Lying in the gutter, staring at the stars.
March 23, 2008 3:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of getting tickets to see Speed-the-Plow at London's Old Vic theatre: I loves me some Mamet, and Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum are in the lead roles. Hot dog. How can I optimise my chances of seeing Spacey and Goldblum together rather than one of them plus an understudy? My concerns may be groundless... but do the stars tend to skip an occasional performance, and if so, do they usually skip mid-week shows, or matinees? Any insider knowledge would be much appreciated. (In general I have nothing against understudies, who are often amazing in their own right. I just really want to see these guys at it.)
posted by hot soup girl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm an actor.

If you're concerned, buy for Saturday night and call the theater the morning of to make sure both actors will be performing.

Meanwhile, know that these actors are highly paid by their producers to perform 8 shows a week of this play. This is not a long, exhausting play like, say, Long Day's Journey Into Night. They have not negotiated a 7 show week instead of 8 because they anticipate fatigue or exhaustion. They know that people are going to buy tickets to see them in particular perform these roles. They also presumably love to act, enjoy doing this show, and are not at the Old Vic on a lark - Kevin Spacey is the artistic director of the theater, and he understands that his presence on stage is a large part of why the Old Vic will sell out the run of this show and potentially bring it across the pond to Broadway. He wants people to be happy, not disappointed; actors who just take a little time off here or there because they want an afternoon off disappoint paying theater-goers. Also, these actors have not reached this level of accomplishment by being unreliable. Sure, they're both movie stars, but they are both professionals, as well. Barring serious, debilitating illness or an unforeseen accident or disaster, I'm sure you'll be seeing both of these actors on stage when you show up for the show. And, if for some reason they are not, you can ask to exchange your tickets for another performance, I'm almost positive.

Enjoy the show and I'm glad you're going to the theater. That's awesome.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 4:32 PM on March 23, 2008

What TTTilapia said.
Plus, the show is only 6 weeks old; most likely the cast is getting into an excellent groove by now so you'll see a really tight show.
posted by Dizzy at 4:38 PM on March 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for your response, TryTheTilapia; that's exactly what I wanted to hear.

On a less happy note, I have just been informed that the show is completely sold out, and has been for months (the booking site seems to agree). Ack!

Thanks anyway, folks.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:20 PM on March 23, 2008

Aw, crap.

Well, you might show up a half hour before the show and see if there aren't rush tickets, give-back tickets, or unclaimed tickets. I'd try this on a weeknight earlier in the week or on a Friday night; occasionally people have too much to drink over dinner on Friday nights and bail on the show. Good luck!
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:38 PM on March 23, 2008

Mrs Baggers and I went to Stephen Fry's Pantomime at the old vic last year, and were somewhat disappointed that a couple of the actors were replaced by understudies. That was the night before the press show, so perhaps they were resting up for for that. Anyway, it was still a good show.
posted by baggers at 5:57 PM on March 23, 2008

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