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Getting Discounted Broadway Tickets

Getting reasonably priced Broadway Tickets is easy if you’re flexible regarding day of the week, time of the show, and which show you’re interested in seeing.

You can make a lasting theatrical memory while in New York without overspending.  Here are a few ways people do it, and Archer’s Favorite Find method of getting discounted Broadway tickets:

Use scalpers.

This leads to epic stories in many cases.  Either the tickets are terrific and you can’t stop raving about the show, or any number of mishaps befall you (including but not limited to you purchasing counterfeit tickets, getting into a dangerous situation and suffering consequences related to the fact that scalping tickets is illegal).

Look for Discounts in Newspapers, Online and on Fliers

While some online discounters actually offer a better price than typical ticket retailers, fees, restrictions and extremely high listed retail prices make it difficult to determine whether or not you are getting a bargain.  Try for an example.  When a retail price for a ticket is $500 +, the discount percentage may look high and the discount price may also still be considerable.  Let your budget be your guide, and be certain that know who you are buying from when you pick up a flier at your library or from someone on the street (major ticket sellers sometimes charge major fees).

Actual Box Office Visits

Set a list of three you’d like to see.  Visit their actual box offices an hour or so before show time and ask if any tickets have become available.  You may pay a premium or retail – both of which could be lower than some online resellers with such little notice.  If you are a last minute planner or you are looking for adventure, this is an option for you… but not a sure thing and a risky way to look for discounts.  Remember that popular shows are regularly sold out far in advance and that city box offices are different from what you may imagine – they are no longer primary ticket sources.

Use a Vetted Ticket Source

Vetted, convenient discount Broadway ticket sales organizations exist.  Allow Archer to introduce you to his absolute Favorite Find in this category:

tkts logo

TKTS is a division of TDF (Theatre Development Fund), a not-for-profit organization which strives toward the continued growth of theatre (on/off Broadway musicals and dance productions).

Three TKTS booths stand today:  You may have seen the one in the actual center of the road at Time Square, and you should also try the ones at the South Street Seaport and in Brooklyn if those locations better fit your plans.  Now, TKTS offers a free “app” as a terrific time saver in that it provides an updated list of available discounted shows and information on how often your favorite shows are currently available via TKTS.

If you are flexible about show choice, if you enjoy people watching, and if you want show tickets at far discounted prices, you should grab a spot in a physical TKTS line.  Waiting in their line is a Favorite Find in itself.  The humorous line wranglers and Patron Service Representatives (pictured below) provide helpful information, such as, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen!  No, we don’t have and may never have tickets for “Wicked,” or “Here is a list of SOME of the tickets we have today…  Be ready to order when you approach the window and have a back up show or two ready just in case.”  Some of the wranglers are so good at getting attention that we wonder if they are Broadway hopefuls themselves.

Note to groups with young people:  there is a free-formed play area adjacent to the TKTS booth at South Street Seaport, so don’t worry about waiting in line with kids – go before the booth opens and play for a while, and then hop on line when the time is right.

Note to everyone: be sure to pay attention to comments like, “slight view obstruction” when choosing ticket price points so that you make a wise choice.  Before you get in line to purchase tickets, ask your hotel concierge or someone at the actual theatre box office of the show you most want to see for some advice.  You may find out something practically perfect, like that the best seats for Mary Poppins are actually in the mezzanine stage left, near the railing (it’s a “wait for it” thing).

Archer takes pleasure in holding actual theatre tickets in hand rather than an e-ticket printout, which is another reason he uses TKTS.  Discounted tickets can be fantastic tickets.  Whether you use TKTS or another reputable provider, enjoy the show.

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