Categories
Self-organization

How to see a broadway show on a budget

How to do Broadway on a budget

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Looking to save money on expensive Broadway tickets? There are a number of services that can help.

It’s been a few years since we’ve written anything about Broadway. We’ve already sung the praises of saving money on Broadway shows with TKTS and made an instructional video about how to take advantage of standing room only, general rush and student rush tickets. Since our last story on Broadway ticket savings, there have been a number of great websites created to help you save even more money on Broadway tickets. Whether you’re a student, senior or just an admirer of all things theater, here are some websites you need to know about.

StudentRush.org, something I now check several times a day, offers free tickets — yes, you read that right — to Broadway and Off– Broadway shows on a regular basis. All you have to do to get access to the list is sign up for their “Will Call Club” e-mails. The only thing you have to pay is usually a $5 handling charge, depending on the show, that is paid via Paypal. You then receive an e-mail confirmation and instructions as to where to meet the StudentRush.org representative.

While the company is named StudentRush.org, the website states, “Anyone may join this site, although some of the discounts are restricted to current students with ID. All free ticketed events and non–ticketed events are available to anyone.” You’re able to purchase up to four tickets at a time; just pick them up from the representative before heading to the theater. Apparently it’s a seat–filler type of thing — show producers provide them with a certain amount of tickets for each available show. Remember to check back a few times a week for the most updated list of opportunities.

Thanks to this website, I’ve been able to see “Baby, It’s You” — twice — and I surprised my father with a trip to see “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” a few months ago. Each time, I paid $5 per ticket, picked them up from the representative, and was given excellent seats — I’m talking front–row–almost–center for “Rain” and middle-mezzanine for “Baby, It’s You.”

It should be noted that those under 35 are about to hit the budget ticket jackpot: The Roundabout Theatre Company understands that students — and a few unpaid interns out there — love going to shows but high ticket prices make that quite a struggle. Seeing our plight, they’ve come up with HipTix, a program that allows anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 to purchase $20 tickets to shows at their theaters — a great deal if you’re hoping to see the Tony Award winning show, “Anything Goes.” Just call their box office, sign up for HipTix and even order tickets (2 per person only) to a show—be sure you call to order tickets at least one month in advance, as their shows tend to sell out quicky. Last I checked, tickets to “Anything Goes” were being offered for early October, so plan ahead.

The Big Apple, the USA’s largest city, thrives on relentless energy and buzz. Here are its highlights.

A list of discounts for students and seniors can be found at NYTheatre.com, but it’s always a good idea to contact the theater you’re interested in to see what their specific policies are in regards to discounted rush tickets.

My next discovery is Bloomspot. Think of it as Groupon for Theater. Same idea: Sign up for free with your e-mail address and let the deals come to you. There was an offer for a New Orleans Jazz show at Lincoln Center recently, so it seems to be entertainment–based, not strictly for Broadway shows, but still offers great deals.

I recently came across a new program that lets theatergoers accumulate “Show Points” to exchange for discounted Broadway show tickets. Audience Rewards has you sign up for free using your email address, and you are given the option to earn points by playing trivia games about different shows, purchasing items from partner sites, or you can simply earn points by buying tickets to shows and listing your membership number during the ordering process. This is definitely one of those websites I wish I had found earlier.

For more Broadway (and Off–Broadway) discounts, you can visit websites like Playbill.com, BroadwayBox.com, and TheaterMania.com for general price cuts, or look up discount codes to your favorite shows at NYtix.com.

I have loved going to Broadway shows ever since I was taken to see Cathy Rigby’s “Peter Pan” when I was five years old. (Once she “flew” over the audience at the end of the show, I was hooked!) It’s a huge passion of mine, as is saving money. Lately I’ve been taking advantage of rush tickets, but be warned, you are not always guaranteed a cheap ticket (usually $40 or less) if you’re in line. I learned this the hard way while attempting to see “Anything Goes” last week. No matter what time the theater opens, plan on getting there one hour earlier than you’re thinking of. I got to the theater at 9am, one hour before the box office opened. Had I been there at 8am, I would have gotten a ticket or two. Never underestimate the fact that someone else might be willing to wait longer. Lesson learned.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Think you have to spend an arm and a leg to see a Broadway show? Wrong. I found the best way to see the lights on Broadway without breaking the bank.

It’s a fact — Broadway tickets can be expensive. But what most visitors don’t know is that there are plenty of ways to see a show on even the tightest of budgets. “Rushing” a show lets you see some of Broadway’s best shows — sometimes from better seats — for much cheaper. My best friend and I took to the streets on a mission to get a good deal on the must-see Hand To God before it goes off to London in the new year .

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

The Name of the Game

Some Broadway shows have what’s called a “Rush Policy.” Anyone can show up at the box office when it opens in the morning (usually at 10:00am) and purchase tickets for around $30.

Here’s the catch: there are only a limited amount of tickets to be sold at the rush price each day, so you have to get there early and wait in line. Each Broadway theater has a different policy so make sure you check out this list before you go.

Be prepared to wake up early, bring something to occupy you — like wonderful company — and wait in line for at least an hour and a half. But if you’re willing to put in the time, you can score some pretty amazing seats for a fraction of the price.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

7:00am — Rise and Shine

My best friend and I woke up at 7:00am, threw on some comfy clothes, and took the subway to Times Square. It’s not every day that you’re in the central hub of the Big Apple at 8:00 in the morning, so it was quite the sight to see. We even stumbled into the Harlem Globetrotters filming live on Good Morning America, smack dab in the middle of Times Square.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Hurry up and Wait…

To be safe, it’s best to get in line between 8–8:30am, depending on how new or popular the show is that you’re rushing. For example, if you want to get tickets to Les Miserables on a Saturday morning, the sooner you get there, the better. Theaters usually sell up to two tickets each to the first 30 people in line, and some only take cash, so make sure to hit the ATM before getting in line.

I also suggest bringing coffee, and bagels or donuts. Having breakfast in the heart of New York City is a great way to pass the time and fuel your adventure.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Pre-show Dinner and Drinks, on a Budget

Pre-Broadway dinner is almost as much a part of the experience as the show is. We stopped by my personal favorite New York City pizza joint, Joe’s Pizza at the corner of 3rd Ave and 14th St.

Try getting that kind of deal at a Midtown Theatre prix-fixe restaurant! To top it off, we grabbed a pre-show drink at New York Beer Company, which is right around the corner from the theater. They even have a killer happy hour — $5 drink specials! And for any New Yorker, that’s a true deal.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Showtime!

We showed up to the theatre about 15 minutes before curtain call. No need to get there super early: you already have assigned seats and they usually don’t open the doors until 15 minutes before showtime anyways. We were ushered to our front row seats that we purchased for only $27.00 and sat down to enjoy our well-deserved Broadway show.

Hand To God had us cracking up and crying, all in one evening. Even if you can’t make this show before it goes to London, you can definitely find other comedies to rush.

Now that you know the secret to rushing Broadway shows, go ahead and give it a try! Not only do you get to save some serious dough, but you also get the priceless gift of a memorable adventure with a pal.

Anyone with a passing interest in theatre will probably have thrown around terms like “big-budget musical” at least once in their life, and anyone who’s borne witness to the staggering successes (few) and spectacular flops (many) on Broadway will wonder just how much money was made or lost in the process. From Hamilton to Honeymoon in Vegas, there’s no telling how the story will end—will you walk away with millions, or write off a colossal loss?—but there’s always one common denominator amidst the vicissitudes: these shows all got up and running thanks to a tried-and-true financial template, more commonly known as a budget.

It’s important to note that every show has two primary working budgets: a production budget and a weekly operating budget. A production budget encompasses everything needed to arrive at the first preview performance (usually from the stages of development, which can involve readings and labs, through the end of the rehearsal period), while a weekly operating budget covers the maintenance of the show on a week-by-week basis. Also typically included in this packet is a recoupment schedule budget, which tries to anticipate how long it will take for the show to recoup (i.e. pay back its initial capitalization) based on how well it sells—so if a show runs at 60% of gross sales potential every week, for example, it might recoup in 120 weeks, whereas 20 continuous weeks of selling out at 100% of gross potential might very well break even.

