January 29, 2012

How to Buy Affordable Broadway Tickets

I do not know many people who can afford to see Broadway shows on a regular basis at $140/ticket. Fortunately, there are many ways to buy affordable tickets to a Broadway show.  The following list is not comprehensive; rather, it is based on my experience. 
1.) Rush Tickets- approximately $25-$40
Many shows have a set number of discounted seats for sale the morning of the show on a first come, first serve basis.  Most people arrive at the theatre before the box office opens to get in line for these tickets.  For popular shows, people may arrive at the theatre as early as 6:00am with blankets, camping chairs, and laptops, and will wait until the box office opens, usually at 10:00am. For less popular shows, arriving after the box office opens may be sufficient timing to purchase a rush ticket. Also, some rush policies are “student rush”, while other shows have “anyone rush”.  If it is a student rush, you will need a student ID. Each person is allowed one or two tickets. Seat locations vary: I’ve had everything from rear orchestra to middle mezzanine to box seats. To determine if a show offers rush tickets and the type of rush ticket, I usually refer to: http://nytix.com/Links/Broadway/listofcurrentshows.html
Tips
*Arrive as early as you can tolerate if you REALLY want to see a particular show. 
*It’s helpful to have several choices of shows in case your first choice does not work out. 
*If you are able, go when there is inclement weather.  There may be less people in line. 
*You may have a better chance on a weekday rather than a weekend. If able, aim for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday performances. 
****If you arrive at the theatre and there are no rush tickets left, ask the box office if there are any discounted tickets available. If there are many unsold tickets, they may lower the price of tickets the day of performance in order to fill seats. 
2.) Lottery- $20-$27
If you like taking a risk, some shows offer a lottery drawing. If you go to the box office 2.5 hours before the show, you can write your name on a slip of paper and put it into a box. Two hours before the performance, names are drawn for a set number of discounted seats that are usually towards the front of the orchestra. The number of available tickets varies, but is usually about twenty. You must be present when they call names. If you win the lottery, you will have the option of taking one or two tickets. I’ve been to lottery drawings with as few as 30 people and as many as 300 people. Again, you can determine which shows offer a lottery by going to: http://nytix.com/Links/Broadway/listofcurrentshows.html 
Tips
*Again, trying the lottery when there is inclement weather or during the week may increase your chances if less people are present. 
3.) www.broadwaybox.com- approximately $40-$100
This website offers discounted tickets to almost all Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Most discounts are about 40 percent off full ticket price. You can easily purchase tickets on the website, but ticket price is increased by about $10 due to processing fees. What I do to bypass the fees is either print out a coupon from the website and present it at the box office or use the Broadway Box phone app to display the discount coupon at the box office (this also saves paper). There are no additional fees when tickets are purchased at the box office. The nice thing about Broadway Box is that they offer orchestra, mezzanine, or balcony seats so you have more choice as to where you are sitting. 
Tips
*For popular shows, I would buy tickets ahead of time. For less popular shows, I have used this discount on the day of performance. 
4.) Audience Rewards- variable price
www.audiencerewards.com
This website allows you to earn points by purchasing theatre tickets and answering theatre trivia questions. After you accumulate 500 “ShowPoints”, you can purchase theatre tickets at a discounted rate. Seats vary from orchestra to mezzanine. You must set up an account but it is free to join. 
Tips
*You may be able to earn audience rewards points when you purchase Broadway tickets through other websites that are served by telecharge. Broadwaybox.com is one such site. Make sure you type in your audience rewards account number when prompted so that you can get credit for purchase and earn points. 

6 comments:

  1. Great blog!!! Couldn't of worded it any better myself!!!

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  2. Very helpful for a person who usually spends over a hundred per show.

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  3. Oh, don't forget TKTS, one of my favorite ways to get discounted tickets, often very good seats. If the Times Square location seems too daunting (but the line does move very fast), the other two locations are far less crowded AND sell matinee tickets the day before, which is nice (Times Square only sells same-day matinee tickets).

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  4. You don't have to break the bank to enjoy being in New York if you buy your Cheap Broadway Tickets from us.

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