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Sight Lines at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theatre?

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How are the sight lines at the Eisenhower Theater? Does anyone have any advice about where to sit in this theater? Is balcony worth a shot or should I try to sit closer? Or, if I buck up and try for front balcony or even (heaven forbid) back of orchestra, where are the 'sweet spots' that BTers prefer?

(in the throes of planning a weekend of Suzanne Farrell Ballet, after which she will be trapped in her burrow for the rest of the winter...)


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I've sat in both balconies of the Opera House, once near the rear of the First Tier on the far side of the 100's section (see seating chart)with an absolutely open and clear view of the stage, and once in the front of the Second Tier in the center of the 100 section, also a great view.

I've even sat in the Orchestra, a bit less than halfway back (usually too close for my taste) in the center section and was happy there, too.

I don't know if it's even possible to go wrong at Kennedy Center. :wink:

There's a link here (you may have to scroll down a little) which takes you to the seating plan and a little view of the stage from the approximate location you choose.

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Farrell Ballet will be in the Eisenhower Theatre, just to prevent confusion. It is a smaller house than the Opera House, and both theatres are fine for sight lines. I imagine that the October dates will enable more people to travel to see these programs!

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Thanks to all who replied! I have two tickets to the pas de deux program (aisle of center orchestra section) and have a single ticket (side balcony - at least it wasn't the very last aisle again like for Bolshoi Don Q last year - I heard all of the light changes happen before they did on stage) for the matinee of Liebeslieder/Episodes/Ragtime.

All in all the performances have been selling very well. I was told by a very nice operator (44, also a dance fan) that the Saturday night showings, especially the cheaper seats, are almost completely sold out! In fact I suspect they may be soon.

However, if you are around for the Sunday matinee, they still had center orchestra seats, dead center (behind aisle K) when I spoke to them yesterday.


You can't go wrong in the center orchestra :P I'd avoid the side orchestra in ET, though, at least close in (rows K+) because the sight lines there cut off one slice of the stage.

Hope this helps, Mike

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Won't this be one of the first performances in the newly-renovated "Ike" -- I think that's cute, too, and it reminds me I ate in the Mamie Cafe before one of their performances in Gettysburg in June -- and I wonder if anyone here knows what aspects of the theatre were changed during the renovations?

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So my carefully-preserved copy of STUBS from 1971 has another invalid seating chart? Aw, shucks.

Anyway, in the meantime, one of my contacts at the Kennedy Center has said there is now a cross-aisle on the main floor, between rows O and P; row P is largely for wheelchair-bound patrons (who would need the cross-aisle). The last row was denoted Y, on my old chart; now it's called X.

This is consistent with what fadedhour posted, in that some seats have been eliminated, like row Y. It would be interesting if the rake of the seats were increased a little, because when I sat in row M in 2002, I was slightly blocked sometimes. (I'm about 5' 10" or so.)

I was thinking this discussion is a little late to help emilienne, but it's beginning to look like the seating is unknown territory, and not much can be said with certainty based on experience.

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I was at the Eisenhower this past Saturday for its UNofficial reopening, as part of the annual KC Open House. The only seats that I would not recommend are the first three or four rows of Orchestra, in the farthest sides.

When the Orchestra pit is being used, the first row of the Orch section is Row D. I would avoid the far-left or far-right seats of rows D, E & F. Other than that, all seats are fantastic. The theater is no longer a dark-red blob. It's now a light-and-airy blue and beige. Lovely!

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Hi, Juliet! I thoroughly enjoyed three -- count 'em, three -- FREE ballet programs at the KC Ike Theater this past Saturday afternoon. I expected the grace and beauty of the final all-Balanchine program by the Washington Ballet (Runqiao Du elegant as Apollo + nice Tzigane and Clarinade). No surprises there.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first group on view, the Nevada Ballet Theater, featuring a delightful concert version of Who Cares? (I care. Who was that charismatic and musical male soloist who had everyone abuzz? Dancers not announced; no playbills.) The Balanchine was preceded by an Arpino-ish 'floaty' ballet in aquamarine, James Canfield's Equinox.

Following Nevada, we were totally bowled over by the second and most amazing troupe, Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet, which received, no doubt about it, the loudest and wildest standing-o of the afternoon, following their energetically acrobatic rendition of Elo's First Flash to Sibelius' Violin Concerto. Astonishing. Earlier, they had warmed up the audience with Tharp's Sinatra Suite and Arpino's Light Rain pdd. (Again - the names of the wonderful dancers were not announced.) I would gladly PAY a mint to see that performance again; to think that it was all FREE. Thank you, Kennedy Center!

p.s. to add: I've checked the Nevada Ballet website and am guessing that the charismatic male lead in Who Cares? was Zeb Nole.

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