Broadway for Dummies: A Guide to Seeing a Broadway Show
By Tim Croner
There are several different ways to purchase tickets for a Broadway show. The easiest way is through the Internet. Ticketmaster.com sells tickets for certain shows, but Telecharge.com is the best website to visit when buying tickets. Web sites such as broadwaybox.com and playbill.com offer discounts for many shows on Broadway. Also, almost every show has some sort of student or general rush policy, through which tickets are sold for $25 to $35 the day of the performance. Also, the TKTS booth, which is located in Duffy Square, features half-price tickets for many shows that can be purchased a few hours before the curtain rises.
Getting to New York City
The suburbs of Philadelphia are a great place to live as an avid or casual theatre fan, mostly because day trips to New York are an easy possibility. The train is one of the easiest ways to get to New York. The round trip ticket from the Trenton Transit Center in New Jersey to Penn Station in Manhattan is $21.50. To get to Trenton, you can either drive or take the train from Philadelphia. The train fare from the suburbs into Philadelphia, and then from Philadelphia into Trenton is $9. Some people prefer to drive the entire way to New York City, which can take around two to two and a
half hours, depending on the weather and traffic conditions. However, if you’re planning to drive, be prepared – driving in the middle of Times Square can be messy.
Navigating the Theatre District
Like many cities, New York is set up on a grid system, making it relatively easy to navigate. Most of the Broadway theatres are between 41st and 54th street and Sixth and Eighth Avenue, making them all easy to locate. In addition to the many Broadway houses, the Theater District has several other attractions to offer tourists. Times Square is located right in the middle of the district, and Rockefeller Center is located on Fifth Avenue, near Radio City Music Hall. Shopping is also easy, with Fifth Avenue and its many stores only a short walk away. In many situations, the best bet for efficient transportation is walking. The walk from Penn Station to Times Square isn’t very long, and can often seem even shorter when the view of the city is being taken in.
Seeing a Broadway show is more than just going to the theatre; it’s an experience. There are several precautions that you should take when seeing a show. First, make sure your phone is turned off during the show. The signals from the phone can interfere with the sound equipment of the show, especially if wireless microphones are being used. Second, don’t have your camera out during the show. At a Broadway show, it’s not appropriate. Taking pictures and filming the show is not only distracting, but it’s also illegal. Most importantly, remain composed throughout the show. Also, it’s polite to clap at appropriate moments, such as after a song has finished or during a character’s entrance. However, don’t go overboard with the accolades. Repeated clapping and shouting is distracting and often looked down upon by the actors.