New York Stories and Tips

Finding Discounts to Broadway Shows

New York City Broadway Shows - exciting - and always a hightlight of our short stays......I'll share a few insider tips.
1. Once we arrive in NYC our first stop is always the Visitors Information Center just across from TKTS near 48th and Broadway. I love this place - Full of brochures....all sorts of discounts to restaurants, bars, sightseeing and info is always available on discounted shows - SRO (standing room only) - Student and Senior discounts - Rush tickets (last minute) and lottery tickets - more details later. There is also a booth that sells full price tickets. While at the visitors center you can avail yourself to 15 minutes of complimentary internet, use the rest rooms, have your picture taken with a variety of NYC backdrops ($10) and even be featured on a Time Square Marquis!!! .......Then with info in hand we head off to either.......
2. TKTS...Half price tickets sold mainly on day of performance for cash only....there's a location on 48th and Broadway and another at the South Street Seaport. The line starts to form about an hour prior to opening. Available shows are listed on a billboard and there is a $3/ticket surcharge. Matinee tickets are sold at noon on Broadway and the prior day at the Seaport. Evening performances are sold starting at 3PM. You can subscribe to e-mail updates from a few websites to monitor the trend of available shows.
3. SRO.....some shows that are "sold out" will sell standing room only on a first come first serve basis at the theater - the Visitors Center may have a list of sold out shows. These spots are located along the back wall behind the orchestra section - they are numbered and usually 12 spaces are allocated. The walls are chest high so this is not suitable for children, handicapped or very short people. Prices usually range in the $25 - $35 range. We have been fortunate enough to be offered an empty seat by the ushers after about 1/2 hour.
4. LOTTERY TICKETS - Each theater has it's own policy and only a handful of these tickets - the Times SquareVisitor's Center also provides this information. Call each individual theater to inquire about the time of the drawing....The procedure: Arrive at the theater 1/2 hour prior to drawing and fill out a form - only 2 tickets per form. At the designated time - tickets are drawn (about 24 tickets are usually available). We were fortunate enough to win front row seats to Wicked for $26 each.
5. COLLEGE STUDENTS and SENIORS - You need proper ID - some theaters offer last minute "Rush" tickets. Again - call the theater......some sell them all day and others only two hours prior to show time. We saw "Jersey Boys" for $25 each.
Chances are usually better for matinees and midweek performances. This does require some time spent on the internet or phone, but to us, it's well worth the effort.
6. AUCTIONS - We've also had good luck at Sky Auction - many times the show is combined with restaurant credits of $100 or so...We've had best luck at the Italian resaturants featured.

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