What, you want to go today – and still get a good deal on tickets? Don’t despair, you have some options open.
Half-Price Ticket Windows – New York has three, Boston has two, and they’re popping up in many other cities across the country. Tourists who just want the experience of a live show but aren’t picky about which one gravitate towards these booths, which sell half-price tickets on the day of performance. In-the-know locals love them too as a way to get a cheap culture fix. Don’t go expecting to find any “hot ticket” shows or concerts here, since the specialty is under-sold performances. But don’t let the fact that these shows aren’t smash hits deter you – we’ve seen numerous gems this way (and many of them better than some of the overpriced and over-praised sell-out shows).
Rush/Lotteries – In the beginning, Rush tickets – which were usually $20 front-row seats – were first come first served. But to prevent kids from spending the night on the sidewalk and scalpers from snapping up too many of these cheap tickets, most shows that offer Rush tickets now distribute them in a lottery held at the theater a few hours prior to curtain. Prices are usually $20-30 and often must be paid in cash right away if you win. Policies vary slightly depending on the show, so always check at the box office or online (Playbill.com keeps an updated list of Rush info) in advance.
Coupons – Though it isn’t as simple as clipping coupons for groceries, coupons for performing arts companies can at times be found at hotels, in local magazines, in the Entertainment coupon books, and inside programs for other local arts events.
Senior/Student – Student and senior discount policies vary considerably depending on the venue or show, but most offer them, so inquire at the box office or check the website. Student ticket discounts tend to be bigger than senior discounts. Sometimes these discounts are available in advance and sometimes they are designated as “Rush,” meaning that you can’t get them until the day of performance. Unfortunately seniors are usually left out in the cold when it comes to getting discounts for Broadway shows and Broadway national tours.