Learning how to get cheap Broadway tickets is simple if you’re in the know, but many tourists aren’t aware of the best way to get discounts on Broadway shows, so they blindly and needlessly pay premium prices to see plays and musicals on the great white way. Full price theatre tickets in New York are very expensive; in this article I’ll show you how to get cheap Broadway tickets on virtually every show currently playing.
I have visited New York a few times. On my last trip I was lucky enough to see Bernadette Peters in Follies, Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the Tony Award nominated Stockard Channing in Other Dessert Cities, as well as three of the USA’s longest running shows; Wicked, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera. On my final night, I strolled along 42nd Street, whistling an Andrew Lloyd Webber show tune, after a happy night in the front row of the dress circle. As I fanned myself with the Playbill in the mid-summer humidity, I was content in the knowledge that I’d been lucky enough to see twice as many shows than most of the other tourists, at half the price.
Well, there are three or four different ways to take advantage of a multitude of deals like two for one Broadway tickets or various discount vouchers. I find I get the best results by putting in the time to shop around and compare the discounts I’m offered. The sites and services I advocate in this article were all originally recommended to me by actors and dancers working in musicals in New York; after all, who would know better than them where to find the best discounts on Broadway shows?
If you’re looking to buy Broadway tickets online, Broadway Box is the number one site for discount codes and vouchers offering up to 60% off top price tickets. You’re guaranteed the best seat available for a matinee or evening performance at a significantly reduced price.
Broadway Box is a completely free service and works very much like any other deals site. Visitors can search for the musical or play they’d like to see and check out the discounts available, or simply browse all the options available.
You can find discounts for most Broadway shows on Broadway Box. You can save the voucher to your smart phone or print it off. You then either enter the code online at the booking website, quote it over the phone or present the voucher at the box office of the theatre where the specific show is playing and claim your tickets – simple. You can even choose your seat from a selection in the specified price range (stalls and front dress circle are usually the top priced seats, with the back of the dress, the balcony and upper circle being cheaper).
Most of the vouchers are valid for a specific period and may have certain restrictions (ie. must be used Monday to Friday). But don’t worry, as soon as one deal ends, Broadway Box tends to release a new one for the same show.
The great advantage of using Broadway Box is that you can book in advance and aren’t risking disappointment.
The Half Price Ticket Stands
There are presently three TKTS ticket booths in New York City; Times Square, South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn. The Times Square branch is easily the most popular as it is right in the heart of Broadway.
If you ask any New Yorker how to get cheap Broadway tickets, they are likely to send you straight to the half price ticket booth. It’s true, the best deals are up for grabs here, but the disadvantage is that they are only released on the day of the performance so booking in advance isn’t an option. Great for the risk-takers, but you are never guaranteed to get into your first choice show. You also get very limited choice in terms of where you sit and there is always a very long line so you have to be patient. The people who work in the TKTS booths are generally typical New-Yorkers so have a good idea of the shows you’d like to see before queuing, otherwise they are likely to lose patience with you.
I would recommend going for this option if you aren’t particularly fussy about which show you get tickets for and just want the experience of seeing any Broadway play or musical. If you let the staff recommend a show, you may be pleasantly surprised and see something unique.
Great discounts on Broadway shows of up to 50% are available and most of the seats are in the front mezzanine or the orchestra, so you’ll normally have a pretty good view.
If you’re looking for tickets to a very popular show, get to the ticket booth as soon as it opens.
A similar set-up to Broadway Box, the Playbill site offers great reductions on top-selling shows. It’s worth comparing the offers on both sites, as they are often quite different. You may be able to get 30% off Ghost the musical on Playbill and 50% of the same ticket on Broadway Box, or vice versa. Both sites some times offer two for one Broadway tickets, so keep a look out.
The main difference with Playbill is that you are required to become a member. There is no charge for this; you are simply put on a mailing list which you can opt out of once you’ve got your cheap Broadway show tickets, if you want to.
The great thing about being a member of Playbill is that you’ll be kept up to date with reviews and news about star-names (who you may have the opportunity to see) appearing in theatrical productions.
You’ll also be eligible for discounts at some of the top restaurants in New York, so you can enjoy a cheap pre or post-theater dinner and drinks.
Standing Room Only
Your last inexpensive way to see a Broadway show is to queue up at the box office of the theatre until the show sells out and begins to advertise ‘standing room only’. These tickets usually only go on sale after every seat is sold, which may not always happen. If it does, it may be minutes before the curtain goes up. However, if you’re willing to risk it, you may be able to stand at the back of the stalls or the mezzanine for as little as $7.50. The only disadvantage is that it can get slightly uncomfortable if it’s a particularly long show.
If you’re dreaming of giving a standing ovation at the finale of the latest Tony Award winning musical, but worried you don’t have sufficient funds, remember the tips in this guide on how to get cheap Broadway tickets and you won’t need pay a fortune for the best seat in the house!