Although you are not likely to find discount tickets for whatever the hot production is, there are several ways to get discount tickets for long running productions and off Broadway plays.
I prefer to get tickets ahead of time, the lines at TKTS can be an hour +, do you really want to spend your time in the Big Apple waiting in line?
Here are a few suggestions:
Broadway Box has discount codes that you can use to purchase tickets on the official seller's website or by phone. Frugal TheaterGoer has useful information about finding discounts.
You have to sign up for TheaterMania and Playbill to get at the discounts but both are free to join and you can also sign up for their newsletter that alerts you to discounted shows
If you are already in New York and don't have access to a computer, you can try the TKTS booth in Times Square but see my tourist trap tip regarding TKTS.
A couple of other methods that I've read about but never tried:
Show up at the theater 2 1/2 hours before the performance and sign up for the lottery (bring a photo id). Tickets should be $25 or less.
If you're a student, you can get same day rush tickets, check tdf.org or telecharge.com for each show's policy.
And the least appealing option for really hot shows, many of the big hits have SRO tickets after the full price ones sell out for about $25 but you have to stand for the whole performance.
I was in NYC last week, and every time I went past the TKTS booth, there was a 3 or 4 hour wait.
Someone told me about a TKTS booth in South Street Seaport (Pier 17). Its on the corner of Front & John Streets. I went to it and there was NO LINE. Its definetly worth the subway trip down to South Street to avoid the 3 hour wait at the times square TKTS booth.
My wife wanted to bring our 5-year old twins to Broadway, so i checked on prices on-line for Little Mermaid but I saw prices over $100...so I just asked a friend in NY to buy the tickets for us and she was able to get them for $70.
But upon research on VT, it seems that I got on the wrong website. Advance discount tickets can be found at another website instead: www.broadway.com (how simple, hehehe)
Also, you can fall in queue (sometimes 2 hours queue) in half-price booths that can be found in New York City like the TKTS on Times Square, the South Street Seaport or at the Kennedy Center (for both Broadway and Off-Broadway shows).
The kids loved Little Mermaid, but I did not go with them because I took a flight to Iceland instead for a few days, hehehe...but the thing is I have not watched a Broadway show myself (as of yet) because I like the outdoors more. But soon I will watch an opera as I read VTer Nemorino's pages (an avid opera-goer)...
I have been to New York in the last 3 consecutive years to specifically watch Broadway musicals. I pre-reserve tickets on-line because I like to get into shows that I really want to see. The official on-line Broadway provider is telecharge (http://www.telecharge.com/) and it lets you view the seating arrangement and allows you to select from it before you solidify and confirm your purchase.
Have fun and enjoy your show!!!
Fondest memory: Broadway musicals, food vendors in street corners, tons of shopping opportunities, walking, sight-seeing, and people-watching
Phantom of the Opera is supposedly the longest-running Broadway show ever. And, it's easy to see why. The costumes, the bold and moving score, the story.... it's all perfect.
Not pretending to be a theater critic for a moment, I will tell you this... Phantom has the great plus that so many of my favorite movies has... there really are no villains. Sure, the Phanton kills a few people, but it's easy to feel sorry for him. He's desperately in love with the beautiful and talented Christine Daae, and your heart breaks knowing that they just can't be together.
And sure, Carlotta is a jealous little shrew. But she's more of an annoyance than a villainess.
The entire production is stunning, but my two favorite scenes are:
(1) the two scenes where they're gliding on a boat on the Seine. The way that motion and marine travel are set up and presented on stage via darkness, moving candles and a gliding skiff, are amazing. You can almost smell them being out on the water.
(2) the masquerade ball is breathtaking. There is a huge staircase onstage, and each step has 2-3 characters occupying it. Every one of their costumes is festive and exploding with dazzle and color. Incredible.
Buy the soundtrack, if you don't already have it in your collection. (I'd owned my Phanton soundtrack for well over ten years before I even saw the show)
Go see PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Right now, it's showing at the magnificent Majestic Theater over on 44th street. This is one of my favorite NYC theaters....I was fortunate enough to enjoy THE BOY FROM OZ at the same venue a few years ago.
The primary reason for my latest visit to NYC was for my Lion King-loving daughter to see Lion King on Broadway. And, it did not disappoint.
Ahead of seeing LK onstage, many had told me that they (a) liked the show better or (b) liked the movie better. For me, there's no comparing them, they are entirely different entities. both are terrific and have their own special charm.
Comparing the show to the movie, I'd note the following differences:
(1) Raffiki is much more African, speaking mostly in Swahili/click dialect and only occasionally popping in enough English to help us understand.
(2) The "love" scene between Simba and Nala is wonderfully choreographed onstage, and shares a much more serious nature to what's happening than does the movie. Tastefully done, but more mature by far than the film.
(3) There are several additional songs in the stage production, and my daughter has already taken them to her heart. When they make the iPod, she loves them. :)
(4) The theatrical technology sets the stage presentation apart from the film in many ways. Whereas the film's computer graphics are stunning, the talent and artistry of the puppeteers and acrobats onstage portraying the various characters and animals is awe-inspiring. It would take ME about three minutes to break every bone in my body if I tried to walk around in those giraffe costumes.
