expresses my internal excitement out loud: “You won the lottery!” Like I didn’t know it! And she starts clapping for me. She knows how to make a girl feel special. This reaction gives me permission to tell her my whole experience, which I’m sure she didn’t care too much about, but listened and clapped more anyways. I’m just so pumped for this whole experience.
We sit down in the “lottery section”- the last 2 rows on the left side of the mezzanine. There’s still a few minutes until curtain, and I decide that all of us lottery winners should be friends. You know, we have a shared experience after all. The people on my right, or behind me, didn’t seem as excited as me, but the people on the right were mostly right there with me. We chat like number one fans, and I pretend to know more about Bruce than I do. This is their second time seeing the show. Last time, they paid $750 per ticket. As the lights dim, they exclaim ” This show is worth $75, and it’s worth $750″. My Hungry Heart is so ready for this.
So the show. Yeah, it was okay. I guess… I’m more of a Britney fan.
Actually, Springsteen on Broadway is better than okay. I’d say surreal. The show is 2.5 mesmerizing hours of listening to a wise man speak in poetry, plus a few f words, building the stories with about 10 songs tossed in acoustic style. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s solely Bruce, and a) one of his (what seemed like) 5-10 rotating guitars; b) a piano, or c) his wife. No fancy sets, or lights. But total Broadway magic. It’s stories of his childhood, his rock and roll life, his songs, the things he’s gained, and the things he’s lost. Our seats are near the back of the 975 seat theatre, but it feels like he was speaking directly to me. And really, seeing Bruce in such an intimate setting is bucket list material right there. The songs are slowed right down, which creates a perfect story telling experience, not the rock concert that I think some in the audience expected. For me, it was like we had experienced our very own Secret Garden. As the crowd stood, I simply tried to take it all in, like a Boss.
Baby, we were born to run for that train at the end of the night, and thankfully, we made it to our
Thunder Road NJ Transit train with six minutes to spare. I finally let my brain process the whole 24 hour experience. As a theatre lover, one of the best things about living in Philly is how close we are to New York City. I can hop on a bus, catch the train, or hire my personal driver Derrick, and in less time than the length of a musical, we’re there. It still feels incredible every time we cross through Times Square, see the glowing marquees, step into the tiny lobbies, and find our seats. Broadway captures my applause, and my heart, more than anywhere else I can think of.
Initially, I think I was more excited about the idea that I won, than the actual show. To be honest, I was more of a sentimental Springsteen fan than an actual fan prior to tonight. Even with all the hype, tonight’s show brought so many things unexpected. It took me back to my childhood where Bruce was often playing in the background. I knew the music, but didn’t really “like it” because my parents did (logical kid thinking). His voice is a memory of family, and running around our brown carpeted home. It’s car trips, and meal times. In my mind, he makes me think of my mom, and my dad. Now, I’d hang with Britney or Bruce any night. I love that I got to know him. I kind of feel a bit like an American now. Seeing Springsteen on Broadway really is like winning the actual lottery.
Song of the Day: Streets of Philadelphia (by the Boss himself)