It’s hard to imagine living in NYC and not attending at least one Broadway musical or play, and there is nothing better than live theatre. Over the many years I have lived here, I have seen over 90 Broadway shows. The most remarkable part? I probably haven’t paid more than $50 a handful of times, and over $100 – even fewer.
All right, so how do you do it? It’s not that hard at all. There are many options to get discount Broadway tickets, and most are right under your nose.
Popular ways to get discount tickets:
- Win a show’s lottery (digital or otherwise)
- Stand in line for general rush before the box office opens (Box Offices usually open @ 10 AM on weekdays, which means, depending on the popularity of the show, you might need to get there by 6 AM or earlier and wait)
- Buy discount tickets at one of several TKTS booths / a Broadway app
- Special discounts for certain professions, if you are a student, or just under a certain age
- Broadway Week, which is a time where you can buy 2-for-1 tickets
I’m gonna list some of my favorites here, but if you have further questions, definitely let me know in the comments!
Broadway For Broke People – maybe the best comprehensive list of all rushes and lotteries, listed by show. In addition, they highlight shows that are on the verge of closing.
TodayTix – Lists various discounts, but if you have the app, you can sign up for mobile lotteries extremely easily. They also sponsor the digital lottery for Shakespeare in the Park, which is much easier to sign up for versus standing in line in Central Park for several hours.
Broadway Direct Lotteries – This includes digital lotteries such as Hamilton (Chicago & NY), Wicked, Aladdin, & The Lion King. Lists the lottery prices you will pay if you win.
TDF– The Theatre Development Fund- TKTS falls under their umbrella. You can qualify to be a member (and pay a low, annual fee) to buy discount tickets to Broadway, music, and dance. Non-profit employees, students, teachers, retirees, and union members are a few of the people who can benefit from this membership.
HipTix – A program through Roundabout Theatre Company, if you are 18-35 years of age, you qualify and it is free. Sign up and you can purchase $25 tickets to their shows. These seats are usually situated in the mezzanine or higher.
Broadway Week – Happens twice annually; usually in the fall & in the winter (this year they had it in January; the second one tends to be in September). You can get 2-for-1 tickets during this window of time to certain shows, but buy fast – they run out quickly.
Bonus: Kids’ Night On Broadway – Several shows offer “Buy a ticket, get a child’s ticket for free” for one night, usually in February. Keep track of this website if you want to take your child to a show but don’t want to pay full price. They also list KNOB events that happen around the country, too, but these tend to be on random dates because it coincides with when a company is touring in an area.
I’ve used all of these resources to secure discount tickets, and now you can, too! My one piece of advice? If there is something you are really itching to see (for example, Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler, limited engagement events, or anything with Mark Rylance, because he is perhaps the most phenomenal stage actor I have ever seen), you may just have to suck it up and pay full price. Don’t get me wrong, there are discount opportunities for even the hottest shows (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen), but they are extremely hard to obtain.