So you’ve got the tickets and you can’t wait to see the curtain rise. Here’s what to expect.
Ticket holders are no longer required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination before entering most Broadway theatres. (The Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont Theater will still require vaccination certificates, and Roundabout Theater Company and Manhattan Theater Club will require vaccination certificates until the end of their current productions: “Birthday Candles,” at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater, and “How I Learned to Drive,” at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater.) All spectators must wear masks that cover the mouth and nose during performances, except when actively eating and drinking, where permitted. This requirement remains in effect in all theaters until at least May 31. Covid-19 safety teams are on site to ensure compliance with courtesy and determination Before purchasing your tickets, please check the listed rules – as with so many things in this pandemic, they could change at short notice.
When to come?
The show you see may have its own advice on this, depending on any Covid safety precautions that take a little extra time. While some theaters are better than others at getting people through the doors quickly, it’s still true that you don’t need to arrive far in advance to join a huge line that winds down the sidewalk. If you don’t need to pick up your tickets, it’s generally fine to show up in front of the curtain for maybe 10 minutes. Get there earlier if you want to stop in the toilet where, for women, the wait can be long.
In a car?
Save yourself the headache and reserve a parking space via one of a number of apps, such as BestParking, ParkWhiz and SpotHero. Lincoln Center also offers its own reserved parking space online. Still, especially during the holidays, allocate more driving time than you think you need. Not every show allows late arrivals. If they do, latecomers risk taking a walk of shame with an usher — and squeezing their queue in the dark.
Navigating Times Square
One perk of passing Times Square: Lots of outdoor seating. One drawback: the rambunctious but sluggish mass of humanity you are a part of. If you have to go through it, a single file is the way to go. Elsewhere, on the fringe of the Theater District, pedestrian traffic on the west side of Eighth Avenue moves faster than on the crowd-clogged east side. Likewise, it may be quicker to walk north or south on Sixth Avenue and then west to your theater.
Find green space
One of Manhattan’s prettiest oases, Bryant Park is located just a block east of Times Square, at 42nd Street on Sixth Avenue. A picnic-friendly, shady spot with an expansive lawn and plenty of bistro tables around the edges, it’s a relaxing place to catch your breath and, if you like, buy something to eat or drink.