Because a thorough elucidation of all three budget types would take quite a long time, in this post we’ll examine the production budget, which materializes first in the course of a show’s development.

A typical production budget for a Broadway musical will fall anywhere from $8-12 million, while a play might cost $3-6 million and a fairly lavish off-Broadway musical might capitalize at $2 million. FX-heavy shows will fall higher on the spectrum (Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark reported a figure of $75 million), as will musicals with a large cast and many musicians; conversely, a two-hander play with a very sparse unit set will cost much less. (Remember, this is just to get the show underway and rehearsing.)

In a typical production budget, you’re likely to see these categories, along with some sample line items and a ballpark cost for each category:

  • Scenery (materials, hardware, paint, labor, automation, rentals, hauling): $600,00
  • Costumes (fabric, shoes, hair, wigs, rentals, jewelry, hats, accessories): $300,000
  • Lighting (electric prep, color/gel, practicals): $150,000
  • Sound (prep, permissions, music): $250,000
  • Music (instruments, rentals, copying): $350,000
  • Creative fees (director, choreographer, scenic designer, costume designer, lighting designer, sound designer, hair designer, music supervisor, music director, vocal arranger, casting director, dialect coach): $700,000
  • Artistic salaries (actors, stage management, rehearsal musicians, music prep, orchestrations, benefits, union health/welfare dues, pensions, per diems): $2,000,000
  • Management salaries (general manager, company managers, child wrangler): $350,000
  • Production salaries (stage crew, wardrobe crew, production assistants, benefits, payroll taxes): $250,000
  • Rehearsal expenses (audition space, rehearsal space, script copies): $300,000
  • Advertising (print, TV, radio, outdoor, front-of-house, direct mail, internet, graphic design, group sales): $150,000
  • Publicity (press agent, photographer, opening night party): $300,000
  • Administrative (producer fee, general manager fee, legal services, accounting services, payroll services, insurance, transportation, box office): $1,000,000
  • Advances (playwright, composer, lyricist, director, choreographer, set designer, costume designer, lighting designer): $1,500,000
  • Bonds & deposits (to unions like Actors’ Equity, Local 1 [stagehands’], Local 764 [wardrobe], Local 802 [musicians], and ATPAM [managers and press agents]): $700,000
  • Reserve (anywhere from 10-15% of the total production budget that will be not spent; reserved as a safeguard against weekly losses after the show opens): $1,000,000

These estimates give us a show that capitalizes somewhere around $10 million, which—like I mentioned earlier—is a pretty ordinary figure for Broadway production budgets. To pay back this initial capitalization to investors, the managers of the show will try to keep the weekly running costs as low as possible while maximizing ticket sales, a tricky bit of calibration that fails far more often than it succeeds. In my next post, we’ll dissect the weekly operating budget to ascertain just how much it costs to keep a Broadway show afloat week by week.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget
Photo Courtesy Susan/Flickr. Article by Kaeli Conforti of Budget Travel.

It’s been a few years since we’ve written anything about Broadway. We’ve already sung the praises of saving money on Broadway shows with TKTS and talked about how to take advantage of standing room only, general rush and student rush tickets. Since our last story on Broadway ticket savings, there have been a number of great websites created to help you save even more money on Broadway tickets. Whether you’re a student, senior or just an admirer of all things theater, here are some websites you need to know about.

StudentRush.org offers free tickets — yes, you read that right — to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows on a regular basis. All you have to do to get access to the list is sign up for their “Will Call Club” emails. The only thing you have to pay is usually a $5 handling charge, depending on the show, that is paid via Paypal. You then receive an email confirmation and instructions as to where to meet the StudentRush.org representative. While the company is named StudentRush.org, the website states, “Anyone may join this site, although some of the discounts are restricted to current students with ID. All free ticketed events and non-ticketed events are available to anyone.” You’re able to purchase up to four tickets at a time; just pick them up from the representative before heading to the theater. Apparently it’s a seat-filler type of thing — show producers provide them with a certain amount of tickets for each available show. Remember to check back a few times a week for the most updated list of opportunities.

It should be noted that those under 35 are about to hit the budget ticket jackpot: The Roundabout Theatre Company understands that students and young professionals love going to shows but high ticket prices make that quite a struggle. Seeing our plight, they’ve come up with HipTix, a program that allows anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 to purchase $20 tickets to shows at their theaters. Just call their box office, sign up for HipTix and even order tickets (two per person only) to a show — be sure you call to order tickets at least one month in advance as their shows tend to sell out quicky, so plan accordingly.

This next program lets theatergoers accumulate “Show Points” to exchange for discounted Broadway show tickets. Audience Rewards has you sign up for free using your email address, and you are given the option to earn points by playing trivia games about different shows, purchasing items from partner sites, or you can simply earn points by buying tickets to shows and listing your membership number during the ordering process. This is definitely one of those websites I wish I had found earlier.

More From Budget Travel:

Want the inside scoop on the hottest travel deals? Sign up for our free e-newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

10/3/2012 — By Kaeli Conforti

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

The bright lights of Broadway

It’s been a while since we’ve written anything about Broadway. We’ve already sung the praises of saving money on Broadway shows with TKTS and how to take advantage of standing room only, general rush and student rush tickets. Since our last story on Broadway ticket savings, there have been a number of great websites created to help you save even more money on Broadway tickets. Whether you’re a student, senior or just an admirer of all things theater, here are some websites you need to know about.

StudentRush.org offers free tickets—yes, you read that right—to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows on a regular basis. All you have to do to get access to the list is sign up for their “Will Call Club” emails. The only thing you have to pay is usually a $5 handling charge, depending on the show, that is paid via Paypal. You then receive an email confirmation and instructions as to where to meet the StudentRush.org representative. While the company is named StudentRush.org, the website states, “Anyone may join this site, although some of the discounts are restricted to current students with ID. All free ticketed events and non–ticketed events are available to anyone.” You’re able to purchase up to four tickets at a time; just pick them up from the representative before heading to the theater. Apparently it’s a seat-filler type of thing—show producers provide them with a certain amount of tickets for each available show. Remember to check back a few times a week for the most updated list of opportunities.

It should be noted that those under 35 are about to hit the budget ticket jackpot: The Roundabout Theatre Company understands that students and young professionals love going to shows but high ticket prices make that quite a struggle. Seeing our plight, they’ve come up with HipTix, a program that allows anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 to purchase $20 tickets to shows at their theaters. Just call their box office, sign up for HipTix and even order tickets (2 per person only) to a show—be sure you call to order tickets at least one month in advance as their shows tend to sell out quicky, so plan accordingly.

This next program lets theatergoers accumulate “Show Points” to exchange for discounted Broadway show tickets. Audience Rewards has you sign up for free using your email address, and you are given the option to earn points by playing trivia games about different shows, purchasing items from partner sites, or you can simply earn points by buying tickets to shows and listing your membership number during the ordering process. This is definitely one of those websites I wish I had found earlier.

For more Broadway (and Off–Broadway) discounts, you can visit websites like Playbill.com, BroadwayBox.com, and TheaterMania.com for general price cuts, or look up discount codes to your favorite shows at NYtix.com.

More From Budget Travel

  • 6 Great Destinations That Survived Sandy
  • 11 Fabulously Free Things to Do in New York City This Summer

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Sign up to receive our free E-Newsletter

Vacation inspiration, exclusive deals, tips, and more.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Read Next

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Spots In Laguna Beach Locals Rave About

Being a student in Manhattan, one’s wallet can only stretch so far; a Broadway show is definitely going to break the bank, right? Well, turns out, certain Broadway shows offer opportunities such as “rush” and a daily lottery, creating more affordable options and chances for students to have a world renowned experience: Broadway on a budget.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Whether you’re an avid theater-goer, a secret lover of Broadway, or just someone who wants to enjoy a night out-why not have a night out and watch any of Broadway’s newest plays or musicals?

Many Broadway shows have “rush”.

