How To Get Cheap Broadway Tickets: A Complete Guide

In May, my family and I went to New York City. On one of the days we were there, my father and brother went to a baseball game (lame!), so my mother and I went to a Broadway show. If it were up to me, we would have spent all three days going to Broadway shows. I am the Musical Nerd of the family, so my mother left it up to me to pick a show and find reasonably priced tickets. I was determined to see more than one show on our trip (it’s not every day I’m in NYC, ya know?) so I spent quite a while doing research on Broadway lotteries and theater rush and figuring out the best strategy. I ended up getting to see two amazing shows (Waitress and Once On This Island) and my parents were very impressed that we were able to do this for good prices. Since our trip, a few of my mom’s friends have asked me for my resources and tips, so I figured I’d share it all here so anyone can use them. Broadway tickets can get SUPER expensive (some can get close to $1000 each), and there’s no way we were willing to do that, and you shouldn’t either.

Purchasing Tickets In Advance

For the day my mother and I split from my brother and father, I knew I wanted to have tickets to a show. Lotteries are fun, but there’s no guarantee, and I didn’t want to risk not seeing a show that day. I knew Waitress would be a great show for Mom and I, so I began looking into prices. Buying tickets from the show sites are costly, even for seats in the nosebleeds. I ended up finding a site called TodayTix, which offers discount tickets for shows (and they work in many cities, not just NYC!). They had the best deals I could find, and all the reviews I read about the site were good, so I purchased two tickets. The interesting thing about this service, though, is that you don’t get to pick your seats, they just give you the best seats based on the area you choose to sit in. My mom and I got our tickets about a week in advance and we got great seats. The other thing about this site that you need to be aware of is that to get the actual tickets, you have to go meet a TodayTix representative outside the theater half an hour before the show starts and they’ll hand them over. It sounds a bit sketchy, but when we did it, it all went over well. We found the person, told them our names, and got our tickets in an envelope. Did Mom and I get a bit anxious as we waited for this person and saw the hundreds of other people already holding tickets in line? Yes. But I’d use TodayTix again.

Another resource is Playbill.com’s discounted tickets. I’ve never use this route, but Playbill is a bit more reputable than TodayTix, and they have pretty good deals too.

Day-of: Rush, Standing Room, and TKTS

Admittedly, I’ve never bought tickets through this method, but I looked into it a lot. A lot of shows offer Rush tickets on the day of. When the box office opens in the morning, you may be able to buy tickets for cheap (usually between $30-50 USD). You can only buy a maximum of two and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be good seats, but at least you’ll be there. I don’t know how crazy the Rush lines can be, but if you’re trying to score tickets this way, you should arrive early if possible. Some theaters also offer Student Rush tickets if you’re a student and have a student ID. I brought my university ID with me in case I needed it, but I don’t know if they would have accepted it because it was for a Canadian school. I also don’t know if they accept high school ID.

Another option is Standing Room tickets, which is where you go stand in a space to see the show. These tickets are usually between $25-45, but standing can suck, and your view may not be the best, but at least they’re bought from the theater, which is a legitimate source.

TKTS is also a reputable source for discounted tickets on the day-of. I’ve never used them, but I definitely saw their booth in Times Square. The prices are the best the closer it is to the show. Tickets can be bought in-person at the several TKTS booths across the city, or online.

These three methods are good for getting last-minute tickets the day-of, but they are a risk. You may not be able to score one or enough, and seating may be sucky.

Online Lotteries

Online lotteries are a popular way to try for cheap tickets because they’re free and easy to enter from the comfort of your home. A lot of shows have online lotteries, and if you win, tickets are between $30-55 and are usually good seats (Hamilton‘s lottery tickets are actually only $10 because Alexander Hamilton is on the ten dollar bill!). Results are emailed to you a few hours before the show, and if you’re a winner, you have an hour to buy tickets online with a credit card. There are two main sites that host these lotteries. Lucky Seat allows for you to enter lotteries for shows about a week in advance, while Broadway Direct opens the day before. To enter, you need to be 18 or older, and you can only win a max of two tickets. Note that some shows like Dear Evan Hansen run an online lottery on its own site, so if there is a show you’re specifically wanting that you can’t find a lottery for, just Google it to see what you can find.

