How should I dress when seeing a musical
May 1, 2013 4:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm seeing The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London this week. I've never been to a musical before. How should I dress? I did find this question in the archives, do the same rules apply here in the UK? The current plan is to go with what I typically wear: checked shirt/jeans/chucks.
posted by A Kingdom for a Donkey to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total)
Best answer: That's absolutely fine. Unless it's a premier or a gala performance people dress casually to the theatre in London.
posted by essexjan at 4:45 AM on May 1, 2013

I answered the other question and would answer the same for musicals I've seen in London as well - it's not a super formal affair so what you're planning to wear sounds fine to me.
posted by fromageball at 5:02 AM on May 1, 2013

Only the finest dinner jacket will possibly do.

Just kidding. Many of your fellow theatre goers will be tourists in full fanny packs and shorts so wear what you want. Or wear a white shirt and tie and dress up like a Mormon missionary...
posted by almostwitty at 5:04 AM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

Saw the Book of Mormon in NYC and everybody was casually dressed. Same goes for the musicals I've seen in London.
posted by dfriedman at 5:21 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Casual dress is more than fine. You're not going to Symphony Hall.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:42 AM on May 1, 2013

The same tourists are going to the musicals in London as go to the ones in NYC.
posted by smackfu at 5:45 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that's fine. People will probably be wearing anything from tourist shorts and tees up to business or cocktail attire. Most people will go in what they were wearing earlier that day or what they're going to wear out afterwards.
posted by mskyle at 5:47 AM on May 1, 2013

Wear layers. London theatres can be unbearably hot, then freezing cold.
posted by tonylord at 5:50 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding tonylord: Wear whatever, but wear layers. If you're not comfortable, temperature-wise, it'll be a big distraction from the (amazing!) show.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:25 AM on May 1, 2013

New Yorker who's worked in theater and seen things on Broadway - casual dress is fine.

I'd personally encourage you to fluff up a tiny bit, though, because why not - but that is purely my opinion (I tend to fluff up a little bit when I go out to any cultural thing - museums, theater, etc. - but that's just because I like having the excuse). But no one will turn you away or look down on you based on what you wear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on May 1, 2013

When I saw that show in Minneapolis, a large group of men and women showed up in black pants, white button down short sleeve shirts, black ties, and nametags.
posted by miyabo at 6:46 AM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

"Or wear a white shirt and tie and dress up like a Mormon missionary..."

Yes. Yes. Yes.

(Or just whatever, it's not like you're going to Glyndebourne.)
posted by lucullus at 7:28 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I too saw it in NYC and I wore a dress and Husbunny wore slacks and a short sleeved shirt (our anniversary is in the dog days of Summer.) So your outfit will be fine.

I highly recommend downloading the original cast album because the songs are amazing and when you see it performed live....well, it's still one of the highlights of my life.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:31 AM on May 1, 2013

It is an absolutely amazing show and tickets are expensive and difficult to get. Therefore I would dress up a tiny bit just to mark it as a special occasion. And to justify the $14 gin and tonics at halftime. (If I was creative and hilarious I would loved to have dressed up in the "visiting outfit" with nametag and all, that would be so funny....but those sort of things never cross my mind!)
posted by bquarters at 7:39 AM on May 1, 2013

Side note: I suggest not dressing as a Mormon missionary. I saw the show in Boston in April, and seated next to me were two actual Mormon missionaries, young men in white shirts and nametags, exchanging excited comments and singing snippets of the songs before the show and at intermission. It made me happy to see them enjoying the show. If you're not a Mormon, it feels a bit disrespectful to don their attire as if wearing a costume. YMMV.
posted by dywypi at 8:45 AM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]

(My point being - it's one thing to see the actors on the stage, it's another to see audience members getting into the act.)
posted by dywypi at 8:47 AM on May 1, 2013

If you go in fancy dress you will stick out in a bad way, but other than that wear whatever you are comfortable in. Definitely layers - London theatres are generally very old and you are likely to be rammed in and either too hot or too cold.

As you are male you won't have the joy of toilet queues that stretch all around the theatre, but best go before the show starts anyway.
posted by kadia_a at 11:04 AM on May 1, 2013

I think it's best to experience the songs onstage before listening to the cast recording.

The main difference I notice between London and US theater is that no one claps when a big star first appears onstage in the UK, just at intermission and the end.
posted by brujita at 11:09 AM on May 1, 2013

Oh, and US theaters don't sell ice cream in the auditorium.
posted by brujita at 11:11 AM on May 1, 2013

« Older Help me make a concerted effort   |   Great beach hotel near Charleston, SC? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.