I got tickets to Wicked as birthday present for Lamia this year. And what kind of tickets these were! Front row, pretty much in the center.
We were excited.
Now there was a challenge, however: the show starts at 8 pm and we have to put the kids to bed before that and take a cab to the Marina Bay Sands. This meant we had to start the evening routine a little earlier, hope that both boys would not give us any trouble and then get a cab and rush to the show.
Things went reasonably well: as per his gentle nature, Thomas willingly slid into bed at 7:15 pm and stayed sweet and quiet. Oskar was already reading stories with Aggie when we were about to leave. We sort of made a mistake when we checked in on him to say good night. He realised we were leaving the house and clung to Lamia, crying bitter tears of being abandoned by his horrible parents.
Nevertheless, we still managed to catch a cab a few minutes later and arrived at the Marina Bay Sands, rushed to the theatre and still had 15 minutes to spare.
Not bad, we thought.
But there was a problem: I did not find my ticket printouts at home. For any other place I can think of, this is not an issue, be it events or zoos or airlines – you can scan the ticket code from the phone screen.
Turns out the Musical theatre at the Marina Bay Sands is working with
shit different technology.
Theatre droid: Ah no! – you have to get a printed ticket at the counter.
Leo (annoyed): Just scan it!
I was completely perplexed when it did not work. You have to know that officially, the show is supposed to start at 8 pm sharp and if you are not on time, they won’t let you in until the next convenient opportunity, which is intermission, of course. And here we were 15 minutes before the start and my tickets were worth nothing.
We were annoyed, angry and out for blood.
Especially when we saw that all ticket counters were busy with long queues of people who still bought tickets. There was no counter that would print tickets for people who did not have them, no machine that can print the tickets and again: no f$#@!&ing scanner that can read from a phone.
Now, I do understand that this is my fault: I should have brought a printout. But at the same time the only place where this is mentioned is when you book the ticket (which was pretty much 3+ months ago). It was not highlighted in the email I got the night before to remind me that this performance comes up.
So yes: I am the idiot here, too, but when I saw that there were dozens of other people who had the same problem, I had to wonder: why the f%$&#*! doesn’t the management of this place do something about this? They must have the very same problem with very upset customers every, bloody night?!
While I was lining up to get printouts, Lamia made sure the staff knew that this was ridiculous. On the one hand side they told us not to worry and everybody would get in, on the other hand side they told people to hurry up because they were about to close the doors.
There were many unhappy customers who praised Lamia for speaking up and making sure the displeasure was noticed (and this is why my wife gets shit done and other don’t!).
Meanwhile, in the queue, I was about to kill someone: as I mentioned, some people were still buying tickets and picking seats. Other people, in the same situation as us, took also long, because the theatre is not only asking for the ticket, but also for the credit card it has been bought with (okay, that sort of makes sense, but you’re screwed when this is a gift) plus your ID plus your signature. Aaargh!
Finally it was my turn and after some more painfully slow minutes I finally had the tickets.
Lamia had made sure the theatre staff would not forget us, so we finally stormed into the place, with an (a little stressed out) lady who walked us through the theatre and showed us to our front row seats. Thank you!
It was 8:15 pm.
Finally we could relax a bit.
And when the show started, I was blown away by the costumes, the cast, the stage and its decoration and the lovingly crafted story which cleverly builds on the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But even more so by how close we were to the stage and how big and full of life everything looked. Fantastic!
I guess the one thing that Wicked is missing are a few songs which have chart potential. The songs are fine, but none of them stands out, which I think is a bit of a miss for a Musical.
But we had a great evening, despite the stress at the beginning.
So, note to self: always have a printout with you – as annoying as this might be.
Oh, and second note to self: it’s really much smarter to take a MRT home after a show. Not surprisingly, with all the audience wanting to go home, waiting for a cab really takes forever…