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Broadway for taller people

jhuber151
Swing
joined:5/19/14
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 10:14am
I always love going to Broadway shows. Recently I went to see Aladdin, which was an amazing show, but I had trouble fitting comfortably in the seats. I am about 6'5, so a bigger person than who the seats were made for. I have been wanting to see Once and Wicked but I am nervous about not fitting in the seats. Does anyone have any knowledge on the leg room in those theaters, or even a list of theaters where leg room wouldnt be such an issue for a taller person. Thank you.
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adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 10:24am
I've now been to all but 2 of the Broadway theaters, and the Gershwin had, by far, the most comfortable seats, so Wicked should be no problem. I don't remember anything especially good or bad about the theater that Once is in. I will literally never again go to the Broadhurst (where Mamma Mia is now playing) as long as I still have knees. I'm 5'7".
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kade.ivy
Featured Actor
joined:7/28/13
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 10:46am
Adam, how does the seating at the New Amsterdam compare to the other Broadway theatres? It's the only Broadway house I've seen a show in, but I'm planning a trip to NYC really soon. Is it better, worse, or about the same as the other houses? Thanks!
jhuber151
Swing
joined:5/19/14
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 11:00am
Thank you. Do you have anything to say about the Walter Kerr Theatre?

Updated On: 5/19/14 at 11:00 AM
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GreatWhiteGay
Swing
joined:4/29/14
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 11:17am
I'm 6'1', and I remember feeling pretty claustrophobic in Rodgers, Broadhurst, and Schoenfeld.
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haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 11:22am
I'm tall and I was in the second row from the stage on the aisle for Gentleman;s Guide, and a bit jammed in. I recall looking at the front row and how they seemingly had a lot more leg room, so if you can score front row, I think you'll be happy. That's a pretty limited view of the theater, though, the two front rows, heh.
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VotePeron
Leading Actor
joined:5/2/13
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 11:30am
I'm 6'5 and have been in nearly every broadway house over the past few years. It's cramped, but you kind of just have to make it work. Aisles are best, that's how I survived Gents Guide. I stood for Once, and Wicked I've seen a few times and the room is fine! Also a tip for Gents Guide: the last row of the orchestra, left side on the central aisle curves out, so there is no seat in front of you. Probs cheaper than front row! Let me know if you have any specific questions about theaters - I feel your pain being 6'5
NeverSoShy
Understudy
joined:10/8/11
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 11:43am
I'm 6 ft (which I know is still a fair bit shorter) and was fine in the American Airlines & Richard Rogers (of the two, American Airlines was definitely better).
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adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 12:17pm
I found the New Amsterdam seating to be more cramped than average for sure. I also had to switch from mezzanine seats at the theatre where After Midnight is playing to the box seats, because my knees were in so much pain from pressing against the seats in front. The same thing at the Broadhurst in the orchestra. So those were the two worst that i've experienced for leg room (but again, i'm not especially tall - others may be bad for taller people). The Sondheim is not bad for legroom but the armrests have sharp edges and the seats are narrow, so those are the least comfortable seats i've been in (the seats themselves, not the leg room in front).
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deltatee
Swing
joined:3/13/07
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 03:02pm
I am 6'4" and I couldn't agree with you more!

The Gershwin is by far the most comfortable Broadway theatre I've been in. The Hilton, Lyric, Foxwoods, or whatever it is called these days was pretty good also. The Richard Rogers, Shubert, Imperial, and St. James were tight but okay. The most uncomfortable was absolutely the Lunt Fontanne. I refuse to see anything there because the leg room is so terrible, followed closely by the Nederlander. As for the Broadhurst, I sat in the side orchestra and found the legroom decent (by uncomfortable Broadway theatre standards).

