In my previous post, I left out one other thing that I saw: four audiences. I wish I could say that the audiences were wildly different, given that I saw four shows with different ticket prices, located in different neighborhoods, about different subjects and in different styles. But...nope. A Cool Dip was a little more black, but generally, they were north of 45, and mostly white. The audience at Red was a bit more of a mixed bag and the audience at Glee Club skewed a bit younger. Outside of Red, the younger folks I saw I knew, because they were other theatre folks.
I should also note that at the Off-Broadway institution and the Broadway house, the experience was the most remote, the most "professional." Glee Club and Lenin's Embalmers had curtain speeches, given by the folks who worked the box office or were directly involved in the show we were watching. At Ensemble Studio Theatre, the play's director, also the theatre's artistic director, invited the whole audience to hang out after the show for a dance party. After the show, the cast milled around the lobby, talking to the audience members. Same at Glee Club.
Granted A Cool Dip is in previews and the crew went right into post-show notes and meetings. I'm sure on a regular night, it would be different. And there's, of course, a difference between a Wednesday night preview and a Saturday night regular performance. It's a real comparison. But that was the experience.