Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:35 AM
Some companies do have babes in arms policies for "Nutcracker" and family matinees or shortened versions appropriate for the attention span of younger children. (I've noticed that right befor the big Act II pas de deux in "Nutcracker" is a common time for kids to have had it and for families to bail.) For regular performances and companies where everyone must have a ticket, I'm sure the policy cuts down on the number of babies, because of the risk of wasting a lot of money for two tickets if the baby starts crying. However, given the number of crying babies in any program, although some where clearly the baby is there so that the parent can take a younger child to see "Cinderella," for example, it certainly doesn't stop people. Babies in general are more predictable that toddlers: parents can strategize around their sleep cycles, and I've been around scores of babies who slept through the act, were fed at intermission, and who settled in for the next act.
One of the most annoying experiences I've had was the one time I was at the Palais Garnier. (Everything else I've seen in Paris has been at the Bastille.). I had a front row seat in one of the ground level boxes. The seats in the boxes are moveable chairs, but each is numbered, and they are arranged in rows.
I take it it is impossible to see anything from the back row, because the young man in the back row kept encouraging his girlfriend -- literally pushing her chair forward -- to try to squeeze her way into the front row, and while there wasn't really enough room for one more, I would have been a lot more sympathetic and would have tried to aid her sightlines had they not treated this as the Tokyo subway.