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How to Get Broadway Tickets When You're On a Budget

I have been an avid fan of Broadway and musical theatre for a long time, and living in Boston allows me to immerse myself in its grand theatre scene. However, being a college kid means that I continuously joke about my wallet being empty. In other words, I am constantly conscious of how much I spend every day because of things like groceries, toiletries, transportation, and yes, tickets to local and touring shows. Whether you are in the Big Apple or any city with a big theatre scene, I have several tips on how to get cheap tickets to Broadway headliners or any show at local theatre companies.

  1. 1. Rush Tickets

    Many Broadway and local theatres have rush policies for audiences, meaning that shows release day-of-performance tickets as soon as the box office opens. While prices vary by production and location, they usually range from $15 to around $50. Boston is known as a college town with 35 colleges in the area, which means that many Boston theatre companies offer student rush tickets and sell tickets on a first come, first served basis for people with a valid student ID. Some Boston theatre companies that offer these discounts are the Lyric Stage Company of Boston ($10 student rush tickets), the Boch Center ($25 student rush tickets), and Huntington Theatre Company ($25 student rush tickets).

  2. 2. Lottery

    Oftentimes, Broadway and local shows offer a digital or in-person lottery where you can enter for a chance to win usually one to two tickets to a show hours before it starts. While many Broadway shows still draw names in person at the box office, most shows have started to make their lotteries go digital, through apps and websites like TodayTix. What is nice about TodayTix is that you have the option to choose your nearest location, so you can enter the lotteries for shows near you. TodayTix also provides the best-priced seats for thousands of productions so you can see the latest show without worrying about losing the lottery. For more information about specific prices and times for lottery drawings and rush policies, visit BroadwayforBrokePeople.com.

  3. 3. Broadway Roulette

    This option is good for those who want to be surprised or have no idea what to see. Broadway Roulette is a method that allows you to book tickets up to four months in advance for a Broadway musical or play that is not revealed to you until the morning you see the show. After you pick a specific day and number of tickets you need for the show, Broadway Roulette allows you to select preferences, or narrow down the shows you are interested in seeing. For example, you can narrow down Broadway Roulette’s selection to family-friendly titles, or select a preference for only musicals for your trip to Broadway. With tickets ranging from only $49 to $59, this is a unique and adventurous way to get Broadway tickets at cheap prices.

  4. 4. Discount Codes on www.playbill.com/discount

    The Playbill website offers discounts for not only Broadway musicals and plays, but Off-Broadway productions as well. On this website, you also have the option to select London or regional productions depending on where you are located. For each show that they display, Playbill offers a code that you can use to buy tickets online, by phone, or in-person for discounted seats. For instance, the code that Playbill provides for Beetlejuice allows a person to potentially get orchestra seats from a starting price of $79 when regular prices range from $89 to $169 from Tuesday through Thursday performances.

  5. 5. TDF's TKTS Booth

    Visiting the TKTS Booth is probably one of the classic options for getting Broadway tickets at a discounted price, but the reason I put this as the last option is that sometimes even the prices that TKTS offers are a little bit high (for a college student, at least). Yet, TKTS is still an option for those not willing to spend a fortune on Broadway seats and for those who are itching to see a show. With its primary location under the red steps in Times Square on 47th Street and Broadway, TKTS offers tickets for Broadway shows that are mostly at 50 percent off. If you are travelling in the wintertime and not willing to stand outside waiting in the bitter cold, there are two non-Times Square locations that are indoors and much less crowded: one at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium and one at South Street Seaport. You can buy up to six tickets per person at a time, and there is a $5 to $6 fee per ticket.