Whilst I’ve never been asked this myself, I know a lot of people who have been asked why they have seen the same musical or play more than once. Now I try not to make repeat visits to show, simply so that I can broaden my theatre knowledge, but there have been a couple out there that I have made second (or third or fourth) trips to because I enjoyed them so much. And the reasoning for this varies from show to show.
The first show that I took a repeat visit to, and the show that I’ve been to the most, is The Book of Mormon. This is, hands down, one of my favourite musicals and it is still performing brilliantly. I saw The Book of Mormon in previews, and knew I had to return, but I wanted to see the understudy. I am not going to pass comment either way on whether I think understudies are better than the original cast member, but I heard wonderful things about Ashley Day (remember that name, he’ll come up again in this post), Gavin Creel’s understudy. When I found out his summer scheduled dates on as Elder Price I was there!
But then I saw The Book of Mormon for a third time, again to see Ashley but I was a big Starkid fan back in the day. AJ Cunningham had taken over the role of Elder Cunningham, and I was excited to see his very different portrayal compared to Jared Gertner’s (which I’d seen the previous two times). Cast changes are a really big draw in the theatre world, with the long-running shows pulling in a lot of fans to say goodbye to current cast and welcoming in the newbies. I actually had no intention of seeing 42nd Street a second time, but once again, Ashley Day drew me in when he replaced Stuart Neal as the role of Billy Lawlor. He even almost made me revisit An American In Paris which I didn’t even like that much, just because he took over the role of Jerry Mulligan. I just have a huge amount of respect for him and he can easily persuade me to take a trip to see shows that he’s in!
And the final reason I take repeat trips to see shows is simply because I loved them so much. In 2014, I took my first trip to Southwark Playhouse to see Dogfight and loved it so much I returned two weeks later. This remains to be one of my favourite musicals, and was my first introduction to Pasek & Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen). Another show I’ve seen twice is Half A Sixpence; I had such a blast the first time I saw it that I had to return for closing night! And I’m kicking myself for not returning in between the two dates, and for not seeing Pippin again before it closed. If you love a television show or film, you watch it more than once, right? Well that’s what I do with theatre – it’s just a little bit more expensive.
People have so many personal reasons to make repeat visits to the theatre, and I just thought I’d share mine and the minimal experience I’ve had of it. As I say, I try to see a lot of shows rather than clinging to just one or two that I enjoy, but sometimes you’ve just got to indulge yourself!