Things I thought I’d never say: Theater tickets are cheap.
Back in my early high school years, before the Gods of the Theater had really taken hold of my soul, I was a sports nut.
And I used to look forward to this one time of year when all the major pro sports overlapped. It’s a sweet spot of the fall when baseball is just wrapping up, basketball and the NHL are just beginning, and football is well underway. Oh, and there’s always golf. 🙂
The same sort of thing happens every fall on and off Broadway with a series of overlapping promotions that give you a chance to see a ton of shows, for, dare I say it, cheap.
Why this time of year? Well, the early fall is one of the most challenging times of the year for Broadway shows, Off Broadway shows, circuses and anything in NYC that depends on tourists or locals. You see, our summer vacationing friends have packed up their suitcases full of “I Love NY” T-shirts and have gone back to Wichita and Wyoming, and the NYers, who are just getting back from the Hamptons, and too busy getting the kids off to school to see shows.
And that’s why the theater community offers major incentives for you to come out and buy a ticket.
So, if paying Full Price scares you, here are four ways you can save:
1. BROADWAY WEEK
Broadway Week offers 2 for 1 tickets (also known as 50% off – without having to wait in line at the booth) to participating Broadway shows including some big hits like Wicked and Jersey Boys. I’m always surprised at the number of participants this promotion gets. Broadway Week runs September 1-14. Visit www.nycgo.com/broadwayweek for more info and a list of participating shows.
This one is close to my heart . . . and my wallet. I was one of the founders of the 20at20 promotion, and it has helped put a bunch of bucks and a nice spotlight on Off Broadway at a time when it really needs it. How it works is that for 20 days, you can get $20 tickets to over 20 shows . . . all that you have to do is show up 20 minutes before curtain. The promo runs September 9-28. Visit www.20at20.com for more information and a list of participating shows. And did I mention the shows are only $20???? Hard to say theater tickets are expensive when you can see world class theater for a little bit more than a movie . . . or 3 Venti Frappuv.
3. SEASON OF SAVINGS
Season of Savings was created back in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks as an “SOS” for Broadway. If you weren’t around the city at that time, I’m sure you can imagine that not a lot of people were looking to take in a few dancing girls at a show. It was a tough time. Thus, Season of Savings was born! It was so successful, that it stuck, and is now held twice a year – in the cold, dark, winter, and right now! Season of Savings is a catalog of discounts to almost every show on Broadway (You can see Cabaret for as low as $47 or On The Town for $37!). For a list of participating shows, visit www.SeasonOfSavings.com.
Oh, and don’t forget this bonus way to save . . .
4. THE GOOD OL’ TKTS BOOTH
There’s nothing worse than standing in line for hours at the TKTS booth,waiting to see if you can get to the front before the show you want to see is sold out and goes “off the board.” In the fall, the lines are super short, and because shows have more inventory, you can find almost everything for 50% off . . . and I’m not talking just second balcony seats! So when I have people coming to town in the fall, I tell them to first download my “At The Booth” App so you can see what’s for sale without trudging to Times Square (duh) and then head over closer to curtain when there’s no line, and have your pick.
One of the easiest excuses you can make for not seeing theater is that the tickets are expensive. And there is no question that they are. And in my opinion, they should be. But not all the time. Sure, you may not be able to get Book of Mormon tickets for 80% off this week, or see Wicked in the 2nd row for even 50% off. But thanks to the above promos in this sweet spot of September, you can see great, new, theater for as little as $20. So put down the $5 Starbucks a few times this month, and go see a show or two. Because one things is for sure, they don’t stay this cheap forever.
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