It’s no surprise that live theatre is expensive. However, with Broadway at our disposal, it’s a shame not to take advantage of the shows in the city. Here’s a few ways to score tickets at discounted prices:
Many shows have policies of selling discounted day-of tickets. There are two types:
Lottery Tickets: A few shows (Wicked, Matilda, Newsies, Kinky Boots, and The Book of Mormon- the hottest shows currently) sell from 20-30 tickets ranging from $25 to $40 a few hours before each performance. These are usually great seats (in the orchestra, very close to the stage), but you’ll have to place your name into a lottery draw. Often, hundreds of people enter these lotteries, so you’ll have to be VERY lucky to score tickets this way.
Rush Tickets: Rushing a show is when you line up the day of the show to purchase discounted tickets. Some shows do either student rush (you’ll need to bring your THHS ID) or general rush. Often, you’ll have to get to the theatre very early in the morning to wait on line to purchase the tickets. Box offices mostly open at 10 AM, but it is not impossible to arrive at 6 AM and still not be early enough to obtain tickets (this was the case for Pippin, as I experienced a few weeks ago). There are only around 20-30 tickets per show, so get there early! You can check broadwayspotted.com for their Rush Reports, so you can gauge the lines for tickets and plan when to get to the theatre.
Cinderella does this type of ticketing, from Tuesdays to Thursdays only.
The TKTS Booth, sponsored by the Theatre Development Fund, can be a great place to buy tickets for day-of performance or one day in advance. Tickets are known to be discounted up to 80% from their normal prices here. There are three locations: Times Square, South Street Seaport, and Downtown Brooklyn. The Times Square location is extremely popular among tourists, so your best bet is to visit the other two locations.
Sometimes shows do their own discounts or online sites will sell you tickets for less. Be wary of the third-party sites and sign up for updates from the shows so you can stay in the loop.
Off-Broadway shows tend to be a little ignored in the realm of live theatre. However, as they are often of the same quality production-wise as Broadway shows and cast many well known theatre actors. Companies such as Second Stage Theatre (which is coming out with a Little Miss Sunshine musical this fall!) do many productions each season, often with student discounts for tickets.
Theatre in Your Community
Community and professional theatres in your area often do productions throughout the summer season. Although they might not be Broadway quality without the millions of production dollars, they are still fantastic for more exposure to theatre and musicals. Some fantastic professional regional theatres that often do blockbuster musicals include the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.
There are so many different ways to enjoy live theatre this summer, so seize the opportunity and take advantage of all that NYC has to offer. Best of luck and happy watching!