The Beginner's Guide to Broadway
So, you've never seen a Broadway show? That's okay! You've come to the right place to start. Welcome to the Beginner's Guide to Broadway!
There are several things to think about when planning to see your first show. First, what show? Some of the Broadway classics are Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Wicked, Chicago, and Aladdin. Unless you have a truly burning desire to see one of them I would skip it for now, and opt for something they has an open run but hasn't been on for years and years. Some good ones are Come From Away, Hello Dolly, Waitress, and Kinky Boots. Alternatively, you could see something that's a limited run while it's still on Broadway. Current examples include the revival of Miss Saigon.
So once you've picked your show it's time to plan when to go. Most productions are dark Mondays, meaning that there's no show. Two-show days are generally on Wednesdays and Saturdays, though Phantom of the Opera has Thursday matinees. Thursday evening performances tend to be at seven instead of eight, in case you want an earlier start. There are also matinees on Sundays at three for the most part, though some shows have different schedules. Friday nights will tend to be less crowded then Saturday nights at restaurants and such if you plan on eating before or after the show but if you're trying to avoid a lot of people Wednesday or Thursday nights will be your best bet.
Great! You have a show, a day to go, and now you need to buy tickets. Your best bets for cheaper tickets will be discount websites. You can check out my post on this here for more information.
Once you're in New York, it's time to start planning where you want to eat and when. If you see a matinee I recommend getting dinner afterwards. If you see an evening show I would get dinner before. There are plenty of great spots in the theater district. For the real theater experience, go to Sardi's. They take reservations and have plenty of food that can interest everyone. If you'd rather not be in a more formal restaurant, I recommend Junior's where I often frequent before shows. They do not take reservations and wait times for a table can be anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes depending on the day. I would give yourself an hour and a half or more there, just to make sure you make your show on time.
The next thing to think about is after a show. Do you want to stage door? This is the process of waiting at a stage door after the show for the actors to come out and sign your playbill. While this is very fun and everyone is generally incredibly nice, it can take time and requires patience. Check out my other post here on stage door 101.
Well that's it for now! Keep your eyes open for more posts like this in the future.