You don’t need to be a theater buff to enjoy a play and see actors at their best. Broadway and Off-Broadway shows offer the chance to see live entertainment, as opposed to another night in front of the television. But most of us can’t afford full-priced Broadway shows all the time, as the costs can add up. However, the good news is that you can buy cheap tickets for Broadway using our insider hacks.
Do you get excited thinking about watching as many Broadway and Off-Broadway plays as possible? Then you’ll likely find these insider tips on how to get cheap tickets super helpful.
1. Get the Partial View Seats
There’s no doubt that having a full view, front row tickets, next to the orchestra is fantastic. Sadly, these tickets can cost $250 and more, well over many people’s budgets.
But experienced theatergoers know that “partial view” seats can cost a third of that. Essentially, these tickets give you access to see the show from a seat with a partially obstructed view (next to a supporting post, a wall, the curtain, etc.) You might not see the whole stage during several scenes.
For some, this compromise is still worth the savings. The tricky part about this tip is that you might get a seat that requires you to shift to see some sections of the stage where the action is.
Furthermore, you should also keep in mind that you can buy cheaper tickets with no view obstructions if you opt for seats in transition areas.
2. Consider Standing Room Only “Seats”
Believe it or not, you don’t have to sit down to watch a Broadway play. If you’re comfortable standing for a few hours, you can get bargain standing-room-only tickets for many shows.
It’s one of the most affordable ways to catch a Broadway show, and can also be a lot of fun. The Standing Room Only or SRO tickets are available when the show is sold or out or nearly sold out.
Unfortunately, the SRO tickets are almost never available for some shows, simply because the show has not sold out.
On the other hand, it’s more likely you can find SRO tickets for popular Broadway plays that regularly have high ticket sales. You will likely stand at the back of the orchestra section, where these positions are usually.
3. Check Out the Wednesday Matinee
You can find many Broadway shows with Wednesday matinee programs that start between 2 and 3 p.m. Granted, not everyone can make it to these matinees, but they are open for all.
However, the bulk of the audience usually consists of retirees and senior citizens. The early show times let them catch a show, grab an early dinner, and be in bed by 8 p.m. But the best part is that the Wednesday matinee tickets are typically between 10-50% less than the full price.
4. Join the Theatre Development Fund (TDF)
Some would say that Theatre Development Fund, or TDF, is the secret to cheap Broadway tickets. If you want to find the most affordable Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway tickets, consider purchasing the annual TDF membership.
It costs $34 for the year and can save a fortune for those who don’t miss a chance to see a play. The TDF usually lists more than 200 shows on their official website every week or two before they officially open.
Any TDF member can buy up to nine tickets for one performance for as little as $9 for an Off-Broadway play. The only downside is that you don’t get to choose your seats – sometimes you may not love the ones you get.
Also, if you’re not a regular Broadway visitor, this may not be worthwhile.
5. Head to TKTS Booth
Sometimes people talk about TKTS Booth and TDF as if they are the same entity. That’s because TDF is the driving force behind TKTS Booth – which sells day-of-show tickets – but they function separately.
You can find the oldest TKTS Booth underneath the red steps in Times Square, but two satellite locations exist too, one in Brooklyn and the other in Southstreet Seaport.
Note that you don’t need to be a TDF member to purchase discount theater tickets from the TKTS Booth. However, you can also download the TKTS Booth Android or iOS app and check out the list of discounts.
6. Hunt for Tickets Online
Modern theater enthusiasts are likely to search for cheap Broadway tickets online. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous resources, but not all are efficient.
One of the best ways to use your smartphone to buy affordable tickets is to download the TodayTix app. You can use it to find very cheap tickets months in advance and great theater ticket deals overall.
Another excellent online solution is the New York Show Tickets website, though the membership is $4 per month.
7. Join the 30 Under 35 Theatre Club
If you’re under 35 and can spend $30 on a Broadway or Off-Broadway show, consider joining the 30 Under 35 Program, courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club.
