Late Arrivers

greenifyme2
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joined:5/19/17
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Late Arrivers#1
Posted: 5/21/17 at 12:31pm

Last night I went to Groundhog Day. Right in the middle of the bar scene during "Nobody Cares", an usher let two late-comers disturb everyone in front of us to stand up so they could take their seats. It's a disturbance after the show starts as it is, and I can understand that things happen with the NYC transit and being a little late sometimes cannot be helped. However, in this case, it was more than halfway through the 1st act and in the middle of a song! It's my favorite part of the show, I had my mom with me and told her all about how it's the best part. I was very disappointed that the usher not only allowed this but lead them to their seats, flashlight and all. I thought the policy was to wait until an appropriate break in the show to let people to their seats?

Updated On: 5/21/17 at 12:31 PM
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Lot666
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Late Arrivers#2
Posted: 5/21/17 at 1:53pm

I think it's terribly rude and inconsiderate. Once when I was at Phantom, just as the boat started making its way downstage through the fog and candles, an usher came along with a flashlight and made an entire row stand up so she could seat two latecomers. I was absolutely livid and expressed my outrage to the house manager during the interval. He apologized and said that they're not supposed to seat latecomers until a point between songs when the stage goes dark, and he gave me a comp to return to the show another time.

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SarahNYC2
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Late Arrivers#3
Posted: 5/21/17 at 2:02pm

It annoys me no end. I mean if you are going to the theater you should plan it so you are there in enough time not to be arriving late.

The worst though is Radio City. This summer I went to see the Rocketttes summer show because my daughter really wanted to see it. Not only did ushers bring in people late, they were huge groups and chatting as they came in.

Margo319
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Late Arrivers#4
Posted: 5/21/17 at 2:48pm

I love that more and more show are just done with idiots who think they can come late, and no one should care.  If you live hours away in Jersey or Upstate, plan accordingly, be hours early and just hang out around Time Square.  Even if you live on 36th Street, give yourself a lot of extra time.  It's not hard to plan that.  Not if you actually give a damn about other patrons, cast, crew and everyone working on the production. There is no excuse.  It's one of the busiest cities in the world. Fully understand that and give yourself hours and hours if you really need to.  

When I purchased Hello Dolly! tickets I just loved that they announced "Please be advised performances begin promptly. Latecomers will not be seated."  And DEH with the announcement "Please be advised performances begin promptly at the time indicated on your ticket. There will be no late seating for DEAR EVAN HANSEN. Patrons arriving after the performance has begun will not be admitted until intermission"

That is so amazing!!  I hope more shows continue this wonderful trend.

10086Sundays
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Late Arrivers#5
Posted: 5/21/17 at 2:53pm

DEH says that, but when I saw it, they brought in latecomers.  This was second row center orchestra, they were an older couple who were slow moving and kept loudly apologizing for being late while everyone moved so they could take their seats.  This happened while Evan is in the computer lab at the beginning writing the letter.  So aggravating.

Updated On: 5/21/17 at 02:53 PM
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AC126748
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Late Arrivers#6
Posted: 5/21/17 at 2:55pm

10086Sundays said: "DEH says that, but when I saw it, they brought in latecomers.  This was second row center orchestra, they were an older couple who slow moving and kept loudly apologizing for being late while everyone moved so they could take their seats.  This happened while Evan is in the computer lab at the beginning writing the letter.  So aggravating.

 

"

Same, unfortunately. I've seen the show three times and each time, latecomers were seated throughout the first act. They don't practice what they preach.

"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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wonderfulwizard11
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Late Arrivers#7
Posted: 5/21/17 at 3:00pm

I do think latecomers shouldn't be seated until either an applause break or intermission, but I think that's more on the theatre. Yeah, it's annoying when people come late, but sometimes you can still plan ahead and get stuck. Anyone living in the city knows the trains have been a mess for the past several months, and at a certain point that can't be helped unless you leave 2 hours before the show. 

I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
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Mr. Nowack
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Late Arrivers#8
Posted: 5/21/17 at 3:05pm

I have only been late to a performance once. It was a tour performance of LES MISERABLES, and there had been a really bad crash I think on the highway that delayed traffic into the city (Pittsburgh that is). We stood just inside the doors for the beginning of the show and were led to our seats at the end of The Prologue.

I agree that it is supremely annoying but you just never know what will happen. 

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AC126748
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Late Arrivers#9
Posted: 5/21/17 at 3:10pm

The Metropolitan Opera has the right idea. Latecomers are not seated until an intermission. They have a monitor set up in a room (with seating) from which latecomers can watch a live feed of the opera until they are allowed into the auditorium. Obviously, this is not possible at many of the older Broadway theaters due to spacial limitations, but I wish it was.

"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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wonderfulwizard11
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Late Arrivers#10
Posted: 5/21/17 at 3:30pm

BAM has a similar set-up too, at least at the Harvey. I was extremely late (thanks to an awful Megabus) to their production of The Caretaker a few years back, and I watched in the lobby before taking my seat at intermission. 

