I've been to many matinee and evening performances and have not experienced much difference between the two. I've attended many evening performances where noted performers were not in the show that night. In some cases when a role is vocally or physically demanding, a performer may contract to perform a fewer number of performances a week. I believe this was the case with Patti LuPone during Evita and maybe Bette Midler with Dolly. If I recall correctly, years ago there were very few Sunday matinees (the theater district seemed deserted on Sundays) and Wednesday matinees were less expensive than evening performances, and were more often attended by school kids on field trips and non-working women (not trying to sound sexist here). Perhaps for some reason, performers appeared in shows where audience members paid the higher ticket prices. I don't know if the number of performers missing shows increased over recent years, but Ethel Merman's attendance is legendary.
If Nathan Lane is in it, I'd avoid the Saturday Matinee, but beyond that, I disagree with your overall original post.
© 2019 Wisdom Digital Media