With Disney's Tarzan, however, the view producers are talking about is the one over your head.
Four orchestra rows of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the home of Tarzan, offer a slightly obstructed view of the production, which features scenic design and direction by Tony Award winner Bob Crowley.
Some of the action in the musical, which is currently in previews and will officially open May 10, occurs high above the stage and is not visible to theatregoers in the last four rows of the orchestra. Ticket buyers are warned that these seats are "partial view" prior to purchase, whether they are buying by phone, on-line or in person at the Richard Rodgers Theatre box office.
"That's part of the reason [these seats] are 25% cheaper," David Schrader, the managing director and chief financial officer of Disney Theatrical Productions told Playbill.com. "That's the compromise that says, 'If you want to buy these seats, you have to recognize this caveat.'"
"There are 24 rows in the orchestra," Schrader adds, "and we're only talking about the last four. Plus, there are over 500 seats in the mezzanine that are fantastic for this show, and those are priced once we get into regular performances — from $50 to $110 for the front row." Chris Boneau, a press representative for the show, said that viewers in the aforementioned four rows are probably missing no more than a few minutes worth of action. "One of the scenes in the first act," says Boneau, "goes really high in the air. It's staged to take up the entire height of the theatre. That is going to be obstructed, but the entire scene isn't played up there — it's probably a few moments.
"The other thing," Boneau continues, "that people will find out when they see the show is it is not Cirque du Soleil, where people are in the air the entire time and that if you're in the back, you're going to miss all of it. I would say 80% of the show is played on the ground. When Tarzan or someone else is in the air, it's a moment in the scene."
Boneau says that the situation is similar to another Disney musical, The Lion King, which plays the New Amsterdam Theatre. "If you see The Lion King from upstairs in the New Amsterdam, you don't see the elephants come in until they get up on the stage."
"The situation for us," adds Schrader, "really isn't that different than it is in the [Richard Rodgers Theatre] typically, kind of the same as it was for Movin' Out," the Rodgers' last tenant. "From the day tickets went on sale, the last four rows of the orchestra have been identified as obstructed view. . . . Your perception in your head is that you're missing something more than you are because you can't see it."
Tickets for Tarzan, which features a score by Phil Collins and a book by David Henry Hwang, are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located in Manhattan at 226 West 46th Street. For more information visit www.tarzanonbroadway.com.