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Seeing a show when you're not feeling great

Seeing a show when you're not feeling great

Yessica Haircut
#1Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 1:44pm

In my twenty-something years of theatre-going, I can recall a couple of times when I sat through a show despite not feeling too well. I have endured a number of Act 1’s while experiencing an upset stomach; on at least two occasions I’ve gone to the theatre hungover; there have been a few times I watched a show when I wasn’t in a great place mentally/emotionally; back in February I saw The Seven Year Disappear while recovering from a cold (which, due to thee fact that I rarely ever get colds anymore, knocked me out the day prior). Thankfully it’s never so bad that I had to leave at intermission or mid-show.

My most memorable experience (which also includes Cynthia Nixon) comes from when I was 16. It was a Friday in (I want to say) early March and, about three days prior, I came down with what remains the worst fever I ever experienced. My family had tickets for an Off-Broadway play called Distracted (we were Roundabout subscribers at the time); though I was starting to feel somewhat better, the last thing I wanted to do was get on the Staten Island ferry, go to dinner, and sit through a 2-hour two-act play. To my surprise, however, I found myself increasingly focused on the play and completely present; I remember enjoying it well enough and, for those 2 hours including the intermission, I may have even forgotten that I was unwell. Of course once the show ended and we got into a cab, I started to feel drained again and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed.

I think we can all agree that however you’re feeling when you see a show affects the way you experience it. Personally, even if it's not the first thing that comes to mind, I can’t remember a certain play or production without remembering how I felt while watching it. There are also certain shows (Tommy being a recent example) I can’t imagine sitting through feeling anything less than okay.

Does anyone else have any memorable experiences seeing a show unwell - whether you were sick or experiencing allergies, had a small headache or were recovering from an injury, hungover or just not in a good state of mind. Did it effect the show for you at all? Did you power through or did it take your mind off things?

Updated On: 4/21/24 at 01:44 PM

ErmengardeStopSniveling Profile Photo
ErmengardeStopSniveling
#2Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 2:32pm

As an audience member, especially in a post-covid era, there are few things more distracting –– and disrespectful to the actors and fellow ticketbuyers –– as someone attending who is coughing or sniffling during the performance.

Medicate within an inch of your life or stay home!

Zeppie2022
#3Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 2:37pm

Let me try and answer without being too nasty. First, no sympathy at all for you going to a show hungover. A hangover is self-inflicted and you did this to yourself knowing you were attending a show. Next, you went to a show with a cold and or fever a couple of times and had no regard to others around you that you may have gotten sick. There are options like selling a ticket when you are sick or maybe exchanging it for another date. You said you attended a show at 16 with a fever, did you go with your parents? If so, why did they let you attend?

Yes, I have attended a show with a headache but that is not affecting anybody with me. For the most part, I take two Excedrin and it is gone. It has sometimes lingered but I have been able to still concentrate and still enjoy a show.

Updated On: 4/21/24 at 02:37 PM

Jay Lerner-Z Profile Photo
Jay Lerner-Z
#4Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 2:42pm

Do shows offer refunds for ticket buyers with a sniffle or cough?

I do agree that anyone with something contagious should absolutely stay at home, but I also understand why people might not want to sacrifice $500 worrying over something that might never happen.

As for me, I remember feelling awful the night I saw Book of Mormon. Tired, depressed, just generally worn out and not in the mood. I’d booked the seats months before, and didn’t want to miss it so went anyway. It didn’t take long before I was laughing, my serotonin levels shooting up, my energy returning... I left elated and floating on air... the power of theatre!


Beyoncé is not an ally. Actions speak louder than words, Mrs. Carter. #Dubai #$$$
Updated On: 4/21/24 at 02:42 PM

DAME Profile Photo
DAME
#5Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 2:56pm

Last night at Stereophonic the woman next to me started blowing her nose and coughing .  By intermission it was very evident she was congested .  She should not have been there.  I know I will have her cold in a few days.  There was nowhere to move and I had a friend with me sitting in a separate section.


HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!

Yessica Haircut
#6Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 2:57pm

Zeppie2022 said: "Let me try and answer without being toonasty. First, no sympathy at all for you going to a show hungover. A hangover is self-inflicted and you did this to yourself knowing you were attending a show. Next, you went to a show with a cold and or fever a couple of times and had no regard to others around you that you may have gotten sick. There are options like selling a ticket when you are sick or maybe exchanging it for another date. You said you attended a show at 16 with a fever, did you go with your parents? If so, why did they let you attend?

Yes, I have attended a show with a headache but that is not affecting anybody with me. For the most part, I take two Excedrin and it is gone. It has sometimes lingered but I have been able to still concentrate and still enjoy a show.
"

 

That's a perfectly reasonable question/concern. I would like to clarify that, in addition to rarely ever feeling sick, at no point have I ever attended any sort of public event while while symptomatic (sneezing or coughing); if I ever felt bad enough that I might disrupt someone else's experience or actively compromise someone else's health, I absolutely would not attend.

To be honest, it did cross my mind how this question might come off after posting it (especially in the post-Covid world), which is why I chose to include mental health and such; that, however, seems to be an incredibly dumb miscalculation on my part. I sincerely apologize if this question came off as insensitive or inconsiderate in any way.

For this reason, if no one objects, I invite the mods to delete this thread. Again, I deeply apologize for how this question and my phrasing in it have come off.

Thank you, sincerely, for pointing this out.

Updated On: 4/21/24 at 02:57 PM

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uncageg
#7Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 3:20pm

I don't see a reason for the thread to be deleted. You asked an honest question. I am sure a lot of people have attended performances in one or more of the "states" you mentioned. 

I personally stopped having a drink before or during a show a while ago. About 4 years back I got a ticket to a hot off-Broadway show. Had the ticket for a while. The night before I was at an event and had maybe one too many. I didn't get drunk but I was feeling good. The show was a matinee and I woke up feeling the night before. It was a sold out run so I wasn't going to try to exchange my ticket, I did think about it, so I just powered through it. To this day I could kick myself because I was not focused and missed an important part of the play. I also did not expect to feel that bad the next day. Yes, a hangover is self inflicted but we are humans and it happens.

I have cancelled going to a show once or twice because of a cold. If I have one and am not coughing or sneezing, I will go. But I don't get colds a lot, thank God. 

Just my random thoughts.


Just give the world Love.

Jay Lerner-Z Profile Photo
Jay Lerner-Z
#8Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 3:22pm

Don’t fret.

There’s no harm in keeping the thread around, it might even serve as a reminder to others. Maybe that lady DAME mentioned reads these boards.


Beyoncé is not an ally. Actions speak louder than words, Mrs. Carter. #Dubai #$$$

Fosse76
#9Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 3:52pm

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "As an audience member, especially in a post-covid era, there are few things more distracting –– and disrespectful to the actors and fellow ticketbuyers –– as someone attending who is coughing or sniffling during the performance.

Medicate within an inch of your life or stay home!
"

Some people have chronic coughs, and sniffing can also be attributed to allergies. Get a grip. 1

dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
#10Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 3:59pm

Good point: what may seem like a cold could actually be allergies....and we're getting into prime hayfever season.

 

I had a migraine the first time I saw Blue Man Group.  (I was in charge of a large group and had no choice.)  Hated every second of it.  Refused to try again for YEARS. When I finally did, I really enjoyed it.

Also: I was playing Gueneviere in Camelot (a billion years ago). Had no understudy.  Had no real choice.  My fever broke during the Lusty Month of May.  I sweat it out.  Was fine the rest of the run.  


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Updated On: 4/21/24 at 03:59 PM

Tenor8674
#11Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:01pm

Only once as I rarely get sick. I went to see Village Light Opera do HOW TO SUCCEED.. many years ago. I didn't leave as I assumed it didn't get done that much.  But I did go see it again when the Goodspeed did it a few years later. 