Rush tickets are available when the box office opens; tickets are first come, first serve and range from $32 to $42 dollars. Depending on the show, the line for rush can be long, so plan in advance, get there early, and beat the rush!

Some shows conduct an in person lottery

The lottery commences two hours before a performance. Entries are accepted two and a half hours before a performance and often limit two tickets per person.

In person lotteries accept both cash or credit card. Make sure you have both, just in case you happen to lose your cash or your card declines. (We’ve all been there at one point. Yikes.)

The line for the lottery can be pretty long, so if you want a chance to enter your name and win some discounted tickets- I advise that you get there an hour before the lottery opens.

As students, we are often flooded with work, last minute cramming, stuDYING, or rushing to class, so time is limited; you may not have the chance to make it to enter rush or lottery.

Luckily, most shows offer the option of a digital lottery.

You can submit your entry for the lottery in the comfort of your own home, online, either through the show’s website, Lottery.BroadwayDirect.com, or an app.

For example, Hamilton conducts a lottery every performance. To take a chance at one of Broadway’s hottest tickets, download the Hamilton app or go to this site to try and win one or two TEN DOLLAR tickets. Yes, you heard that right. TEN DOLLARS per ticket.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

The lottery commences at 11 am two days before desired performance and closes at 9 am the day before. For Hamilton, only 46 lottery tickets are available (and the seats are FRONT ROW ORCHESTRA!)

10 Asian Horror Films That Will Keep You Up At Night

So, don’t “throw away (your shot)” and take a shot at seeing some of Broadway’s hits!

Shows that conduct a digital lottery are: ( Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen , The Book of Mormon , Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Band’s Visit, A Bronx Tale (closes August 5th, 2018), Gettin’ the Band Back Together, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, The Phantom of the Opera, Spongebob Squarepants, Springsteen on Broadway, and Wicked).

To find out more about rush, lotteries, rush and lottery policies, and what shows participate and or conduct a certain opportunity, visit this site .

Being a student in New York City, it is important to explore and indulge in the culture that makes New York City “the greatest city in the world” (even on a budget). As students, we’re always ballin’ on a budget, but with such wonderful opportunities such as rush, in person and digital lotteries, students can experience the great experience that is Broadway on a budget. So grab your friends and take advantage of an awesome opportunity to see theatre done at its very best! (at an affordable price, too!)

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Treat yourself; enjoy a night out at the theatre in “the Greatest City In the World”!

Looking for ways to save money, reduce the price of attractions, just do more in New York for less?

There is so much of what New York has to offer that you can enjoy in ways that save you money or in many cases cost you nothing. Take a tour; visit a museum; attend a festival; attend a live television show; all these can be had at little or no cost. Knowing where and when these savings are available is key to keeping your visit costs down.

You Might Also Be Interested In .

NYC on a Budget Articles

Free Things-To-Do in NYC
Living in New York City is beyond expensive. From rent to MetroCards to a cup of coffee, everything adds up quickly. Luckily, there are tons of free events to check out in the city that never sleeps.

Top 10: the best budget hotels in New York
An insider’s guide to the top cheap hotels in New York for under $210, including the best for rooftop bars, stylish rooms and buzzy restaurants, in locations including Broadway, the West Village and the Flatiron District.

21 Free Things to Do in NYC
08/27/15-Huffington Post Travel article
Here are 21 fun things you can do in NYC without spending a dime.

How to do New York on a Near-Zero Budget
From Brooklyn food markets to bike rides around Governor’s Island – the Big Apple offers plenty of free or affordable tourist options this summer. Article on GayStarNews.com

Top 20 Free Things To Do in NYC
With the average price for a night in a city hotel hovering around $250, it can be hard not to break the bank when you’re visiting NYC. Fortunately, there are plenty of free activities around the five boroughs. No matter what time of year you visit, there are plenty of fun activities that won’t force you to empty your wallet. From a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden to brewery tours, here are the top 20 free things to do in New York City. From www.HuffingtonPost.com.

5 Tips for a Budget-Friendly Vacation
Take some of the hassle out of trip planning, make it easy with tried-and-true tips and tricks for enjoying a budget-friendly vacation.

How to Visit New York City without Breaking the Bank
Learn how to visit New York City without breaking the bank. Plan a vacation that’s heavy on the city’s free attractions, but leaves room for some splurges, too.

Top 10 Free Things To Do in New York
Mercury Travel offers some options for how to enjoy New York City this summer including pools. concerts, tours, comedy and other interesting attractions.

Each tour includes food tastings from the best specialty food shops, ethnic eateries, and local restaurants, also an “off-the-beaten-path” glimpse of life in NYC – the history, culture, architecture & entertainment offerings of:

Save on Things to Do

  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

New York on a budget becomes more challenging when sightseeing costs are considered. They can be staggering in New York. None of those costs will break the bank, but it all adds up and can come as a shock to those who aren’t prepared.

But the Internet provides a chance to find savings before arrival. For admission to more than 50 of New York City’s best attractions: New York Pass, purchases involve a daily fee for visiting as many of the following attractions as you can: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, The Guggenheim, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NBC Studio Tour, Circleline Sightseeing, Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour, Madison Square Garden All Access Tour, among others. The pass also includes a guidebook and line-skipping privileges at some attractions.

The purchase is made prior to leaving for New York. At the very least, it will prevent long waits in ticket lines. The price is $109 USD for a one-day adult pass, and two-day passes (probably more practical) for adults and children are $189.

Clearly, the only way this purchase pays off is if you plan to visit several of the listed attractions in a short time with or without the pass. If you do, the savings can add up quickly. If not, you’re better off paying for only the places you want to see.

Passes aside, there are plenty of free things for families to do in New York. Investigations based on your interests can turn up a surprising array of options.

Theatre, Anyone?

Here’s another potential budget-killer: Broadway tickets easily can run $200 USD or more. So visit the TKTS booth on Times Square and order discount tickets. Be prepared for long lines at times.

Why are all the people waiting? TKTS scoops up unsold, day-of-performance tickets and sells them below box office rates. You are letting them choose your seats and even the show. In exchange, they offer Broadway seats at 25-50% below face value (but add a service charge). Pocket your savings, or apply it to a second show on another day.

Don’t forget about off-Broadway and even off-off-Broadway productions. Many are well-acted and produced, and will cost a fraction what they’re charging at the big theaters.

TV Tours

NBC’s Today is a fixture in the early mornings and a favorite of budget travelers, too. Their summer concert series provides name entertainment in open-air performances. Scrawl something on a sign, show up at the corner of 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza, and hope for a brush with stardom.

For many other major TV productions, you will need tickets. Most are free, but they may involve standing in long lines. Consider how “free” these tickets are, given your length of time in New York. Time is money on vacation, too!

Nytix.com offers a nice list of shows and directions for getting into the audiences.

Guidebooks can provide a wealth of money-saving information. Don’t depend on them only for accommodation information, and don’t make all your decisions on tours and nightlife from their pages, either.

Some guidebook information is simply outdated days after publication. Writers of the better volumes freely admit this. It’s just not possible to keep up with which dance club is hot, which tour has been canceled or who has the best vegetarian cuisine this month.

The Internet often provides more up-to-date information on restaurants, clubs and yes, even clean public restrooms. Don’t laugh! Veterans of the city like About New York City for Visitors Guide Heather Cross can tell you the importance of knowing where to go when you have to go. She offers directions to the best restrooms. How is this budget travel oriented? If you go to the wrong place, you might find yourself buying something to become a “customer” and therefore “bathroom eligible.”

Speaking of free comfort, did you know many events at the world-famous Juilliard School are open to the public? This is a chance to hear music from tomorrow’s top performers. Beware: some events that are free nonetheless require tickets for admission. For more information on specifics, consult Juilliard’s online calendar of events.

Take a Walk

Most of the world’s great cities afford opportunities for great walking tours.

Big Onion offers ethnic neighborhoods and historic districts starting at $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. They’ll also take you on an eating tour (food included in the guide price) or a walk to Ellis Island (ferry ticket included).

