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Tips for Scoring Discounted Broadway Tickets

by Teresa Bitler

Feb 14, 2020

Photo: Teresa Bitler

Budget

From Disney favorites to adaptions of popular movies, Broadway has a show for every family, but, unfortunately, with tickets averaging more than $100, not every family can afford to go.

 

Your family doesn’t have to be one of them. Using these tips, you can find deals on even the most popular shows and make memories to last a lifetime.

 

Purchase from Outlets

Several outlets sell tickets at significantly discounted prices. For example, Broadway Box’s Mean Girls tickets begin at $40.50. Without the discount, tickets start at $69.50. You can purchase tickets online using Broadway Box’s discount code, by phone or in person.

 

TheaterMania offers similar discounts, but also allows you to sign up for its newsletter alerting subscribers to deals and upcoming shows. Its Gold Club membership ($99 for two seats, $169 for four seats, annually) may be worth it for exclusive discounts on advance sales if you plan to see several shows during your stay.

 

Operated by the Theatre Development Fund, the TKTS Discount Booths sell discounted tickets at three locations in New York City: Times Square, South Street Seaport and Lincoln Center. However, the lines can get long. If you don’t want to wait, download the app TodayTix.

 

TKTS booth in Times Square. Photo: Teresa Bitler

 

Get a Membership

Like TheaterMania’s Gold Club, several online sites give the best discounts to members. As a member of Theatre Development Fund, you can purchase tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows for as little as $11–49. You can qualify for membership if you are a full-time teacher, union member, government employee or member of the armed forces, among other things. Annual membership is $40.

 

If you don’t qualify for TDF membership, purchase a membership to New York Show Tickets for $4.95 per month. Membership gives you access to special discount codes and alerts on general discounts for particular shows, but even if you don’t join, the website provides information on what discounts might be available and how much the discount might be.

 

Buy Direct

If you don’t mind taking a risk, you can save substantially (tickets for as little as $25) by purchasing general rush tickets, which can cost as little as $25 each, directly from the theater on the day of the performance. Go as soon as the box office opens for the best shot at getting tickets together or, depending on the show, getting tickets at all.

 

Similarly, teens can purchase student rush tickets for themselves and a plus one for as little as $20 with a student ID.

 

Popular shows may not have general or student rush tickets available, but some will offer standing-room-only tickets on days when the performance is sold out instead. Standing-room-only tickets probably aren’t the best option for families with younger kids or adults with bad backs, knees or other ailments.

 

Participate in a Lottery

Some of Broadway’s steepest discounts come through lotteries. You can find a list of current lotteries, the price of lottery tickets and details about how to enter (along with information on general rush, student rush and other discounts) here.

 

Typically, lotteries require you to register online the day before you want to see the show. The day of the show, you’ll be notified you won and given instruction on how to purchase your tickets. (Usually, you’ll only be able to purchase two tickets.) If you don’t mind the risk, the reward can be substantial, think Lion King orchestra tickets that usually sell for $175 for $30.

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