EDSOSLO858 Profile Photo
EDSOSLO858
#12Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:03pm

For some reason I usually seem to get sick around this time of year; this year was just a nasty cold for over a week, ‘22 and ‘23 I had some viruses. (Could it be seasonal allergies?)

If I didn’t feel good enough to attend, I would not go see a show. 


Oh look, a bibu!

Zeppie2022
#13Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:09pm

"To be honest, it did cross my mind how this question might come off after posting it (especially in the post-Covid world), which is why I chose to include mental health and such; that, however, seems to be an incredibly dumb miscalculation on my part. I sincerely apologize if this question came off as insensitive or inconsiderate in any way."

Your question involved physical sickness and that can affect others which is why I wrote what I did in my post. You also included going with a hangover and that is as I mentioned self inflicted so little sympathy unless there was major issue causing you to drink too much. As for mental health, I would think if you were depressed and not in the mood for a show but went anyway, having something to take your mind of your problems for a few hours may be a very good thing. There is no reason for you to apologize.

Zeppie2022
#14Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:14pm

"Do shows offer refunds for ticket buyers with a sniffle or cough? "

My guess is if you tell the box office you are not feeling well and don't want to get audience members sick, they may be accommodating. I don't think they will question the degree of your illness. I am not positive about this, others on this board may have the answer.

AEA AGMA SM
#15Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:20pm

dramamama611 said: "Also: I was playing Gueneviere in Camelot (a billion years ago). Had no understudy. Had no real choice. My fever broke during the Lusty Month of May. I sweat it out. Was fine the rest of the run."

I had to call Seussical while touring with TheatreWorks while vomiting, so I know your pain.

I also had a stomach bug hit me hard during the first act of Junk while selling merch. Because my company sucked and I had no other sellers to call in (the fact that I was there that night showed how understaffed we were since I was supposed to only be the office manager at the time) I rallied and made it through both intermission sales and post show, but I’m sure I looked terrible while doing it. 

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Wick3
#16Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:24pm

DAME said: "Last night at Stereophonic the woman next to me started blowing her nose and coughing . By intermission it was very evident she was congested . She should not have been there. I know I will have her cold in a few days. There was nowhere to move and I had a friend with me sitting in a separate section."

I don’t think theaters provide masks anymore either.

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tacotheatrelover
#17Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 4:34pm

I sadly had the pleasure of seeing the non-eq tour of chicago last may on my first two show day after getting horribly sick at the first show (10AM student mat of MDQ at ASF.) and didn't start feeling it until two hours prior when I was in my school library waiting for my mom to get off work and drive that glorious hour to the last show of my subscription package.

During our car ride I had snot coming out of my nose and violently coughing, I wanted to say f*ck it and go home, but we were already 30 minutes into this and 40 mins from home, that wasn't happening. I took a ton of Mucinex and put on 3 masks and layered up just incase even though the May heat in Alabama was already hell, thankfully the theatre was cold.

I distanced myself from people as best as i could, i tried not to cough and i desperately tried not to open my mouth for anything else beside water. thankfully i was in an isle seat and there were no people sitting in front, beside, or behind me.

I am so sorry about this, and I'll try not to go sick again. 

BroadwayRox3588 Profile Photo
BroadwayRox3588
#18Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 5:25pm

Just popping in to second the "could be allergies" posts. I'm congested as hell right now, but I feel great otherwise. I just have a pollen allergy, and live in a city with very high pollen levels.

I'll be going to NYC next week to see shows, and it's very likely that I will still be congested at least for the first show or two. I don't think my pollen allergy should warrant people telling me to not go to the theatre.

So yeah, don't tell people to stay home whenever they're congested. People know their own bodies, and know the difference between a cold and allergies.

