If it’s been a while since you last purchased Broadway show tickets, prepare for sticker shock. Premium seats at popular New York City musical theaters now go for well over $200, and the most highly prized seats can be much, much more–think an insanely high $850 for the best seats to Hamilton.
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 tickets to Broadway shows at discount prices.
What are popular shows on Broadway?
When is the best time to buy a Broadway show ticket?
Where are the best seats in a theater for watching a musical?
How to get best prices on broadway show tickets?
How to get Broadway tickets at a discount in New York?
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.
How to Afford Broadway?
What are rush tickets?
Wait until the day of the show when, in addition to the TKTs booths, discounted tickets can be purchased as Rush tickets.
These are usually available in the last hours before the show at the theater, 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 even available for sold out performances.)
Off Broadway Shows
Don’t limit your search to just Broadway shows. By definition, an Off-Broadway theater is any performance venue in New York City that seats 100 to 499.
There are a lot of amazing performances in Manhattan at Off-Broadway theaters, and you might just luck out seeing a show that will eventually move on up to Broadway.
For even better savings, check the TDF’s Off-Off Broadway listings (available separately with a one-time fee of $5 or with TDF membership.)
A very few theaters offer backstage tours. When available, it’s a rare opportunity to meet actors, see the sets, and to learn what goes into producing these elaborate spectacles.
The only regularly scheduled backstage tours available to individuals is Behind The Emerald Curtain, a look at Wicked being performed at the Gershwin Theater. New Amsterdam Theater, home to Aladdin, makes a Behind The Magic tour available to groups. (They also offer Broadway Workshops.)
Additionally, theaters will occasionally offer backstage tours in charity drives or as a premium ticket option. Check theater websites for available information.
Finally, a few tour companies run Broadway theater district walking tours. Check their websites for tour descriptions, prices, and availability:
Take a Broadway Show Home with You
The best souvenir from a Broadway Show is the memories that last a lifetime. But you can also drop a lot of moolah at theater gift shops.
One way to save money, and the expense of overweight luggage, is to shop online. Here are a few favorite items:
- Listen to the production over and over again. We love the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton.
- Any singers in the house? Order the Show Lyrics. Into the Woods: Vocal Selections has easy to read sheets, plus articles and photos from Stephen Sondheim’s beloved classic.
- Read all about it in the Playbill Broadway Yearbook publication, At This Theater: 100 Years of Broadway Shows, Stories and Stars.
Plan a Weekend Getaway In New York City
If you’re going to see a Broadway show, you might as well make a weekend of it. Our New York City neighborhood travel guides cover all the best things to do, top restaurants, and our favorite hotels.
- Times Square NY For Non-Touristy Tourists
- Central Park South: The New York City of the Movies
- Chelsea NYC: FIT, Flowers, Floating Gardens, Figures, and the Cool Cambria Hotel
- Madison Avenue Business District: A More Intimate Designer Shopping Experience Off 5th
- See the Real Stephan and Other Opportunities in Midtown Manhattan
- Downtown NYC: I’ll Take Lower Manhattan
- 24 Hours in DUMBO Brooklyn; a Brooklyn NYC Itinerary