Should You Sit Front Row For a Broadway Show?


Hadestown Broadway Set From Front Row

Broadway shows are immersive spectacles, and it can be tempting to want to sit as close to the action as possible. But is sitting in the front row always a good idea for a Broadway show? Can it actually be too close and be a worse experience than other seats further back?

Broadway shows are technologically complex, and that can mean that the stage itself is full of technology. What this can also mean, is that most Broadway shows will not use the real Broadway stage, instead building their own stage on top of it. As a result, the stage can be so high that a person sitting in the front row will be obstructed due to sitting beneath the stage itself.

Company 2021 Broadway Revival Set From Back Orchestra

This does often depend on the production, with some shows featuring a stage that is low enough to make the front row an enjoyable experience. Here are some noteworthy examples of the front row experience based on shows open as of March 2022.

Chicago is probably the best show on Broadway to currently see from the front row. Due to being an incredibly low-tech show, as well as being an older production not using modern production techniques, the stage is low making this a great experience to see the show up close with no obstructions.

Dear Evan Hansen features a moderately high stage that will obstruct people sitting in the front row from seeing the back half of the stage. This is not a major problem for this show however, as not much happens in the blocked portions of the stage.

Hadestown features an incredibly high stage, meaning you will be blocked from seeing much of the show. But there is also a significant advantage to sitting in the front row as the actors (specifically Hermes) will interact with the audience, some scenes (Wait For Me) involve the front row in a special way.

Judy Kaye Bow Diana The Musical On Broadway

There are of course advantages to seeing any Broadway show in the front row. You can see the emotion of the actors better, and there is often some level of audience interaction in many shows. But there are drawbacks worth considering when choosing where to sit, and for some shows, it might not be a good idea, especially if you are only going to have one chance to see an individual show.

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