Leading up to the trip, I had entered myself and my family for most of the online lotteries. On the day we flew out, I ended up winning the lottery for the now-closed Escape To Margaritaville for that same night. I wanted to go because as I said, I didn’t want to just see one show in New York if I could manage more, but our flight was delayed, so I ended up forfeiting the tickets because I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it. While the lottery tickets are cheap, because that specific show wasn’t very popular, they were only about ten or twenty bucks cheaper than buying regular seats. It’s something to be aware of, but usually you’re getting a great deal.

In-person lotteries

I ended up getting to see Once On This Island by winning an in-person lottery. I knew that it was being held and we were in Times Square, so I brought my mom and we entered it. Like online lotteries, you can only score a maximum of two tickets from in-person lotteries. They take place about 90 minutes before the show starts at the theater. You have to be present to win, so after we put our names in the bowl, we had to wait around to 20 minutes for the draw. Things may have changed since we did it, but at our drawing they gave away 20 tickets for $45 and there were maybe forty people who entered, so we had good odds. So good, in fact, that both my mom and I won, so we called my dad and brother and told them to get your butts here now! We ended up getting amazing seats in the fourth row for a quarter of what we would have paid if we just bought them regularly.

Not many shows have an in-person lottery, but the ones that do have details about times and dates on their websites. They’re run by the show at the theater, so they’re legit (which was a concern my father had), and from what I can remember, there’s no age restriction for this.

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Other methods

Another service that I never personally used but I looked into is Broadway Roulette. This seems like a good tool for people who don’t have a preference as to which show they see. You pick a date you want to go and the number of tickets you want (all tickets are between $49-60) and the website picks the show for you. On the day of, they send you a text/email telling you what show you’ll be seeing and instructions to pick up your tickets. This site lists big-name shows as possibilities to get, but I don’t know what the odds of landing Hamilton are. All the reviews for this service that I read were good, but most cited getting tickets to older shows like Chicago, Kinky Boots, Phantom Of The Opera, and Book Of Mormon. And what if you’ve already seen a few shows and want something new? The service does allow you to cross off a few shows, and if you use the service again, they say they’ll never send you to the same show twice.

There are also some memberships or newsletters you can subscribe to that’ll get you discounts, but they’re more for people who live in New York or travel there often. If you’re just in NYC for a short and rare trip, then don’t perhaps bother with these as they’ll clog your inbox and you won’t use them enough. In my case, I did subscribe to a few discount newsletters I came across while researching because I knew about a month in advance of our trip, but I never used them to buy tickets and have since unsubscribed so I can’t even remember which ones they were.

Additional tips and resources

  • Weekdays are better for deals than weekends
  • Monday is an awful day for Broadway because most shows are dark that day
  • If you Google ‘Broadway Schedule’ you’ll quickly get a link to a weekly Playbill page where they list all the shows that are playing for the week, which is a great site to have saved in case you are aiming to catch a last-minute show
  • The website Broadway For Broke People is a great resource because it lists all the shows and gives cheap ticket info
  • Don’t buy from scalpers!
  • TodayTix and TKTS have apps, so you can buy from your phone
  • Knowing what show you’re wanting to see makes the research and buying process easier
  • Be sure to check the websites of specific shows for details on when the box office opens, when lotteries are held, or other important info
  • Remember that there are service fees for buying tickets almost anywhere, but in my experience they were not too extreme at all
  • Don’t forget about Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway! There are great shows (both musicals and plays) that are available from TodayTix or TKTS that aren’t as publicized and are already cheaper
  • Remember that a lot of shows do go on tour across the continent and even around the globe, so if you can’t see it in NYC, it’s not the end of the world.
  • Keep exchange rates in mind too. $50 tickets sound great, but what is that in Canadian Dollars or British Pounds?

