"What the Hell...??"  Info Page
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On Aug. 13 - 23, 2008, "What the Hell are you doing in the Waiting Room for Heaven??" premiered at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge.
Above is our Cyber-Thankyou card. Below is the event information for that performance.


It's Music! It's Theatre!
It's a One-Woman Interactive
Musical-Theater Experience!

with the harp & soul of Grammy-Nominated
Performer & Songwriter

Deborah Henson-Conant

Aug. 13 - 23, 2008
Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat nights at 8:00 pm
Central Square Theater
450 Mass Ave • Cambridge, MA

(866) 811-4111

Tickets: $30 / $16 (Students/Seniors)

DISCOUNT: Get an automatic $5 Discount
on Adult Tix for any show
if you order using the code: DHC5

For more discounts,
join Deborah's Email List
(Note: Try discount codes even after deadlines are past!)

- Show Details
- Ticket Info
- Why YOU need to see this show!
- Press Releases
- Ticket-Buying FAQ
- Show Content FAQ
- Directions / Parking / Subway
- Local Eateries



What if you tried out for the Heavenly Choir and flubbed the audition??
Find out in:
"What the Hell are You Doing
in the Waiting Room for Heaven?"

A New Transformational Music-Theatre Experience

Picture it:
An intimate theater ...
... Deborah and her strap-on harp in the spotlight ...
... YOU and ALL YOUR FRIENDS in the audience - singing along with her!

WHEN: Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat nights, August 13-23, at 8 PM
WHERE: Central Square Theater - Central Square (450 Mass Ave), Cambridge, MA
WANT TIX? See Ticket Info below!

After life comes...TRYOUTS?!?!

What if life is really just an audition? You know, kind of like American Idol, but this is...well...it's LIFE...THE Ultimate Reality Game Show.

"What the Hell...?" takes you to the Waiting Room for Heaven where auditioners for the Heavenly Choir are waiting to find out if they got in. It turns out there’s a new “No Soul Left Behind” policy in Heaven, so each audition group is assigned a casting coach. Deborah Henson-Conant plays Aubrey Giles, the coach for the remedial group -- the group seated in the theater tonight. She'll teach them the ins & outs of the devilishly difficult competition...but Aubrey has more than a few of her own inner demons to contend with.

"What the Hell...?" puts the Hell back in Heaven!

See the Show Content FAQs for more details.

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TICKETS: $30 / $16 (Students/Seniors)
ORDER ONLINE: OvationTix Online Box Office
ORDER BY PHONE: (866) 811-4111 (Mon-Fri 9am-9pm and Sat-Sun 10am-6pm)
ORDER IN PERSON: CST Box Office, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA (Tues-Fri Noon-3:00pm and one hour prior to every show)
GROUP SALES: 617-57 MY CST (617-576-9278, Mon-Fri Noon-4pm)

DISCOUNT RESTRICTIONS: Max 9 tickets per order on discount tix (for 10 or more see Group Sales below). Discounts valid on full-priced Adult tix only (not for Student/Senior). Discounts are available for Wed, Thurs & Fri shows (not for Saturday).


DON'T HAVE A "SECRET CODE"? If you want a secret code for the latest in BIG discounts, click to join Deborah's Cyber-Fan Club. After you join, you'll get a welcome email telling you about the latest secret code, which you can use when buying your tix online or over the phone! See How to Order Tix for more info.

GET $5 OFF ADULT STANDARD TIX - RIGHT NOW! Don't want to join Deborah's mailing list for big discounts or is there no current code? Well, don't fret - you can get $5 off your ticket RIGHT NOW by using the code "DHC5" online or over the phone. NOTE: This code cannot be combined with any other offer. See How to Order Tix for more info.

GROUP SALES: You can get our biggest discount ($12.50 per ticket with NO service charges!) by ordering tickets for 10 or more all at once. Just call Central Square Theater (617-576-9278, Mon-Fri, Noon-4pm), ask them about Group Sales and pay by check or credit card (there is a 3% fee for processing credit cards, but NO fee for checks; there are no refunds and checks must be received within 3 business days). Seats are General Admission, so if you all want to sit together we recommend getting to the show early!


Central Square Theater does its online and telephone ticketing through TheaterMania/OvationTix. To buy tix directly through TheaterMania/OvationTix -

ON LINE: Click here to buy tix online. BUT WAIT! Remember to have your "secret code" handy to get your discount tix. Find out more about discounts above.

