TOP INSIDER TIPS FOR SEEING SHOWS FOR LESS
Being a New Yorker or an avid theatergoer, you might think you know all the tricks of the Broadway trade: “I never pay full price” or “I know it’s sold out, but I can still get tickets” or “I’ll just try the lottery”. But to a non-native-New Yorker, it might come as a shock to find that there are quite a few not-so-secret ways to see some of the hottest shows in town, for less. And for you native New Yorkers/Broadway aficionados, there might just be a trick or two that you don’t know about quite yet.
1. First of all, To Rush or Not To Rush…
…that is the question! Rush tickets are same-day tickets offered by a lot (dare I say most?) of the Broadway shows. And guess what? They are super discounted. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in the front row; sometimes you’ll find yourself filling in unsold seats; sometimes you’ll be in a “partial view” seat. But who cares if you can’t see a tiny bit of the stage because there is a small pillar blocking a tiny fraction of the action? These seats are cheap! Rush tickets are usually sold either when the box office opens (with a line forming outside the theater beforehand) or they are sold a specific number of hours before curtain (i.e. two hours before). To find out the rush deets to your favorite show, try checking out the show’s official website, try googling “rush ticket policies”, or simply stop into the box office and ask the day before. In lieu of rush tickets, some shows have standing room. You may think it sounds like a lot of work, but for the savings in ticket price, I’d stand through Book of Mormon any day.
2.OMG I Won the Lottery
You sure will feel like a winner if you put your name in one of the many Broadway lottery drawings. Several big sold-out shows – Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Book of Mormon, Wicked – hold a lottery several hours before showtime where you can win one or two massively discounted tickets to that evening’s performance. Again, check the internet or stop by the box office for specific details for your favorite show. You may have to play quite a few times before you win, but try the lottery on a two-show day or when the weather isn’t so hot in order to improve your odds!
3. Join the Club
Okay, there are also tons of discount ‘clubs’ you can join to get cheap tickets for New York’s hottest shows. Three of the best ones: Roundabout Theatre has HipTix, Lincoln Center has LincTix, and Manhattan Theatre Club has 30 Under 30 (sorry, some of these have age restrictions). But join these clubs in advance, and you’ll get e-mails about when these massively discounted tickets go on sale. Why pay a fortune for Cabaret? Get yourself a pair of HipTix ASAP!
4. The Secret Code is…
There are discount sites galore and discount codes up the wazoo. BroadwayBox is one of my favorites. You can get Broadway tickets in advance for $40-70 instead of paying full price. Wanna go see Rocky but not sure you wanna see it bad enough to break the bank? Check out BroadwayBox or one of the many discount ticket websites. Speaking of discount sites, are you a member of TDF? Get on it! Pay a yearly membership and get discount tickets in advance all year round to some of the hottest Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Do it.
5. Get in Line!
TKTS, TKTS, TKTS. Don’t wait at the massively crowded Times Square location either. Check out the surprisingly less-crowded South Street Seaport or Downtown Brooklyn locations. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, grab a slice Grimaldi’s, make a Brooklyn day out of it. Just get those cheap TKTS same day tickets!
6. Get Creative and Branch Out.
The internet is full of scams, but it is also full of gems. Do a little research. There are TONS of “seat filler” companies that offer super cheap tickets for a low yearly membership fee. Or branch out and see an Off-Off-Broadway or festival show (the NYC Fringe Festival has nearly two hundred shows to choose from every summer). Who knows? Maybe you’ll see the next Urinetown before anybody else! And, most importantly, you won’t break the bank doing it. Or better yet – see a show for free! The Public Theater offers free tickets to their Shakespeare in the Park every summer. You can wait in line or enter the virtual lottery on their website. Free=amazing.
So the next time someone says “tickets are too expensive” or “that show is sold out”, be the Broadway insider you always knew you could be, and say “fuggedaboutit”. No one needs to know that you snagged those tickets for less. They’ll think you paid full price just like everybody else. Now go get those tickets!