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Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Can't Stand the Rain
When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with women’s tennis. I use the word “obsessed” advisedly. I barely thought of anything else, and I did quite a lot of thinking back then. In 1979 and 1980, I went to about 10 tournaments per year (including three-quarters of the Grand Slam in ’80)—and I would go for the duration of the tournaments, not a cameo for the finals. (Those weren’t my only years of tournament-hopping, just my heyday.)

By 1980, I’d gotten to know several players—very superficially, I hasten to add—and even played soccer with a bunch of obscure players (and a rather more well-known striver whom I’ll call Martina N.) at the pre-pre-Wimbledon warm-up in Chichester (the game was taken up again a week later in Eastbourne, but I stayed off the pitch that time).

There were many occasions where I was the only person watching “my” players (I tended to like the smart ones, regardless of their skills/success), and then at Wimbledon, one of them was on the verge of a major doubles upset, and I couldn’t get anywhere near the court. Wimbledon’s always hideously and randomly crowded, but usually you could figure out some sneaky way through the bottleneck. Not this time—every trick I attempted failed, so I missed my pal’s big triumph.

I mention all this because today I was trying to figure out if I should try to finagle tickets to Three Days of Rain, Julia Roberts’ big Broadway adventure. (Tickets are on sale, but only to AmEx card holders; though they’re also showing up on eBay and on ticket brokers’ sites.)

Now, there’s no comparison between my youthful obsession with women’s tennis and my affection for the theater—I am an enthusiastic playgoer, but there’s a lot I don’t know and frankly don’t care about. I don’t feel a need to see everything, nor can I afford to. I have no interest in seeing a lot of the Broadway productions, so I don’t mind that shows like Spamalot or The Odd Couple are out of bounds. But Three Days of Rain is off-Broadway. It’s by Richard Greenberg, whose plays I almost always see (and mostly like). Even though it’s irrational, I feel swizzed that I’m probably not going to be able to go to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre to gaze upon a Hollywood star, a former Friends second-stringer, and a guy whose TV sitcom was canceled by Fox after only a few episodes.

Eh, I’ll either figure it out or get over it. I did buy tickets for Borderline at the Royal Court.

Update, Dec. 30, 2006: Of course, the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre is a Broadway house. Just ignore that bit!

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