What You Need to Know to Buy Tickets for a Broadway Show

Broadway shows tickets on sale

Whether you live in the New York City area or you are visiting as a tourist, there are few things more “New York” than getting Broadway play tickets. When it comes to how to buy Broadway tickets, you have a number of options. Luckily, Time Out New York has put together a list for how people can get discount show tickets.

  1. Go to TKTS. No New Yorker worth their salt is unaware of this as the way to do the Broadway buy one get one thing. In fact, for a long, long time most people who live in the area made this the main way answer to the question of how to buy Broadway tickets. Here is the deal. TKTS is located in Times Square (many locals just refer to this as “twofers”). When you head over there on the day you want to see a show, you can buy, as the twofer name suggests, two tickets for the price of one. Today, as with everything else, there is an app for this. If you are flying solo, you can get a ticket for a show for about half off the regular price. If you are looking for how to buy Broadway tickets like a native New Yorker, this is your best bet.
  2. Go online. There is pretty much nothing that you cannot get online these days and tickets to Broadway shows are no exception. If you do not want to wait until the day of the show or you hate the idea of waiting in line, you can look for tickets to that show you want to see online. Do a Google search.
  3. Go for the same day rush system. This is a lot like going to TKTS only, you have to go to the theatre that is showing the play you want to see. If you get to the box office just as it opens, you have a chance to get cheap show tickets for plays both on and off Broadway. Even the biggest shows may have a handful of tickets available from day to day. Some theatres will use a lottery system. Some of the lotteries are done in person and some digitally but the bottom line is you give your name and a few hours before the show starts, you find out if you can buy a cheaper ticket to the show.
  4. Look into memberships. A membership to the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) can $30 per year. This membership will give you access to ticket deals weeks or days in advance of the show you want to see. A membership can get you off-Broadway tickets for as little as $9. There are theatre membership programs at many of the city’s theatres. If you think you are going to want to see a lot of plays, or the same one a dozen times, this is worth looking into.
  5. Take advantage of the theatre when you are young. Many of the theatres in the city that operate as non-profits want to get young people interested in the theatre. If you are under the age of 30 or 35 (different programs have different ideas of what is “young”), you have more options when it comes to how to buy Broadway tickets. Places such as Lincoln Center, the Roundabout Theatre Company, and the Manhattan Theatre Club all have programs to help get younger people into their audiences.
  6. Be a student. In the same way that theatres want to get young people in the door, they also want to get students to see more plays. If you are a student, you may be able to take advantage of deals for many on and off-Broadway productions. They also often offer deals to librarians and teachers.

There are few experiences that as much fun to do both as a tourist and a local as going to a Broadway play. There are also some interesting trivia that many people do not know. Most “Broadway” shows are not located in theatres on Broadway itself, only four of the theatres with the distinction are on the street itself. Never mind, wherever your play is, you will have a great time.

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