GOT A DISCOUNT CODE? Type in the "secret code" where OvationTix asks for the "promotional code" (at the bottom of the screen, after you choose a show date). For the Cyber-Challenged (like us) click here to get a step-by-step walkthrough.

BY PHONE: call TheaterMania at (866) 811-4111 and mention the "secret code" for your discount tickets!

PLEASE NOTE: TheaterMania/OvationTix stops selling tickets for each show 2 hours before show time. (For example, you will not be able to buy tickets for Friday's show starting at 6:00pm, Friday evening.) So please get your tickets in advance! If you need tickets less than 2 hours before the show, you may purchase them in person at the theater box office.


Ticket-buying walk-through for the Cyber-Challenged: When we actually tried out the ordering process, we found it was easier said than done. We admit it, we're all cyber-challenged sometimes. So, for those of you out there like us, here's what you actually do to buy discount tickets:

1. Click here to buy tix online
2. At the calendar view, choose the date you want and click on the time you want (easy - there's only one choice per date)
3. If you have a "secret code," enter it in their "Have a Promotional Code?" box
4. Hit apply (next to the box where you entered the code) and above you will see a confirmation that states "Code has been applied"
5. In the box that says "Select desired section and number of tickets" click the "select" button and choose how many tickets you want
6. Click "Add to cart"
7. Across from each "General Admission" ticket you just added to the cart is a drop-down menu - choose the discount price you made available for each ticket you added to the cart
8. Hit "Checkout"
9. Humph. Find out they charge a service fee for each ticket ... but then realize you don't feel so bad about that because you got a discount anyway and the show's going to be great.
10. Let us know if it doesn't work. Email info@hipharp.com
11. Or... just give up and call for tickets (866-811-4111). They can take the secret code over the phone, too.
12. See you at the show!


It’s a little confusing, but once you understand it, there are a lot of great deals!

ARE DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR ALL SHOWS? Discounts cannot be used for Saturday shows. All other shows (Wed, Thurs & Fri) are valid.

CAN I MIX SPECIALS? You can only use one discount at a time. Discounts cannot be combined. You can’t mix specials (i.e. You can’t get $5 off on $15 tickets.) So just find the best special and stick with it. Hey, just being at this show is special in and of itself!

WILL I HAVE TO PAY SERVICE/"COURTESY" FEES? Unfortunately, on all regular-priced and discount tix, except Group Sales, you have to pay service/"courtesy" fees for each ticket (but just think, with discount tix you are still getting a great deal!). The amount of the charge varies, depending on the ticket price. We haven’t quite figured out the logic, but as of this writing, $30 tix incur a $4.20 service charge, $15 tix incur a $2.35 service charge, and so on.

HOW DO I AVOID SERVICE CHARGES? There are a few ways. The first is buying in groups of 10 or more (see Group Sales above). Also (and this is a top secret insider hint), if you call the Central Square Theater Box Office directly at 617-576-9278, you will save on some (though not all) of the service fees that TheaterMania / OvationTix charge. OR if you buy your tickets in person at the Central Square Theater Box Office you'll save on all the fees!

CAN I ORDER AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF DISCOUNT TIX? The maximum amount of tickets per order is 9. However, you can always place one order and then go right back and place another if you so desire. A better way to order tix if you are ordering for more than 9 people is to do Group Sales and get the biggest discounts we offer.

HOW SOON BEFORE THE SHOW DO I HAVE TO BUY TIX? Theatermania/OvationTix stops selling tickets 2 hours before the show. At that point, the Central Square Theater Box Office (450 Mass Ave) will be open and you’ll need to get tickets directly from the Box Office, which is open one hour prior to every show.

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What is "Transformational Music-Theatre"?
It’s music, it’s theater, it’s humor. And the audience is part of the show. It’s kind of like One-Woman Musical Theater, but the audience is participating – they’re characters, they have a role – and so the experience can be different each night. That's one way the show itself transforms. But "What the Hell...?" is also a story ABOUT transformation.

It's a unique brand of cabaret-style theatre that combines narrative, music, theatre, humor and audience involvement. The result is a one-woman musical show with a cast as big as the audience and a freshness of experience that changes each night.

Is this show suitable for kids?
We suggest an age limit of 12+, mostly because kids younger than that might not "get it." The language is no harsher than the title - nothing you wouldn't find in The Bible, or Primetime TV - and there's no guns, nudity, racism, sexism or other unpleasant "isms".

How long is the show?
It's listed as 2 hours, but is likely to change slightly.