New York Tours will link you to a number of other companies. Note their specialties, because many have distinct strengths and weaknesses. Free Tours by Foot offers a variety of informative routes, but reservations are necessary. Although free, it’s only fair to tip the guide for a job well-done.

Tips to help you save money on transportation, accommodations, dining and entertainment.

New York is notoriously expensive. Year after year, it tops Kiplinger’s list of costliest places to live. Just visiting it can cost an arm and a leg. The average daily hotel room rate is $281, and the average cost of dinner in a restaurant is $43 per person, according to the city’s official marketing and tourism organization NYC & Company. Add in the cost of other meals, transportation and entertainment, and you could easily spend $500 a day in the Big Apple.

However, there are plenty of ways to keep the costs associated with a trip under control. If you’re planning a visit to New York, consider these tips to save money getting there, staying there, eating there and having fun there.

Getting to New York

Take the bus. The cheapest way to get to the city if you live on the East Coast is the bus. A one-way ticket can cost less than what you’d pay to fill up your car’s gas tank. For example, an advance-purchase Greyhound bus ticket for travel in October from Raleigh, N.C., to New York cost $45 versus $52.95 to fill up a 15-gallon tank at the average East Coast gas price of $3.53 a gallon (and you’ll need to fill up more than once for a drive of that distance). A one-way Amtrak train ticket for the same route would cost $90.

Consider alternate airports. The price of an airline ticket can vary dramatically depending on which New York area airport into which you fly. For example, round-trip flights in mid-October from Dallas to Newark Liberty International Airport (15 miles from Midtown Manhattan) are about $70 less than flights to LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to a search on Kayak.com.

Get a discount on parking. If you do drive, don’t pay the exorbitant rates hotels charge for parking. Look for a nearby parking garage, which likely will charge less — especially if you use a coupon. For example, Icon Parking Systems has more than 400 coupons for discounted parking rates in its garages throughout the city.

Staying in New York

Share a bathroom. Several hotels offer great rates (by New York standards, that is) on accommodations with shared baths. For example, you can get a room for two at The Jane for $145 a night if you’re willing to share a bathroom — whereas rooms at The Jane with private bathrooms cost at least $325.

Check economy hotel chains. Even budget hotel chains aren’t particularly cheap in New York, but they’re good deals compared with many other accommodations in the city. Apple Core Hotels, for example, operates a La Quinta, Ramada and three independent hotels in Manhattan. A queen room at the Ramada was available for $205 a night in mid-October.

Rent a room or apartment. Manhattan Getaways offers furnished rooms in residents’ apartments starting at $120 a night and private apartments starting at $200 a night. Or check for rooms or apartments at Airbnb.com, VRBO.com and HomeAway.com. Apartments can be ideal accommodations for large families and for people looking to save money by cooking their own meals.

Consider hostels. If you don’t mind bunking with strangers, hostels offer truly bargain rates. For less than $60 a night, you can stay in a dorm-style room at Hostelling International and take advantage of its free nightly happy hours and free Wi-Fi. Broadway Hotel and Hostel, which claims to be a boutique hostel, has dorm-style rooms with shared baths for $45 and up.

Couch surf. If you’re traveling solo, you might be able to score free accommodations through the Couchsurfing site or app, which connects members with people willing to spare a couch for the night for free.

Getting around New York

Take public transportation. You can save a lot by taking public transportation rather than taxis around New York. For example, you can get a seven-day unlimited MetroCard for $30. You could easily pay more than that for cab fares in just one day. If you’re worried about getting lost or ending up on the wrong train, you can download the free New York Subway Map app (iPhone and iPad) or NYC Bus & Subway Maps app (Android) for help navigating the subway system.

Dining in New York

Use discounted gift cards. You can dine out for less by purchasing discounted gift certificates for local eateries at Restaurant.com and discounted gift cards for chain restaurants at Cardpool.com and Gift Card Granny.

Take advantage of daily deals. Check Groupon and other daily deal sites for New York restaurants and bars offering discounts during your stay.

Enjoy cheap eats. There’s plenty of good food to be found in New York for bargain prices. Time Out New York has a guide to the best cheap eats in the city.

Having fun in New York

Take advantage of free attractions. Some of the city’s most well-known attractions actually are free. You can wander the 843-acre Central Park — or take a guided tour — for free. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the Staten Island Ferry, play a song on the big FAO Schwarz piano and much more. Plenty of museums also are free or accept contributions, such as the American Museum of Natural History. And you can even take a free walking tour of the city with groups such as Big Apple Greeter.

Buy passes for multiple attractions. Get a discount on entrance fees by buying a pass to multiple attractions. For example, the CityPASS provides admission to six major attractions for 43% less than what you would pay if you bought tickets individually for each attraction. The New York Pass offers admission to 80 attractions with one-, two-, three- or seven-day passes. If you saw three attractions a day with the seven-day pass, you could save $400.

See Broadway shows at a discount. There are plenty of ways to save on tickets to Broadway shows, from timing your visit to coincide with Broadway Week when you can get two tickets for the price of one to buying discounted tickets the day of a show at TKTS Discount Booths in New York City’s Times Square, the South Street Seaport and Brooklyn. See How to Save on Tickets to Broadway Shows for more tips.

  • United States Forums
  • Europe Forums
  • Canada Forums
  • Asia Forums
  • Central America Forums
  • Africa Forums
  • Caribbean Forums
  • Mexico Forums
  • South Pacific Forums
  • South America Forums
  • Middle East Forums

I thought this article from TheaterMania might interest. Please note, there are more discounters than TheaterMania. Look at the “Top Questions” list at right for an article which explains how to get discount tickets.

-:- Message from Tripadvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you’ll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the Tripadvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

New York City is notoriously expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stick to a budget. There are plenty of free things to do in NYC and other ways you can save money during your trip.

We’ve put together our best money-saving tips for traveling in NYC so you don’t come home from vacation completely broke!

Whether this is your first time visiting New York City or The Big Apple feels like your second home, these tips will help you travel NYC for cheap!

Disclaimer: There may be some affiliate links on this page, which means when you click we get a small percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you. This allows us to keep sharing great travel tips, so feel free to click away!

1. Visit NYC at the Right Time

New York City is busy year round, but during peak tourist times, like the summer months and during the holidays, hotel prices will be ultra high. If you visit during a less busy season for out of town travelers, you’ll find much better rates.

Cheapest times to visit NYC:

January – early April

September – November (excluding holidays)

2. Find a cheap flight to NYC

Getting there doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are often times great flight deals to NYC because it is a major hub. Be sure to include both JFK and La Guardia, or even Newark, in your search.

Try seaching with Google Flights to come up with the best deal that suits your needs.

Here is an entire article dedicated to finding cheap flights around the world!

3. Take the train to and from the airport

Whether you fly into JFK or La Guardia, you will be pretty far from the city when you land. Instead of hailing a taxi or Uber, which will cost you at least $40 – $50 (maybe even $65), take the shuttle to the metro. It is super easy to do and will save you a lot of money.

Here’s how to do it:

For us, it was easiest to buy the 7-day metro pass (see tip #6), which allowed us to use the bus and metro unlimited times for our entire time in NYC. You can purchase the pass from the Metro Card vending machines which have very simple instructions to follow.

Once you have your card, simply use Google Maps and direct yourself to your hotel via public transportation.

Getting from La Guardia (LGA) to Manhattan:

From La Guardia Terminal B, take the Q70-SBS bus to Roosevelt Av/74 Street stop. Get off the bus and enter the metro at Roosevelt Av – Jackson Heights Subway Station. If you’re a little disoriented (I sure was), just ask the bus driver where the metro entrance is located. Once in the metro station, take the E line to 50 Street Subway Station toward World Trade Center, or connect a line leading you to your hotel. Total time is about 1 hour.

Getting from JFK to Manhattan:

Leaving from JFK Terminal 4, you have to purchase the $5 JFK AirTrain ticket which will take to Jamaica Station. From there you can connect to the NYC Metro and buy the 7-day Metro pass (tip #6) or a single ticket for $2.75 (plus $1 for the card). Then take the Long Beach line, Babylon line, or the E line into Manhattan and to your hotel. Total time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4. Find Cheap Accommodation

Hotels in New York City are notoriously expensive, even for low quality digs. So when we say “cheap accommodation”, we mean relatively cheap.

