Why I Love Broadway Previews

Alicia Ramírez

  • OnStage New York Columnist

Some theatergoers prefer seeing a Broadway show right after opening night reviews are published while others would rather see a production after it has been running for some time. After purchasing my ticket for the first preview of Falsettos, I realized I don’t fit into either category. 

Seeing a preview performance of a Broadway production allows me to serve as a critic due to the fact my reaction to a joke or a song may be taken into account for future performances. The magic of live theater never ceases to amaze me, but seeing a preview performance means that the show I’m about to see will most likely differ from the show once it’s frozen. Most importantly, I see the results of a long, arduous day of rehearsals. Being in that theater at that time means partaking in the company’s creative process of trying out new material and being amongst the first people to witness it. 

I fondly remember experiencing the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots before critics shared their accolades for its mesmerizing performances, tunes, and message of acceptance. I knew this musical was making Broadway history and those around me agreed as I excitedly waited to greet Billy Porter, Stark Sands, and Annaleigh Ashford, etc. by the stage door at the Al Hirshfeld Theatre.  Similarly, I saw Something Rotten! during its second week of previews and I thoroughly enjoyed its irreverence and lavish dance numbers. Having seen the show multiple times, the first time was the most special all because of one ballad – “Lovely Love.” This heartfelt number sung by Heidi Blickenstaff and Kate Reinders as Bea and Portia respectively didn’t make it into the cast recording.  

Thinking of why I saw these productions during previews results from my desire to never miss the opportunity of seeing a great show before it closes. I want to be the person who uses word of mouth to encourage others to enjoy a piece of live theater before it’s too late. This reason compelled me to immerse myself even more in what happens onstage right before me. Something Rotten! solidified my stance because it made me feel like I was being let into a big surprise where I only knew about its starry cast. 

My excitement for Falsettos builds as September 29 approaches. Since I was unable to see it when it first opened, it’s new to me. I have no doubt that I’ll love it and look forward to connecting with this groundbreaking work of theater that has been remastered for a new generation.