Last night I saw the Public Theater's production of Troilus and Cressida in Central Park. "Saw" is the operative word here, since I heard very little of the show over the helicopter hovering directly over the Delacorte Theater.
Helicopters have been a constant problem with Shakespeare in the Park, but they have been getting worse, and never have I known it to be this bad. After waiting all morning it line, I got tickets in row E, right in the front. Yet in spite of being so near the action, I missed whole scenes due to helicopter activity.
Is there some rich jerkball who hates the Public Theater? Or does that jerk just hate to public? Why would you hover directly above an outdoor performance where hundreds of people have congregated to see great actors perform Shakespeare? The only answer I can come up with is that some rich egotists are so self-centered they think that their rights to play sick jokes outweigh the rights of hundreds of people to enjoy what is supposed to be a public park.
Well guess what? It's not a public park anymore, is it? It's the playground of a couple of spoiled billionaires who use tax shelters and off-shore accounts and helicopters to screw over the rest of us and then laugh about it.
Perhaps it's time for the public to reclaim their park again. That would mean banning all helicopters from the airspace above Central Park for anything but emergencies. Central Park is supposed to be a refuge. Let's make it that again.
Otherwise, what's the point of all those actors doing so much hard work when no one can hear them anyway?