When I came to New York, I did not think I would be seeing any Broadway shows because I would be a broke student. Broadway, if you didn’t know, can be crazy expensive. Still, my friends and I have managed to see a few shows without breaking the bank, using services that I now assume are common knowledge, but I was not aware of before moving to the city.
1.) TKTS: This one was the only one I knew. The booth in the middle of Times Square sells discounted tickets for certain shows each day. The discounts range, but they are up on a board if you don’t want to waste your time.
2.) Online discount sites: Sites like Broadwaybox and Tix4Students allow you to shop around online for discounted Broadway tickets. Some sites require membership, but most of the time the membership is free.
3.) Speaking of online….some lotteries for shows are now online. Even Hamilton! You can also go down to the theater and enter the lottery. If you win lottery tickets you get to see the show for a really discounted price and usually awesome seats. If you win, you also just feel a rush of joy because you’re a winner, which makes for a good night.
4.) Speaking of rushes, you can go to the theater for rush or student rush tickets. These tickets are also heavily discounted, though more are available on certain nights than others. Rush tickets are made for students! Your education is finally paying off! You can also go to some theaters and get standing room tickets, though these are typically bought as one per person, while rush tickets are often good for you and a friend. Standing room tickets are a little riskier because the policy is typically that the show must be sold out before they sell standing room.
5.) The last tip can also be a little tricky, and not as cheap, but don’t forget the cancellation line! At times, people can’t make it to a show. You can snag their tickets after waiting in line for a while. These tickets are cheaper than scalping (buying through re-sellers) but really the benefit is that you might get to see a show like Hamilton, in great seats, now instead of in 2017 some time.
Personally, I have still only gone to two Broadway shows and one off-Broadway since actually moving here, but I didn’t really expect even that. I know people who have gone to 10 or more now that they’ve learned the tricks of the trade. Obviously it will add up if you see a show every night, but amazing theater on a budget is very possible, we should try to make use of it.