After you’ve chosen a Broadway show to attend and purchased tickets for the best seats in the house, you can get ready to enjoy the Broadway performance. If you are attending a Broadway show for the first time or are just curious about etiquette when seeing a show, here are a few tips that will help you and the rest of the audience have a perfect evening.
1. Don’t Be Late for the Show
There’s no universal time that a show begins, so it is important that you double-check your ticket the morning of the performance to make sure you know when it starts. It is a good idea to arrive at the theater 30 minutes early. Often, the theater will open its doors about half an hour before curtain time. If you see a line outside of the theater, don’t worry. As soon as the doors to the theater are opened, the line moves quickly. The exception to this rule is if you don’t have your tickets in your hand and need to pick them up at the will call window. In this case, plan to arrive 45 minutes before the curtain is scheduled to go up.
2. Have Directions to the Theater
To make sure that you arrive at the theater on time, know how to get there. Anyone who lives in New York or who has spent time there will tell you that the subway is a fast and dependable way to get around the city.
To get to Times Square from the east side of town, take the S or 7 from Grand Central to the Times Square stop. Alternatively, you can take the N, R, Q, or W. If you are coming from the west side, take either the 1, 2, or 3 to get to Times Square.
If you decide to take a taxi to the theater, do a search to find out how long the cab ride will take and how much it will cost. Leave earlier than the time estimate because traffic gets especially bad in Times Square just before curtains rise.
If you choose to drive yourself to the theater, keep in mind that New York City parking is expensive; however, parking rates go down as you move farther from Times Square.
3. Pre-show Tips
Once you arrive at the theater and hand over your tickets, follow the ticket taker’s directions to the general area where you can find your seats. When you get to your section, wait for an usher. The usher will give you a Playbill and take you to your seat. Sometimes, a theater might have an unusual system of seat numbering that the usher can help you navigate. Once you sit, remove your coat, turn off your cell phone, and unwrap any candy you might eat during the show.
4. During the Performance
Talking during the show is strictly frowned upon because neither you nor those around you will be able to hear the actors. Cell phones should be turned off rather than simply silenced. Lights and vibrations from silenced cell phones can disturb others around you.
5. Leaving the Theater
Never leave the theater while the actors are making curtain calls. When the performance is complete, take your time and be patient when moving out of the theater. It may seem crowded, but the crowds move quickly through the open doors.