Basically you have 2-ish options when it comes to finding cheap accommodation:

Looking for theater tickets on the cheap? Join the club

  • Share
  • PINTEREST
  • Email

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

For theater-goers who are excited about Broadway but are also pretty conscious of how much they’re willing to pay for the experience, discount tickets are surprisingly not too hard to come by! It’s true that some of the biggest hit shows might not have a ton of sale-price tickets, but if you’re patient – or know where to look – you can typically find a good seat at a reasonable price.

Beyond online discounts, ticket lotteries, and the TKTS booth, there are even more ways of seeing New York theater without selling a kidney. These include a number of theater clubs that offer members the chance to obtain tickets inexpensively, or even for no charge at all. (Except for those good old “processing fees,” of course). Even better: these are legitimate businesses that often work in partnership with theater companies, meaning that you’re sure to get real tickets, unlike some of the “discount” tickets found online that turn out to be too good to be true.

Membership to these clubs sometimes involves a nominal annual fee, and, again, there are frequently “transaction costs” above the ticket price. What’s more, some of these clubs have specific criteria for those who wish to qualify: some are only open to those under the age of 30, for instance. But if you do qualify, you can often see Broadway shows for considerably less than the typical cost of a ticket at face value.

It’s worth noting that not all shows are available at all discount clubs at all times. For instance, a massive hit show is not likely to have much for discount tickets available, since they’re able to sell all their tickets at full price or even at a mark-up. So if you’re looking to see the big hit show of the year, it might be better to try to enter the show’s lottery, where a handful of cheaper tickets are released randomly, or to “rush” a show, where ticket seekers line up, sometimes hours before a box office opens, to snag one of a limited number of discount seats released day-of-show.

Here’s a sampling of theater-discount clubs:

Theater Development Fund (TDF) – TDF is the same organization that runs TKTS, the three off-price ticket booths that sit in Times Square, Brooklyn, and the financial district. The organization also runs a program that allows performing-arts professionals and union members to purchase discounted tickets to theater performances around the city. Lots of theater fans are familiar with TDF, but many might not realize that TDF membership is also available to full-time students, teachers, retirees, civil-service workers, nonprofit staff members, hourly workers, clergy, and members of the armed forces. Annual TDF membership fee is $30, after which tickets are available for purchase for discounts of as much as 70%.

Broadway nonprofits – Many of the nonprofit theaters operating in New York offer discount programs for younger theatergoers (generally, under 30 or 35). This includes that three nonprofits that produce shows on Broadway: Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Lincoln Center Theater. The Roundabout has HIPTIX, MTC has 30 Under 30, and the LCT has LincTix. As you might expect, these programs only cover the shows that that particular organization is producing. Membership for these three programs is free, and tickets typically run from $20 to $30. Tickets are limited, and the seats may not be that close to the stage, although HIPTIX allows members to pay $75 a year to upgrade their membership to HIPTIX Gold, which offers orchestra seats.

House-papering services – Sometimes tickets sales for a show are so slow that the producers decide to give away blocks of tickets to fill the house, and hopefully spread good word of mouth for the show. This is called “papering the house.” The papering programs are independent organizations, including Play-by-Play, Will-Call Club, and TheaterMania Gold Club. Membership is generally open to anyone, and usually involves an annual fee and processing fees, but the tickets themselves are usually free. As you might imagine, producers don’t like to publicize the fact that they’re giving things away. Often, when members pick up their tickets, they need to meet club representatives at some location separate from the theater, so that producers can avoid looking desperate.

You do not need a particular reason to check out Broadway shows, but some occasions simply call for this type of entertainment. Learn some good reasons to see a show with loved ones.

If you are looking for something different to do, you should check out Broadway shows. Many cities occasionally offer this kind of entertainment, and it can be perfect for certain occasions. Get an idea of some of the best reasons to see this kind of show.

Seeing Broadway shows can be a great way to bond with your spouse. Many couples find that going to a show on a date night is nice way to spend an evening out of the house. Plays and musicals can be a nice method of getting away from it all since they take you away from the typical life, at least mentally. If you are stressed out or overworked, you can take a break with your spouse by laughing or crying in the theatre as you watch a show. Just choose the best show for you depending on your mood, since sometimes you may want some humor, while other times you probably want drama.

Another reason to see a show is when you are celebrating an occasion, such as a birthday or graduation. Many people like to celebrate such events by doing something they normally do not get to do, including seeing Broadway shows. Whether you or a family member is celebrating, this can be the perfect family outing. Just make sure you keep in mind the ages of your group before you choose the best performance to see. Make sure it is age-appropriate and interesting to everyone so that you get the most for your money.

You can also bring out of town visitors to Broadway shows in your city. If you want to let them see all there is to do in your area, this is a great option. Consider first asking your visitors what type of performance they want to see, and then look for one that will be playing near you when they visit. You could always travel to the next city to get a different performance, or you might even want to go farther, such as a couple hours away to another city with attractions that tourists might want to see. As long as you inform your visitors of the plans ahead of time, they should have a great time seeing a play or musical with you.

There is a reason Broadway shows are so popular among people of all ages. There are clearly many occasions on which this is a great entertainment option. So start looking for performances in your city today.

6/4/2005 — By Glenn Michael Gordon

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

If you know what you’re doing, you can spend a fraction of what the person next to you did

What you’ll find in this story: tips for finding tickets to a Broadway show, New York entertainment, secrets for securing Broadway tickets, tips for seeing a Broadway play, where to find tickets

Theater prices have gone sky-high–$100 for a musical is now the norm. But this is New York, and there’s nothing New Yorkers hate more than paying retail. The truth is, Broadway has become a lot like the airline industry: If you know what you’re doing, you can spend a fraction of what the person next to you did.

Before you leave

Check out Theatermania.com and Playbill.com, the most reliable sites for discounted tickets and up-to-date theater news. Both require you to register, but doing so is free. Circumstances vary from show to show, but tickets can usually be bought from a week to three months in advance for up to 50 percent off (plus fees from the ticket agency, such as Ticketmaster or Telecharge). Don’t expect the hottest shows to be discounted, but plenty of big-name productions, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Glass Menagerie, and The Producers, were available at less-than-full price at press time. Broadwaybox.com and The Frugal TheaterGoer’s Guide to Discount Tickets (home.nyc.rr.com/frugaltheatergoe ) are useful for finding discounts when others fail to offer the show of your choice.

The day of the performance

Locals and tourists score discounts of 25 to 50 percent by lining up for same-day tickets at the two TKTS kiosks in Manhattan (tdf.org): in Times Square at 47th Street and Broadway, and in the Financial District at the corner of Front and John Streets. The big downside is that you typically must wait more than an hour (sometimes less if you want to see a play; lines are now divided into musical and nonmusical). The most popular shows are unlikely to be available, and you may not get your first choice. Most days, people start queuing up several hours before TKTS opens. Tickets may be released several times a day, so it’s still possible to grab great seats by stopping by at 6 or 7 p.m., when lines are shortest. The Times Square location is open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and starting at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. on Sundays (hours are slightly different downtown). They take only cash and traveler’s checks.

Currently, two of the toughest tickets on Broadway–that rarely, if ever, appear on TKTS or discount websites–are Avenue Q (the hilarious adult puppet show that won the Tony for Best Musical in 2004) and Wicked (a musical about the Wicked Witch of the West). Most people book far in advance, but tickets for both open up at the last minute for $25 or less. Show up at the theater two and a half hours before the performance (5:30 p.m. for an 8 p.m. curtain) and sign up for the lottery. (Bring a photo ID.) Rent and Hairspray have similar systems.

Several shows, including Little Women and Mamma Mia!, sell same-day rush tickets at substantially discounted prices for students. Check tdf.org or telecharge.com for each show’s policy.

