Angry ticketholders turned away from show |

Angry ticketholders turned away from show

Stewart Oksenhorn

Tickets were tight for the performance by British comedian Eddie Izzard. But actual seats to see Izzard’s Thursday night performance at the Wheeler Opera House were even tighter.Some 75 ticket-holders for Izzard’s show, billed as a main show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, were turned away well after the show’s 8:30 scheduled start. Chants of “bulls–t” were heard; a man in charge at the door told the disappointed ticket-holders that they could scream, they could hit him, but they weren’t about to get into the show.Local real estate developer John Sarpa was dismayed that, though he followed all the rules – including arriving at the venue the prescribed 15 minutes early – he was turned away. It was particularly upsetting for Sarpa because he is an enormous fan of Izzard. Sarpa saw all three performances by Izzard when the comedian first appeared at the USCAF seven years ago. Sarpa was so impressed he brought his daughter, and then his wife.”I was surprised – if you had tickets and were on time and weren’t able to get in,” said Sarpa. We were patient, we waited on line – and nothing. And that’s just not right.”An unidentified woman in line complained that she had paid $600 for a ticket package whose main attraction was a choice of main shows.Even more wrong, according to a woman who was at the show, is that there were several pockets of empty seats. In fact, Izzard joked at one point about the nearly empty front row.Joe Lang, director of operations and communications for the USCAF, said ticket-holders who didn’t get into the show can use the ticket for another event, space permitted, or will be given a refund. For show information, ticket-holders should call 1-800-778-4633.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is

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