8 Ways to Score Cheaper Theater Tickets in NYC

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Like many New Yorkers, I like to see as many shows as possible each season. But with inflation, the cost of living in New York City, and Broadway ticket prices, it can be hard to justify the price of one show, let alone dozens. But, with lots of research, dedication, and this handy guide, great deals can be found! The thrill of a great ticket deal can make any show that much more exciting and satisfying, all while keeping your bank account happy. Although this list focuses on New York City, check with your local theater to see if any of these options are available to you!

All tickets for The music man is $699.
(© Christina DiCillo)

1. The ticket office

The first tip on the list is to go straight to the box office, if possible. Most ticketing services charge fees (some quite high), which makes ticket prices more expensive. Ticket offices do not charge a service fee and all other fees are included in the price. If they tell you a seat is $99, that means $99. The closer the curtain gets, the better the deals sometimes get, so if you’re patient and flexible, this is a great option.

The best way to score a box office deal? Use a promotional code! Did you know you can bring our TheaterMania discount codes to the box office to get great ticket deals, minus the extra handling fee? Bring a code and find a fantastic offer!


2. Join the Club!

TheaterMania Gold is the best kept secret in town. With access to various offerings across New York, from Broadway to the Yankees, and the ability to bring friends, your membership fees can be written off in one outing. Club inventory varies and can go quickly, so it’s best to keep an eye out for deals before they’re taken! In fact, right now, TheaterMania Gold subscriptions are 25% off. Find out more by clicking here.


3. Get with the program

For some of us theater fans, the days of qualifying for these clubs are over, but if you’re 40 or under, many great theaters have programs for you! Check out the following for great seats and an amazing price while you still can!
Hiptix – 40 and under
LincTix – 35 and under
30 Under 35 – 35 and under
2ST – 30 and under


The Broadway production of hamilton used to hold a huge lottery draw outside the Richard Rodgers Theater, but everything has been moved online.
(©Seth Walters)

4. Lotteries

While many shows had in-person lotteries before the pandemic, most of them have been phased out in favor of digital lotteries. Each production will have its own specifics regarding the lottery (if applicable). Locations and ticket prices vary based on production and availability. If you’re patient and have the time to wait to win, or just want to try your luck while you’re in town, lotteries are an exciting and economical way to see shows. Some lotteries, like Shakespeare in the Park, are even free!


5. Peak Tickets

Available on a first-come, first-served basis by some productions, these tickets are sold at the box office’s discretion, usually at significantly reduced prices (be sure to check for student rush tickets too). available). Although it may be a partial view, the price of less than $50 for a show (like The music man!) is appealing to someone on a budget. Just keep an eye out for reports of when to get there. Some shows have lineups starting hours before the box office opens (again, The music man), while others are easier to get (Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater offers an Access25 schedule about two weeks before their show premieres.)


The view from the standing room at the Majestic Theatre.
(© wallacebway0219)

6. Standing room

Standing Room is also available for certain productions at the discretion of the box office, and usually only if a performance is sold out. This is another great opportunity to see a show at a reduced cost, but only if you feel confident staying up for an extended period of time. Some shows may allow you to be seated during intermission, but again this varies by house. For budget-conscious theatergoers, the sore legs and back might be worth it at the price, and the views are still pretty good.


7.TDF

If you qualify for Theater Development Fund membership, you can get great tickets at lower prices when inventory is available. You won’t get a seat until you pick up the tickets, but it’s a great way to get an offer and support a good cause!


The TKTS booth is at the north end of Times Square.
(© Tricia Baron)

8.TKTS Booth

As a keen viewer, TKTS is usually one of my last resorts for a deal, as even at 50% prices can still be high. However, it’s easier to find a ton of variety and bigger named shows on the board than any other option here. The plus side is that if you’re willing to pay a little more and buy here, you could be some of the best seats in the house! It is also for the patient spectator, as TKTS only sells matinee tickets on the same day or the next day. If you like to have your tickets before your trip, waiting for the big day can be nerve-wracking.


There you have it, my secrets to getting great deals and ways to see more shows without breaking the bank. While it can take time, effort, and lots of cross-referencing to find the best deal, being able to see more shows (or repeatedly see your favorites!) is always tempting for theater fans. Now go out and do business!

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