So you’ve got the tickets and you’re eager to see the curtain rise. Here’s what to expect.
Ticket holders are no longer required to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 before entering most Broadway theaters. (Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont Theater is still requiring proof of vaccination, and Roundabout Theater Company and Manhattan Theater Club will require proof of vaccination through the end of their current productions: “Birthday Candles,” at the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater, and “How I Learned to Drive,” at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater.) All audience members must wear masks that cover both mouth and nose during performances, except while actively eating and drinking, where allowed. This requirement will remain in effect at all theaters through at least May 31. Covid-19 safety teams are in place to politely, firmly ensure compliance. Before you buy your tickets, check the stated rules — as with so many things in this pandemic, they might change on short notice.
When to Arrive
The show you’re seeing may have its own advice about this, depending on any Covid safety measures that take a little extra time. While some theaters are better than others at getting people through the doors quickly, it is still true that you don’t need to arrive way in advance to join some enormous line snaking down the sidewalk. If you don’t need to pick up your tickets, it’s generally fine to show up maybe 10 minutes before curtain. Get there earlier if you want to stop in the restroom, where the wait, for women, can be long.
In a Car?
Save yourself the headache and reserve a parking spot through one of a number of apps, such as BestParking, ParkWhiz and SpotHero. Lincoln Center also offers its own reserved parking online. Still, allot more driving time than you think you’ll need, especially during the holidays. Not every show admits tardy arrivals. When they do, latecomers risk taking a walk of shame with an usher — and squeezing into their row in the dark.
Navigating Times Square
One upside to passing through Times Square: plenty of outdoor seating. One downside: the jostling yet torpid mass of humanity you will find yourself a part of. If you must walk through it, single file is the way to go. Elsewhere, at the edge of the theater district, foot traffic on the west side of Eighth Avenue moves faster than on the crowd-clogged east side. Likewise, walking north or south on Sixth Avenue, then west to your theater, can be faster.
Finding Green Space
Bryant Park, one of the loveliest oases in Manhattan, is just one block east of Times Square, on 42nd Street at Sixth Avenue. A picnic-friendly, tree-shaded spot with an expansive lawn and lots of bistro tables around the edges, it’s a relaxing place to catch your breath and, if you want, buy something to eat or drink.