Which is the best Broadway Theater?

Oct 1st, 2009, 05:38 AM
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Which is the best Broadway Theater?

Which is the nicest Broadway theater? We went to see "In The Heights". We loved the play, but the seats were cramped, and the theater just seemed kind of dingy. The view of the stage from the first balcony and the acoustics were acceptable. Since we don't usually see Broadway plays, I thought that next time I would also consider the theater as well as the play. If you are familiar with the Broadway theaters, which do you think are the best?

Thanks for any input.
scarboroughmom is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 06:15 AM
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I loved the New Amsterdam (where Mary Poppins is), just knowing the Ziegfeld Follies were there. The theatres where Wicked and Lion King are are newer but they leave me cold. I love the old ones...except they are extremely deficient in the bathroom department.

We always try to sit 1st or second row center mezannine. That was SO CLOSE for Billy Elliot...so cool.

Didn't you love In the Heights?!
missypie is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:15 AM
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I'm having a hard time imagining picking a show to see because the theatre it is playing in is "nicer". But I think two of the most "comfortable" are the Gershwin and the Marquis, which are both newer and have more "stadium style" seating. But neither is very good for mezzanine seating which is very far back. Normally I'd rather sit in the front row mezzanine of most of the older theatres, even though there is often less leg room. At least there are no heads in front of you to constantly peek around. The Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center is a great venue for seeing theatre, but my only complaint is that there is almost no leg room. I invariably get horrible leg cramps while watching a show there. Frankly, I love the funky old places with their elegant but worn and faded interiors.
And for some shows (particularly the non-musicals) I'd often much rather be in one of the old small theatres than one of the big newer "barns".
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:36 AM
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Many of the Broadway theaters were built in the twenties - it seems like they did not care much for the comfort of the audience. Especially at the rear of the house - very little room to move around in -- my take on some of those places is that they were built for flops i.e. not much of an audience showing up so who needs room? But the best shows are put on in those houses - so go for the show. If you want a great theater space - try Radio City.
jroth is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:48 AM
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I don't get it - you're going to see a show - not the venue it's in.

Unless a therater is infested with vermin - or you can;t see or hear (usually a function of set choice) you should be watching the stage, not seeing if the seats are a little out of date.

IMHO the hsow is ten times more important than the theater.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:49 AM
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And I thnk some of the seats seem cramped because the average size of the behinds sitting in them has increased significantly since the theaters were built.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 10:47 AM
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What if she is interested in three shows but can only go to one? Why not consider the comfort of the theatre in choosing which one to see? She may be looking at the stage but she is also sitting in the seat for a couple of hours.
tom42 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 02:21 PM
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I'm with Patrick . . . because the newer theaters have roomier seats, the seats are much further away from the stage and I feel less a part of the production. Give me a cramped theater seat for a few hours every time rather than an airplane hanger like the Marquis.
ellenem is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 06:31 PM
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The show is the most important factor. But as tom42 points out, if I can only see one show, and I have several to choose from, it is reasonable to consider the theater. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the cramped seats kind of go along with a being closer to the stage and a more intimate feeling to it all. We sat in the fifth row in the mezzanine for “Heights”, (which we did love), and the view of the stage was great, but I felt like I was going to hit the back of the head in front of me with my cricky old knees. Besides the size of the behinds, people are also quite a bit taller than they were in the 1920’s. I appreciate the opinions on the specific theaters. I shall take these in account as I select a play an upcoming trip.
scarboroughmom is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:59 AM
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How about starting your question with - I am interested in seeing the following three shows ...... I can only see one .... Which theater has the most comfortable seating.
SueNYC is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 05:15 AM
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I'm with Sue here. If you can tell us three shows you're interested in, then I think we might be able to make a recommendation for you based on relative comfort and other factors. But I agree with most everyone else that it's silly to approach the question of which show to see from the outset in terms of comfortable seats and legroom. Start with identifying shows that interest you, and then narrow them down from there. The show is paramount.
doug_stallings is offline  
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