30 minutes before curtain

If you arrive at a theater’s box office and the show is sold out, don’t give up. Many big hits, including Spamalot, Movin’ Out, The Lion King, and Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, offer standing-room only (SRO) tickets for about $25, but not until all regular tickets have been purchased. To find out if a specific show releases SRO tickets, go to telecharge.com, find the show, and click on “Getting Tickets.” Standing for two hours isn’t ideal, but most theaters at least give you a wall to lean against.

Beyond Broadway

The terms Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway have little to do with theater locations and more with theater size, production values, and ticket price. Off-Broadway shows usually top off at $60. Off-Off-Broadway shows rarely exceed $25. There’s plenty worth seeing Off-Broadway. As a matter of fact, several successful Off-Broadway shows have switched over to Broadway, including the hit play Doubt. Check NYC newspapers and magazines for Off-Broadway listings; New York magazine and The Village Voice are particularly good sources.

Theater fans may want to visit New York in August or September, when performances at popular festivals are $15. The New York International Fringe Festival (fringenyc.org) runs from August 12 to 28 this year and features plays, musicals, dance, and multimedia performances. The New York Musical Theatre Festival (nymf.org), from September 12 to October 2, schedules more than 30 original shows. Though the festivals’ offerings are hit-or-miss, several productions have gone on to successful runs off and on Broadway. Tickets for Altar Boyz were just $15 at last year’s NYMF, and it’s now playing Off-Broadway for $60. That’s showbiz, kids!

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Sign up to receive our free E-Newsletter

Vacation inspiration, exclusive deals, tips, and more.

| by Amy Sapp | June 19, 2017

The hottest family shows this summer

Let’s face it. Summertime in New York City is hot. Really hot. When you tire of floating in the pool and devouring popsicles in Central Park, where to turn? For families and kids, try stopping by a Broadway theater. The selection of family-friendly performances are bountiful – here are our top 10 picks of the summer.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

Pictured (L to R) Ben Crawford, Emma Pfaeffle, Kathy Fitzgerald, F. Michael Haynie, Alan H. Green, Christina Borle, Tristam Dollison, John Rubinstein, Ryan Foust, Jackie Hoffman, and Michael Wartella (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Anastasia
Journey to the past with one of the most beloved animated classics of the 1990s. Based on the legend of a lost Romanov princess, this musical explores how one girl uncovers her true identity, with the help of two unlikely partners. Though this musical follows the tale of a princess, it remains anything but lighthearted; Anastasia offers audiences powerful motifs of strength, bravery and love. This musical is a perfect choice for younger kids’ first viewing of a Broadway show. Get tickets to Anastasia

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A delight to both parents and kids, this newest Roald Dahl adaptation has all the ingredients for a memorable family night at the theater. The three young boys who share the role of the title character– Jake Ryan Flynn, Ryan Foust and Ryan Sell – capture just the right combination of whimsy and strengths to dazzle young audience members. Tony Award winner Christian Borle, on the other hand, has aced blending the maniacal prowess of Willy Wonka with his well-known stage presence, appealing to the parents in the audience. Get tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Aladdin
A new Aladdin has landed in Agrabah! This summer, Telly Leung, best known for his roles in television’s Glee and Broadway’s Allegiance, assumes the role of Aladdin in Disney’s beloved musical theater hit. With classic songs like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me,” Aladdin has that nostalgic flair for lovers of Disney of all ages. Notably, for fans of the animated film’s composer Alan Menken, discover several new songs added to the musical, including “These Palace Walls” and “Proud of Your Boy.” Get tickets to Aladdin

Wicked
The witches of Oz are back for their fourteenth year on Broadway, beckoning families to learn the “truth” behind The Wizard of Oz. Alongside Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, we learn that some legends are not all we once believed. Explore the depth of the bonds of friendship and sacrifices of love in this Tony Award-winning musical at the Gershwin Theatre. Get tickets to Wicked

School of Rock
Dewey Finn has a new look this summer as rocker Eric Peterson continues his run in School of Rock on Broadway. Though classes may be out for the season, the heat is still on at the Winter Garden in this rocking, kid-pleasing musical by legend Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on the film of the same name, kids find their inner rockstar and the will to “stick it to the man.” Get tickets to School of Rock

Cats
When I was six years old, my mother took me to see a touring production of Cats, igniting my own passion for the stage that has spanned over 15 years. With a delightful score and stunning choreography, Cats remains one of the cornerstones of the musical theatre lexicon. Now in its first Broadway revival, this musical continues to inspire children – and adults – of all ages at the Neil Simon Theatre. Its simple dialogue and mesmerizing lighting makes it easy to follow for kids and a visual masterpiece for older patrons. Get tickets to Cats

Hello, Dolly!
If the magic of Dolly Levi can work on Horace Vandergelder, then it absolutely can capture the hearts of the youngest theatergoers. This year’s Tony Award winner for Best Revival, Hello, Dolly!’s appeal has transcended generations and delighted the hearts of millions. With catchy classic songs like “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and “Before the Parade Passes By,” this revival offers the innocent appeal of the Golden Age of Broadway musicals; best of all for parents, the language and themes remain G to PG. Get tickets to Hello, Dolly!

The Lion King
Show your kids the animated film, and then take a trip to the Minskoff Theatre to embrace the “Circle of Life,” up close and personal. The Lion King on Broadway features the magnificent puppetry and costumes that have come to define this stage adaption for audiences; no doubt, kids will recognize some of their beloved sing-alongs, like “Hakuna Matata” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” Get tickets to The Lion King

Blue Man Group
Flying marshmallows. Singing pipes. Buckets of paint. Recipe for an entertaining treat for the whole family, if ever there was one. With Blue Man Group Off-Broadway, families can expect to enter a whimsical, musical theatre, filled with unexpected surprises and unbelievable live music. Did we mention the performers are also completely painted in a striking shade of blue? Get tickets to Blue Man Group

Puffs: Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
Third or nothing! Off-Broadway meets one of the Wizarding World’s famous houses in this hilarious spoof of one of the most beloved film and novel series of the 21st century. Join the Puffs, one of the lesser-known houses at Hogwarts, as they fight to gain acclaim in the eyes of their fellow students, including one famed, scar-adorned classmate, and find their place at the wizarding table. When faced with the challenges of the other three houses and the forces of You Know Who, will the Puffs arise victorious? Or will they settle for third place? Find out at New World Stages this summer. (For younger audiences, the show now offers family-friendly matinees on weekends). New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St.

The subject of this blog is from an email I got from a reader just last weekend, and wouldn’t you know it, two days ago the Broadway League’s Economic Impact report arrived on my desk and had the quantitative answers this reader was looking for.

So I thought I’d share it with all of you!

If you recall yesterday’s entry that detailed the economic impact of Broadway on the city, 2.2 billion doubloons came from direct spending on shows. Let’s see how that breaks down so we can also calculate the average costs of producing a Broadway show.

The report indicates that in the 2010-11 season, there were 43 shows produced for a total of $209.7 million, or an average of $4,876,744.

Now, there are musicals and plays muddied in that mix, so that figure is a bit hard to do anything with. So, for the rest of this entry and analysis, we’ll separate the plays and the musicals. I’ll also be excluding any so-called “Special” productions (as classified by the League which refers to productions that don’t fall under the definition of either Play or Musical).

So, drilling down now.

In ’10-11, there were 15 new musicals produced for a total of $144,900,000 or an average of $9,660,000.

That same season, there were 25 new plays produced for a total of $60,200,000 or an average of $2,408,000.

Now that’s the “production budget”, or capitalization. What about the second component of every Broadway Budget? What about the “operating costs”, or how much it costs to keep the show going each week?

In ’10-11, the total spent to operate musicals over 1142 playing weeks was $673,500,000 or an average of $589,754.

In ’10-11, the total spent to operate plays over 426 playing weeks was $118,500,000 or an average of $278,169.

And there’s your answer.

Buuuuuut, let’s just keep going. Because now I have a question.

Just how do these numbers compare to years past?

Thankfully, the Broadway League published the prior years of stats in addition to the most recent years so we could . . . oh, I don’t know . . . graph out how costs have escalated over the last decade. And those charts are below:

How to See a Broadway Show on a BudgetHow to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

So there you have it, James K from Illinois . . . the answer to your question.

