Get the Best Broadway Show Tickets For Less

Phantom of the Opera SignIf it’s been a while since you last purchased tickets to Broadway shows in New York City, prepare for sticker shock. Premium seats now go for well over $200, and the most highly prized seats can be much, much more–think an insanely high $500 for Book of Mormon. There are a number of online vendors that promise cheap tickets, but how to know if you’re getting good value? Here’s my tried and true guide to finding the best Broadway show tickets at the best price.

Step 1) Learn what’s good. A free subscription to Playbill Club keeps you posted about the latest shows and special offers, and club membership gets you into the discount listings. NYC Go Seats provides show synopses and a database to sort these by genre and audiences; ticket purchases automatically pull up the best seats available. New York City Theater does a good job of describing all kinds of shows, even better it includes information on parking, dining, and hotels. This is a good place to learn about upcoming shows and those in previews; note that tickets offered for sale are resale tickets that may be sold at above face value. Broadway World provides show and travel discounts, plus it lists college and high school productions where you can catch the next star (at rock bottom prices.)

Step 2) Timing is everything. There is a big difference in price for Broadway shows during the high-demand holiday season versus the slow months of January, February, September, and October. Not only are ticket prices lower, these months bring special events that make a theater outing even more wonderful. Broadway Week, which typically runs in fall and winter, returns January 19-February 5, 2016 with 2-for-1 tickets to the best shows in town. And on the 20th annual Kids Night On Broadway (February 9, 2016,) kids accompanying adults get in free at participating shows and the fun includes restaurant deals in addition to events and activities.

Step 3) Know the venue. Not all front row seats are created equal. Depending on the layout of the theater, sometimes front mezzanine seats offer the best view of the stage. An inexpensive New York Show Tickets subscription ($7 for 30 days to ALL GUIDES – Broadway, TV, Parking, Comedy and Attractions) lets you peruse listings that also include attractions, comedy clubs, and TV Shows taping in New York. Broadway show descriptions are among the most comprehensive and include theater analysis of seats with best sight lines, and the worst, as well as best value options. Listings also include discount codes that can be used when making purchases through Ticketmaster or TeleCharge.


Step 3) Decide what you’re willing to pay. If choosing a specific seat is important to you, and money is no object, you might as well order tickets from the venue. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest tickets, your best bet is the same day red-and-white TKTs booths in Times Square, the South Street Seaport, and Brooklyn. You don’t even have to wait till the last minute. TKTs is operated by the nonprofit Theatre Development Fund which provides a membership subscription service online that lists discounted tickets as much as weeks in advance. There is an annual fee (currently $34) and to join, you must be a student, a teacher, a union member, a civil service employee, a nonprofit or performing arts organization employee, in the armed forces, full-time clergy, a retiree, or a freelancer.

Step 4) Pull the trigger. Pick up a discount code on Playbill, TheaterMania, BroadwayBox, or New York Show Tickets and use it to buy  tickets from the theater website (usually through an affiliated ticket vendor such as Telecharge or Ticketmaster.) If you’re in the city, save the online fees and use the discount codes at the theater box office.

Step 5) Don’t spend a cent. Use points from rewards programs to fund tickets. Telecharge makes it easy by showing American Express preferred seating on the seating chart, and it gives you the option of using your reward points at checkout.

Step 6) Procrastinate. Wait until the day of the show when, in addition to the TKTs booths, discounted tickets can be purchased on the same day online at TheaterMania or at some theater box offices as “Rush” tickets. These are usually available in the last hours before the show, and may only be available to students and seniors. Check the performance space website for details, and find out if the venue offers Standing Room Only tickets (sometimes available for sold out performances.) Or take your chances on BroadwayBox (also available as a mobile app) where you can enter to win same day tickets in the Daily Lottery.

How to Get the Best Broadway Show Tickets For Less in 6 Easy Steps via

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Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of many cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Nowadays, she stars in her own version of "Where's Waldo?," always in search of sweet treats and grand adventures.

Show 5 Comments
  • Penny Sadler December 3, 2015, 12:10 pm Link

    Great tips! I hope I get a chance to try them out soon!

  • Lillie December 8, 2015, 9:14 pm Link

    I’m listening to Showtunes as I write this. 🙂 As a Broadway addict who hasn’t seen a show in person in way too long, I love and appreciate these tips!

  • Cat of Sunshine and Siestas December 9, 2015, 2:38 am Link

    As a Chicagoan, I’m fortunate enough to have great shows come to town for a fraction of the cost. I love musicals but sadly skipped a show for a baseball game last time I was in NYC! Great tips – one day!

  • McKenzie January 18, 2017, 3:42 pm Link

    You were right about not all front rows being created equal. Some theater’s front row is so close that you cannot even see the whole stage, so being in the front isn’t even as enjoyable as being further back. Thank you for sharing these amazing tips!

  • Cameron Bennett September 13, 2017, 10:12 am Link

    I like how you listed the times of the year where Broadway is less busy. I am going to New York soon, and want to catch a show. Now I know that the time I’m going is a great time to go see a show! I want to find a good website to buy tickets from, one that I know is transparent with their transactions. There are so many out there, I will have to do a bit m ore research into finding one that works best for me.

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