Aaaand those are all the tips and resources I have. Going to shows is such a fun experience, but they can get stupidly expensive, and these are all legal ways to do it for cheap. So whether you’re moving to NYC for good or just visiting for a weekend, take advantage of these methods. I’m not making any money by recommending them to you, I just want as many people as possible to be able to see some top-notch entertainment. I did the research here, but I also encourage you to do your own as well. And as I touched on, some of these methods aren’t just for New York. See if there are options to get cheaper theater tickets closer to you.

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Enjoy! And if you have any questions or tips of your own, leave a comment!

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When Celebrities’ Old Tweets Are Controversial

Quite often, a celebrity or influencer or somewhat-well-known person will make headlines when it’s revealed, usually through unearthed old Tweets, that they said or did things that most of society frowns upon. Guardians Of The Galaxy writer and director James Gunn was a recent big name to lose his job for this. And if you’re also a watcher of YouTubers, you may have heard of several so-called Beauty Gurus also having their old Tweets exposed recently too.

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The thing about this is that there’s no rulebook for how to proceed for the people/parties in question or for us common folk, fans or not. Of course we can be disappointed and offended that they not only thought the things they did, but had the gall to post it online for all to see, but are we better than them? Have we never said or done rude, inappropriate things in real life or online? Of course not. I don’t think anyone is. When I was in grade six and seven and eight (2007-2010), using the word ‘gay’ as an insult was very common. I went to Catholic school so in elementary grades, I didn’t even know any gay people. I’m not proud of it, but I’ll admit that I used the slur. I called my brother gay so many times because it was an insult that worked on him, and as an older sister, I needed any ammo I could get for our many arguments. Do you know why I stopped? Because then I watched Glee, and I saw the character Kurt Hummel get bullied for being gay. And just like that, I removed the word from my vocabulary of insults. Doing that didn’t make me a saint, and I’m sure I’ve said other inappropriate things after that. Maybe not intentionally, but still. Since then, I’ve learned and grown and met people outside of my very white city. I’m not perfect and goodness knows an offensive line or two has slipped out, but I’m so much more educated and conscious. And I’m always super conscious of anything I post online.

But enough about me. This is about celebrities. I’m sure James Gunn has also learned and grown since his disgusting 2010 Tweets too. The thing that makes his situation different from mine and from the recent Beauty Gurus’ stuff was that James was 30 years old, and I was 12. In my opinion, if someone is above the age of around 20 and they’re acting on their disgusting beliefs on something as public as Twitter, then you can’t blame it on being young and stupid. You made that conscious decision. By age 20/21, you’re old enough do a lot. You can drink, you and get married, you can get a full-time job, you can have a baby and not be a Teen Mom, you can have a degree. You’re classified as an adult. So that’s why, as much as losing James Gunn proved to be detrimental to a movie franchise I loved, I didn’t completely disagree with his firing. I mean, what was Disney to do? They have a huge rep to uphold, and Gunn’s Tweets and blog posts were pretty damning, even if they were apparently brought to light by an alt-right guy. Even with Gunn owning it right away and apologizing for it years before, sometimes it isn’t enough. ‘Dark’ senses of humor sometimes come back to bite you, and that’s life. As kids growing up with the internet, we were always told that if you post something online, it’s there forever and can hurt you later on.

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Speaking of Glee

Though I’m a nobody with no PR team. It’s boggling my mind that these Beauty Gurus or other big celebrities with PR people and brands to protect haven’t proactively tried to protect themselves from incidents like this by deleting any old Tweets that are inappropriate. Even if using certain words were more acceptable back then, clean your slate. Right away. Or own it before it can hurt you. It’s a good idea that anyone does this, no matter who you are.

