Tomorrow night I will be in the front row of a Boyz II Men concert. I bought the ticket a year ago, so you would be accurate if you told me to exclude the concert from my plans for summer theatre and concerts. Accurate but not true. If you want the best seats, sometimes you have to book early to ensure your summer of live entertainment is the best.
For example, I’m sitting three rows from the stage in the centre section at a Great Big Sea concert in July. To get those tickets, which are sold out now, by the way, I had to subscribe to GBS’s e-newsletter, then loiter online until the tickets went on sale at 10 AM on day 1 of the advance sales. I also had to trust that GBS would not do me wrong, because I couldn’t choose the seats. Three days later they confirmed the seats and my faith in the band from the tropical isle of Newfoundland.
The Shaw Festival is a 2-hour drive from here. The getting there isn’t the problem, it is the coming home, after a 10:30 PM curtain. When my budget doesn’t include a hotel night, then I grab a matinée. Not my favourite time of day for a theatrical performance, I admit. But the value added – if you shop smartly – can make all the difference! I have tickets for Enchanted April, a play I have been eager to see ever since I saw the film of the same name. The Shaw packages a decent matinée ticket with a backstage tour, a “talk”, a buffet lunch and parking. Now that’s worth driving 2 hours for an afternoon matinée. Packages are limited, so you have to buy early.
Admittedly, when I visit New York or London I take advantage of the half-price ticket booth. That’s a last minute ticket offer that has, in the past, put me in some great seats to see some fine performances. Seeing Michael Gambon live was unforgettable. But for a Canadian summer, waiting to the last minute can be problematic. Book of Mormon is sold out! I left that one too late.
So, if you are planning on a theatre weekend to Southern Ontario, and you are seat snob like me…book early. Book now.