The Times gives the Shakespeare-in-the-Park ticketline the rose-colored glasses view, as part of a feature on all those crazy free summer events New Yorkers have to camp out in the heat for.
Here's Public Exec Dir. Mara Manus on why this humiliating herding is not some unintended consequence but in fact part of the generous company's grand design for New Yorkers:
Ms. Manus said the line has taken on a life of its own, leading to extended interactions that are unusual in the big city. “The line itself is a community,” she said. “It’s part of a total experience of the park. We in fact have a donor — a high-end donor — who took her kids for years to stand in the line, because she thought the experience was unparalleled. She said it was the greatest thing. It’s a way of getting to know your neighborhood or community in a way you don’t in New York, because people don’t have a chance to stop sand say hi, much less talk for hours.”Ironically, it's only the high-end donor types who can afford to wait on line. The same ones who can afford to buy the scalped tix. Or to just buy them from the Public for $150.
As that modern classicist Jean Anouilh once said: "What you get free costs too much."