But okay, it happened. Now what? Do we forgive them? Do we continue to support them? Do we accept their teary apology? I guess that’s something that we all have to figure out on our own. And there is no right or wrong call, I guess. It’s just important that we all keep in mind that nobody’s perfect and we have all said inappropriate things. Though of course, forgiving someone for Tweeting gross jokes and forgiving someone for something more serious like rape or murder are different things. Louis CK, who sexually harassed several women, has decided to come back to standup comedy. Should we be okay with this? I don’t know.

I suppose that this whole post comes down to two points: 1. that we’re all just flawed humans, and 2. the flawed humans who are in a position of power and have more to lose in terms of respect or notoriety have to be held accountable to their actions all the same, even if they should, for that reason, be more careful with how they present themselves in person and online.

What are your thought on the matter? Is there a celebrity or influencer or someone who you have or haven’t forgiven for their Twitter past? How do you approach this? I know it’s kind of a gloomy topic, but it’s one that society and pop-culture is forcing us to think about.

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Some Polls To Make This Blog Better

I write this blog for me. And what I mean by that is that I write about whatever I want when I want. Some posts are deep, some are not. Some are fun, some are not. Some are long, some are not. That’s what I want this blog to be, and that’s why I decided to be niche-less. But the point of a blog is to share with others as well. My words are online for this reason. So I also write for you. And as much as I am the boss and ultimately make all the calls, the thoughts and opinions of all you readers matter too. I want you guys to like my content and enjoy reading it and want to come back for the next post.

And while I try not to publically play the Numbers Game when it comes to blogging, I do like looking at my own stats. I like checking out how my posts do and seeing how many visitors I get from Twitter and all that fun stuff. My stats aren’t great and my daily numbers aren’t going up over time, but when I look at the yearly view, it does show growth. Except for this year. I’m not on track to beat last year. I’ve gained followers and I’ve maintained continuous posting, but I guess people aren’t reading. I know I have a lot of empty followers, but still. Maybe the blogosphere is dying as a whole? Maybe the closure of the Community Pool did some damage? Or maybe I’m just not posting what you guys want to read.

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I’ve had this blog for three and a half years, which is not that long in the grand scheme of things. Over this time, I’ve written on so many topics–TV, university, friendship, Snuggies, sports… I get that not all of this appeals to everyone, so I don’t expect that anyone but my Mom reads every post. But I’d still like to know what you guys enjoy. I love TV and I like writing about TV once in a while, but those posts usually aren’t my most popular.

So what I have here is a bunch of polls for you. They each take a second to answer, and they’d really help me get a better understanding of what you guys want from me or how I can improve. They’re anonymous, so I can’t see who you are, and I implore you to do them all. Be honest with me.

Look, I’m not saying that I’m going to completely cut out my rants if that’s what you all say you dislike, but I will post less of them. At the end of the day, it is my blog, but as I said, blogs are a live relationship between the blogger and the readers. I want to be better and I want to grow. I want this blog to be a place that people like coming to and like interacting with.

If you have other thoughts/suggestions/tips for me but didn’t have a chance to express them in the above polls, you can leave a comment below (anonymously, if you’d prefer), or if you want a more private way, DM me on Twitter or email me. And you can tell me anything. Tell me my bean is childish. Tell me my theme isn’t user-friendly. Tell me I’m not funny. Tell me I need to stop doing something. I want to know to know so I can evaluate myself and my blog.

I’ve heard that some of the big YouTubers from several years ago now don’t do so well because they never changed up their content and never listened to their viewers. I don’t want to be like that. So tell me if I need to change. Or tell me if there’s a certain topic you want me to write about. I’m open to almost anything!

Thanks for the help, y’all! I appreciate you taking the time to do this.

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That’s all for now!

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: September 2018

My August MLA wasn’t that thrilling, but the month ended up being not too bad. September is more exciting, though. For the first time since I was four years old, I’m not starting a new school year this month. It’s weird. Adult life is weird. Anyway, here’s what I’ve got to look forward to.

