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Broadway: Where to Buy Cheap Tickets

I've gone on Broadway binges before, and both times, I bought most of my tickets at TKTS, where you can buy tickets at half-price (or 3/4 price, in some cases), but you can get them only a few hours before the show and you'll have to accept whatever seats they give you. AND you'll most likely have to line up for a few hours, too.

I was able to get a few tickets at 40 percent off before because I got some coupons while walking around Times Square. But I've been looking for them on this trip, and it looks like they're better hidden now or they're not given away anymore.

The coupons, I think, have been digitized. A cousin who works in New York City sent me a pdf file of special offers with promo codes, which I printed out and used to buy tickets yesterday at about 40 percent off. If you don't know anyone who can get you these offers that are not known to many tourists, check out BroadwayBox.com, which offers practically the same prices for the same shows.

The tickets may be more expensive than what you can get at TKTS by about 10 percent, but you won't have to stand in line, you can buy your tickets in advance AND you can choose the best seats available. You can order online or buy them at the box office as long as you have the promo code. And that's why I have yet to buy a ticket at full price or at TKTS.

And then there were what Rickey has called "very cheap tickets to a matinee of Wicked. The tickets were $25 each, and not just for matinees. I'd gotten such tickets before through word of mouth or by looking at the fine print around the box office windows of sold-out shows. Some were standing-room tickets, while others were for front-row seats. I had to line up early to get those tickets, and in one case had to wait several hours with Rent groupies to get the front-row seats. But not anymore.

Maybe they took their cue from Wowowee, but I got the Wicked tickets via lottery. It's one of the sold-out shows for which you can't buy tickets even if you wanted to pay full price. And so, I decided that I would prioritize Wicked, and join the lottery every day until I won. Well, of the 200 people who lined up and gave their names on the first day I joined the lottery, mine was the first one drawn! And only 14 were picked =)

You can get lucky, too. Visit the websites of Wicked and Rent, and see if you can find the almost-invisible information for the lotteries. You may also wish to visit the theaters in person because some, like Spelling Bee, don't post the lottery information on their websites.

If you're rich enough to buy tickets at full price and just need resources to identify what you should watch, check out the Tony Award winners, if you'd like to just stick with the shows that have won it in the past, and the New York Times reviews of what's currently showing—because while there are quite a few reviewers, a show isn't really a hit until the Times says it is.

Category: Broadway

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