Aug 16, 2018

Broadway Bargains

By Joanne Colella

Broadway New York

Monmouth County residents are fortunate to have many theaters available locally, featuring a wide variety of outstanding plays, musicals, comedy, concerts, and more – all just minutes away. But there’s something special about a night out on Broadway that makes for a magical theater experience.

There is often a wide disparity between the cost of Broadway tickets and more budget-friendly prices at local venues. Do a Google search for “discount Broadway tickets” and you may find yourself launched to websites of ticket brokers that don’t actually offer less expensive prices or legitimate tickets, so use caution. If you’re a bargain shopper when it comes to show tickets, you may already know about some of the following discount opportunities that are reputable – or you may learn some new ones. Check out these suggestions for a breathtaking Broadway performance, at prices that won’t take your breath away.

TKTS Discount Booths are perhaps the longest-running discount venue for show tickets. Their flagship location, right in the middle of Times Square, has been a go-to spot for tourists and savvy locals alike for more than 40 years. TKTS now has four convenient locations, including South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, at Lincoln Center on the upper West Side, and in downtown Brooklyn. Same-day theater tickets are sold at 20 to 50 percent off regular prices, with availability and inventory changing throughout the day, so it’s wise to arrive early and remain flexible as to which show you’d like to see. Visit tdf.org/nyc/7/TKTS for directions, hours, tips, live updates on ticket listings, and more.

TheaterMania, founded in 1999, is a leading source for theater listings, tickets, articles, videos, interviews, and reviews for shows throughout the United States. Subscribers to their free email list receive newsletters, discount ticket alerts, and special offers that are updated often. TheaterMania also offers a paid membership to The Gold Club, which allows you to reserve show tickets at prices that are deeply discounted or even free. The Gold Club membership plans are $99 (two tickets per show) and $169 (four tickets per show) per year and let you see as many shows as you’d like. For details, visit theatermania.com.

BroadwayBox is another website, established in 2001. Its creators explain that they wanted to see a particular show that summer, but their schedules only allowed one possible date, and since there was no guarantee that tickets would be available that same day at TKTS, they bought full-price tickets in advance. As luck would have it, a discount offer arrived in the mail the day after they enjoyed the show, sparking the idea of creating a better way to learn about discount offers in advance. The idea came to fruition after Sept. 11, when the founders of BroadwayBox decided that encouraging people to visit Broadway would be their humble contribution to helping New York City recover from the disaster. Ticket buyers can search online by show, category, genre, and multiple discount offers to see the latest deals. The site is free, with an option of signing up for free discount alerts. Visit broadwaybox.com to learn more.

The aptly-named Broadway for Broke People has a bare-bones website that lists cheap ticket policies – such as last-minute student or general rush tickets, digital lotteries, and standing-room-only tickets – for current and upcoming shows. Details include the show title, theater location, first preview date, known closing date, performance schedule, and a link for each show where you can see information on how to access the cheap tickets offered. Try it at broadwayforbrokepeople.com.

For the more adventurous theater patron, Broadway Roulette puts a whole different spin on ticket buying. Visitors to the website select a date and the number of tickets they need, then indicate their preferences (musical or play) and up to six shows they would not want to see. The ticket order is placed for a set price ($49 to $59 each) that is less than face value. On the morning of the show, an email and a text notification is sent to the purchaser that reveals the show name, start time, theater address, and pickup instructions. Broadway Roulette will track the shows you’ve attended so you are never sent to the same show twice if you decide to play again. If you love surprises, or have a hard time deciding what to see next, visit broadwayroulette.com.

Appealing to a younger, more tech-savvy and Uber-friendly audience is TodayTix, a ticket-purchasing mobile app created in 2013. It is targeted primarily toward last-minute buyers, with show dates often listed up to several weeks in advance, and purchases are made in seconds with just a few taps of the screen. Tickets can be purchased on the TodayTix website, but visitors are encouraged to get the app to have more options, including entering ticket lotteries, buying last-minute rush tickets, setting show alerts, etc. Visit todaytix.com or look for the TodayTix app on your cell phone or tablet.

Lucky Seat is another basic website that lists Broadway shows, along with a few in other cities, that are accepting entries in their online ticket lotteries.  Follow the links and you will see the date of the next performance available by lottery, the entry deadline, and when the drawing will be held. You may select the dates and times of performance you’d like to try for, and you will receive a text notification informing you if you’ve won, or you can check the status of your entries on the website. Feeling lucky? Go to luckyseat.com.

To explore more discount opportunities, take a look at offerings available on Groupon, LivingSocial, TravelZoo, Goldstar, Restaurant.com, AAA, AARP, and even warehouse clubs such as Costco, BJ’s Wholesale, and Sam’s Club. And if you manage to snag some Broadway seats, be sure to also sign up on the website AudienceRewards.com. Membership is free; when purchasing show tickets, remember to provide your Audience Rewards number to accumulate points. Earned ShowPoints can be redeemed for tickets, dining, or other goods and services.

Enjoy the show!