Broadway Shows and Theatre District, New York City

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  • Rock of Ages at the Helen Hayes Theater in NYC
    Rock of Ages at the Helen Hayes Theater...
    by Jefie
  • TKTS booth on Times Square
    TKTS booth on Times Square
    by Jefie
  • I'm going to see a Broadway show, woo hoo!!
    I'm going to see a Broadway show, woo...
    by Jefie
  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    New Victory Theater for Families

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jan 5, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    New Victory Theater

    This theater was designed by Albert Westover and built by Oscar Hammerstein. It was the first theater built on West 42nd Street. Then known as the Theater Republic it opened in September 1900 with Lionel Barrymore in the play Sag Harbor.

    It went through several changes and was a burlesque house and porn theater before undergoing an extensive renovation and becoming New York City's premier children's theater in 1995.

    New Victory programs a full season of theater, circus, puppetry, and other types of performance art, performed by companies from around the world. There are shows for children of all ages. If you subscribe to 3+ shows, you become a member and are eligible for discounted tickets.

    We've seen several shows here from puppet shows to circus/acrobatic acts and have enjoyed them all. It's an inexpensive way to introduce your children to the theater and always lots of fun!

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    There's no show like a Broadway show!

    by Jefie Written Nov 14, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    TKTS booth on Times Square
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    I really wanted to go see a musical during our trip to NYC, so I convinced my friends to stop by the TKTS booth at Times Square to see if we could get a good discount on a Broadway show, and we did!! We only paid $80 for amazing seats at the Helen Hayes Theater to see "Rock of Ages" (there was a 50% discount on several other shows as well), which was hilarious! My friend Julie and I both agree that this was the highlight of our trip to NYC, by far! :o)

    The TKTS booth at Times Square is open from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily, and you can buy tickets for that night's performances only. There can be a pretty long waiting line, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, so it's not a bad idea to show up early. Tickets are also available for plays and matinees.

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    Go see the Jersey Boys on Broadway

    by albaaust Updated Jun 25, 2013

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    Well this was one of the highlights- the Jersey Boys…it was a fantastic performance and we lucked* withour tickets - 4 rows from the front and in the middle!!
    We did not queue just went to the ticket booth where the Jersey Boys were playing. We were flexible in terms of when we went to see them and the receptionist then offered discounted tickets for the next night. If you don't want to queue you can book online the show you want to attend-see website address.

    Only warning - some friends of ours bought drinks at the theatre- beware!!drinks are expensive!! Try $56 for two!!!??

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    Ed Sullivan Theater

    by etfromnc Written May 23, 2013

    Throughout the 1950s and '60s, if it was Sunday evening and you were not in church and if you had a TV, you were probably watching The Ed Sullivan Show. A true curmudgeon, if there ever was one, Ed Sullivan hosted the prototypical variety on TV. Few people made it big in US entertainment without appearing on his show and the British Invasion (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, et al.) made appearing on his show one of their first stops in North America. Elvis (the Pelvis) almost got him thrown off of TV because of his gyrations. Mick Jagger was forced to change "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some Time Together." Jim Morrison, of The Doors, may have been the first totally stoned performer on live TV.
    For the past 20 years, The Late Show with David Letterman has been taped in that theater. Check it out. It is only Ed Sullivan's in name but a lot of people really enjoy Letterman, I suppose.
    Your biggest surprise may be that it is a 13 story building.

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    Theatre is a must-do

    by tvor Written May 18, 2013
    Helen Hayes Theatre

    New York is reknowned for it's theatre scene. Everyone's heard of Broadway, the Great White Way, though it's got a lot more colour than that. The bulk of the theatres are within a half dozen blocks or so radiating out from Times Square and some of the streets are lined with theatres on both sides of the street. And if it isn't a theatre, it will be a restaurant or a bar for pre or post theatre imbibing.

