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seating etiquette

aussieskates
Swing
joined:12/14/08
seating etiquette
Posted: 8/2/14 at 12:40pm
Tonight my girlfriend and I attended a show which the company staging it asked me to review. Reserved seating was also set aside for us.

At interval we decided to go out into the foyer and stretch our legs and when we got back, a couple had taken our seats. When we politely explained the situation, the man said that he took them because his girlfriend had poor eyesight, and if we had a problem with that, we should take it up with the manager.

When we said that we would (as I was reviewing the show, it was imperative to the producers and to the review that I see as much as I could unobstructed), we came back with the manager and he tried the same story on them.

We were able to get our seats back, but I have to say this is the first time I have experienced that level of entitlement.

I felt awful that I had to take this kind of action and involve the company on a personal level, but it was not one of those situations where I should just have sucked it up and been done with it.

Has anyone else experienced a similar situation and if so, how have you handled it (so as not to make a scene).

Updated On: 8/2/14 at 12:40 PM
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
seating etiquette
Posted: 8/2/14 at 01:26pm
Yes, I've had it happen, and "Excuse me, but you're in my seat" seems to have always done the trick.

Not surprising this is the first time you experienced that level of entitlement, because it takes a special pair of balls to try to rationalize stealing your seats. Whether you were reviewing the show or not is completely irrelevant. They are your seats. Period. No reason at all why you should feel awful.

Many theaters, btw, do offer a type of handicapped seat for those who aren't blind but are visually impaired.

Updated On: 8/2/14 at 01:26 PM
veronicamae Profile Photo
veronicamae
Leading Actor
joined:7/13/09
seating etiquette
Posted: 8/2/14 at 02:26pm
I've accidentally sat in someone else's seats - left orch vs right orch or the wrong row - and omg it was so embarrassing and I felt terrible.

Even when there appear to be empty seats for the whole first act, I'm not comfortable with moving up to them during intermission as many people do. What if those people finally show up and you have to move in the middle of the second act??

Mortifying to me.

I can't imagine being so entitled as to think you can steal someone else's seats and refuse to give them up even when confronted. Just wow.
dreaming Profile Photo
dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
seating etiquette
Posted: 8/2/14 at 02:33pm
I had a similar problem. I got up at intermission at a show to use the restroom and when I got back someone was sitting there because they thought I had left. I just told them I hadn't and they luckily gave me my seat back.

I will say at Billy Elliot years ago a couple behind us did 'self-seating' meaning that the seats next to them (on the aisle) were empty when the show started, so they assumed (incorrectly) they would remain that way. The people who had the seats arrived twenty minutes late and there was a loud verbal disagreement over whose seats those were. (I must say the usher didn't exactly do much to fix the situation-my friend and I turned around and shushed them).
theatremom2
Chorus Member
joined:5/22/03
seating etiquette
Posted: 8/2/14 at 07:11pm
I watched a little drama, I think it was Playwright Horizons. 2 patrons appeared to have tx stub for the same seat. It took 3 people and about 5 min (they seemed to be holding the curtain) to realize one tx was for a different theater. The man in error said he was with his wife. You would think he'd notice she was missing.

 
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