Theaters can be found in any city or town, aside from the major ones, such as New York, Los Angeles, and even London, for anyone living outside the US.
As someone who grew up and lives in New York (Long Island to be precise), I have seen lots of live performances – many of which are Broadway shows. In fact, I have seen so many that I can’t keep track of the number.
For those of you who live in areas without theater districts (which I assume many of you do), you might have one or two theaters where different shows come and go – and they are not always plays or musicals, such as Wicked or The Phantom of the Opera.
But regardless of where you live, I have some tips for when it comes to seeing live shows.
Read reviews before you see the show
I have never purchased a ticket to a Broadway show (this excludes amateur performances where I have seen my friends act in them). But if I ever do, especially if it’s a show I have little to no knowledge of, I will read the reviews first.
Tickets to shows can be quite expensive, particularly super-popular ones, like Hamilton. So, imagine buying a ticket to a certain performance without reading other people’s opinions–only for it to disappoint you.
It’s similar to traveling to another place, whether it’s a different country, resort, or tourist attraction. Or it could be the same if you plan to visit an area far from your town to see a specific show.
For example, if you live in the southern or Midwestern part of the US and you want to see a particular Broadway show in New York, reading reviews of that show is absolutely worth it.
Take notes after the show or during intermission
It’s probably common knowledge that taking pictures or videos of live performances is forbidden everywhere. But, although not mentioned in the playbills I’ve received when watching shows–taking notes might be prohibited, too, even on a tiny notepad.
If you want to remember the details of the shows you’re attending, you can write them down either during intermission or after the show. That way, you don’t distract anyone.
Although I’ve never taken notes after a show’s performance or during intermission, I’ve done so while watching movies at home–which, of course, is different.
Taking notes could be useful if you want to review a show on your website or blog–or even just remember the details in general.
If you can’t see your dream show, find other adaptations, if possible
This was an issue for me back in 2008, when I was 14, turning 15 that November. I wanted to see Billy Elliot on Broadway so badly.
However, tickets were too expensive–the least appealing seats were over $200. And there are 5 in my family, including myself.
My parents even lectured me on it and said that they wouldn’t pay $1000 to see a Broadway show. They suggested that I could watch the movie instead, which I refused.
And then the show closed in January 2012. I was a bit bummed, but not as much. Fast forward 4 years later, and my whole family saw Hamilton on Broadway–and tickets were over $600 per person–in the same seating sections where Billy Elliot played (not the same theater).
I was shocked because my parents were inconsistent. But I told myself that the economy was worse in 2008 than in 2016 as a way to cope.
And when Broadway closed when the world shut down due to Covid, Billy Elliot was available to stream online as were some other live musicals and plays. However, at that point, I’d moved on. So, I didn’t watch Billy Elliot.
Now that I’m older and obviously much more mature, if I wanted to see a live show, but couldn’t, I would find another adaptation if possible.
It could be a movie, a show out of New York, or an amateurish performance from a school or drama program.
These aren’t always options. But if they are, don’t be afraid to try them.
I hope these tips helped you. Do you agree with them? Let me know in the comments if you’d like.