I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
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Late Arrivers#11
Posted: 5/21/17 at 3:31pm

AC126748 said: "10086Sundays said: "DEH says that, but when I saw it, they brought in latecomers.  This was second row center orchestra, they were an older couple who slow moving and kept loudly apologizing for being late while everyone moved so they could take their seats.  This happened while Evan is in the computer lab at the beginning writing the letter.  So aggravating.

"

Same, unfortunately. I've seen the show three times and each time, latecomers were seated throughout the first act. They don't practice what they preach.


"

And therein lies the problem.  Most shows are not sticking to their own policies re: latecomers so many people don't go to a lot of trouble to get their on time.  At a performance of Groundhog Day last Thursday, latecomers were seated at a reasonable moment in the first Act but there were probably 2 dozen or so.  This is not an exaggeration; I was seated way at the back of the orchestra and was able to see all of them being led to their seats in various locations.

And don't blame it all on transportation problems, although we certainly have plenty of those.  Some people seem to have come directly from dinner (or at least drinks), probably nearby.  And the 7:00 curtain on some weekday evenings (which I love) doesn't help with people who aren't paying attention.

But keeping holding firm to a  policy of not seating late arrivals would certainly help, at least a little, or am I deluding myself?

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AC126748
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Late Arrivers#12
Posted: 5/21/17 at 4:00pm

Of course it would help if theaters stuck to their stated policies. It makes you wonder why some don't. 

"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
10086Sundays
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Late Arrivers#13
Posted: 5/21/17 at 4:10pm

AC126748 said: "Of course it would help if theaters stuck to their stated policies. It makes you wonder why some don't. "

DEH has no excuse not to enforce the rule since it's well sold, but I can understand a show like Groundhog Day not wanting any bad publicity from people complaining affecting ticket sales.

Rainah
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Late Arrivers#14
Posted: 5/21/17 at 6:44pm

It's so distracting, I wish shows would stop seating people late and just seat them at intermission. Get there on time. If that means you need to get there an hour early and enjoy a drink/wander around, then so be it. I am always outside the theatre 30min before the show starts, that is what I was taught was polite, and it gives me flexibility in case of traffic and such. For high profile shows like Hamilton, I was outside the theatre an hour early. No use taking chances and more time to soak up the experience. 

 

 

VintageSnarker
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Late Arrivers#15
Posted: 5/21/17 at 10:49pm

Margo319 said: "I love that more and more show are just done with idiots who think they can come late, and no one should care.  If you live hours away in Jersey or Upstate, plan accordingly, be hours early and just hang out around Time Square.  Even if you live on 36th Street, give yourself a lot of extra time.  It's not hard to plan that.  Not if you actually give a damn about other patrons, cast, crew and everyone working on the production. There is no excuse.  It's one of the busiest cities in the world. Fully understand that and give yourself hours and hours if you really need to.  

That is pretty harsh and rather irrational for people with jobs, kids, etc. Everyone doesn't have hours and hours to set aside. And to say public transit in the city is unpredictable is an understatement. Sometimes lateness can't be avoided and it's really up to the theater when they choose to seat you. The Metropolitan Opera does have the right idea with their screening room or other shows like Waitress that let people hang out in the SRO section while waiting to be seated. 

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darreyl102
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Late Arrivers#16
Posted: 5/21/17 at 11:29pm

Not everyone has the time to possibly arrive extra early. people do have other things going on in life, even tourists. Most of the time, I assume people are genuinely trying to make it and sometimes it really can't be avoided. not everyone can get there an hour before the show- people do have other things in their life: work, kids..LIFE. Shit happens. I am all for seating people at a time in the show when the action has died down, however I think not allowing people into the theatre until intermission is just a waste. If I miss the first act of a show, i'm sure as hell not going to waste my time seeing the second act with no idea of what is going on or what I've missed. For people who paid good money for their seats and something happened to them to make them late- they get screwed over. This I am applying to people who had legitimate reasons for being late.

Darreyl with an L!
Updated On: 5/21/17 at 11:29 PM
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Late Arrivers#17
Posted: 5/22/17 at 12:25am

My theater buddies know I am always early to a show. I get it from my Dad. Traffic and parking can be unpredictable. Plus for the whole experience I like to get there early, hit the john one last time, and review the playbill at my seat. But I get not everyone is like this, and I know things happen the night of a show. 

With latecomers, this is one of those cases when there should be some unwritten rules. When you are late and waiting for an usher to seat you at an appropriate break in the action, get yourself ready. Take off your coat if you need to. Get your candies out. Move quickly -- as possible, depending on mobility issues -- and slip into the row and seat. Don't make a scene apologizing to everyone. You can offer an apology at intermission if you must do so.

And, for those seated when a latecomer needs to get into your row, don't t you make a scene either. Simply stand or bring your legs (and packages) back and let them pass. Don't get all pissy and make a big production that you were all settled and are so terribly inconvenienced. Leave the drama for the stage! The quicker the "transaction" can take place the better for all involved off stage and on. 

