Broadway On A Budget

One of the many allures of this enchanting city is what some call the Great White Way. That avenue of dreams where thousands of artists spend countless hours hoping for a chance to pursue their passion and where electric lights are as numerous as the stars. Most commonly this magical place is referred to by a single name: Broadway. Millions of tourists from across the country and around the world come to Broadway to catch a play, a musical, or a theatrical production. The problem for many, however, are the exorbitant ticket prices that go along with a theatre going experience.

Luckily, you have access to a number of options that can drastically cut down those prices. The most popular way in town to get a discount is by visiting the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) (or TKTS booths) at Times Square (Broadway and 47th Street), at the South Street Seaport (Prudential Building at 199 Water Street), or in Downtown Brooklyn (1 MetroTech Center at the corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue Promenade), where you can buy day-of Broadway and Off Broadway tickets at 50%, 40%, 30% and 20% off the full-price (plus a $4.00 per ticket service charge). Be prepared to wait in line, especially on a Friday and Saturday. Another popular alternative to high prices is by checking online ticket distributors, which sell tickets that are comparable in price to TDF. There are plenty in this category (,, and are a few), so finding a ticket should be fairly easy.

A third way to get some amazing discounts is by searching for rush tickets offered for many shows on Broadway (you can check which shows offer rush tickets at These tickets are fantastic in price (usually $25-$35), but require some patience on your part and occasionally cash only so make sure you head to the ATM before standing in line. There are three categories of rush tickets: lottery, general rush, and student rush. Lotteries usually start 2 hours prior to a performance, with a drawing one and half hours prior to a performance. You never know what kind of crowd will show up, but it pays to bring a friend and sign up separately to double your chances and/or to both sign up at two different theatres and have one person stand at that theatre while you wait at another theatre (you must be there in person to purchase the ticket, so be prepared to race over to the theatre your friend is waiting at and vice versa, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue considering almost all of the theaters are between 44th and 50th street). General Rush tickets are usually handed out when the box office opens. A show’s popularity will determine how far in advance you should line up, so expect to sometimes to wait an hour and a half for hot items. The last category is Student Rush. This is obtained with a valid student ID (the most important card in your wallet next to your driver’s license) and works the same way as general rush. All in all, these are great ways to get tickets if you have some patience and are not too particular on what you’d like to see and the kind of seats (or standing spots) you’d like to watch the play in. I waited in line for an hour before the box office opened for Fences, but I also walked into A Behanding in Spokane in the middle of the day and scored a $25 ticket. It’s a bit random, but totally worth it. It never hurts to just go into a theatre and ask what kind of rush tickets they have, because you may get really lucky.

Please share your Broadway on a Budget stories as well! It’s always great to hear about new ways to see great theatre. Happy bargain hunting and enjoy the show!

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-Roni Tessler



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