Updated On: 5/19/14 at 03:02 PM
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jonartdesigns
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/04
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/19/14 at 05:36pm
I'm 6'4", the Gershwin is pretty comfy. The theater i will never again go to is the Longacre (it killed my knees long before i needed knee surgery)
My Icon "Swiney" the Swine Flu Mascot- art by me. "Grease," the fourth revival of the season, is the worst show in the history of theater and represents an unparalleled assault on Western civilization and its values. - Michael Reidel
roadmixer
Leading Actor
joined:7/28/07
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/20/14 at 02:31pm
Theatres should get hip to the idea of "Business Class" seating with more legroom! Another profit center to go along with "VIP".
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CurtainsUpat8
Stand-by
joined:6/1/13
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/20/14 at 10:28pm
I started a similar post once. I am six feet tall and I DREAD buying a ticket and going to see where I am sitting. My legs are long and sometimes it's just awful. I have learned to wear loafers, clean socks and I take my shoes off. This creates an extra two or three inches. I am on TDF and I have just not gotten tickets to shows because I don't know where I will be. The WORST was Row D on the side of CSC. Just AWFUL.
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 10:26am
When a theatre lists "handicapped seats" available, these are aisle seats with a moveable armrest. I saw a man, easily 6'7", at The Glass Menagerie, and he had bought one of these seats. I think all the Shubert theatres have these seats (and in all sections/price ranges of the theatre) and probably the others do too.

These seats are often used by very overweight people (hence the uncharitable nickname "fat seats") or those who do not use a wheelchair, but would otherwise have difficulty sitting or getting to a regular seat.

Buy a fat seat and then undo the armrest.

The all-time worst seating for anyone of any height except the legless, is the rear mezz of Studio 54. Bar none.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
ak72090
Stand-by
joined:12/3/13
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 10:53am
I'm 6'00, so not as tall as you. Amsterdam and Lyceum balcony was no problem for me, Longacre balcony was a bit tight. Front row, knewss were up against the railing. Not enough to distract me from the show though. Going to Walter Kerr Sunday first row balc, will update on that.
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broadway_show_fan
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/05
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 12:12pm
I'm the exact opposite at 4'11", BUT I've been in every Broadway theater. I have a few suggestions:

look for rows directly after large gaps or walkways - I often look for these seats because I won't have tall people in front of me (or even average-heighted people) who would obstruct my view, and a gap makes it really easy for me to view the stage, but for you it could afford a lot of legroom. At the Shubert, the entirety of row G in the center has no one in front of them, but the actors do move in the aisles so you have to be careful about obstructing the aisle too much. At the Gershwin there's a huge walkway mid-orchestra and the rows on the sides don't have any obstructions in front of them. I specifically helped a friend buy tickets for WICKED for that row (I think row Q?) because her husband is very tall, about 6'5" - he got to enjoy the show without squished legs. It's similar at the Rodgers - row L comes after the walkway mid-orchestra, and I believe there's a railing with hanging curtains underneath but no wall, so there's a potential for your long legs to fit better than other rows. At the Sondheim, row F has a gap on the sides because there's nothing in row E (at least it was that way at Anything Goes). At the Laura Pels off-Broadway, there's a huge handicap-accessible gap on the sides mid-orchestra (about row J?) which offers completely unobstructed legroom. ... The point being that you could study the seating charts and look for these kind of gaps. They happen in several theaters, and they can be really helpful. They're often full-view, regular tickets so they're often the best shot at good views. Sometimes, if the tickets are a little further back and to the side, you can find discounts (for example, I got discount seats for row L in the Rodgers for PORGY AND BESS).

box seats - they are often moveable, individual chairs. No, their views in general are not the very best in the world, but since you can move the chair forward/back or left/right, you can afford yourself a lot of leg room as opposed to the fixed cramped seats downstairs. A box that I recently sat in would be at the Shubert for MATILDA; others were at the Music Box, and several years ago, the New Amsterdam. The Palace also used to have some of their far-side orchestra seats (which were in raised boxes) as moveable individual chairs, but this has been changed for HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME. On the plus side: you can often get these seats for rush/lotto or cheaper than top regular full price. Sometimes, though, you can only buy them at the box office.

front row on the sides of the orchestra level sometimes are set a row back from the center and have a lot of leg room. I've remember sitting "front row" on the side at the Kerr in row B and having a lot of room (this was awhile ago; can't speak for GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE). Just one example.

look for seats at the end of rows on the outside aisles. Often, they won't have seats in front of them. I remember at BILLY ELLIOT row A had a ton of room. At MATILDA (Shubert), the (partial view) seats in row A have quite a bit of leg room. That brings me to the downside: they're often partial view (or at the least a very skewed perspective since you're so far over), but, on the upside, they're often cheaper, too. For example, at MATILDA you could get those seats for I believe $97 or $102 as opposed to $130+.