Rainah
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Late Arrivers#18
Posted: 5/22/17 at 1:11am

Yes, people have lives. But I think that if someone's seeing a show, they should be able to arrange things so as not to arrive late. If you get off work at 6:30 and the show starts at 7pm and it takes 30min to get there... I wouldn't go. Pick a show that starts later, or go on a different day if you're not sure you can get there on time. Or accept that you're taking a chance and that if traffic's bad you're going to miss act one. The time is printed on the ticket for a reason, you are expected to be there on time. Besides, many shows start 10-15min late so people have more time, a good practice in case of the odd late-comer that doesn't disturb other people.


I realize I'm taking a hard line on this, but that's where my heart is at. I don't believe in late seating. But if you must, do it as quickly and unobtrusively as possible. 

Speed
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Late Arrivers#19
Posted: 5/22/17 at 1:31am

SarahNYC2 said: "It annoys me no end. I mean if you are going to the theater you should plan it so you are there in enough time not to be arriving late.

The worst though is Radio City. This summer I went to see the Rocketttes summer show because my daughter really wanted to see it. Not only did ushers bring in people late, they were huge groups and chatting as they came in.


 

"

When I went to Radio City Christmas show this year, I arrived 30 minutes early and still missed the beginning of the show because the line was so long and security was so slow.  With their schedule, they don't have time to hold the curtain so I was screwed.

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Late Arrivers#20
Posted: 5/22/17 at 2:16am

I've been late to a show twice. Both times it was because I was with my mom and she got the times wrong, and I stupidly didn't double check (now, of course, I obsessively check the times). One of them was Funny Girl in London, and they wouldn't seat us until after "I'm the Greatest Star," but fortunately they had a monitor set up with a live feed, so I at least got to see it that way. I agree with the above posters, that's really the best way to do it. I still felt terrible when I went to my seat, though. I basically had to shove past people's legs in the dark, and I'm pretty sure I stepped on some feet. I'm sure everyone hated these stupid Americans.

Updated On: 5/22/17 at 02:16 AM
Margo319
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Late Arrivers#21
Posted: 5/22/17 at 3:55am

"Yes, people have lives. But I think that if someone's seeing a show, they should be able to arrange things so as not to arrive late"

 

Thank you.  If you "so much going on in your life" that you cannot make it on time to a show you paid in advance for, then don't bother going.  They should not seat ANY late comers until intermission.  PLAN BETTER.  And yes, this is MY OPINION.

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Late Arrivers#22
Posted: 5/22/17 at 5:27am

Lot666 said: "I think it's terribly rude and inconsiderate. Once when I was at Phantom, just as the boat started making its way downstage through the fog and candles, an usher came along with a flashlight and made an entire row stand up so she could seat two latecomers. I was absolutely livid and expressed my outrage to the house manager during the interval. He apologized and said that they're not supposed to seat latecomers until a point between songs when the stage goes dark, and he gave me a comp to return to the show another time."

Good grief! The exact same thing happened to me at Phantom.

It was during the Norm Lewis/Sierra Boggess run and a group was seated right in the middle of the boat scene (which also happens to be the title song!) To make matters worse, the latecomers were in the 3rd or 4th row center, so they were in full view of most of the audience and were a distraction to many.

I, too, complained to the house manager during intermission.  His only response was "Oh, they shouldn't be doing that."  No comp tickets for me.

 

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Late Arrivers#23
Posted: 5/22/17 at 5:51am

In my forty years of theater going, I arrived late to exactly ONE show.   (By the skin of my teeth a few times, but still there on time!)  My bus from Boston was scheduled to arrive at 11:45  (if memory serves correctly) and we had been on time the entire time -- until we hit Manhattan.  I believe we ended up pulling into Port Authority at about 2:00.   I raced to the theater (downtown) and got there around 2:20.  They politely let me know they would only seat me in the back row so not to disturb anyone.  About as fair as fair can be.  This was of no fault of my own (or anyone else's) but I didn't feel entitled to MY seat, I felt lucky to see part of it at all!

 

Don't blame the theater-goer, blame the house staff/management: rules need to be adhered to.  Period. When people are seated regardless of policy, it simply teaches audience members that being late doesn't matter.  

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Updated On: 5/22/17 at 05:51 AM
djoko84
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Late Arrivers#24
Posted: 5/22/17 at 6:44am

Things happen that are unforeseen which makes people late. Having said that, an usher should absolutely NOT seat late comers during a song. If enough people complain then hopefully they'll do it in between songs.

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Late Arrivers#25
Posted: 5/22/17 at 8:23am

PepperedShepherd said: "I, too, complained to the house manager during intermission.  His only response was "Oh, they shouldn't be doing that."  No comp tickets for me."

If I may offer a suggestion, don't let them off the hook that easily; the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and letting them get away with it only encourages more of the same. The first person I complained to gave me a similar response, so I insisted on speaking with someone further up the line. If that doesn't work, contact the theater in writing afterwards (I've done this as well). Broadway tickets are simply too expensive these days to allow the house to impose a sub-par experience on patrons who paid their money and got there on time.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Updated On: 5/22/17 at 08:23 AM