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TheQuibbler
#19Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 5:29pm

Zeppie2022 said: ""Do shows offer refunds for ticket buyers with a sniffle or cough? "

My guess is if you tell the box office you are not feeling well and don't want to get audience members sick, they may be accommodating. I don't think they will question the degree of your illness. I am not positive about this, others on this board may have the answer.
"

I tried to get a refund for a performance in 2022 (at Lincoln Center) because I had COVID and the box office fought me tooth and nail. Truly, it was shocking, especially since the ticketing email said “stay at home if you feel ill.” 

Jay Lerner-Z Profile Photo
Jay Lerner-Z
#20Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 5:44pm

Which is kinda stupid and self-defeating. COVID as we all know can only harm Broadway.


Beyoncé is not an ally. Actions speak louder than words, Mrs. Carter. #Dubai #$$$

Yessica Haircut
#21Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 5:51pm

Zeppie2022 said: "Your question involved physical sickness and that can affect others which is why I wrote what I did in my post. You also included going with a hangover and that is as I mentioned self inflicted so little sympathy unless there was major issue causing you to drink too much. As for mental health, I would think if you were depressed and not in the mood for a show but went anyway, having something to take your mind of your problems for a few hours may be a very good thing. There is no reason for you to apologize."

 

Thank you. I was concerned I had painted myself in an unintentionally inconsiderate way/approached a potentially sensitive topic inconsiderately, hence my apology. Again, those were reasonable questions and I'm glad you brought them to my attention.

With regard your other two points: 100% the rare hangovers I have ever had were my fault; it's just something I try to learn from. Luckily the play I saw was easy enough to sit through and perfectly enjoyable (again, I can't imagine sitting through Tommy with a hangover/headache), so I was able to take my mind off it.

As far as mental health/depression go, in the spirit of sharing experiences: my most memorable instance comes from a few years ago when I saw an NT Live screening of Amadeus. I won't go into detail as to why I was feeling the way I did, but it was truly, internally miserable (feeling completely empty, heart-aching). I still wanted to see the screening and I thought perhaps it could take my mind off things for a while. I enjoyed it well enough, but there were definitely times when my mind wandered off to some external issue and I had to force my attention back to play. I'm glad I saw it, but I'll never be able to think about that production (and maybe that play) without remembering how I felt at that moment.

DAME Profile Photo
DAME
#22Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 6:19pm

The woman seated next to me was sick.  That was not allergies.  She also was sweating .  


HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!

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quizking101
#23Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 6:25pm

I tend to do lotto or rush tickets most days so I don’t usually worry about missing a show. However, the fact that Telecharge and Ticketmaster did away with the worry-free exchanges and flexibility that they had immediately post-COVID was a horrible move.

Personally, I had tickets to Ain’t Too Proud I had to exchange as I had an endoscopy ending up on the same day (and they say do nothing for 24 hours after anesthesia). I was so happy I could just log in and move my ticket around without issues. 

One thing I found on accident when moving my seat for Stereophonic for May was that the promo code EXCHANGE seems to work on Telecharge across the board. So if you’re ever in a jam, give that a shot


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George in DC Profile Photo
George in DC
#24Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 6:38pm

Until Broadway ticket services allow late minute cancellation and exchanges, you are going to get sick people going to the theatre. Nobody is going to lose a couple hundred dollars if they have a mild cold.

This is why most of my theatre money goes to subscriptions in the DC area. With any of my tickets I can call as late as one hour before curtain and they will exchange , no questions asked

DAME Profile Photo
DAME
#25Seeing a show when you're not feeling great
Posted: 4/21/24 at 6:43pm

George in DC said: "Until Broadway ticket services allow late minute cancellation and exchanges, you are going to get sick people going to the theatre. Nobody is going to lose a couple hundred dollars if they have a mild cold.

This is why most of my theatre money goes to subscriptions in the DC area. With any of my tickets I can call as late as one hour before curtain and they will exchange , no questions asked
"

The tickets for Stereophonic in my section last night were $40.  It was a performance they sold at this price . But I get it.  


HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Updated On: 4/21/24 at 06:43 PM


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