Fondest memory: The Lion King is a wonderful and beloved story. The Broadway presentation is just another way of sharing something we all know and love. You'll be amazed and highly entertained, even if you've seen the movie a hundred times....as have I. :)
One negative, and it's more of the DISNEY that I really dislike... Having salespeople hawking little stuffed animals and crap IN the aisles of the theater before the show and during intermission was a little bit tacky. I'd hope that Broadway would be above such hucksterism. Leave the souvenirs in the lobby, folks. (Disclaimer...those of you who have visited my Orlando page know that I have no love for Disney as a corporate entity. I admire their art and creativity, but there is no denying their abject greed. I still remember them suing a kindergarten that had the audacity to pain a picture of Mickey Mouse on an internal wall)
As a special "tweak" to DISNEY, I will be downloading and posting a "bootleg photo" as my second entry below. It is my daughter and wife in the Minskoff Theater, where taking such photos is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. I squeezed this one off at intermission and without using flash, so take THAT, Disney. :)
As a stage actor, I have performed off-Bdwy, and have friends currently appearing in Bdwy shows. For visitors who are attending their first Broadway show, here are some tips that you might find useful:
While there is no official dress-code for Bdwy, suits for ladies & gents are always appropriate. Men can also wear a sports jacket & slacks, w/ or w/o tie, or a nice sweater & slacks. Ladies can wear a nice top & slacks, a dress, or blouse/sweater & skirt. This may be the only Bdwy show you will see - why not make it special?
PLEASE REMEMBER-you are seeing a LIVE show; the actors are real people and they can hear you if you talk. I can't tell you how disconcerting is is to hear someone making dinner plans while I'm trying to tell Hamlet to "look like a friend on Denmark!"
Ditto cell phones, beepers, etc. If you think you've turned them off, double check. Then check again.
A little courtesy goes a long way to making your first Bdwy show a magical event!
If you have never been to a Broadway show, try to see one when you're here. I recommend the following:
1. Lion King: This is my top pick for many reasons. And don't think this is just for kids. The singing, set design ,and especially the costumes will totally amaze you. A must see, if you can get tickets!
2. Phantom of the Opera: A very "traditional" Broadway show. Beautiful costumes, set, and singing.
3. Jekyll and Hyde: Very original set design, an excellent show and story! You will love it!
4. The Boy From Oz: Great singing and dancing. And Hugh Jackman is....phenomenal!!
There are many great shows, so try to see one!
You can buy tickets for Broadway shows for up to a 50% discount, depending on the show. There is a service charge and you must wait in line at Duffy Square. The line goes pretty quickly.
They only accept cash and traveler's checks.
Website for more information:
buy a reduced price ticket (25 to 50 pct) for one musical of the current evening at TKTS (Times Square - Broadway & 47th St). Ordinarly, very crowed. Open from 3PM to 8PM - Monday to Saturday. Sunday : noon to 8PM.
Fondest memory: There was an other TKTS in the World Trade Center.
The TKTS booth, run by the Theatre Development Fund, is a MUST DO for anyone who wants to see a show. If you have your heart set on a blockbuster, then sure, pay top dollar. However, if you just want to see a good show, why not let fate lend a hand?
The booths sell Broadway, Off-Broadway, Dance and Music event tickets on the day of the show. Tickets are either
half or three-quarter price (plus a $3.00 service charge) and payment is by cash or traveler's check only. Make sure you have enough before getting in line!! Available tickets are posted on boards outside the ticket windows. Once you are there, check out the available shows and decide on a couple of options. I highly recommend off-Broadway productions, myself.
Fondest memory: You will meet interesting people from all over the place on this line! Don't buy anything from people who accost you while you are there. Support TDF, it's a great part of the arts community. They do a lot for the public school system too, so I'm biased.
I went to see this play on Sept 10 and was so pleased wigth this play...it was well worth the $ 103 seat price. I found the acting and thems to be incrediblly well done. The lead character, Quentin, was portrayed by Peter Krause who starts as Nate fisher on HBO drama :" six feet under". He was just incredib le in this role. It was fascinating to see how he was able to display so many emotions within moments of eachother. Love, fear, guilt,sadness, happiness, uncertainity....all as he portrayed the life events of this charactger Quentin. It was just so well done.The other actors were great as well. The character Maggie was excellently portrayed as well as well as the mother and father characters, and all oft the others. The play talks about the life of Quentin and events that affected is life, it discussed Macarthyism, holocaust, fear of commitment and his fear of failing, it was an excellent play, i would surely recommend it.
Fondest memory: Just walking around the neighborhoods, shopping, and finding very unique things that you cant find elswewhere......
A trip to New York is not complete without a Broadway, Off Broadway, of Off Off Broadway theater production. This trip was no exception. Although tickets to Lion King were in the Stratosphere and essentially unavailable, we did mange to snag great seats to RENT from TKTS in Times Square.
While the subject matter may be objectionable to some people, the production was just short of fantastic. The only "objection" I can think of is the cast is too "big" for the theater. They could / should sell out a place much larger than the Nederlander. BUT....that's were they play and have done so for the last 7 years....
Highly recommended cast and production.
Favorite thing: One of the things you must do while in NYC is go to the Theater. Broadway Shows are a top draw with the numerous Musicals and Stage Plays. One can get tickets for shows as diverse as Mama Mia, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast or Rent. There are also numerous Off Broadway Shows and Off Off Broadway Shows. Taking in a show is one of the activities you have to do.
We came across this fantastic deal on orchestra seats for "Sweet Charity."
I highly recommend booking through this site if you plan to see any of the headlining shows on Broadway.
At first, we were a bit apprehensive because the price for Orchestra Center seats for "Sweet Charity" seemed too good to be true!
Regular price for these seats are over $100 USD per ticket...this website sold it for us at 1/3 the cost!
As it turned out, they are totally legit, and totally worth it!
"Sweet Charity" was one of the best musicals I had seen on Broadway.......and extra sweeter because of the price!
You can book online with your credit card and the tickets are ready for you at "Will Call" on the day of the performance.