Theatre Lovers Guide To Broadway Shows
First thing to understand:
Most Broadway shows run eight shows a week. Tuesday through Sunday, with the exception of holiday schedules. Most shows are dark on Mondays, meaning there isn't a show that day. For most Broadway shows, "two-show days" are on Wednesday and Saturday. Most shows do only a matinee on Sunday, but some shows have Sunday evening shows as well.
There ARE ways to see shows without paying outrageous prices..
Most Broadway shows have rush tickets, standing room, or a lottery. I'll break each of these down for you:
Rush Tickets: These are available for usually $20-$40. Sounds nice right? Here's the tricky part: You can only buy them the day of the show at the box office. For most shows, they become available when the box office opens for the day. They are first come, first served, and there are a limited number of tickets available. So, what I'm saying is... Be prepared to wake up early and sit outside the theatre for a few hours. The limit is two tickets per person.
Standing Room Tickets: These are available the day of the performance, at the box office, ONLY when the show is sold out. The downside would be that you literally will be standing for the entire show.
Lottery: A lot of theatres are switching from in-person lotteries to digital lotteries. Typically, an in-person lottery starts two and a half hours before the performance at the theatre. A person can enter their name to win a cheap ticket for that nights performance.
You can also stand in the TKTS line in Times Square. Or you can download the app TodayTix. I personally love TodayTix and almost always use it!
Stage Door Tips & Etiquette:
1. Stage-dooring is for AFTER the show. Not before the show. If you see an actor going into the theatre before the show, do not bother them. This is their job. They have a place to be.
2. Bring a Sharpie. Some actors carry Sharpies, some don't.
3. If you want a photo, ask politely and have the camera ready BEFORE you ask.
4. Do NOT leave the show early to get a good spot at the stage door. Not only is it incredibly rude, but the actors will notice.
5. Be polite. Not just to anyone working on the show, but to the people around you. Sometimes people are so excited to meet their favorite performer that they turn into a stage-door monster. Don't be one of those people!
6. Be normal. Fangirling over your favorite actor is completely normal, but try not to do it so much in front of them. They will respond better to you if you don't tell them that you stalk their Twitter on an hourly basis.
7. Know where the stagedoor is before the show. Most of the time it will be obvious, but, believe it or not, people do wait outside of doors that aren't the stagedoor.... often.
8. If there is a performer that you're dying to see, let them know on Twitter in advance that you're coming to the show. Don't be creepy. Just say something like, " Hey @________, I'm seeing _________ tonight. Hope to see you after! So excited!"
9. If you're seeing a matinee, just know that a lot of actors don't come out the stagedoor after.
Food and Drink In The Theatre:
You know, this should be obvious, but apparently it isn't. Do not bring your chipotle burrito to the show. Not only is that 150% not allowed, it's also loud, annoying, distracting, and the entire theatre will smell like your food.
At intermission you can purchase a drink or candy, but it is advised to finish that during intermission and in the lobby area.
Drinks at most theatres come in cool, plastic souvineer cups :)
When I was in The Diary of Anne Frank some teenager in the front row decided to eat an entire bag of Doritos. Chewing loudly, crinkling the bag. You name it, and he probably did it. As you know, this show is about people living in an annex and STARVING, and this kid in the front row is chowing down on Doritos. We all talked about it offstage. Actors do notice when you do distracting things in the audience.
So, if that doesn't inspire you to not eat in the theatre, I don't know what will.
How To Dress:
Broadway shows are a time to dress up! This doesn't mean wear a ballgown or a fur coat, but it does mean you should make an effort to look nice. No flip flops, no denim shorts, and no t-shirts. It's an excuse to wear a cute outfit, so take the opportunity!
Don't Get Up:
Wait to go to the bathroom until intermission. Seriously. Also, don't get up during the Act 1 Finale to beat the rush to the restroom.
No texting during the show. Period. I truly think that ushers should be allowed to throw your phone if the trashcan if they see you using it.