If you visit New York City, seeing a Broadway show is a non-negotiable, must-do. But, Broadway shows can be expensive, with many tickets in the $150-$300 range. Here are four ways to get cheap Broadway tickets and see a show for less.
Cheap Broadway Tickets Tip #1: Buy Rush Tickets
Theaters will often sell their leftover tickets for crazy low prices (like $10-$40) the day of a show. Your best bet to get rush tickets is to go to the box office right at opening. Some theaters will have lines at opening, so plan to get there early/stand in line for your best chance to secure a day of rush tickets.
Playbill has a list of all the shows offering Rush tickets here. Another way to find out if a show has rush tickets is simply to google a show name + rush tickets and posts will come up about that show. A few shows, including Hamilton, only offer rush tickets through a lottery via app, so do your research in advance. (I always enter the Hamilton lottery when I am visiting NYC, but have never won.)
Cheap Broadway Tickets Tip #2: Buy Partial View or Obstructed View Seats
Some theaters will have partial view, obstructed view, limited view and/or poor audio seats that they offer at a reduced price. For instance, when I saw Beetlejuice this summer, we bought limited view seats for $55 online about two weeks before attending. Literally, the seat right next to us was nearly three times the price. We found the limited view to not be a big deal at all and loved the show.
When I saw the Tony-winning play The Ferryman, I went to the box office just a few hours before the show and was able to get a front row, far stage right seat for $59 because it was a single, partial-view seat that hadn’t sold. Again, the seat was amazing, even though a couple views were a bit restricted.
In my research, I didn't find a site that showed what shows offer partial/obstructed view tickets. I lucked out on the shows I got these tickets for. You can google “partial view + show name” and see what comes up. Shows will be very upfront about what seats are obstructed, so be sure to pay attention when buying your tickets.
Cheap Broadway Tickets Tip #3: Use TodayTix or TKTS
Both TodayTix and TKTS are famous for offering discounts on Broadway shows. I used TodayTix to buy tickets for my Mom and me to see Waitress two days before our trip to New York. I saved 49% on the price of the tickets. With TodayTix, you won’t know your exact seats (just the area) until you pick up your tickets 30 minutes before the show. You are guaranteed to have seats together if you buy your tickets on the same order.
TKTS has three New York City locations (Times Square, Southport Street and Lincoln Center) where you can buy tickets. Read this helpful article from The New York Post about show tickets through TKTS.
For both of these services, you generally won’t find the hottest shows, like Wicked, Lion King and Hamilton, available. But, if your goal is simply to see a great Broadway show, you certainly don’t have to see these shows. I like that you can buy your tickets online through TodayTix vs. physically going to a TKTS booth.
Cheap Broadway Tickets Tip #4: Go to the theater by yourself
I know this might not be feasible, but if you are going to be in New York by yourself, enjoy a night out by going to a show. Sometimes you’ll luck out and get a great last-minute ticket because it is the only one left. When I visited New York in January I saw Bryan Cranston in Network. The often sold-out show had a single ticket available that I was able to buy. Seeing that show was one of my life’s show highlights – it was truly remarkable. I am so glad I didn’t let fear of being alone prevent me from seeing a show.
This Broadway discounts aren’t complicated, but it is important to be flexible and have a willingness to not plan too much in advance!
Bonus Broadway tip: Before or after your show, go to the Stardust Diner for dinner. The Stardust Diner’s servers are all actors hoping to make it Broadway (some are on Broadway and work at the Diner as a second job). They take turns singing and performing the entire time you are at the diner and their talent is jaw-dropping astonishing. (The night my mom and I went, our server had just been cast in the forthcoming Disney show, Hercules. Another server had been Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast for two years!)
It's located just off Times Square on 51st. Plan to wait in line, but I promise, it is worth it. We went at 9:50 pm and waited about 30 minutes to get in. Seriously, this is one of my favorite things I have ever done in New York, and I think I will likely go every time I visit the city.
I hope this post helps you enjoy New York City’s Broadway shows at a discount. Leave a comment and let me know what shows you see using these tips, or if you have other tips to add.