Sunday, December 25, 2011

A bit of a question for everyone

This is a question not really related to fansubbing, but more of a personal question that I would like to pose to everyone.

The Les Miserables US tour is coming to around where I live in May, and I would like to purchase tickets to the performance.  As I have never went to a performance of this kind, I would like opinions about what seats I should get.

The concert hall where the performance will be held has a huge "orchestra" lower level seating, a lower balcony above this lower level that wraps around half of the concert hall, and a much higher upper balcony that is above this lower balcony.

Currently, the ticket office for this venue is not selling tickets (they won't start selling until February), but I can get tickets from other ticket vendors.  I can get seats in the back of the upper balcony for about US$70, seats on the sides of the each balcony for about US$150, and seats in front of each balcony and in the front orchestra seats for about US$250.

Basically, which seats should I go for when I purchase my tickets?  (I may purchase multiple tickets depending on what happens.)


  1. Seats in the back (the $70 ones in this case) will give you a nice full view of the stage, but everything will be small and potentially hard to see. (This does depend on the size of the venue as well as your own vision. For what it's worth, I have poor eyesight I wear my contacts instead of glasses whenever I'm seeing a show from the cheapest seats and that's fine). Also, the further up you are in the balconies, the more of a birds-eye kind of view you'll have, which I personally find kind of a weird way to see theatre but ymmv.

    Seats closer to the front (orchestra seating, in this case), on the other hand, will give you a really up-close and personal view -- which is a lot of the appeal of live theatre in the first place. However, you're more likely to not be able to see certain parts of the stage due to scenery, other people's heads (assuming there's no slope, which is generally true of seats that are close to the front), etc.

    Personally, I'd say your best bet is aiming for as close to the center of the seating area as you can. Since you've never been to this kind of performance before, you have no way of really knowing if you'd prefer being very close to or very far from the stage. A middle seat would provide a good balance, and you might realize that you'd like a different kind of a view next time. Also, I would say it's worth spending extra (if it's affordable for you, of course!) to be in the middle of whatever area you choose rather than the sides; it's likely that things will be staged to be most enjoyable from the center of each row.

    You can also let your preferences when it comes to movie theater seating guide you -- of course watching a movie and theatre are not the same at all, but it still might help to know that, for instance, you don't like sitting in the back.

  2. Keep in mind that there's a reason those $250 tickets are more expensive...

    First of all, if you can afford it, you should certainly go for a center seat. Why? Because both the acoustic and visual experience are much better enjoyed from a central position.

    This is just a personal preference, but I would opt for lower balcony, front row seats, as close to the center as possible. From such seats, you would get an excellent, full view of the stage (with no chance of anyone sitting in front of you); plus, you would enjoy excellent acoustics.

  3. Go for the lower level seats. I go to the operas here quite often. Since these are university opera productions, opening nights are general admission which allows me to sit in quite a number of seats. My favourite seats were always next to the pit on the lowest floor. Especially around the center of the lowest level. Sitting too close causes some strain trying to look at the super titles but since this is a musical that shouldn't happen as there won't be any supertitles. The higher balconies are no fun at all. The best experience will always be the seats closest (well not too close, it will be hard to see everything) to the action.

    Also regarding this musical, it is absolutly amazing. The songs are absoutly beautiful. I never got the chance to see it in concert by professionals but a local high school did this musical and it was absolutely wonderful. You will definitely enjoy it.