Broadway on a budget!

By Seth Reines, May 2019 Issue.

If you are

traveling to New York City this summer and want to catch a Broadway or

off-Broadway show but don’t want to pay exorbitant New York ticket prices, try

these suggestions:

Head to TKTS

The classic way to

find deeply discounted tickets is to wait in line on the day of the show at

Theatre Development Fund’s TKTS Booth under the red steps in Duffy Square (47th

Street and Broadway). All but the biggest Broadway hits are on sale there,

mostly at 50 percent off. Download the TKTS app or visit its

website to see what is available. You can also try the downtown TKTS

booth at South Street Seaport (corner of Front and John Streets) or TKTS

Downtown Brooklyn (One MetroTech Center at the corner of Jay Street and

Myrtle Avenue), which sell matinee tickets a day early. If you are not looking

to see a musical, the Times Square booth has a “Play Only” window that will cut

down your wait time.

Shop online

Great a resource as it is, TKTS has limitations: You have to wait there

in person, often for a long time, and you can only get tickets on the day of

the show. Thankfully, the Internet provides many options for those who want to

plan a little further ahead. The handy TodayTix app lets you find

discounted tickets on your mobile phone, up to week in advance. Another

reliable online source for cheap tickets is nyctix.com. Membership costs

just $4 per month. Good discount codes can be also be found at Broadway Box,

Broadway Insider and Entertainment-Link. If you’re looking to combine a little

generosity with your thrift, try Givenik. When you buy full-price or

discounted tickets there, five percent of the price goes to a charity of your

choice. Consider visiting all of these sites and shopping around for the best

bargain.

Rush the theater or play

the lottery

Same-day rush

tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway shows can sell for as little as $25

apiece. Go to the theater’s box office as soon as it opens on the day of the

performance to check. If you don’t mind being on your feet, you can also try

for standing-room tickets. In many cases, including at some of Broadway’s

biggest smashes such as Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Come From

Away, a handful of day-of-show tickets are distributed by lottery, with

names drawn at the box office a few hours before curtain time. Hamilton has

made the distribution of these tickets an event unto itself with cast members

often entertaining the crowds. Several shows, like Hamilton and Lion

King, conduct these lotteries digitally, either on their own or through

the TodayTix app. To find out which shows offer rush tickets and

lotteries, consult Playbill’s Broadway and off-Broadway guides.

Become a member

For $30, if you’re eligible, you can get an annual membership

to TDF, which lets you use ticket deals days or weeks before the show. TDF

also lets you see off-off-Broadway shows for just $9 through its OffOff@9

program. Most of the city’s major theater companies also offer membership packages.

You pay a fee up front (say, $65) in return for discounted tickets all year.

Plus, you get the chance to buy tickets before they go on sale to the general

public, which can be a big deal when it comes to shows with a lot of advance

buzz. And membership often has other privileges as well, like the 20 percent

food-and-drink discount you get at Joe’s Pub when you belong to

the Public Theater. The trick is to pick companies that showcase

consistently strong work, such as Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre

Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, or Ars Nova.

Be a millennial!

The city’s biggest nonprofit theaters all have programs aimed at

encouraging younger audiences. Theatergoers ages 18 to 35 can buy tickets to

Roundabout Theatre Company for just $20 to $25 per show by joining its Hiptix

program. If you’re between 21 and 35, you can join Lincoln Center

Theater’s LincTix program, which offers $32 tickets to all

shows. Manhattan Theatre Club’s 30 Under 30 program, as the name suggests,

allows patrons 30 or younger to buy tickets for $30. Other major companies,

such as Playwrights Horizons, also offer programs for young theatergoers.

Students have

access to many special discounts to Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

Among the best resources to find them are Tix4Students.com and

StudentRusg.org. Librarians, teachers and students can pick up vouchers for 30

to 50 percent off through the School Theatre Ticket

Program at schooltix.com, and student ages 13 to 18 can buy $5

tickets to many off and off-off-Broadway productions through High 5

Tickets to the Arts.

There’s always lots of great theater on and off Broadway. Hopefully,

these hints will leave money in your pocket for dinner before or a drink

after.  And, even if you are not

travelling to New York to catch one of the latest Tony winners, there’s plenty

of great theater right here in the Valley of the Sun.


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