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Changing seats during intermission?

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JillianSch
Understudy
joined:3/14/10
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 09:36am
Last night a friend and I had box seats to see THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT. The view were pretty bad and noticing that the third row had 8 empty seats we decided to head down there during intermission. An older couple sitting in the fourth row was livid that we didn't pay for those seats and threatened to call an usher. I went to the usher and she said it wasn't allowed in their policy to let people move seats, so we were allowed. Has this ever happened to anyone else?!
I have moved seats at intermission numerous times and even had ushers escort me to them. Wondering what you would have done/ other theater policies
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taylorPHENOMENON2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/17/08
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 09:40am
I've never heard of any theatre not allowing seat upgrades at intermission. Very bizarre.
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 10:11am
It's always best to go through the House Manager and not just do it yourself. And don't get permission from an usher. Just go to the House Manager.
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LuminousBeing
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/08
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 10:29am
I've never had a problem self-upgrading seats. In fact, when I saw "In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play," I was originally seated in the left mezz, which happened to be a terrible view because there were lights blocking most of downstage left, where half the action took place. My friend and I noticed two empty seats in the front row, and when we moved down, an usher commented to us that he was glad someone was taking those seats so that the actors wouldn't have to look at empty chairs in the front row, and good for us for seeing an opportunity and taking it.

I'm not saying this is common across the board, but I've never had nor heard of anyone having a problem moving down or forward during Intermission. They probably made you go back because they didn't want the livid audience member to make a scene. Chances are, if she hadn't made a fuss, you would've gotten to keep those seats without a problem.
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iflip4musicals
Broadway Star
joined:11/30/06
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 11:37am
I change seats all of the time, but there have been a few occasions where an usher has stopped me and asked that I return to my other seat. I've never had other people tell me to not sit there though, people by the better seats seemed to have welcomed it.
"I've never encountered such religiously, you know, loyal fans as Broadway musical theater fans. It's amazing." --Allison Janney
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Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 11:42am
At The Importance of Being Earnest we bought the rush box seats, and we just asked they were more than happy move us at intermission to empty seats.
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JP2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/2/07
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 11:50am
I always ask either an usher, or the head usher. Never had an issue.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 11:53am
If there are empty seats then why not move? As long as there are empty seats I don't see the problem. Probably best to go through a management person though so you have direct permission. Then those people would not have a leg to stand on. When I saw the Wicked tour I was in the second row of the balcony and couldn't see because the people in front of me were leaning over, and the stupid dragon's claw blocked Elphaba during defying gravity and some of the flying monkies. There were about ten empty seats towards the side of the first row of the balcony. My friend and I moved down one row and to the side (same price range). The rude woman behind us started questioning us told us not to dare leaning over or else she couldn't see. I understand asking people not to lean over if you're switching seats and it's a case like this, but she was just flat out rude. Anyways, next time just ask the house manager so those rude people don't have a leg to stand on.
"Theres nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Updated On: 3/19/11 at 11:53 AM
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My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 01:50pm
I moved from the 8th row stalls to 2nd at Blood Brothers in London.

I feel too settled and comfy in my seat by intermission and don't usually move, but there was a sow and her lover who moved during the first act, and she decided it would be alright to ruin my experience and making hers more relaxing by practically laying on her boyfriend in a reclined position with her hooves touching my lap and knee. I made it a point to make it known this REALLY bothered me and even "shook" the sow's thunder thigh by way of fidgeting restlessly until the motion slowly jiggled her lard off of me. I was so upset by intermission.

The theatre was literally nearly empty anyway, so I did not worry about possibly degrading someone else's experience by sticking my noggin in their view. Though I was pretty embarrassed when three ladies stood there staring at me with awfully cross looks on their faces. It took me a second, but I realized I was sitting in one of their seats. I profusely apologized and they were very nice and said it's OK, that it was an understandable mistake. I swear I thought they were in the 3rd row. Guess I miscounted rows, or something. I made absolutely sure nobody was sitting further down the row, toward stage left, and very much enjoyed the second act from there.

And that's precisely why I don't ever move, to avoid such situations. But thanks to Miss Piggy, I had no choice, as she couldn't take a hint and practice a bit of common courtesy.

Btw, what's up with the Phoenix Theatre ticketing system? I was irritated over being given that 8th row seat and not the best available, as most ticketing systems do by default. Not that 8th row is bad--it's GREAT--but I'd have avoided pork rinds and an uncomfortable whole first act.
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
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perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 06:21pm
Were the jabs at the girl's weight really necessary, My Oh My?

