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“Good Performances But Tight Seats”

Walnut Street Theatre
Ranked #37 of 470 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The oldest theater in America, and one of the most prolific.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

we've attended many performances at the Walnut Street Theater. They are always very well done and entertaining. They do a great job with the scenery and the actors are all top notch. Only down side is the seating. The seats are very tight and although I am 5 foot 6 my knees hit the seat ahead of me. If you go in the winter you can sit on your coat or wear something light as there's really no room for coats or purses.

4  Thank Pat S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 7, 2012

We've been season ticket subscribers to the Theater for many years, and have enjoyed a wide variety of musicals, comedies and general drama plays. It's the closest you'll get to Broadway in Philadelphia. Each year they put on 5 new productions, which I broadly categorize as 2 good, 2 OK and 1 snoozer.

If you are looking for a good night out in Philly then I'd recommend dinner and a pay at the Walnut. Check ahead and see what's playing as it will usually be something that you recognize. You'll find that the cast is enthusiastic and engaged, the acoustics are super, the sight lines are fabulous and that the seats are tight! If you are over 6 foot or about 220 lbs you will appreciate iNtermission when it comes.

Some useful tips

1. Handicap Access isn't great.
2. Bring your own snacks for Intermission. The bar is expensive, crowded and has limited stock. There is a Wawa and a Starbucks within a block.
3. Just like flying, go for an aisle seat if possible.
4. Contrary to other reviews, There is ample parking, but it's not cheap.If you're staying in Philly take a cab or walk. Don't park in the Wills Eye Hospital structure if you love your car.
5. Many restaurants offer discounts to ticket holders . Check the WST website.

2  Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

I had been a subscriber for at least 15 years then dropped my subscription, because I didn't want to commit myself every 3 months on a given day and because of the parking problems and the lack of knowledge of what "handicap accessibility" means to the employees at this theatre.

The productions are fantastic; occasionally there were some that I particularly didn't care for (too depressing-usually it was the 4th one (drama) in the series of 5 (musicals, comedies). Made friendships with the other subscribers in our row and the rows behind and in front of us. "Talk Back" night where you meet the cast and crew, get a chance to talk with them and get to know them better, find out about the operations of the production, etc was great and alot of fun!!

Stage Left and Right Orchestra seats were too narrow, but center Orchestra was perfect. Not ampitheater style seating so it was easy to miss things if you didn't turn your head from side to side (others' heads blocking your view).

Parking is horrible (if you park at Wills Eye Hospital, they narrowed the parking spaces over the years to accommodate more cars, but you run the risk of having your car damaged; the lot across from Wills Eye is usually filled up at an early hour; and the lot next to theater required that you leave your keys with them.

With this last lot, when we came out from the theater, our car was missing and the lot was closed with a sign with only a phone number to contact "someone" ; nobody answered the phone; called the police and they couldn't find anyone either. Eventually the police was able to locate the owner, called him and accompanied us to another lot about 2-3 blocks away --attendant was rude and obnoxious.

Worst situations were that I had someone using a cane and then was in a wheelchair. The first time (cane) it was raining so I had her wait inside while I went to get my car from the (Wills Eye Hospital) garage. I was unfamiliar with the area and it took me 20 minutes to pick her up (theater is on a 1-Way street). Management had locked up the theater and had her wait on the top step in the rain (Philly is not the safest of neighborhoods).

Second time (cane again) I was looking for a handicap accessible bathroom and was told to take the almost 2 flight of steps downstairs--fortunately there was a handrail she could hold onto. (at least when she needed to be in a wheelchair, they allowed us to use the bathroom on the entry level adjacent to the "gift shop")

Third time (wheelchair) I had to switch my performance night. That went smoothly..I asked for a handicap accessible area and they assured me it was accessible. Guess again: we took the elevator to the 2nd floor but then had to climb up to the nosebleed section to get to our seats. Fortunately that day the person in the wheelchair couldn't make it so I offered the ticket to a non-disabled friend.

It's worth going for the performances; I haven't been there for more than a year; hopefully there have been some positive environmental changes and more concern by management and staff for theater-goers.

1  Thank Jeanette N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We sat only four rows from the back, but you didn't feel that far removed from the action, unlike some barns.

Thank Mitch-n-Greg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 27, 2012

Cosy theatre, good acoustics. We visited for a family holiday celebration. It's near great restaurants and was a wise choice.

Thank Compassrose87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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