What is the difference between touring Broadway shows and seeing the show on Broadway in NYC?
Before pointing out the differences in touring Broadway shows versus seeing a show on Broadway in NYC, it is important to note that there are many caveats. Each individual show is different of course, but I will lay out the main general differences. Keep in mind though these may vary from show to show so look at the main points and then check them against the show you want to see specifically. You can Google it or call your local theater and ask some questions to find out the details on your specific show.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that the show’s content is the same. It is going to be the show that was on Broadway, so how different can it be? It will be somewhat different. The show you will see will not be the original cast. Original cast members typically are a big part of the show itself, some having played bigger parts in the show such as writing or directing it. It also will many times be the Original cast recording that you will hear if you are listening to the show’s album or watching on YouTube, etc. No two people are alike so the voices and mannerisms will be different than what you might think of as the characters you want to see performing certain roles. Once you get someone’s performance of a role in your head it can be hard to imagine someone else playing that role.
The actors on Broadway are often times going to be more “famous” than the ones on the tour. Touring Broadway shows will have excellent actors and typically there will be at least one big star on the show to help with the publicity of the show and help draw people in. Normally the first time a show is ever on tour the actors are very good. The shows after that can have a wonderful cast as well. A show in NYC on Broadway is going to have more names that you recognize as a general rule, often including a blockbuster star or two on the cast as well as other famous people. Remember what I stated above, this is a generalization and some touring broadway shows go on tour with an all star cast. Broadway in NYC or a show in London’s West End are going to have the cream of the crop as far as talent and a touring Broadway show, while very good with professional, talented actors will typically not be quite as grand as the ones playing in NYC.
The other main difference for touring Broadway shows are the sets. On Broadway in NYC the show is performed night after night on the same stage, often for years. This allows the set designers to do things that are logistically very challenging on the road. As the show is touring they are not in one place that long and the set needs to move with them, so it needs to be more mobile and more flexible in its design as the various stages the show will travel to will be different sizes and shapes. For an example of this, you would not see an actual helicopter on the stage of Miss Saigon in a touring Broadway show but you would have seen it in the original play on broadway.
If you are interested in seeing any of the shows coming to your city, or in making the trip to NYC you can see what shows and tickets are available by searching our buy.theatertickets.com website or clicking the Buy Theater Tickets menu item at the top of the page and searching by the name of the show or the city you want to see it in. If you are not able to make it to Broadway seeing a touring Broadway show is a great option and as a big proponent of the theatre I would obviously recommend seeing any shows you can make it to. It will be well worth it and something you will remember for a long time. You can also visit the Internet Broadway Database website which is an excellent source of information on both current touring shows and Broadway shows in NYC. http://www.ibdb.com