One of the biggest perks of this program is the exclusive post-show party invitations. You can mingle with other program members and discuss the plays with other theater lovers.
8. Visit the Box Office Directly
When you want to see a popular Broadway play, searching for discount tickets becomes more challenging. Nevertheless, there are ways you can minimize the amount you pay for your tickets.
While buying tickets online and via different services is convenient, it also comes with service fees. On the other hand, if you go directly to the box office, you avoid the fees.
You may find excellent seats that were recently added back to the ticket pool at a lower price. Resale marketers and scalpers might not have seen these tickets yet, so you get to snag them at a great price.
9. Get the Rush Tickets
Many Broadway and Off-Broadway productions offer same-day rush tickets to those willing to schedule the purchase. If you’re lucky, you can get access to a show you’re excited to see for as little as $20.
In some cases, you can get cheap rush tickets online or via an app. But if you’re near the theater’s box office, you can purchase them directly and avoid processing fees. Remember that you should buy tickets as early as possible, around 10 or 11 a.m., and noon on Sundays.
10. Kid’s Night on Broadway
Every year, the Broadway League, a national trade association for the Broadway industry, organizes Kid’s Night on Broadway events.
All children under 18 can get a free ticket for a Broadway show, plus restaurant and parking discounts. However, a full-paying adult must join them for the event.
This isn’t the standard Broadway ticket discount. Although, if you have a young person in your life who you’d love to introduce to Broadway, this event is a fantastic option.
11. Try the Broadway Roulette
If you want to make finding cheap Broadway tickets more fun, consider playing the Broadway Roulette. It’s a pretty straightforward operation. You register and pay a flat fee for the tickets, typically around $50, give or take.
Then, you choose the number of tickets you want, opt for the type of play, and the roulette wheel takes over. Finally, on the day of the show, you will get a notification regarding the play you’ll watch and all other details. Don’t worry; all Broadway shows are a part of the roulette, even the most popular.
12. Play the Lottery
Broadway ticket lotteries are not a novelty, but many people are unaware of them. Some productions, like “Wicked,” still allow in-person ticket lotteries, but most are conducted these days digitally.
Keep in mind that some Broadway ticket lotteries are more competitive than others. For example, you can win the “Hamilton” lottery and get a $10 ticket for this popular show.
Sounds great, but the problem is that the lottery only contains 46 tickets. So, for some lotteries, you need more luck than the others.
13. Use Your Student Status
If you are a student, there is more than one way to purchase cheap Broadway tickets. You will need a valid student ID on hand when you visit the individual theater’s box office. So, it’s best to plan the purchase and make sure you bring your student ID. Also, student ticket policies can vary from theater to theater, so check before purchasing.
14. Consider Group Tickets
Group Broadway tickers are much more affordable, so, if possible, consider organizing your friends and family for an outing.
Most box offices sell group tickets for 15 to 20 people and offer up to a 15% discount. The challenge here is getting 15 people to agree on which Broadway show they want to see.
On the other hand, the discount incentive may force everyone to work together to achieve the same goal.
15. American Express Cheap Tickets
Did you know that ticket brokers prefer American Express cards because it allows them to get tickets before the public?
All American Express cardholders can access this perk but are also eligible for Broadway ticket discounts and other benefits.
Get Cheap Broadway Tickets Like a Pro
Paying full price for a Broadway show production seems unnecessary when there are many ways to get discounts. Indeed, waiting in line at the TKTS Booth might not be feasible for some.
But others have the time and energy to do it. If you’re always on your phone, searching for cheap tickets online is probably the best strategy. Meanwhile, students, seniors, and anyone with more time on their hands can check out the Wednesday matinee.
Also, don’t neglect the importance of TDF membership for genuine theater buffs. The annual fee may seem steep for some, but it’s an excellent investment and will likely pay off quickly.
Finally, the best insider tip on how to get cheap tickets for Broadway is to try any of them when you can.