The best seats in the theatre
Picking a seat in the theatre is a delicate mastery and one which depends mostly on personal preference. Different theatres have different seating charts. Some directors make sure to stage the play in alignment with the sight lines of the audience, some plays allows full-view seats, whilst others are played in theatres, which don’t have such seating.
Whatever’s your personal preference, it’s always a good idea to do a little research prior picking your seats. Here are a few of the options you could aim for when picking your spot:
If you’d like to be closer to the orchestra, you have a choice of picking centre or side orchestra seats. Generally, it depends on how deep the orchestra is, so don’t assume that if you’ve picked centre seats you’ll be close to the stage. In general, up to 6 rows back from the orchestra front is a good position and the side seats are not a bad option too. If you’ve picked a further seat, make sure to take your opera glasses with you!
The term ‘mezzanine’ comes from the Italian word used for ‘middle.’ Originally, the mezzanine seats were those in the middle- between the orchestra and the balconies, however due to marketing tricks, the word has now been used for the balcony seats. Why the confusion? A lot of people are spooked by the ‘balcony’ term, since they envision the seats being far away from the stage, thus ‘mezzanine’ steps in. In general, the front mezzanine seats are a good pick, especially if watching a play with big choreography and lots of action.
What should one pay attention to when it comes to the mezzanine seats?
Pay attention to the ‘rear mezzanine’ seats as those are the ones really far up the back. When there are advertisements promising tickets starting at 49$, they usually refer to these few seats.
Very few Broadway theatres have actual ‘balcony’ sections, due to the mezzanine substitute we covered above. If there is a balcony section per se, it is usually pretty high up. These seats are usually more budget-friendly. If you have to choose between front balcony and rear mezzanine, go for the prior, as it would promise better view.
There is a myth that box seats are very expensive, which is false. The box seats are not really luxurious seats, especially the side seats that can often have an ‘obstructed view’ warning. Originally, the box seats were created for the theatre patrons, who wanted to be seen, rather than wanted to watch the play. They would usually arrive fashionably late, so that the rest of the audience could observe their entrance. Nowadays, things have changed. If you do want the extra leg room, then you might like the box seats.
Some plays, which want to bring in a more interactive experience for the viewers allow a few on stage seats. Such examples include the revivals of A View From the Bridge, Inherit the Wind, and Equus. The problem with ‘on stage’ seats is that sometimes you’re actually stuck there, only seeing the actors’ backs. Yes, you would get close to Daniel Radcliffe, might even sense his cologne, but you’ll be still watching his back.
Do your research and find out how ‘actor facing’ the on stage seats are for the particular play.
Rush Seats and Standing Room
Sometimes, there are rush seats, being sold at the last moment prior the show. Usually those seats are rather unpopular once with side views, but come in at a cheaper price. The ‘standing’ room seats are exactly what they sound like- tickets that allow you to stand in certain area with an unexpected good view. The ‘standing room’ seats are usually released if everything else is sold out and are great for the budget-conscious.
There is plenty of seating choice when booking your Broadway play ticket. In order to make the best choice for you, you should do your research and find out the best option for your budget.
If you have any questions about a play or want to book a ticket- you can do it directly with us!
Reach out to our team at [email protected] or +1 212-757-1720