Thursday, January 29, 2004

Dejavu: The 'Tiket Habis' Saga Continues

[My prized Dejavu tix for tonight]

Did I learn from last time? Well, I did spell out the lessons (that should've been) learnt, but did I act accordingly this time? Nooooooo.. no reservation took place, no call was made to ensure tickets were still available and the assumption that "The tickets sure ada one, don't worry, let's just buy them at the counter right before the show, still enough time" was still there.

Arrived at the Malaysia Tourism Centre vicinity (Jalan Ampang) at 8.08 p.m. yesterday to catch the 8.30 p.m. show of the theatre show Dejavu (starring Fauziah Ahmad Daud, Melissa Saila, Juhara Ayob, Norzizi Zulkifli, Syukor Yon, Mubarak Majid and others). Everything seemed fine up to that time, despite a 10-minute detour due to a couple of wrong turns along the way and the pouring rain that was starting to get heavier and heavier by the minute.

Then it began to get really 'exciting'. First we found our car being in a line of traffic that did not seem to budge except for the occasional centimetre or so, just about 20 metres from the entrance to the parking lot (Aunt: "We should've just told the parking guy at Saloma Bistro we're going for dinner, and park at their parking lot!"). The glowing digits on the dashboard crept on... 8.11, 8.12, 8.13, 8.14. A stretch of the neck was presented with the sight of a car with hazard lights on at the entrance gate. Kereta rosak? Couldn't he at least move a little bit, instead of obstructing the only available entrance to the MTC parking lot?

8.15, 8.16. 8.17. By this time the line of cars (all obviously going for the same show) had tripled. Honking became haywire. That particular vehicle still at the same location, hazard lights still blinking.

8.18. Said vehicle suddenly switched off its hazard lights and left the scene (Ma, it's alive!!!). Ahh... now time for everything to go smoothly, no? A security guard was seen closing the gate. Huhh?? What the..??? Honking fest again. A couple of people got out and went to the (closed) gate, discussing the weather with the guard maybe. Decided against joining the party.

8.22. A fellow in white-collared shirt came half-running from MTC towards the scene. Looks important. Seen departing a few words to security guard. Rolled the gate open himself (the important-looking fellow, not the guard). Cars could finally enter parking lot again, and the quick-quick-spot-an-empty-space game began.

8.23. Found empty space behind a Tourist Bus, along the sidewalk. Didn't reckon it was a 'valid' parking spot, but what the heck. It was an emergency.

8.25. Got to the Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman (show venue). Witnessed a crowd at least 30-strong lining up (sort of, in a 'crowdly' way) in front of the ticketing desk. Whoa. Joined the merriment. Saw a few tickets being sold before ticket-lady snapped shut her ticket-book and declared "Tiket malam ni dah habis... full house" ("Tonight's tickets sold out, it's a full house"). Crowd went berserk. Chanting started - "Tomorrow's tix, tomorrow's tix, sell us then tomorrow's tix!". Ticket-book remained determinedly shut. Ticket-lady was seen rummaging through a handwritten list and heard exclaiming to fellow organizer something like"Yang booking esok pun dah banyak ni… " ("Tomorrow’s bookings alone are a lot as it is..").

8.33. Crowd remained rooted at the area. More people arrived. A group of children was seen lining up into the hall. Must be special guests - lucky them. At least three people emerged from the hall with tickets in hand, demanding for their money back - they couldn’t find available seats inside.

8.40. Ticket-lady finally re-open the ticket-book and started allowing the crowd to buy tomorrow night’s tickets. Crowd got on their knees thankfully. A few cried openly.

9.00. Parking area again. Other cars were also parked like ours along the sidewalk. Monkey see, monkey do, hehe. Did the customary driving-around-a-little-bit-lost before finally spotting the right way back home.

Did they oversell their tickets? I think they did.
Did they underestimate the response for the show? I think they did.

Theatre slowly seeping into the pop culture these days? Or pop culture seeping into the theatre scene? A little bit of both, probably. A boost for the performing arts community, in my opinion, for I remember the days when a packed house is not very common especially for Malay theatre. I’m wondering a bit, though, since when do the public come in throngs for these shows ah? Is it always like this nowadays? Or only for this particular show?

Note to self: Must arrive early for the show tonight.

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