I've never had issues with switching seats at intermission...I've done it many times before and no one has ever said anything to me.
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TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 06:46pm
You should always get permission first.

Who knows why the seats are empty, and you always chance upsetting another audience member who does have the right to question why someone isn't in their assigned seat.
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ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 07:42pm
What Diva said. I'd ignore the far less than classy and outright offensive responses from a few of the posters above. You paid for a specific seat. Unless you have permission from an usher (or better yet, a house manager), you should stay put. No harm in asking, of course, and 9 times out of 10 there will no problem with your moving.

Sometimes people of size will purchase an extra seat. Sometimes people purchase tickets knowing they will only make the second act. There's no way of knowing why that seat is empty. Just ask. It will almost never be a problem.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 07:59pm
Ushers have no way of knowing if someone purchased tickets for only the scone act. And truthfully anyone who would do that and not just second act the show is a moron and doesn't deserve to see even the second act. I've never heard of an usher telling someone that thru can't move at intermission if there are available seats, either.
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dragonlp86
Broadway Star
joined:8/21/10
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 07:59pm
I've only moved seats once, and that was during the summer at 'Next to Normal'. We were seated in the rear mezz (cheap seats!) and right before the production started, the usher mentioned that if the seats in the front of the mezz stayed open, we could move down to them. So we kept an eye out just as intermission started to see what seats were empty, moved down to them, and enjoyed the rest of the show from closer up. We didn't ask for permission right before we did it, but if we hadn't been told before the show started, we likely wouldn't have moved.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 08:26pm
No, Jordan, of course an usher wouldn't know if someone had purchased tickets for the second act only, but any time I've asked an usher if I could move seats, they've agreed, asking only that I wait for them to seat me just before the second act, in the event that is the case. They don't allow people to move right after the lights have gone down on the first act as well, in case there are late arrivals.

As regards to your saying that anyone who would purchase tickets for the second act only instead of illegally second-acting is a moron, well, let's just say we have a different set of morals. Of course, that much was clear when you said you'd slap the poligrip out of the mouths of an older person for daring to question you.

When I was younger and broke-er, I second-acted on occasion. Even then I tried to be respectful, seating myself at the last minute in the balcony or off to the side somewhere in a mezz. Now that I'm an adult, I pay for my entertainment. Just because you can rip off the system doesn't mean you should, and someone, maybe a couple, who may be in town for only a night, wanting to be assured of getting a seat and deciding to do the right thing by paying for it is neither a moron nor undeserving of seeing a show. They're patrons of the arts, and their patronage allows people like you to buy the cheap seats and move to better seats, as you so proudly claim, almost every time you are in the Schoenfeld. If everyone felt as entitled as you, Broadway would have died long ago. Someone does have to pay for it. They don't deserve to be called morons for doing that.





Updated On: 3/20/11 at 08:26 PM
ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 09:08pm
I'd never move at the beginning of the show, as there's always late seating, but I personally think intermission is fair game. I've never asked to move during intermission, but the only times I've moved in the beginning were by an usher's offer (I was in SRO, and there was an empty seat in the front row).

If I spot a seat, during intermission, I will ask the person next to the seat (or behind) if anyone was there, and if they say no, I ask if they mind if I move. No one's ever objected. Ushers have never said anything.
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sabrelady
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 09:28pm
On two occasions I've been asked ( along w the rest of the folk in the cheap seats) to move closer and fill up avail seats. One was for Chicago in N.Y. and the other was for Stritch in TO. So I guess it just depends on how anal retentive the FOH crew is that night.
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Cape Twirl of Doom
Broadway Legend
joined:11/2/05
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/19/11 at 11:43pm
On two occasions I've been asked ( along w the rest of the folk in the cheap seats) to move closer and fill up avail seats.


Every time I've been in the rear mezz at Studio 54, right before the lights go down the ushers said that anyone who wanted to could move down to empty seats in the front mezz. I don't know if they do it all the time, or just because I've always been there during the first few days of previews.

Just today I had to move my seat at WHERE'S CHARLEY? at intermission. I would have moved sooner but I did not want to disturb the rest of my row. If I saw 50% of the stage during the first act I was lucky. The awful sightlines combined with the gigantic head of the person in front of me meant I could barely see anything happening on the stage.
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My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 12:39am
I don't usually go around likening total strangers to pork rinds, but then again I'm the really easy going type and can tolerate a LOT before feeling even the slightest need to go off. That lady at Blood Brothers ranks up there with some of the most rude people I've ever encountered.

