Strange as it sounds, the most affordable seat inside the Fox Theatre when “Spring Awakening” comes to town is the one on stage.
The Tony Award-winning show has incorporated audience members into seats on stage since its early days off Broadway. When “Spring Awakening” comes to Atlanta in March, you could be one of them for $25. The seats are available for purchase only in-person at the Fox Theatre Box Office in Midtown starting Feb. 23. The box office is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Of course, because you’re on stage, this is not the typical theater experience. Audience members with on-stage seats have to arrive a half-hour early, or they won’t be seated till after intermission. Personal belongings are stored in secured lockers because they can’t be taken on stage, and they’ll ask those audience members to wear dark colors that won’t distract. No Playbills till the end of the show, no restroom or concession breaks, except at intermission. The view is from the side or rear, which can obstruct some of the action. Then again, you’ll be in the action, able to hear individual voices and see some key moments up close.
There’s a great Playbill story from 2007 that offers a short history of shows that sat audience members on stage, and describes the experience during “Spring Awakening,” from the sex scene to the musical numbers.
When I arrived at the theatre with my onstage ticket, labeled “Stage AA 10,” I was directed to a hallway off to the side of the house, where an usher instructed everyone to put our belongings — such as coats, bags and cell phones — into our own personal lockers. I then walked down the aisle and onto the stage, taking my seat on the stage left side in the front row. I scanned the people around me, most of whom seemed to be in their twenties or thirties. I only glanced at the hundreds in house, which felt not unlike looking off a cliff.
Has any of you ever done this? What was good or bad about the experience? Is it something you want to do?
Want to go? “Spring Awakening” runs March 9-14. $25-$66. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org.
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