And for all of you non-James Ks out there . . . there are answers to your questions in this blog as well. For example, if you’re budgeting a play or a musical, where should you look to land? Well, the numbers above give you guidelines as where you need to be. Certainly some shows are going to draw outside those lines in either direction, and being average certainly doesn’t mean being successful.

But when building a model of anything, it’s important to understand what the market is bearing so you can see where you fit in the market . . . so you can market your show to the best of your ability for your investors.

If you’re interested in learning more about the economics of putting on a Broadway show, pick up this book: Stage Money: The Business of the Professional Theater.

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

Want to know what insiders in the industry really say the cost of putting on a Broadway show is? Get inside knowledge when you listen in on my one-on-one podcasts with Stuart Oken, Nina Lannan, and Gregg Barnes.

Get more knowledge about the industry, monthly newsletters and webinars—like Breakin’ Down a Broadway Budget, plus a Tip of the Week email, when you join TheProducersPerspectivePRO today.

So you’ve seen Times Square…What now? What about the other boroughs?

On Saturday night I had the opportunity to see Shear Madness, America’s longest running comedy, at New World Stages for only $20. Normally, tickets can range from $50 to $100. Through March 13 th , you can see any of over 30 Off-Broadway shows for only $20 if you show up 20 minutes before curtain. 20at20 is a biannual promotion where participating shows offer this deal for only 20 days.

Due to the nature of the deal I would recommend showing up at one of the theater complexes offering the deal for multiple shows, that way if your first choice sells out, you can still see something else for $20. New World Stages, the complex we went to, has at least three shows participating in the promotion.

The shows offered range from family friendly like The Bernstein Bears Live! to not so family friendly like Naked Boys Singing. Musicals, plays, comedies, tragedies, experience shows, and everything in between are being offered as a part of this promotion.

Avenue Q includes puppets reminiscent of Jim Henson’s style.

Even Avenue Q is participating. Avenue Q is a hilarious (I hear) musical that ran on Broadway for 6 years before reopening Off-Broadway. I would love to see it but the friends I was with last night had already been to see it.

But Shear Madness was highly entertaining and really funny! I don’t want to give too much away! But it’s a comedic whodunit murder mystery set in the Shear Madness hair salon. The audience is asked to participate in solving the murder so pay close attention and don’t get too distracted by the non-stop jokes.

Patrick Noonan (left) as Nick O’Brien and Jordan Ahnquist (right) as Tony Whitcomb.

They must update the material all the time because even Super Tuesday was referenced. Due to the audience participation aspect I think a lot of it was off the cuff. There was even a very unexpected kiss that had both the audience and the actors laughing! I enjoyed myself the entire time and would recommend the show.

It was a great night; my only problem was finding somewhere to eat that wouldn’t blow my cheap night out. After my friends and I had walked around the New World Stages area, and examined probably over 20 menus, we gave up and ate at a decent but overpriced pita place. I paid nearly as much for dinner as I did for my ticket! So if you’re on a budget, I would suggest either eating outside of the neighborhood near New World stages before hand or grabbing a slice of dollar pizza in the neighborhood. The friends I was with were not big pizza fans (I’m not sure how that’s possible).

Here’s a good, quick show guide for the 20at20 shows that scores and provides a short description for each show.

Mikayla poses. Mario Carissa

These seven tips can help you see musicals and plays at a discount.

I still remember the first Broadway musical I ever saw. It was 42nd Street, and I watched it at the St. James Theatre in New York when I was 12. I have no idea how much my parents paid for those tickets, but they probably weren’t cheap. I would say they were worth it, though, because it was an experience that will be forever etched in my memory.

My children still talk about the Broadway performance of The Lion King that I took them to see three years ago. And I can tell you for certain that those tickets weren’t cheap. I probably could’ve paid a lot less for those tickets, though, if I had known about the various ways to get them at a discount.

The fact is, you can avoid paying full price for tickets to almost all Broadway shows — even the hit musical The Book of Mormon. Just follow these tips from Erich Jungwirth, chief operating officer of the Lyric Theatre (formerly Foxwoods Theatre), Broadway’s largest theater and home to Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.

See shows during Broadway Week. You can get two tickets for the price of one to 19 shows including Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia! and Wicked during Broadway Week, which actually lasts two weeks (Sept. 2-15). Some shows will even offer the discount for up to four weeks, Jungwirth says. This biannual event also happens in January, giving theater-goers another chance to score two-for-one tickets.

Go during the off-season. Summer and the winter holidays are the peak seasons for Broadway, Jungwirth says. So ticket prices are at their highest during these times. To avoid paying top dollar, see shows during the spring and fall. For example, tickets to the popular musical The Lion King cost about $160, on average, in July versus $125 to $140, on average, in September, he says.

See a weekday performance. Theaters know that more people want to see shows on weekends, so they can charge more for those performances, Jungwirth says. You’ll save about 10% to 15% by seeing a show on a weekday rather than a Friday or Saturday night, he says.

Use discount-ticket sites. BroadwayBox.com shares discount codes that you can use to get up to 50% off tickets purchased online or at the theater box office. TheaterMania.com also offers discount tickets on select seats at popular Broadway shows.

Buy discounted tickets the day of a show. Some theaters offer extremely discounted tickets the day of a performance. For example, the Lyric Theatre sells rush tickets for just $39 at its box office on the day of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark performances if there are seats available, Jungwirth says. You must pay in cash, and you can purchase only two tickets (and there’s a good chance the seats won’t be together). The Eugene O’Neill Theatre has a lottery before each performance of The Book of Mormon. You can enter at the box office two-and-a-half hours before a show. If you win, you can get up to two tickets for just $32 each. If you’re not lucky enough to score a deeply discounted ticket directly from a theater, you can buy tickets for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows for 20% to 50% off the day of a performance at TKTS Discount Booths in New York City’s Times Square, the South Street Seaport and Brooklyn.

Sign up for Audience Rewards. If you live in or near New York or visit frequently, you can take advantage of Broadway’s rewards program called Audience Rewards, which allows members to earn points to save on tickets, get free tickets and get seat upgrades. You can sign up for free at AudienceRewards.com or when purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster and Telecharge. You earn points when you buy tickets, play the Audience Reward trivia game or shop online at AudienceRewardsMall.com.

See a touring Broadway show. Nothing quite compares to seeing a show on Broadway, Jungwirth says, but there’s a good chance you’ll pay less to see that show while it’s on tour in cities across the country. For example, tickets to The Book of Mormon performances in Austin, Texas, cost $49 to $139 versus $69 to $299 in New York. So check the Web site of the show you want to see to find out if it’s coming to a city near you — or a city you can visit at a fraction of the cost of a trip to New York.

There goes my whole day.

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

  • Here’s the scoop on how to watch Broadway shows and musicals online now.
  • BroadwayHD is letting people stream them for free, for a limited time.
  • Hamilton is also coming to Disney+ in two months, if you’ve got a subscription.

Update: May 12, 2020

If you’re bored of rewatching The Office and Tiger King, Lin Manuel Miranda’s got your back. If you have a Disney+ subscription, you can enjoy a filmed version of Hamilton starting July 3.

Reminder: This is the show that won 11 Tony Awards, a Grammy, an Olivier Award, and a Pulitzer, so, yes, it’s a big deal.

“I’m so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. He’s given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda in a statement to Cosmo. “I’m so grateful to Disney and Disney+ for reimagining and moving up our release to July 4 th weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I’m so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I’m so glad that we’re able to make it happen. I’m so proud of this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

Original story: March 19, 2020

Have you already slammed through every season of your favorite reality TV show and succumbed to watching Cats four times? (No? Just me?) Either way, if you’re looking for something new to occupy your time, pause your 5,000-piece puzzle for a second to check out the latest news in streaming: There’s now a way you can watch Broadway shows online this week without paying a cent.

No, it’s not the same as watching a live performance in an actual theater. But with all of Broadway on hiatus because of coronavirus, we theater nerds have to do *something* while staying safely socially distant beyond just streaming the Beetlejuice musical soundtrack until our ears bleed. (Although, honestly, that’s great too.)

