(Last Updated On: November 23, 2021)

One of the biggest drawcards to New York City is the theatre. The great white way that leads to the neon glow of Times Square is synonymous with some of the biggest, best and most dynamic theatre productions in the world. But how to score cheap Broadway tickets without breaking the bank? There are a few options available to you, but there is a certain amount of flexibility required if you’re really keen on saving a few bucks. So without further ado, lets open the curtains (pun intended) and get into the tips and tricks behind scoring cheap Broadway tickets.

Ticket Lotteries

Sometimes with the really big shows (*cough* Hamilton *cough*), it is utterly impossible to get a ticket unless you’ve booked a long time in advance. If you’re like me and don’t ever book anything that far in the future, then a ticket lottery might be your only chance to score a seat in the room where it happens. Ticket lotteries can either be done online or at the theatre – it depends on the show. NY Tix gives a good summary of what is available on each day and whether the lottery is in person or online. For example, Hamilton has an app where you can enter the digital lottery and some of the other hot tickets in town like 2019 Tony Award Winner Hadestown are also digital, but shows like Wicked or the brand new Beetlejuice still do a good old face to face lottery at the theatre. Follow the NY Tix guide to check out what’s available. So many people enter these lotteries each day, so the chance of winning is slim – if you don’t mind which show you see, then I’d recommend entering all the lotteries for every day you’re in New York to give yourself the best chance.

 

TKTS

For years, wannabe theatre goers have visited the red TKTS booth in Times Square in the hope of scoring themselves cheap tickets to a Broadway show. TKTS is run by the Theatre Development Fund, with booths also located at the Lincoln Center and at South Street Seaport (the lines at these tend to move quicker than the Time Square booth). TKTS usually has a variety of shows available for sale for same day performances, but be warned that not all shows will be available. I’ve never seen Hamilton or Dear Evan Hansen on sale at TKTS for example. The Times Square booth also has a play only line, so if you’re in the market to see a straight play (no dance or musical theatre) then you’ll be able to hop into this faster moving line.

There’s also good news for those who don’t want to wait in a line any longer. The TKTS team now have a mobile app that tells you what discounted tickets are on sale for that date. You’re able to save shows as favourites and get alerts for when certain productions are discounted.

Today Tix

Another handy app to download before looking for cheap broadway tickets is Today Tix. Like the TKTS app, Today Tix has listed discounts for theatre productions around the city and also includes options to search for Off-Broadway or special productions like seasons of Shakespeare in Central Park. If you purchase through Today Tix, then to collect, you’ll likely need to meet a uniformed Today Tix person out the front of the theatre for your chosen show and they’ll hand over your cheap broadway tickets. Today Tix will tell you before purchasing how you’ll need to collect your tickets.

Rush Tickets

Some productions reserve a certain amount of ‘rush’ tickets for on the day sales only. These can be administered either digitally or as is more common, at the theatre itself on the day of the performance. For rush tickets, you’re usually only allowed to purchase a maximum of 2 tickets per person, so make sure you don’t turn up solo if you need to buy 4 tickets. For a list of shows running rush ticket promotions, again check out the summary on NY Tix.

 

Visit the Box Office

I’ve found particularly as a solo traveller, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to get decent tickets at the last minute for major shows (i.e. ones that aren’t available via TKTS or Today Tix). Often, when you’re alone, the theatre can squeeze you into that one solo seat that they haven’t been able to sell, because everyone is searching for two tickets or wants to sit together. This isn’t an exact science and it is risky – because if the theatre is full, then you miss out. But, at the very least, it doesn’t hurt to ask and even if the ticket you’re offered isn’t discounted that heavily, you will save on transaction/service fees. You just never know what you might be able to get unless you try.

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