The great white way! Broadway is something that everyone should experience while in New York City. There are so many fantastic options and new shows are always opening, so I always have a long list of shows that I need to see.
Some people may find the price of the tickets very discouraging, but there are a few ways to save money on Broadway tickets (including a few TKTS booth tips) that I thought I would share. It is possible to find cheap Broadway tickets if you know where to look.
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COVID-19 Notice: Please follow government guidelines. All Broadway shows have been canceled through January 3, 2021. Get more information here.
Choosing Your Broadway Show
It’s a good idea for you to research the different show options and narrow down the list to a few that you would like to see before starting to search for cheap tickets.
- Do you prefer Broadway plays or musicals? Comedies or dramas?
- Are there any celebrities or actors that you want to see?
- Does an evening performance or a matinee work better for your itinerary?
- Are you are bringing young children? If so, please make sure the shows are age appropriate.
Personally, I prefer musical comedies. My favorite show currently playing is Kinky Boots, but there are so many great ones! I loved Chicago, How to Succeed in Business, Lion King, Evita, and more. If you want to learn more about Broadway and it’s history, you might enjoy the Inside Broadway Tour.
Note: Not all shows have discounts so if you have your heart set on seeing one like Hamilton, Book of Mormon, or Aladdin, you may have to pay full price (or win the lottery) and you should book far in advance. You may also be able to find these Broadway tickets on StubHub.
If you would like to learn more about the history behind Hamilton, you should check out the Hamilton Happy Hour tour. Tickets are cheaper and easier to get!
7 Ways to Find Cheap Broadway Tickets
Now that you have decided on the Broadway shows that you would like to see. It is time to get your tickets! You don’t have to wait until the day of the show to get a discount. I have some Broadway cost saving tips that will work for advance purchases and if those don’t work a few ideas to get your discounted tickets the day of the show.
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1. Broadway Box Tickets
My favorite way to get Broadway tickets cheap is using a discount code from www.broadwaybox.com. Usually, there are several shows with broadwaybox.com discounts to choose from. To get the best seats, you will need to plan ahead. Go to the website and see if the show you are interested has a discount code available. Then, if possible, go to the box office at the theater of the show you want to see to purchase the tickets so that you avoid the “convenience fees.” This usually saves me around $10 per ticket. If you can’t go to the theater to get the no fee broadway tickets, you can still save money using the discount code to purchase broadwaybox.com tickets online or over the phone.
2. TKTS Broadway Tickets
You can visit a TKTS booth to get tickets 20%- 50% off regular price. There are three TKTS booth locations: Time Square, South Street Seaport, and Downtown Brooklyn. At the South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn booths, you can also get TKTS tickets for the next day matinee performances. The inventory at each location is different and always changing, but you can get real-time information about what is available online or through the app.
The Broadway ticket kiosk in Times Square may have long lines, so it is best to go as early as possible. Of course, the problem is that the show you want may not be available. To use TKTS, you need to be flexible and open to seeing different shows. Most times I have used the TKT booth, I have gotten pretty good seats and saved 50%. I wouldn’t recommend trying this with a large group because in some cases, they only have single seats.
If you plan on seeing more than one Broadway show in a week, you may want to take advantage of the TKTS fast pass. You can skip the TKTS line and walk right up to window #1 just by showing the TKTS ticket stub you purchased in the last week.
3. Lottery, Rush, and Standing Room Only Tickets
This can be a great way to get Broadway tickets cheap, but of course, there is no guarantee you will get tickets. Check the policy for the particular show that you are interested in but in general, it will require you to wait at the box office during the day. Again depending on the show and its popularity, you may even need to wait for hours, but you will save significant dollars and you usually get pretty good seats.
The Standing Room Only tickets are usually only available if the show sells out and do require you to stand the whole performance (2-3 hours), The Standing Room Only area is usually located right behind the Orchestra seats (lower level of seats). Personally, I have never bought Standing Room Only tickets, but Katherine did see Spamalot and she had a good view. You should also know that some theaters will only accept cash for these tickets. If you are interested, this website has a list of the Broadway shows and their policies for the day of the show tickets.
4. Free Clubs for Young Adults
There are free clubs for young adults that allow you to get cheap Broadway tickets. Since they are free, I recommend that you join if you meet the age requirements. If you are under 35, you can join HIPTIX, which lets you purchase 2 tickets for shows produced by the Roundabout Theater Company for $25 each. If you are under 30, you can join the 30 under 30 club, you can get 2 tickets for shows produced by Manhattan Theater Club for $30 each. Again, these tickets (especially for popular shows) will go fast, so book as soon as you can. Both clubs also have parties for the members as well.
5. Join the Theater Development Fund (TDF)
The same people that run the TKTs booth also have a membership program that gives special access to deeply discounted tickets for hundreds of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theatre shows, dance performances, and concerts. If you are a full-time high school and college student, a full-time teacher, a full-time union member, a retiree, a full-time civil service employee, a full-time staff member of a non-profit, a full-time performing arts professional, a member of the armed forces or a full-time clergy, you are eligible to join the TDF for $35 a year. If you meet the eligibility requirements and live more 100 miles from New York City you can get the national membership for just $20 a year.
Once you join, you get immediate access to the online portal where you can see the selection of discounted tickets. Sometimes you will be able to buy the tickets weeks in advance and the savings can be up to 70%. You will probably recoup your membership cost the first time you get tickets!
TodayTix is another popular website and app that lets you purchase discounted day of or advance Broadway tickets. There is no standing in line or going to the theater to get your tickets, everything is done online. You simply search for the show you want to see and the dates and then you get to see all the options. It is definitely one of the most convenient ways to get a cheap Broadway show ticket. Unfortunately, they do charge a small fee for the convenience, and there is no way to get around that. Click here to check out the options on TodayTix.
Every once in a while, there will be a Groupon deal for a Broadway show. This can be a wonderful option if the Groupon happens to be for a show that you want to see. Sometimes, you will also see off-broadway show tickets on Groupon.
What to Expect at a Broadway Show
Since it may be your first time to go to a Broadway Show, I thought it might be helpful to tell you what to expect and share some tips to make sure you are prepared.
- Many restaurants in the area offer pre-theater specials, so grab a bite before the show.
- Give yourself extra time to get to the theater, you don’t want to be late. It’s rude and disruptive to walk into a show once it has started. Depending on the show, they may not even let you in.
- Follow the theater’s rules about photography. Many don’t allow it at all – even before or after the show.
- Seating is tight – don’t bring large bags unless you have too.
- Most theaters have a coat check, but I usually keep my coat with me because it can get chilly inside. Also, there can be a long line to collect the coat when the show is over.
- Don’t worry about what to wear. Anything goes! Some people like to get dressed up for the show and others come in jeans. Personally, I tend to get cold so I dress warmly or bring along a sweater.
- Go to the bathroom before the show. Most shows have an intermission but you don’t want to have to get up before that if you can help it.
- Make sure you get a playbill from the usher. In addition to all the interesting information it has, they make a great souvenir. I collect them and put them in a binder like this one.
- Turn off your cell phone during the show. You don’t want to risk it making a noise during the performance.
- The line for the bathrooms at intermission is intimidating but usually moves fast. I have always made it back to my seat in time.
- After the show, exit the theater and find the stage door. If you wait a bit (usually around 15 minutes), you can see the stars leave and maybe get a photo.
There are so many good shows out there, what are your favorites? Now that you know how to find cheap Broadway tickets, you will be able to see more great shows!
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