Live Theatre: 3 Myths In Need of Debunking

March 8, 2019

I fell in love with live theatre when I made my 8th grade debut as Lord (yes, Lord) Montague in the schools' production of Romeo and Juliet. Certainly the love for musicals had already been planted as I grew up with a mother who was always playing a movie musical on TV.

Live theatre myths in need of debunking

I didn't really have the access to live theatre aside from the occasional community or high school production until more recently when I moved to Baltimore, and since then, I've done my best to see any show possible. From attending different shows to talking to different people, I've noticed a few thought trends that I'd love to squash:

3 Live Theatre Myths in Need of Debunking

1. Live theatre isn't affordable

Cost was the biggest reason I didn't go to more shows until recently. I've since learned there are so many ways to find affordable tickets for all kinds of shows:

  • See if your local theatres offer discounts based on age, military status, etc. I've seen many theatres offer cool specials like $30 tickets for patrons under age 30.
  • See if your local theatre offers limited view seats. I frequently scored orchestra seats to touring Broadway shows for less than $50 using this trick! 
  • Take advantage of the internet. I consider Goldstar to be the Groupon of Broadway and frequently get huge discounts on more local shows this way. For Broadway shows, compare prices and save on fees (and read real user reviews) using Show-Score, one of my favorite Broadway sites!

2. Community theatre isn't any good

I've had this post scheduled for awhile, and just before publishing, a friend of mine shared a similar post: Please Stop Looking Down on Community Theatre. 

I'm so glad people are discussing this because while, yes, some community theatre shows leave a thing or two to be desired, so many more are simply amazing! Even if a show doesn't have Broadway-level resources, it does offer:

  • Local and fiscal access to live entertainment: Not everyone is close to or able to afford a Broadway or touring show.
  • Training for enthusiasts: Participating in community theatre whether on or backstage instills valuable skills and discipline; let's encourage their hard work!
  • A pleasant surprise: Perhaps a local creative is putting a new spin on a classic show. Even more exciting, the kid next door you're watching today could be the kid on Broadway tomorrow. You never know!
In the past 3 years, I've watched 6 productions of Cabaret. 4 of them were community productions. Every single one offered something different and worthy of discussion. I would have missed out had I only seen the touring production and never revisited it!

3. Theatre is for old folks

I've mentioned on multiple occasions that I grew up on older shows like My Fair Lady and the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein. I adore those shows and make every effort to see both local productions and Broadway revivals when they come around.

There's a slight buzz kill, however, when I take a look around and realize that as a 30-something, I'm the youngest one in the room. I'll never forget standing in the lobby before The King and I on Broadway as I listened to multiple patrons discussing how they'd seen the original production with Yul Brenner. These are classic productions whether a patron is 7 or 70!

Of course, some newer shows like Hamilton, Wicked, or The Book of Mormon are capturing younger audiences. This is great, but there's a wide variety of amazing shows to be seen regardless of age. Don't be afraid to try a show that is older or unfamiliar—this is how new favorites are discovered!

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