    New York theatre is top class. You'll hear of Broadway and off-Broadway but the only difference is how many seats the theatre holds. Off Broadway is the term for a theatre that holds under 500 people. Anything over that is classed as a Broadway show/theatre. It doesn't matter whether the venue is on or off the actual street called Broadway. I didn't know that before my recent visit.

    New York theatre is also among the most expensive in the world that I've experienced. I've seen West End London shows for a lot less in many cases. There are ways around this. You can queue up at the TKTS half price booth in Times Square which is a great way to get the tickets for the day of the performance. But the lineups can be very long and crowded. I prefer to book ahead so i know i can get what i want.

    I found a couple of websites that worked great. You can book online, they will either send you an e-ticket to print at home or you can take a voucher to the theatre box office and exchange it for the tickets.
    Theatre Mania
    Broadway Box
    Theatre Development Fund

    I used Broadway Box and got 40% off tickets to Rock of Ages and it worked like a charm. You can also use Broadway Box for tickets in other cities like London and Las Vegas. Not every show will offer discounted tickets but most of the popular ones are there.

    The Theatre Development Fund is the non-profit organization that runs the TKTS half price booth. You can also get discounted tickets online through their website as well. They have a link so you can see what's available on the day.

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    The Theatre District ~ "The Great White Way"

    by starship Updated Feb 23, 2013

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    One of my favorite areas in New York City, visited by locals and tourists alike, is the "Theater District." Also known as "The Great White Way," New York's Theater District is an area with somewhat defined, physical boundries within Manhattan stretching from 53rd to 42nd Streets, and between 6th and 8th Aves.

    The energetic Theater District is also populated by scores of restaurants, shops, hotels, and world-reknowned attractions all catering to visitors from around the world, as well as day-trippers who come to visit the city for the day only.

    The Theater District boasts of being home to over 30 theaters where plays are staged as matinees and nightly performances. Some of the greatest and most beloved stars of the stage and screen have performed at these theaters such as Angela Lansbury, Nathan Lane, Helen Hayes, Elaine Stritch, Matthew Broderick, and so many more.

    Some of the more famous theaters are The Winter Garden, the Helen Hayes Theater, the Music Box, the Minskoff, the Palace, the Majestic, and the list goes on and on. Many of the theaters date back to the early 20th century or earlier, and are unique in their size, seating arrangements and position of the stage which is often turned perpendicular to the front of the building, due to their pocketed, narrow positions between large buildings.

    Except for a very few, the theaters are not known for their luxurious lobby or comfortable seating. However, this is more than compensated for by the quality of the plays and the actors that perform in them. (This is in contrast to Radio City Music Hall which has an enormous & comfortable seating area, and very large stage flanked by identical organs on each side of the stage. Radio City also has a beautifully ornate, staircased lobby with chandeliers.)

    Over the years I have been privileged to see many plays, both dramas & musicals, as well several Christmas Spectaculars at Radio City. This is because my employer arranges for bus trips to New York City as well as is able secure good discount ticket prices. Otherwise, the list of plays I would have seen in New York would be quite small. If you love live theater, you cannot visit New York City without seeing at least one play.

    Some of the best plays I have seen in recent years are:
    "Billy Elliott"
    "Fences" ~ an August Wilson play starring Denzel Washington & Mykeltie Williamson
    "A View from the Bridge" ~ an Arthur Miller play starring Scarlett Johannson & Liev Schreiber
    "Bye Bye Birdie" ~ starring John Stamos
    "In the Heights"
    "Aida"
    "Lion King"
    "Phantom of the Opera"
    "Beauty and the Beast"
    "Les Miserables"
    "The Odd Couple" ~ starring Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick
    "The Producers"

    For tickets, if you have the time and are on a budget, visit "TKTS" at Duffy Island near Times Square (47th St. between 7th Avenue & Broadway) for deeply discounted tickets on the same day of the performance (similar to Leceister Square in London). There is an additional $3 service charge per ticket but you may well obtain tickets for half the face price--cash & travelers' checks only. (There is a satellite branch of TKTS at South Street Seaport but you must purchase tickets here on the day BEFORE the performance.) Tickets can also be secured in advance online at playbill.com or perhaps Ticket Master.

