How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Starring Darren Criss
A Fan's Perspective on Opening Night
January 3rd, 2012
How To Succeedâ¦ In Seeing Darren Criss on BroadwayBelieve me, I really did have to try!
The morning of January 3rd, 2012 started very early for me â 6 am to be exact. I slept over at a friendâs apartment in the city the night before but, as what usually happens when hanging out with my friends, we only slept for a few hours. Despite the lack of sleep, we woke with excitement (amidst a lot of yawns) and quickly threw on multiple layers of clothes before heading on our way to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on West 45th Street. We entered a packed subway train filled with a mix of optimism and doubt as to how short or long the line for rush tickets would be once we arrived at the theater.
Walking past the ticket window we surveyed the line and decided to hope for the best. Luckily, one of our friends was already in line and we were able to jump in next to her. She was sitting in line since 5:45 and was already huddled in blankets. Shortly after, one more friend joined us and our quartet prepared to brave the unbearable cold for the next three and a half hours. Time passed by at a reasonable pace as we slept, played games on our phones and went on Facebook. Our body temperatures steadily dropped but our spirits were still upbeat. We took turns getting up to go into a warm store and buying a hot beverage.
The sun finally began rising and I could sense excitement in the air as opposed to sleepiness. Around 9 am, 45th Street appeared to wake up and activity began around the theater. First order of business, the Playbill truck pulled up and opened its doors to reveal piles upon piles of new Playbills with Darren Crissâs shining face on the cover. People rushed to the truck and immediately asked for copies, which were soon passed out throughout the rush ticket line. Then, people looked up above the theater as letter by letter the light-up marquee began to spell out the title of the show and its leading stars. Next, workers began pasting new billboard-sized ads for the show outside the doors of the theater & across the pillars. Huge pictures of Daniel Radcliffeâs face decorated (very fittingly I might add) with sharpie-drawn lightning bolt scars & rimmed glasses were steadily covered by pictures of a boy in a purple bowtie who one year ago could not have possibly imagined how far his life would take him in that span of time.
Now my anticipation really began. The box office opened and it was just a matter of numbers that would determine whether I waited in the cold for hours for nothing or if I was going to be one of the lucky ones to see Darren Crissâs Broadway debut. Slowly but surely the line inched forward until we found ourselves mere feet away from the ticket window. Right after I bought my two tickets (I would be bringing my younger cousin along with me), I heard the lady at the window next to me say that they were sold out of rush tickets. I couldnât believe my luck â I got the last two tickets!
Once my shock subsided, I checked the tickets and they were Orchestra seats! Ahh! It was partial view, but for only $30 I would see the show less than ten rows from the stage. Surprisingly, the rest of the day passed quickly and I found myself waiting on line outside the theater with my cousin anxiously waiting to enter. We immediately headed to the souvenir table then to our seats. We settled in and chatted with a girl sitting next to us until the lights flickered â it was almost show time!
The curtains opened and the sold out crowd cheered wildly as Darren entered the stage. The spotlight shined brightly on him as he began the show and it hit me how overly enthusiastic and grateful I felt to be where I was at that moment. âHow To Succeedâ definitely lives up to its positive hype; each scene was immensely enjoyable and funny. I wish that I got to see Daniel perform so I could make a comparison, because I thought that Darren played the role perfectly. All too soon, the show ended and the actors came back on stage for curtain call to tumultuous applause. Our night did not end there, however.
I rushed out of the theater with my cousin and we headed to the stage door to attempt to see Darren and get an autograph. Massive crowds already lined the barricades though we were some of the first people out of the theater. We squeezed in and held our spots until cast members began to leave from backstage. Beau Bridges was one of the first actors out but I couldnât reach close enough to get his autograph. Not long after, Christopher J. Hanke exited the stage door and I got luckier this time. People left enough space for me to reach through and ask him for an autograph. I told him he was great in the show and he responded with a thanks and a wink. Now began the waiting game â when would Darren come out? Security warned the crowd that if any pushing occurred they would not allow Darren to sign for anyone. Luckily I stood in a friendly crowd and chatted with some people while we all waited.
Screams and camera flashes filled the air. Darren exited the building with a large smile spread across his face and a black sharpie in his hand. He ran from side to side of the barricades trying to sign for as many people as possible. Then, he surprisingly stopped and stood in the middle asking for everyone to be quiet so he could speak. He said, "Anybody that can hear the sound of my voice... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is a very special night for me, so thank you." He blew a kiss to the crowd and proceeded to sign even more autographs. He is such a class act, which his fan base loves about him. Honestly, hearing his unorthodox little speech just further convinced me of how down-to-earth and awesome I think he is.
This time, he walked by my section of the crowd and, thanks to a nice girl standing in front of me that held out my Playbill next to hers, he signed my Playbill! I couldnât believe it â I had Darren Crissâs autograph! I couldnât help but jump up and down; Iâm very rarely a fan girl, but Darren Criss is definitely an exception. I continued holding my camera over my head and snapping pictures with the hope of getting at least one good shot of him. Shortly after Darren left, I met up with my friends and we took some pictures together outside the theater. We hugged each other and said goodbye before heading home after what had been an unforgettable, fun, extremely cold and excitement-filled day.
***Special Thanks to Jessica Klein for sharing her day with us***
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