Will this have my favorite DHC songs?
The show is still being workshopped, so whatever we say might change, BUT...there are likely 1 or 2 songs you'll know, re-imagined for this show, and the rest are brand new.

How is this show different than DHC's other shows?
For years Deborah has included stories in her shows - stories that grow out of the music she plays. "What the Hell...?" is the opposite of that. This show is like a musical in that all these songs grow out of the story.

Long before she ever picked up a harp, Deborah wrote award-winning musical theatre. For those who know her theatre work back to "The Golden Cage" and "The Zero Club," you'll see that this show brings her work full circle. For those who only know Deborah as a woman-with-a-harp, this will be a new DHC experience.

What role does the audience play? Will I have to participate? What if I don't want to?
Sometimes the audience will be singing. Sometimes they’ll be dancing. Sometimes they’re on stage and sometimes they’re sitting there being an audience. If you feel more at ease firmly planted in your seat, that's a valid role too. There's a part for everyone to play.

Why did Deborah choose to write THIS show?
Deborah was searching for a situation where it would seem perfectly natural for a woman to be standing on stage strapped into a harp. The only situation where that would make sense to most people would be in the waiting room for Heaven. So, that was the magical "what if?" that started this show.

Is this a religious show - or an anti-religious show?
"What the Hell...?" is neither religious nor anti-religious. It's based on a secular stereotype of Heaven - but it's really about the kinds of Hell we create for ourselves, with Heaven as a metaphor for ultimate worldly success. It's about the lengths to which we'll go to make ourselves worthy of that prize.

Have a question that's not on this list?
Email us at info@hipharp.com with your question. We'll try to answer it as quickly as possible and then add it to this list as soon as we can.

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Women’s Groups - Men's Groups - Empowerment Groups

  • This is an empowering show, written by and starring a passionate, creative woman – in a theater run by women!
  • This show deals with issues of empowerment that are universal: questions about success, self-worth, judgment, belief and hearing your own voice.

Choruses & Choirs

  • This is a sing-along musical – not every song, but at least half the show needs YOUR voice.
  • This is a fun, engaging group activity that doesn’t have you just sitting passively in your seats – and lets you take part in a way you already love.

Musicians & Music Students

    • Come see how you can take one instrument and turn it into the story of your life.
    • Come hear genre-free music that borrows from Flamenco, Blues, Singer-Songwriter and classical styles – and a revolutionary approach to an instrument you never expected could rock.

Theatre Lovers

    • This is a new music-theatre experience; a concept-musical with opportunities for the audience to participate in the show in unique and surprising ways.
    • This is a great new theater - come be a part of its debut season!


    • If you've ever sat in the audience and thought: "Hey! I could do that!" ... well, you might actually GET to!

Harpists, Harpers, Harpophiles

    • So...how many musicals have you seen where the main character plays the harp - I mean, REALLY plays it? ... 'Nuff said.

Writers, Playwrights and Other People with Pens

    • See how one writer uses a set of unlikely resources to create her own unique vehicle for expression.

Visitors to Cambridge/Boston

    • Want to see what's really happening in the Boston-based arts? "What the Hell...?" was created by a Boston-based writer in collaboration with a new theater housing two of Boston's greatest grown-in-Boston theater companies.
    • Ride the famous "T" and get to experience the best subway moment Boston has to offer: the view of the city and harbor at Charles St.
    • The theater is right in the heart of one of the hottest Cambridge neighborhoods, full of great restaurants, bars, etc. – come for the attractions, stay for the show!

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Street Address

Central Square Theater
450 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(just south of Central Square T-Stop)

View Map


Red Line to Central Square

Visit the MBTA Website for more info.


Franklin Street Garage
Corner of Pearl Street and Green Street, Cambridge (Entrance on Green Street)
Open 24/7
Rates: $1.00/hr 7 days a week
$13.00 daily maximum
$5.00 night rate

Central Square Parking Lot
438 Green Street, Cambridge
24 hrs, 7 days a week - Rate Schedule

Street Parking Available - FREE after 6 PM

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Local Eateries

There are loads of great restaurants within easy walking distance of the theater. You can find lists at the following links:

Zami Cambridge Yellow Pages - Central Square

CentralSquareCambridge.com (the site seems a little hard to use, but it's useful once you figure it out)

The ones that are closest to the theater are: Mary Chungs, The Middle East, Toscanini's Ice Cream


HEY -- by the way -- who took the photo on this page? Norman Blake is the photographer. New York City is the location - during Deborah's show in 2008 at Symphony Space.

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