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“Don't sit in the balcony first row” 4 of 5 stars
Review of American Conservatory Theater

American Conservatory Theater
415 Geary Street, (Between Mason and Taylor St), San Francisco, CA 94108 (Union Square)
415-749-2228
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Ranked #203 of 719 things to do in San Francisco
Activities: Arts and crafts
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Owner description: This award-winning stage is known for its innovative productions.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Don't sit in the balcony first row”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Be very careful if you book seats in the upper level balcony, e.g. A10x. The front row (which you might think is a cool place to sit) has a big thick metal bar right on front of your eye level and will block your entire view unless you lean over it. Take a seat one row back.

Also the seats in the upper balcony slightly to either side of the stage are less packed and still offer a nice view.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Budapest, Hungary
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful theater”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I'm reviewing the theater here as opposed to the play I saw (4000 Miles in Feb 2013), which was incredibly dull. Though to be fair, the performances of the female actors (3 of the 4 actors) were great - they just didn't have much to work with. The male actor was overly theater-school dramatic for lines similar to "I was, like, thinking...".

But I digress.

I was in town on business and wanted to see a play in a theater close to my hotel. A friend was in town and had a cancelled flight so she came along with me. As we booked at different times we had different areas to sit in. I was in the expensive area (premium orchestra) - second row from the front. I think my friend actually had a much better seat for half the price. If you can get middle-front row on the mezzanine, you'll have a much better view of the entire stage.

The theater is beautifully decorated and has a lovely bar on the 3rd floor. For the play we saw, because there was no intermission, we were able to take in our drinks (which got me through the tedious play). I was comfortable throughout and would happily return for another play (which I will research more carefully).

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Lodi, California
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Great acting but seating is horrible!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013 via mobile

We saw 4000 Miles which was wonderful, but we forgot how uncomfortable the seats are. Made in the 1920's, the seating was also made for people back then. If you are over 5', you are screwed. I cramped up so bad that I probably missed whole parts of the play. Clean with clean bathrooms. Usher was a little weird. He kept talking while showing latecomers their seats. Screw them. They should arrive on time or take seats near the back. Or if they are shown seats, the usher needs to keep his mouth shut or talk in a whisper. Balcony is not the best place either. About 4000 miles from the stage. Gives whole new meaning to the word nosebleed. Check the online deals especially where it comes to parking.

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Los Osos, California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Classical and contemporary theater at its best in San Francisco!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Although I do not live in the Bay Area, I have been attending ACT performances since I was in college in the 1970s. The building, located on Geary Street in San Francisco, was build in 1910 and is classical revival style and late Victorian and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The concept is that ACT is both a theater company and an acting school. The alumni are remarkable and include Nicolas Cage, Winona Ryder, Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Marsha Mason, Danny Glover, Amy Irving, and lots more. The school is rranked by US News and World Report as one of the top 5 programs in the US along with Juilliard, Carnegie Mellon and NYU. The theater is smaller than you would expect and the feeling is more intimate than say the Pantages in LA. Our last visit was December and we took our grandchildren to see The Christmas Carol. The actor who played Scrooge was remarkable. His epiphany and character development was stunning.

Visited December 2012
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Eugene, OR
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Wonderful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

I grew up going to plays at this theater so maybe I'm prejudiced, but I had an amazing time. I also was yelled at by an usher, not to take photos, but I had already taken a number and was fine with putting my camera away. The shows here are always well done in the most professional manner. I wish I lived nearby so I could attend more frequently.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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