Seat Talking; Tales of the Orchestra, Seats M105 & M106

January 27, 2022

Seat Talking; Tales of the Orchestra, Seats M105 & M106


Seat Talking is a new series inspired by loyal, long-time Broadway Utica subscribers. Their stories highlight the reasons why they made the wise decision to become subscribers while giving theater lovers an inside look at the person occupying a seat to the left or right of them.  

Deep in the center of the orchestra in row M seats 105 & 106, you’ll find Rick and Wendy Short, engrossed in conversation, laughter, and life among their theater neighbors.   

“Wendy and I have been subscribers for many years. Those years have included a rewarding series of seat upgrades, eventually landing us in seats beside long-time friends. Seeing people in this personal setting, apart from work, makes relationships richer and broader. It’s a great benefit to wonderful productions.”

Forming a relationship with those around them, one where the chatter of activities, tales of vacations, and new shows are exchanged, has become an added perk of the Broadway Utica lifestyle. Yet, the real treasure comes as the lights begin to dim, silence fills the crowd, and they ease back into the soft, velvet seats reflecting on their admiration for the theater.

 “I went to West Canada Valley Central School in the 1970s. We were blessed to have a music teacher, Mr. David Reardon, who staged musicals annually,” Rick recalled. “I think every single student was captivated by the magic of his productions. He gave us the gift of being involved as stagehands, actors, musicians, or just as the audience. I vividly remember sitting on the edge of my 7th-grade seat being utterly captivated by Camelot. After that, life became unimaginable without musicals.” 

Rick and Wendy first joined Broadway Utica to ensure that art, music, and time together were always a part of their lives.

“In the beginning, Wendy and I were thrilled to be able to afford a subscription. Any seats were exciting for us. Then over time, we upgraded our location to the point where we wouldn’t think of changing seats.”

Surrounded by others, all lost in the beauty of the performance before them, is an emotional landscape that’s yet to fade. It’s also an experience they strive to bring to others.

“Life isn’t worth too much without a steady stream of art,” Rick noted.It’s been a pleasure to use our seats, as well as our connections to Broadway Utica’s Youth Ambassador Program (YAP), to help others. On occasion, we bring a student to see a show or give both of our seats to students we mentor. We also help our mentees consider and apply to Broadway Utica’s YAP program.”

Lost in the show’s trappings, Rick and Wendy can’t imagine Utica without the ornamental Stanley Theatre and the remarkable shows that grace its stage thanks to Broadway Utica. 

“We always look for ways to support this truly wonderful venue and to help students gain a new perspective on our community. Becoming a subscriber and supporting Broadway Utica is one of those ways.”  When it comes to the shows, Rick enjoys the rare, unexpected moments, like the time a cast member of RENT appeared on stage wearing a t-shirt he’d designed and produced, but its performances like Jekyll and Hyde that leave him eager to reclaim his seat and dive into the 2021-2022 season.

“Jekyll and Hyde was truly impressive for both the high production and acting quality and the way they depicted the broad and rapid sweeps of emotion. Through acting, set design, lighting, and staging, they really brought the excitement, drama, and trauma to life. It was unforgettable!”

“Any time I see the actors giving their all, their very best, to my hometown, I feel so flattered and honored that someone would come here and do this for us,” Rick shared. “Every single time I experience this it really fills me with gratitude. I hope they all realize just what a beautiful gift they give us each time they pour their talents out on our stage.” 




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