Friday, February 08, 2013

Broadway and a Blizzard for My Birthday

Today is my 36th birthday. 36. Another number that feels a little hard for me to handle right now (refer to my previous post if you want to know the other number that's also hard for me). While it's hard to believe I am another year older, I am so blessed, and I am amazed by the Lord and his kindness in my life.

Last night I was able to cross off something that has been on my New York City list since we moved here a year ago: Mary Poppins. When we returned from Christmas break last month, I learned that Mary Poppins on Broadway would be closing on March 3rd. Yikes! Had to get working on that bucket list. I scoured and scoured the internet for various deals on tickets. Let me tell you, it's expensive to take your family to a Broadway show. Did I mention that part of my wish was to take Millie and Hunter with us to see the show? Yep, I was trying to find four tickets at the lowest price possible. After looking around, the best price I found was $60ish/ticket for not great seats. If that's what it had to be, that's what it would be.

Until the Ebay miracle of 2013.

I like to buy and sell on ebay, but I have never had much luck with tickets on ebay. You can find tickets, but you rarely find tickets that are priced any better than at the box office or on daily deal sites. On a Saturday night in mid-January, after researching Mary Poppins tickets (again), I gave ebay another whirl...and there it was. An auction for 2 vouchers for four tickets to Mary Poppins for any show Tues. - Fri. until the show closes on March 3. I scoured the fine print of the auction with a virtual fine toothed comb. Starting Bid: $75.00 or Buy It Now: $100. I looked further, certain that it was $100 per ticket or $100 per voucher. Nope. $100 for the two vouchers which totaled 4 tickets. It really seemed too good to be true. And you know what they say about when it seems too good to be true...and so I proceeded with great caution. I reviewed the seller's profile. 100% feedback. Seemed like an ebayer similar to myself - buys and sells every once in a while. No red flags as of yet. I even called the New Amsterdam theater saying that I had two vouchers and wanted to know what I needed to do to redeem them. I was waiting for the man on the phone to say: "Vouchers? What vouchers! I have never heard of vouchers like that being issued before." Nope. The ticket guy at the office just answered my questions as if a voucher as described in the auction was a normal thing. He even used the words "best available" in reference to the seats those vouchers would offer.

Best available? Certainly not.

Since I have bought and sold on ebay for a while, I am really familiar with the high level of buyer protection that they offer if a deal does not go through as described (i.e. if it's a scam). It did seem too good to be true, but I had researched well, and there had been no red flags. So I did it. Bought it now. $100 for four tickets of the best available seats on the date of my choice.

Is this really going to happen?

Once the vouchers arrived, I was ready to get to the box office and see if they actually would produce tickets. The vouchers looked like something I could have totally printed up myself. Nothing special. On normal paper just like I could have printed on my computer. Uh Oh. Did I mention it sounded too good to be true?

On a Wednesday, after Classical Conversations, I took the kids, crossed the Hudson over the George Washington Bridge, and we headed to Midtown to 42nd Street and the New Amsterdam Theater. We parked semi-legally (depending on your perspective) right in front of the theater. I pulled everyone out of the car and put Hunter on lookout at the box office door to watch for any police who might approach our semi-legally parked car. I approached the ticket window, pulled out my vouchers and handed them to him, and said: "I have these vouchers, and I really hope they are legitimate." He got a book out, looked up the voucher numbers and proceeded to ask me what date I would like to come. I told him my preferred date, and he printed up four of the best available seats he had for that day. Center orchestra, Row S. Aisle seats.

It worked. I'm going to get to see Mary Poppins. $100 for four tickets that are regularly priced at $137 each. Speechless.

And we went last night. And it was wonderful. And our seats were so good. What a kindness. A kindness from my very kind God. So, so thankful that he cares about these things in my life. I remember my mom taking my sister and me to see Les Miserables onstage when I was in elementary school, and it was so memorable and somewhat life-changing. My love for music and theater was transformed by that experience. And there I sat last night with my two oldest children on either side of me...and I couldn't believe that I was now the Mommy (along with my darling husband who did so much to make it possible for us to go to the show) who was able to take her kids to a Broadway show. Such a special night.

Love him. He was willing to do so much to make this happen for me.

Such a privilege to be their Mommy and to take them to their first Broadway show.
I hope they will love the theater like I do.

And now it is snowing. A lot...I mean, a whole lot. Donny says it's not even really supposed to get going until 6:00 p.m. Well, it's 5:00 p.m., and there is a lot. So thankful we decided to see Mary Poppins last night.

This morning, the snowfall was light and pretty. The kids went out to play, and Donny helped them build a "slide" down our steps to our side yard. Donny had confirmation that it was a great idea and an even better executed plan when I actually put on my boots and snow gear to join in the fun. I had no intention of leaving the comfort of my warm, cozy home this morning...but the slide off our steps was too fun to miss. I think it's the first time I sledded in adulthood. Lots of fun.

So that's what I got for my 36th birthday...a broadway show and a blizzard. I couldn't be more thankful.

The view from my back door at 5:45 p.m. 
We'll see if I'm still thankful for the snow tomorrow. :)