Fringe Festival Rush

The Minnesota Fringe Festival can get a bit wild at times. There are so many theatrical shows going on all over the place all of the time that people can get a bit flustered and grumpy. And a 95 degree 70% humidity sort of day doesn’t help spoiled patience one bit. Combine these factors with the rush ticket line, and you have the makings of some lobby theater to tide you over until the house opens.

The lobby was at the Playwright’s Center. The show was Michele Campbell’s Pardon My French. The atmosphere was tense. The show had sold out the previous night, and it looked like this performance was going to follow suit. Being a genius, I reserved tickets online. No worries for me. But, oh, those dumb people in the rush line.

Sorry, passing judgment isn’t a balanced way to go about writing this. Let’s call them “hopeful” and “naive.” Is “naive” judgmental?

Anyway, these stupid…

Anyway, three folks were sitting on a bench, hoping to get tickets if there were any leftover. They were there at least 30 minutes before the show started. Not to spoil the ending, but those were 30 wasted minutes.

Enter loud lady. Or pushy lady. Loud and pushy lady. And probably her husband. Or good friend. Her buddy? With 20 minutes before the show starts, she heads to the back of the rush line. She it not loud or pushy yet, but she will transform like a horrible caterpillar. Except caterpillars are kind of cute, and produce non-horrible things.

10 minutes until show time, and the lobby gets mobbed by people wanting tickets. A line forms out the door. Loud Pushy finds her way to the ticket counter, and says she wants to buy the last two available tickets if it comes to that. Somebody doesn’t understand how the rush line works. It was also a nice big “eff you” to the bench people, who had been sitting with quiet hope in their eyes the entire time.

5 minutes until the show starts, they announce they only have 9 tickets left. They count the people in the actual ticket line to see where the cutoff will be. This makes Loud Pushy even louder, and more pushy. She fights her way up to the ticket counter and reminds them that she said she’d was willing to buy tickets.

That didn’t sway the box office staff one bit. Then she brings out this gem. “Doesn’t being in the rush line give us some sort of priority?” Oh Loud Pushy. That the exact opposite of what the rush line gives you. You are begging for scraps. You’re looking for tickets on the cheap. And not getting in is the risk you run when waiting on rush. You don’t get a special spot in line. You are at the constant end of a growing line.

At this point, the house opened up and everyone swarmed for the door to get seats. I assume she continued being loud and pushy even as she left my sight. In fact, she’s probably being loud and pushy right now.

I know that she won’t be reading this, so this isn’t a lesson I’m trying to pass through her thick skull. It’s simply an absurd story in the world of Fringe craziness.

Oh, also a cell phone went off for 30 seconds during the most intimate part of the show. Jackass.


  1. says

    “Doesn’t being in the rush line give us some sort of priority?” is the “Get your government hands off my Medicare!” of the year

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