It’s a gorgeous Sunday so the waiting line at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park is studded with people reading the Times or occupied with iPads or Kindles. This would be a great pick-up spot but we’re here for tickets, not romance. A very accomplished saxophone/bass duet plays golden oldies like It Don’t Mean a Thing and L-O-V-E first covered by Nat King Cole.
I arrive at 10 AM. At 11 the food service window opens, offering “gourmet” hotdogs, faro salad (this is New York, after all), coffee, tea, fancy ice cream and more. A guy at the box office explains that the number of tickets released for each performance differs depending on how many seats are set aside for cast members, sponsors and the like. At 11:30 proof of ID (meaning age) is requested. After that, we are asked for our zip codes (hello marketing.)
Promptly at noon tickets are distributed and I score.
Walking home through the Park I come upon a group of people with cameras, (both iPhones and serious lenses) trained on a bird. One guy unplugs his earpieces long enough to explain that it’s a red-tailed hawk.
Fast forward to the performance of Much Ado About Nothing with Lily Rabe as Beatrice, Hamish Linklater as Benedick and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Don Pedro. The production is brilliant from start to finish with the minor exception of a piece of scenery that shakes too much when actors stand on top of it. Very clever lighting mimics a thunderstorm, the actors are great and even the amplification is done right, clear but not so loud as to feel like an assault.
One gripe: I wish audiences wouldn’t leap to their feet at the end of every performance because 1) if every theatrical endeavor is worthy of a standing ovation, how do you reward the truly terrific and 2) if people stand, you must also or you can’t see. Hiss, boo. It’s too nice an evening for my Inner Grinch.
Crunchy Slaw (Martha Stewart)
1/3 cup light mayonnaise (I use regular)
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, from about 2 limes
1 tablespoon sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 small green cabbage, about 2 pounds, halved, cored, and thinly sliced (Note: do NOT use red cabbage as it turns the slaw pink)
1 bunch radishes, ends trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, lime juice, and sugar; season generously with salt and pepper. Add cabbage and radishes; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Serve with a hey nonny nonny.