    NOTE: (2012) I have recently heard that now on Wednesdays you can purchase deeply discounted theaters tickets if you arrive at the theater of your choice in the morning (9 to 10 am) for a ticket to the play shown only at that theater on that same day. Someone who I know has done this and been successful -- I have not yet tried this. Can anyone else verify this?

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    Dangerfield's Comedy Club

    by alycat Written Dec 27, 2012

    It is one of the oldest comedy clubs in the US and hosts professional comedians, not amateurs. Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Chris Rock, among others, have performed on this stage. The show featured acts by 7 comedians, most were okay but 2 of the guys (Im forgetting their names) were very good. Most of them have already appeared on prime time on HBO and other TV shows.

    The comedians mocked and made fun of most nationalities and cultures, and some jokes had strong sexual content. As it usually happens, folks sitting right in front of the stage had a tough time as they were constantly asked personal questions and made fun of, but nothing offensive or below the belt.

    We got a very good Groupon deal for this comedy club and it was totally worth it. It was a 2 hour show and we were lucky to stay away from the limelight in one dark corner of the room.

    The only complaint we had was that we were asked to eat or drink food worth at least $30 during the time of the show, which I felt like beats the purpose of getting a discounted ticket!! But they have to make money and pay salaries to the those comedians I guess!

    Try it out, you wont be disappointed.

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    Stomp at The Orpheum Theater

    by alycat Updated Dec 27, 2012
    The Orpheum
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    Stomp is a very special show where you will be left amazed by the creativity and energy of the performing artists. The artists perform on a small stage that has all sorts of kitchen utensils, plastic bags, trash cans, wooden sticks and from these inane objects the most synchronous and melodious beats of music and rhythm is created.

    Ever since I saw the show, I haven't been able to stop raving about it to friends and family. I am so impressed and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is in NYC to watch this show on Broadway at the Orpheum Theater.

    I believe they perform in a few other cities as well, please look up their website.

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    MAMMA MIA!!

    by Minceta Written Dec 7, 2012

    Although probably many "VT"-ers have already heard about the musical "Mamma mia" or seen it, I would like to suggest to everyone who has not yet seen it and who likes the music of "ABBA" to go to see it on Broadway. We (my husband and me) saw it in the "Winter Garden Theater" and the musical took me back in the 80s with big pleasure. The prices (in August) for the tickets were between around 70 and around 230 US dollars. We bought two tickets for about 85 US dollars each and the places were excellent.

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    vibrant part of the city

    by clareabee Written Aug 27, 2012

    You can't go to New York and not visit the theatre district - it just wouldn't be right!
    The area is buzzing whatever time you seem to go there and there are many many theatres showing both on and off broadway shows, which if you get a chance to go and see one I would highly recommend.
    I booked my tickets before leaving the UK as there was something specific that I wanted to see and i didn't want to take a chance of booking last minute - or going to the TKTS booth in Times Square.
    This area gets crowded and is obviously a main tourist attraction, so again i would recommend if you have children keeping tight hold of them as you could easily get lost!
    Some of the theatres are lovely and have great historical interest - even if you don't go and see a show i would go just to look around.
    This area is also a great place to get a NYC souvenier cheaply either from a store or the pavement sellers - I got an NYC hoodie for $15 which is about £10.

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  • 10028's Profile Photo

    Broadway! A dream come true.

    by 10028 Updated Aug 22, 2012

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    Curtain time on Broadway (photo by Geoff Fox)

    Times Square, 15 minutes to curtain, and thousands filing into theaters, hearts pounding as they wait for those first notes of the overture. The best of the best tread New York's famed boards. As the song says, If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere...

    Whether your choice is comedy, drama, or musical, you'll find it at New York's famed theaters.