But I agree that the name calling wasn't totally necessary. Apologies.

Nothing makes me angrier than people who lack common sense and courtesy, and who make an incredible moment for me finally seeing shows in London, a little less incredible. For shame!

Still managed to enjoy the show though!
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 12:54am
As it happens I moved seats 3 times during 'Memphis' yesterday afternoon!

My original seat was N26 which is far right and a awful view, so I went to the back row, which I noted was completely empty, after 10 minutes, the view was better as it was central, then I noticed a seat 6 rows in front on the aisle that was empty, so I moved there in the intermission, makes a big differents in seeing the whole stage, had to be done.
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Updated On: 3/20/11 at 12:54 AM
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 01:18am
Oh yes Ghostlight, you're just so much better than I am. Thank you for enlightening me. I'll be sure to think long and hard about it tomorrow when I go movie hopping.

And as for those old people who have the right to get mad at people sitting in those empty seats, how the hell do THEY know the people now in them didn't just buy those tickets to see act two? Should THEY have to explain themselves to these people who'll probably be meeting St. Peter before I'm home from the show? No. Fact is, plain and simple, during intermission you can move to empty seats. Every broadway house let's you do that. Never once have I encountered an usher who has said no to that after act one. So if someone (of ANY age) wants to start some bullshlt with me over that, I say bring it.

Now I'm going to bed so I can wake up, sneak into some movies and second act PRISCILLA.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 01:45am
Well, that was predictable.

The fact is, plain and simple that you are NOT entitled to move to empty seats. You have been allowed to in the past, but it is not a right. Most theaters and ushers recognize it as a good business practice, and many of them will even suggest it in a sparsely populated house - but you shouldn't expect it as a right.

For the record, I voiced no opinion whatsoever on actions of the older couple (that you've referred to repeatedly in such an offensive way), but rather responded quite reasonably and I hope usefully to the OP's question. You, on the other hand, have spewed hate, expressed your expectation of entitlement, and suggested you'd do violence to a fellow patron for merely asking a question.

It shouldn't be a big deal to ask permission of the ushers, whose job it is to manage the seating. It's a matter of simple courtesy and respect, but given your general attitude, I can understand why that is a concept alien to you.
Updated On: 3/20/11 at 01:45 AM
rchan
Swing
joined:3/20/11
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 10:33am
_Always_ ask the usher first. I usually ask as I'm being seated, if there's enough time. If they tell you no seat moving, then you're done. Usually, however, they'll be kind enough to let you know that you can and then let you know where you can move to. Just because seats are empty, doesn't mean they want you to sit there -- for just the reason you described. If you ask before moving, especially if the usher ~does~ escort you to the new seats, most people won't even think to complain, because they assume you're supposed to be there if the usher put you there. Angst avoided. ^_~
suechru
Chorus Member
joined:3/11/11
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 12:05pm
I've been really lucky so far that I've never had a horrible view but I've never done rush/SRO (I live out in NJ so I like having tickets ahead of time before I deal with the train.)

I usher at a regional theater and for the most part, ushers really don't care but it's better if you ask. I've had patrons ask me at the beginning of the show (ie, pre-curtain) if they could move at intermission or stand in the back (The latter is usually people who have health problems). As long as something's open after late-seating, we normally allow it. Then again, we seldom have patrons buy a ticket for a second act. (Alhough, considering what ticket prices are, I can't see that being too common for broadway.)

However, if someone IS going to move, they really should wait until intermission. When I saw La Cage this week, the lady next to me actually JUMPED over the row of seats to move from center mezz row C to row B when the lights went down. I was half hoping that someone would come in late for that seat and an usher would make her move because the way she DOVE over the seats as the house lights dimmed was rude and distracting. (She nearly kicked a fellow patron in the head while doing so.)
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Bwaynerd
Leading Actor
joined:4/1/10
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 12:06pm
this thread is funny
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Toni4
Swing
joined:9/29/10
Changing seats during intermission?
Posted: 3/20/11 at 08:13pm
I have changed seats many times...and how I do it depends on the theater. This last time, at the Curran in San Francisco, I asked the floor manager and got permission, in Chicago I asked the usher and she said no while she nodded her head yes, and in Detroit and Columbus, I just moved and had no problem with anyone around me.

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