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  1. Go by yourself.  You can apply your ticket budget to a far superior seat if you’re only purchasing for yourself, plus there are many more good seating choices for single tickets than pairs, especially if you’re getting a last-minute ticket.  Plus you’re fully in charge of where and when, you won’t have to make conversation, and it will take pressure off to dress up, eat out, and other spendy things people do because everyone else does.
  2. If you can swing the advance purchase, and are interested in seeing at least half of the productions in the upcoming season, become a season subscriber.  Buy the least expensive nosebleed seat, pay in installments, upgrade your ticket for those productions you are excited about seeing, and sell the rest on Craigslist.  At least in Seattle, subscribers can easily exchange their tickets and get a discounted price on upgrades and extra tickets as well as ability to exchange/buy extras before the rest of the world (so you can grab a pair of good seats for those shows you do want to share) as well as various other useful perks.
  3. Splurge on the best seat you can manage for those productions you are excited about.  For me, this means a box as close to the stage as possible, even if it’s really high up and a “partial view”, because  I like to see the orchestra and make out the performers’ faces, and I don’t like crowds.  You are buying an experience.  Make it the best experience it can be.  You are unlikely to regret getting a great seat.
  4. Take the bus there, thereby saving money and eliminating the need to park.
  5. Go to a matinee.  They generally cost less, the level of audience dressiness is lower, and taking transit home afterward is less scary.
  6. Don’t get too dressed up, and certainly avoid adding a dry cleaning expense to your outing.  Besides, you’re taking the bus.  Wear shoes you don’t mind walking in, and a warm-enough coat and hat.
  7. Always bring a book, and maybe a sketchbook.
  8. Don’t go out to dinner.  If you really need a restaurant meal to make your experience complete, opt for a nice lunch before the matinee (and make a reservation to make sure you have enough time to eat).  My preferred approach is to eat lunch at home first, then splurge on a glass of wine at intermission (which can be preordered before the show to avoid the lines at intermission).
  9. Plan to get there really early, use the ladies, park your coat in your seat, and then go pre-order your wine for first intermission.
  10. Carry a water bottle in your purse and fill it at the fountain.
  11. Pee during the second intermission, so you can make a quick getaway afterward.
  12. Avoid the gift shop unless you want to get something specific to that production.  (If you are a subscriber, don’t forget to take advantage of any discount or coupon you may have for the gift shop.)
  13. Avoid the staircase closest to the parking garage, even if you have to walk out of your way.
  14. Take the bus home if the timing’s right and it’s not dark/ raining/very cold.  If taking the bus would be scary, miserable weather-wise, or a long wait, definitely splurge on a cab.
  15. Carry that wonderful experience home inside you, and sing it to yourself all evening.  Dream in arias.
The view from a second tier box

The view from a second tier box



  1. My eyes smooshed together #10 and #11 and turned them into the following:

    Carry a water bottle in your purse and fill it … (with) … Pee during the second intermission…

    • Well, there is a pretty direct relationship between #10 and #11, plus the wine.

  2. [this is very good] I especially like the last instruction.

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