Miscellaneous info - at the American Airlines the 1st row of the mezzanine has a huge space in front of it. There's a railing, but it's high and there's still at least a foot of floor beyond the railing and so your legs would be able to extend through the railing. See here: http://coolspotters.com/attractions/american-airlines-theater

Final suggestion - sometimes searching for photos of the inside of the theater will help you see if there's a good amount of leg room. It's not foolproof, but sometimes you can find good photos like the one I found for the American Airlines.

Hope this all helps!
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CurtainsUpat8
Stand-by
joined:6/1/13
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 01:12pm
Thanks for the thoughtful post Broadway Show Fan. Of course I have thought of all of your suggestions. I guess my gripe comes because I used TDF and other discount ticket methods that do not let you choose your seat. Sometimes I think the Box Office person looks at me and has pity. I tend to get Aisle seats.
rlb237
Chorus Member
joined:1/11/14
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 02:12pm
Heck, I'm only a 5'8" female and I still sometimes have this issue!

I thought the Music Box was pretty roomy in the orchestra. Comfy seats too.

The mezz for the Richard Rodgers was very tight. The poor guy next to me was so squished into his seat I just had to ask how tall he was.

When I saw How to Succeed at Al Hirschfeld, I was in the middle orchestra and thought there was plenty of room. But when I saw Kinky Boots, I was right orchestra and it felt a little less roomy.

Updated On: 5/21/14 at 02:12 PM
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broadway_show_fan
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/05
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 02:30pm
You could try Audience Rewards. Sometimes you get aisle seats, and they have special offers for 500 points + cash that are really reasonable.
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jonartdesigns
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/04
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 05:15pm
absolute best for the long legged, row BB (front row) of the ambassador, all the leg room you could possibly need
My Icon "Swiney" the Swine Flu Mascot- art by me. "Grease," the fourth revival of the season, is the worst show in the history of theater and represents an unparalleled assault on Western civilization and its values. - Michael Reidel
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LiveLoud22
Chorus Member
joined:1/18/11
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 11:19pm
I'm 6'1, and I've addressed this problem by ONLY sitting on the aisle. Getting an aisle seat is a complete game changer, and so much more spacious (letting legs cross over into aisle, and so much less claustrophobic too.) Two different strategies I use, depending on if I'm getting a rush seat or a full price ticket. If you're getting a full price ticket, your life is easy.

The revamped Telecharge and Ticketmaster let you pick out any open seat at a given performance from their interactive seating chart. Picking out one on the aisle is therefore easy peasy. If you don't want to pay full price (ie - if you are a college student like me) things are slightly harder. Usually, I'll approach a box office attendant and say "do you have any rush tickets left that are on the aisle, anywhere in the theater?" I've been pretty successful with that at most shows.

If you're ordering online with a discount code, here's the deal: while you can put in a discount code on the Ticketmaster website and still use the interactive seating chart, you can't on Telecharge. Telecharge will re-route you to Broadway Offers, where there is no interactive chart (they just keep picking specific tickets for you and ask if you'd like to keep them.) Usually I'll just keep flipping through the tix they prompt me with until it gives me one on the aisle.



Updated On: 5/21/14 at 11:19 PM
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madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
Broadway for taller people
Posted: 5/21/14 at 11:28pm
I'm 6'3", and I often try for box seats. Depending on the show, the quality of the view can vary greatly. But for me, it's worth it to be comfortable.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson

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