    Tickets can be expensive, but there are alternatives and many discounts. The Theater Development Fund (www.tdf.org) has two discount booths ("TKTS"), one in Times Square (at 47th St.) and another at the South St. Seaport, that sell same-day discounted tickets. Or, save your time and order discount tickets in advance via www.broadwaybox.com. Some theaters offer student and other "rush" tickets, or sell some seats (typically the first row) through lottery. To see which shows offer these, visit www.playbill.com -- a great site to keep up with the latest "in" news, too.

    (This terrific photo of curtaiin time is by Geoff Fox - www.geofffox.com - and is reproduced with his permission.)

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    Jersey Boys

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Jan 1, 2012

    As a break for an afternoon, we went to catch a Broadway matinee. Personally, I am not a fan of the Four Seasons, but I drew this show to attend. I must say, I was very impressed. We did have several of the understudys in the cast, and outside of one instance where a boisterous audience member threw one of them off their lines, you really couldn't tell. The music was well done, and the story was really engaging. A couple of great tidbits along the way (including Joe Pesci and his involvement with the band.) Though I didn't think I'd like it, I was completely wrong, and would recommend this to almost anyone.

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    Intimate Magic...

    by Donna_in_India Updated Aug 1, 2011

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    Off-Broadway's Monday Night Magic at the Bleecker Theater is a great show. Each week there is a different show with some of the world's best magicians.

    The theater is small enough so all the seats are good. There is audience participation and interaction with the magicians as well. During the intermission magicians come into the audience to perform close-up magic.

    Each show features four performers, each with their own style, personality and type of magic. It's a great night of entertainment and it's easy to see why MNM is so popular.

    Shows start at 8 p.m. on Mondays, must arrive by 7:45 p.m. (no earlier than 6 p.m.)

    Discount/Advance Ticket Price: $37.50 (includes a $1.50 facility fee)
    Regular Ticket Price: $42.50 (includes a $1.50 facility fee)
    Premium (Best Seats!) Ticket Price: $66.50 (includes a $1.50 facility fee)

    * The Discount Ticket Price is available until 24 hours prior to showtime. This offer is not valid in combination with any other offer or discount.

    * Parking is available in two outdoor parking lots on 45th St. between 8th and 9th Avenue -- the rate is only $12.00. You can park there for this rate from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

    Public Transportation:

    A, C & E Trains
    Exit at 42nd Street / Port Authority Bus Terminal. Walk north on 8th Avenue to 46th Street. Head west approximately 11⁄2 blocks to theater. The theater is on the right.

    Or . ...

    1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, or S Trains
    Exit at 42nd Street / Times Square. Walk north on 7th Avenue (or Broadway) to 46th Street. Head west approximately 21⁄2 blocks to theater. The theater is on the right.

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    See A Play For Cheap

    by kidkilowatt Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you have come to New York and are looking to take advantage of the theatre scene here, but have not yet purchased your tickets, you might want to consider the option of visiting Duffy Square, the center island of 47th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue for TKTS. TKTS is a booth that sells half-priced tickets to plays on and off-broadway shows (not usually the ones that are sold out regularly or are the biggest draw, but still, usually a good selection). If you do want to take this option, be prepared to get up early and wait in line in order to purchase your tickets. I think when I have done this (it's been years), we would arrive no later than 9:00 am and earlier if possible to get on line and get our pick for the day's matinees. The hours to get evening shows are different, I think. Check the website for a complete list of TKTS operating hours.

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    Go see a Broadway Show!

    by kazander Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    When in New York, you really MUST go see a Broadway Show. It's such a grand experience. I've see such wonderful plays as Les Miserables, Rent, Aida, and most recently Caberet.
    If you don't care which show you see, check out the TKTS office in Times Square is a great place to go to pick up tickets at a lower price. Get there pretty early in the day because the best shows, and seats, go fast. I would plan a day to see a show get there early buy my seats then squeeze in lunch before the show. (i've only ever used the TKTS office for matinees but you can go there for evening tickets as well)
    They only accept Cash and Travellers Checks

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