Discounted New York Theater Events ( to line up for . . . )
If you don't mind standing in line, here are some options:
- TKTS is located in three places, the most exciting of which is in Duffy Square (47th Street and Broadway). Even if you don't want tickets, this location is lively, especially at night when its bright, red steps are illuminated. These same steps provide ample space to sit, too.
Hours: For evening performances: Monday through Saturday at 3pm - 8pm. Sundays: 3pm until one-half hour before the latest curtain time being sold. For matinee performances: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10am - 2pm. Sundays: 11am - 3pm. No evening tickets are sold from 10am to 2 pm at Times Square.
A second location (see map) with much shorter lines is Downtown, near the popular South Street Sea Port at the corner of Front and John Streets.
Hours: For same-day evening and next day matinee performances, Monday - Saturday at 11am - 6pm. Sunday at 11am - 4pm.
A third location is in downtown Brooklyn at the corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue Promenade.
Hours: For same-day evening and next day matinee performances, Tuesday through Saturday at 11am - 6pm. Matinee tickers are always sold at this location the day before the performance.
Visit www.TDF.org for more information about TDF, including other discount programs and email announcements.
- Standing Room Only (SRO) Tickets or "Lottery Rush Tickets" are available at almost all theaters. Arrive at the box office at least two hours before show time. Generally, you'll register by writing down your name, but theaters do have a variety of procedures, so check ahead to find out what's needed. In my experience, if seats are empty a half hour after show time, you can take them. Prices are steeply discounted, falling between $20 and $30.
Discounted New York Theater Events ( the easy way . . . )
OK, for those of you who want discounts delivered to your door or sent via email, make sure you sign up for information at the plays, dances and concerts you attend.
The easiest way to get discounts, however, is to sign up at any or all of the following online discount ticket services. After you identify an appropriate discount code, the best deal is to print the discount offer and bring it to the box office, rather than buy your tickets online. Once at the theater, you get your choice of seats (which you don't get online) and the discount, plus you avoid paying a transaction fee. You must, however, have a printout of the discount offer with you, or else the discount won't be honored.
If you are at the theater and know a valid discount code, but have forgotten to bring your discount offer printout with you, use your cell phone to call it in. I know people who've done this while standing directly outside of the box office! A call-in service charge applies in this situation, but that's better than no discount at all.
- www.SeasonOfSavings.com As of January 2004, this discount coupon site is referenced by www.Playbill.com and www.ILoveNYTheater.com. Check all three links before making a decision.
- www.PlayBill.com. This site always features discount ticket offers for major plays as well as for restaurants and hotels.
When you sign up as a Playbill club member, you'll receive frequent email on theater specials, including collectables. Playbill.com also features articles on theater history, celebrity buzz, casting and jobs, and seating charts, making it a tremendous resource and a great place to visit.
Most of Playbill.com's offerings are restricted in some way, so don't expect to get cheap seats for a top play on Saturday night. Wednesday is more like it.
- Theater Mania. www.TheatreMania.com provides the best quick reference to what's going on around town, discounted or not. Once on the site, click New York, and when you arrive at the New York Home, click New York Shows & Tickets or Discount Broadway Tickets. Consider joining its Gold Club for steeper discounts.
Impressively, Theater Mania lets you find and/or group show information in a number of ways, such as by Broadway/Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Cabaret, and Concert & Events. You can also sort information by clicking any column name on the list's blue heading bar, as seen below:
- TDF Vouchers. Attend off-off Broadway shows for very low prices by using TDF Vouchers, which you purchase online from www.TDF.org. These vouchers are $9 each, sold in packages of four.
- Manhattan Theatre Club. This group's five- to six-play series sells at approximately 35% off regular price. Students get five plays for $100. Call (212) 399-3030 or visit their site at www.mtc-nyc.org. The Manhattan Theatre Club's projects have a history of rave reviews.
- The Theater Development Fund. This organization provides steep discounts for retirees, students, teachers, clergy, performing professionals, union members and members of the armed services. This is the group that also runs TKTS booths (mentioned above) which sell discounted tickets to the general public.(212) 221-0013. www.TDF.org
- Audience Extras. This excellent group provides very discounted tickets to play previews, post openings, off/off-off Broadway theaters, and some deluxe cabarets. Membership is $85 (which lets you purchase up to two tickets at a time) or $135 (which lets you purchase up to four tickets at a time). In addition, you must keep a reserve fund (minimum $30) from which you buy your tickets. Tickets are approximately $3 each. Joining this organization provides the best way that I know of to learn more about New York City's live entertainment. www.audienceextras.com (212) 989-9550.
- High 5 Tickets. This organization offers 90% discounted tickets to middle and senior high school students. Even though adults don't qualify for these discounts, check their phone hotline anyway for event announcements. Every week they highlight five events and all sound like really cool! Call (212) 445-8587 for details. www.high5tix.org.
- BroadwayBox. I'm not so sure I'd give this group a thumbs up even though you'll see them mentioned in some mainstream publications. It does allow you to find discount codes faster than any other site, but many discount codes are out-of-date and the code pages copied appear to violate copyrights. Even more annoying is the fact that BroadwayBox promotes full- and premium-priced tickets just above its out-of-date discount codes. Overall, the site seems deceptive in that the sources of its discount codes are from other sites, rather than from any connection to theaters. Check everywhere else first. www.BroadwayBox.com
Hotels, restaurants, visitors centers and other venues sometimes have discount vouchers available for 2-for-1 specials. Don't be shy! Walk into any hotel and explore the lobby for tickets. Two-fors can also be found in newspaper ads, especially around the slow periods, such as during winter.
And by all means, consider joining a subscription series. These are offered by many theatrical groups as well as by groups that perform in major halls like the Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera House, to name a few.
Article and photos by Karen Little. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.