When your vacation time is limited, it’s natural to want to book certain things — like Broadway tickets — well in advance to guarantee a place. But tickets to the hottest shows can be pricey, and even the old standards aren’t exactly cheap.
If you’re hoping to maximize your time and money in New York City, these tips for getting Broadway tickets on a budget will help.
There are dozens of incredible shows happening in New York that aren’t officially “on Broadway.” Who cares about designations? Go to the show that you want, or be bold and try something new!
Sometimes just 24 hours can make all the difference between a bargain and a blowout. I once missed out on $39 tickets to To Kill a Mockingbird. The night I was free, they were a whopping $325!
Sometimes several solo tickets are more economical than a set of seats together. You can always meet up with your friends or your partner at the intermission — and maybe even swap seats to enjoy the production from another point of view.
Compare Websites And Apps
Sometimes you can get the best price at the box office, and I always check there first to find the going rate for different tickets. But there are a number of websites dedicated to helping visitors find great deals (especially at the last minute). Lucky Seat and Broadway Direct offer same-day tickets sold lottery-style to popular shows. The Broadway show Hamilton even has its own app for same-day lottery tickets.
My favorite app of all is TodayTix. You can easily filter by show, budget, and date and time. I have TodayTix to thank for my $60 Come from Away ticket! A rep from TodayTix meets you at the theater with your tickets, making this an easy and convenient choice.
Visit The Discount Ticket Booth
If you’re passing through Times Square and see a long line, that’s the TKTS discount ticket booth. It sells same-day tickets for 20 to 50 percent off and has one of the lowest service fees in town.
However, to get all this you have to be willing to stand in line, no matter the weather. There are additional TKTS outlets in Lower Manhattan by the South Street Seaport and at Lincoln Center (which is indoors!). Not only are their lines much shorter, but they also offer matinee tickets for the next day.
Join The Rush For Rush Tickets
On Broadway, rush tickets aren’t just for students. Most are open to anyone willing to wait in line at the theater for when they’re released. If you have your heart set on seeing a certain show, this is a good option. Playbill has a full list of rush-ticket rules and policies at different theaters.
What To Expect At Your First Show
When It Comes To Attire, Anything Goes
It can be fun to dress up for a night on Broadway, especially for a show’s opening or closing night. But it’s perfectly okay to come dressed in casual clothing — most people do.
Your Seats Might Be Better Than You Think
When I saw Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations, I spent the first 10 minutes of the show in awe of my seats. I had the cheapest, least desirable seats in the theater — and I couldn’t get over how good they were. Broadway theaters are smaller than you’d think. So take a chance on a “bad” seat — it’s likely quite good.
You Can Drink Wine — For A Price
At many theaters, snack vendors stroll around selling candy, chips, water — and wine! Sold in a souvenir tumbler that looks like a child’s sippy cup, the wine is either red (usually a pinot noir) or a chilled white (usually a sauvignon blanc). Expect to pay about $25 for a tumbler filled with the equivalent of two glasses of wine.
Before you take your seat, use the restroom. Don’t engage in conversations — live or via cell phone — at any point during the production. And stay until the very end of the curtain call so you can give the actors uninterrupted applause.