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Regarding Broadway

October 16, 2008 By:
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Ticket to revel: Concierges flank star Bebe Neuwirth and Charlotte St. Martin of the Broadway League at a New York "show."

Sure, give your regards to Broadway, but, regarding tricks in getting tickets to that hot musical or that new comedy ... and where do you park ... and did someone mention eat?

Of course someone mentioned eat.

Broadway is certainly a feast of experiences and, to some degree, overindulgences. But indulge someone with a love of theater the need to be at the crossroads of the world -- where the commercial crosses the critical hit, and where "fully committed" is a foreign phrase to those who have traveled far and wide to not be turned away from that fab new restaurant.

Enter -- not laughing, but helping: the new Broadway Concierge & Ticket Center, which is coordinating the theatrics of getting to the stage on time -- and to that table by the window.

Want some help getting from that corned beef on rye at the Stage Deli to the wry corn of "Young Frankenstein" on stage at the Hilton Theatre and then booking a room at the Hilton? The new service proffered by those Lunts of the largess -- the Broadway League, the trade association -- is in league with leading theaters, restaurants and parking garages, coordinating what could normally be the theater of the absurd into an absurdly easier solution, both on and off-Broadway.

Charlotte St. Martin of the BL (www.BroadwayLeague.com) contends that the league offers a leg up on the less-showy side of show business that can be more frustrating than entertaining. And for travelers coming up from Philadelphia, the site is located at the Times Square Information Center, 1560 Broadway, not far from the Lincoln Tunnel and within a short distance for those trekking in by Amtrak.

It is an especially welcome ticket to ride during what appears to be a full fall season and holiday schedule.

And, while certain giveaways may come with purchases at the center, chocolate Chanukah gelt is, as of this reporting, not one of them.

But you'll need some extra gelt; there is a slight charge for the tickets, but not for the customized concierge services, which you can discuss in one of six languages spoken at the center -- Hebrew not being one of them.

Concierge the Key

But the language of love that permeates all theater and theatergoers is certainly a major player. "I came from the travel world," says St. Martin, "and I know you have to give the customer what they want and need. I'm a passionate believer in concierge service."

And, while online service is talked of for the future, the present is focusing on avoiding the line that one need stand in when plans are not suitably coordinated.

And what could be better than being entertained when buying your entertainment? On Wednesday afternoons, Sirius Radio broadcasts "Live on Broadway" from the center, hosted by Seth Rudetsky, with stars of nearby shows on occasion stopping by to chat up their roles "and sign autographs." (That was Bebe Neuwirth dancing by, wasn't it; or was it Lilith?)

It's all a sign of the times, saving precious commodities -- wasted hours -- without the federal government having to step in.

Imagine, and it's all done in a New York minute.

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