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The Breaks of Membership

Date: Oct 24, 2007


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Anita Gomez-Palacio is excited to see the new Broadway revival of Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner--but she's hoping that this time she doesn't break any bones en route.

"I was in such a rush to get to the theatre that I stood up on a swivel chair to get my coat and banged my foot on the TV," Gomez-Palacio recalls of the fateful day in 1993 that she rushed off to Broadway's last production of Cyrano. "I went anyway. I was in excruciating pain. I didn't know until the next day that my foot was broken; I ended up having a cast up to my knees. But I went to the theatre!"

And who said only actors can "break a leg"?

It's just one of the rich theatregoing memories Gomez-Palacio owes to her TDF Membership. A busy educator who's worked as a middle school principal in Queens and now serves as an executive with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, Gomez-Palacio doesn't always have time to seek out the best plays, or to search for the best ticket deals.

"It used to come just as a mailing, and you'd spot something, get a group of tickets and go," Gomez-Palacio says of the regular TDF ticket offers. "Of course, now it comes electronically, too, which is wonderful. It's easy access, easy tickets. TDF gives it to you--it's right there."

A passionate arts lover who joined TDF in the 1980s, Gomez-Palacio also relishes memories of seeing Alan Rickman and Lindsey Duncan in the 2002 revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives.

"That was just spectacular," Gomez-Palacio raves. "I had to see that one a number of times, and thank goodness, TDF allowed me to do that without going bankrupt."

She also recalls a couple of memorable solo shows: The recent Piaf: Love Conquers All at SoHo Playhouse, and in 2003, Ben Gazzara in Nobody Don't Like Yogi at the Off-Broadway venue the Lamb's Theater.

"I took my son, who is of course a baseball nut," Gomez-Palacio says. "He loved it. Ben Gazzara became Yogi Berra."

Though she's enough of a theatre buff that she'll go see shows by herself if she can't find a companion, Gomez-Palacio particularly enjoys the "social aspect of theatre," she says.

"Working with the CSA, we've got 6,000 retirees, and one of the things we offer to them is group tickets through TDF," Gomez-Palacio says. Getting groups together to attend theatre together is a longstanding practice of hers: "When I was a principal, I'd see something in the newsletter and order six tickets, then pin them over the time clock and say, 'If you want to go to this show, see me ASAP.' They would always go quickly."

More recently, she and a group of colleagues went to see Barbara Cook at Lincoln Center after she spotted the offering online.

A Brooklyn native, Gomez-Palacio recalls her first theatregoing experience: seeing Ricardo Montalban in the musical Jamaica in the late 1950s. She's been hooked ever since, naturally. And while there was no TDF back then, today's busy theatre lovers find TDF membership an indispensable way to feed their stage habit affordably and easily.

For information on becoming a TDF member, go here. And if you're a TDF Member who'd like to share how TDF Membership has made your theatregoing easier, let us know.