Thankfully, we’ve found the Link Larkin to our Tracy Turnblad in the form of streaming service BroadwayHD. The streaming service offers up performances of musicals like Kinky Boots, The King and I, Sound of Music, and even Cats, if you want to see what the horror movie you just watched was attempting to channel.

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 in News and Previews

How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

The holidays are a perfect time to see a show. Broadway performs every day of the week at multiple curtain times to accommodate every schedule, including holidays.

During Thanksgiving week, some shows will play on Thanksgiving Day, and many shows are adding special Friday matinees.

During Christmas week, in addition to some Christmas Eve and Christmas Day performances, alternate curtain times include Thursday and Friday matinees and Sunday evening performances. Check schedule to see when specific shows are playing.

FOR COMPLETE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE, GO TO BROADWAY.ORG

“ ’Tis the season to see a show! Despite schedule changes that come with the holidays, alternate curtain times – including Thursday and Friday matinees – provide a variety of opportunities throughout the festive holiday weeks,” says Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “Broadway in New York is the place to be during the holiday season! You can visit BROADWAY.ORG to see the changing schedules and easily find out where and when your show is playing.”

Broadway theatres are filled with an exciting array of new and classical musicals and plays, providing the perfect holiday experience for every audience. Great seats are available at every price point (from premium tickets to student rush tickets) and are easy to buy online, by phone, or in person at theatre box offices.

I have a relative from out of the country visiting. We want to go to a Broadway show but are torn between Lion King or Phantom of the Opera. Have you seen both? Which is the best to see?

I’ve only been to one Broadway show in my life, Beauty and the Beast about 10 years ago, and it was fantastic, but I can’t figure out which to choose now!

  • Share Question
  • Flag as.
    • Add Topic
    • 380 questions
    • 252 people

    9 Answer s

    Phantom. I saw if on Broadway when I was younger. Front row seats….EPIC! I could go on about it!

    Fun fact: I’ve met Patty Cohenour (I believe that is how it’s spelled) who was a standby for Sarah Brightman and later replaced her as Christine. I had the privilege of working for her for a week each year for three years. Was amazing to hear her sing and to be taught by her

    They’re too completely different kinds of musicals, though. One is a story about a hero, family, and has contemporary music. It’s colourful, lots of contemporary dance, and intricate costuming (including puppetry.) The other is a love story with a modern operatic orchestration. It’s much more traditional than the former.

    So the real question is, what kind of experience are you looking for?

    Personally, I would go see The Lion King. But I’m totally biased because Phantom of the Opera isn’t exactly my favourite musical.

    I’d go Phantom, totally unbiased

    loved the book, probably watched EVERY movie, watched on Broadway twice

    Lion King. Loved it. Have on the sweatshirt I bought there years ago.

    Phantom. I will never not go see Phantom. Lion King… eh.

    Whilst the Lion King is a great show (and one I’d recommend as an introduction to theatre for younger audiences or theatre newbies) I cannot get enough of Phantom. I am going to see it next week having already seen it a few times and I have seen the Lion King about 4 times also.

    Thanks everyone, got Phantom tickets! orchestra row n center at majestic theatre, can’t wait

    How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

    I have never been to a Broadway show yet, but I heard that once I have seen one, my life will never be the same. Personally, I am a huge Disney lover (Disney princess buddies with Maddy Marold). That being said, out of all the phenomenal Broadway shows, I would love to see the Lion King on Broadway.

    The Lion King Musical is Broadway’s fifth longest-running show in history. As of April 2012, it is the highest grossing Broadway show of all time, having grossed $853.8 million. The show is divided in two Acts filled with performances between the orchestra and actors/actresses on stage. I have heard wonderful stories about this particular show. Apparently, the actors/actresses wear magnificent headpieces and have the necessary equipment and costumes needed to recreate the movie right before your very eyes. These actors and actresses aren’t just any Hollywood stars. These people are the Michael Jordans of basketball, the Michael Phelps of swimming, and the Williams sisters of tennis. So basically, imagine flawless singing, dynamic costumes, and captivating choreography integrated into one of your favorite shows! Even though the price of a broadway show creeps up into the hundreds, it certainly is something that I hope to witness one day. I feel another CAS trip coming on!

    2 responses to “ PAS 4: See a show on Broadway! ”

    I barely remember seeing this musical when i was kid. It was such a long time ago. Definitely recommended though.

    One of the best shows I have seen on Broadway! You will definitely love it!

    How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

    How to See a Broadway Show on a Budget

    Planning to see a Broadway Show but don’t know where to begin?

    Our partner Broadway Inbound is here to help! GroupTools interviewed Broadway Inbound’s Director of Sales Allison French, who spoke to her team to offer some tips. We covered everything from which show to see to how to score the best tickets!

    What’s the right show for your group?

    There are a lot of show options, so think about if you want to see something brand new to Broadway, or an option that might have been around for longer and is considered a classic. And of course, what’s coming soon that should be on your radar for next season!

    Brand new:
    • Ain’t too Proud-the Life and Times of the Temptationsis an electrifying new musical that follows the journey of The Temptations’, you won’t be able to resist groovin’ in your seat along to the music.
    • For the adult night out, Hadestown, winner of 8 Tony Awards® this season, including for Best Musical has two mythical tales entwine to treat you to an evening unlike any night you’ve ever spent at the theater before. You’ll go on a journey to the underworld and back with Orpheus and Eurydice, and Hades and Persephone. And with incredible music written by Anaïs Mitchell, you’ll want to go again and again to experience this ravishing show.
    Classic and exciting:
    • If you recently watched the TV series “Fosse/Verdon” on FX, you’ll want to check out the brilliant dance choreography inspired by their work in Chicago.
    • If your group is multi-generational, try taking them all to Come From Awaywhich shares the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcome them. This musical is a favorite among so many groups for its’ inspiring messages of warmth, friendship, and trust.
    Coming soon:
    • Jagged Little Pill is inspired by the Alanis Morissette album of the same name and brings a fresh story to the iconic songs.
    • Girl From the North Countryre-imagines the music of Bob Dylan in a breathtaking and heartbreaking new show.

    Want to order tickets like a Broadway Insider?

    Here are a few tricks you can use to score great seats:

    • Group minimums can vary by show-generally between 10 to 20 tickets. Make sure to check the minimum for a group before buying, sometimes all it takes is you plus 9 friends to make up a group and access better rates and payment terms.
    • Always request the maximum number of tickets you could possibly use. You can always decrease the number prior to paying, but you may not be able to increase.
    • Many Broadway theaters are more intimate than you might expect, so select a seat that fits your budget.
    • While Orchestra and Front Mezzanine center are usually considered the best, sometimes sitting in the mezzanine can increase your chances of getting the show and date you want. The same goes for weeknight performances, which generally have better availability than weekends. Plus, some weeknight performances start a little earlier—just be sure to check the start time when you place a request.

    1741 pts

    328 active goals

    215 completed goals

    191 success stories

    My second show actually. Love the art. Chicago and West Side Story were both fantastic.

    1 pt

    97 active goals

    12 completed goals

    1 success storie

    Mamma Mia – 21st December 2014!

    1 pt

    29 active goals

    35 completed goals

    36 success stories

    We saw Chicago in February 2014 on our honeymoon

    1 pt

    136 active goals

    22 completed goals

    38 success stories

    An ex-boyfriend of mine took me on a surprise, 6 hour roadtrip to New York City to see my favorite show, The Phantom of the Opera, on Broadway because he knew I had always wanted to see it; very redeemable of him.

    1 pt

    28 active goals

    31 completed goals

    15 success stories

    57 pts

    36 completed goals

    34 success stories

    The Phantom of the Opera at The Majestic Theatre

    1 pt

    2 completed goals

    5 success stories

    I went to New York to interview for a job at the David Letterman show. I didn’t get the job but I spent the rest of my time there running around New York. I concluded my 2 week stay by seeing Wicked at the Gershwin. AMAZING.