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“Stunningly Beautiful...but Problematic Seating” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Academy of Music

Academy of Music
232-46 South Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (City Center West)
215 893 1999
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Ranked #39 of 281 attractions in Philadelphia
Type: Ballets, Symphonies
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philly Pops.
Fairfax, Virginia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Stunningly Beautiful...but Problematic Seating”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

We traveled from Washington DC to see "Beauty and the Beast" because we had a grand-nephew in the cast, one of the two young boys playing Chip. Obviously we thought the show was GREAT! But that's not the point of reviewing on Trip Advisor. It's the venue.

After experiencing the Kennedy Center Opera House and any number of Broadway theatres over the years I think I'd rate this one as one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, on a par with the great European opera houses. Turning around from our orchestra seat at intermission I was overwhelmed...not least by how high up there the top group of seats was. We'd paid top dollar for our seats in the seventh row or the orchestra and I was glad we did (though we couldn't see the beautiful stage floor until we got a backstage tour after the show), not just for a better view of our nephew but because the "cheap seats" (and some of them weren't all that cheap) were so high up there I think I might have become acrophobic! I might have even appreciated all those columns obstructing the view just to give me something to hang onto!

Since we never had any intention of purchasing anything but good orchestra seats, it really didn't matter, but I should note that the seating charts on the theatre's ticket site don't tell half the story of how many levels the seating rises above the orchestra (parquet) floor, and it hadn't occurred to me to Google on images. I guess that made my first impression of the theatre that much more overwhelming, and that's a good thing. But all those levels, and all those posts, and perhaps less leg room (though I don't really know that) make anything but orchestra seating problematic, That makes taking a family to a show like "Beauty and the Beast" a very expensive night out...and that's a shame for developing future theatre goers.

Visited November 2013
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110 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Do not sit in the amphitheater”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

Beautiful surroundings, nice show(I mean after you see it at Hollywood studios in Orlando it's a bit of a let down). Ok our tickets were only $40.00 a piece to see a broadway show , Beauty and the Beast, Probably didn't help that we just left the restaurant stuffed like Christmas turkey's, we were one row away from having our heads hit the ceiling, hot up there too. Nice area though, thumbs up to render for creating the avenue of the arts in Philly! Good parking

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Show!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Went to go see Beauty and the Beast. It was nice to be able to experience Broadway in Philly. The performers were wonderful and deserve much more than an average rating.The Academy is a beautiful building to see, and you get a sense of "great history" when you sit and look around. However I have to agree with the other reviews that these have to be the WORST seats i've ever sat in for a performance! Thank goodness for an intermission ! We will most likely go back to N.Y. for any future performances.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Flashdance the musical was great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Loved the show. It was high energy and a good time. As for the venue, the AOM is smaller, not a lot of room to move around. We actually asked if we could move because one of our seats was directly in back of a pole. Not sure who ever sits in these seats but they were nice enough to let us move down a row after everyone was seated.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Awful seats”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

This was a very expensive, back-breaking show. We saw Wicked, and I thought maybe it was because we were in the 'cheap' seats. I don't think so though because my friend was in the second row Orchestra seats and said it was awful too. We didn't have any leg room (I am 5' 2" and had trouble). The arm rests were too skinny to do any good. Our knees touched the seats in front. The steps are VERY steep. The upstairs is too crowded and unmarked to restroom and such. It was not a pleasant experience. We won't be back-- we will be going to NYC or another city to see any additional theatre shows.

Visited August 2013
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