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  • Fall TV! Of course the biggest thing I’m hyped for this month is the return of TV. Not all my shows are back this month, but the ones that are are: This Is UsModern Family, and The Good Place. I can’t wait to come home from work to evenings with a purpose.
  • And there are some new shows starting too: ManifestSingle ParentsA Million Little Things, and God Friended Me. I’m on the fence about all of these, but I’m hopeful.
  • Season two of Iron Fist comes out on the 10th. I didn’t hate season one, but I also didn’t love it. I enjoy Marvel but the past three seasons of shows they’ve given us on Netflix have been slow, boring, and long, so I don’t have the highest hopes for season two of Iron Fist. But I’m excited to see Joy and Ward again, as well as Misty and Coleen. And Danny wasn’t awful when he showed up in season two of Luke Cage, so if he can keep that up, it should be alright.
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  • The Emmys are on September 17th. I’ve noticed that the shows that get noms are usually the big, wildly popular and big-budget shows on bigger networks like HBO or Netflix, and I don’t watch a lot of those, but I’ll still tune into this award show.
  • My parents are planning at least one trip downtown to see my brother play baseball, and while I don’t care for that at all, I think I may take advantage of the ride and try to get cheap matinée theater tickets downtown. Or if that doesn’t work out, I’ll plan to hang out with a downtown friend or two. Either way, should be good.

And that’s my September, from what I can tell. I write these posts the night before so I miss stuff, surely. That’s on me. I didn’t mean to leave it to the last minute, but I played myself.

So what’s your September looking like? Are you going back to school? Is Fall TV the highlight of your days too? Let me know, and feel free to make your own MLA post if you want!

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Do Kidz Need Too Learn How Two Spel?

I am cringing at my title there. I am sorry for any distress it may have caused you.

Do you guys think spelling and grammar is valued these days? I mean, most of the writing I do aside from sticky notes to myself is done online. On both my personal laptop and my work computer, I have the free version of Grammarly downloaded, and I definitely make use of spellcheck when I can. That’s not to say things are perfect. I’m sure you can find small mistakes in my blog and I know there are a few small errors in my novel. But I genuinely try and I care about grammar. I was also taught it in school.

I’m 22 which means when I was growing up, computers existed, but they weren’t used that much. Like, there was always a bulky computer or two in my classrooms, but they were just for games, and when I went home, I almost never used Dad’s desktop except for cereal box games once in a while. All homework was done via pencil and paper, and only on big projects in later grades did I type things out. By then, I had had many years of spelling classes.

I only somewhat remember spelling tests in elementary school. Each week, my teacher would give us a list of words to study, and then a day or two later they’d be recited out loud for us to write out. I always did well. They were never fun and no one liked them, but spelling was a thing we learned just like math or social studies.

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Do kids today still have spelling tests? And if they do, do they not care about them considering they’ve grown up with spellcheck available for everything? Kids today may never need to write something of importance out on paper for anyone else but themselves, so who cares how things are spelled?

And I’m not saying that my generation is better than the younger one because we knew dictionaries before red squiggly lines—goodness knows social media proves that there are adults who genuinely don’t know the difference between your and you’re. I just think it’s interesting to consider how technology’s prevalence could dramatically change the way kids learn and use correct spelling/grammar. If you ask me, proper spelling and grammar is a skill (one I fear is dying).

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But maybe it’s not a bad thing. It’s like cursive writing. I learned that in school too, but I never use it. It’s nonsense. I don’t mind that it’s not as enforced in schools these days. Things change, and society doesn’t have a need for cursive. And while I do wish kids and people online used better spelling and grammar, I understand that society isn’t calling for it. Life be like that, I guess. As I said, I use and am grateful for spellcheck. I use it a lot because there are some words I misspell all the time (like appreciate). So yeah, I rely on it sometimes. I’ll admit to that.

I’d love to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic, but especially if you have young kids. Are you satisfied with what they learn in school or do you feel like they’ll rely on spellcheck too much? And how much do you guys rely on spellcheck?

That’s all for now!

 

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