Roll up to TKTS on the day of the show
Buying day-of pays is better than you might expect, especially if you’re up to see one of a few different shows. Head to the TDF-owned TKTS Discount Booths in Midtown to check out what’s on the board. The booth shows what Broadway productions are on sale that day at anywhere from 20% to 50% off their normal price. “About two hours before curtain, [shows] are posted and you can get tickets for what's not selling,” Dilorio says. (Side note: This is literally the only time you’ll catch many native New Yorkers making a dedicated trip to Times Square.)
Davenport adds that the weeknights and off-season from September to February are the best for more options. In fact, if you’re coming into New York for theater, consider planning your trip around what he calls “industry-wide promotions” like Broadway Week and 20at20.com that feature half-price or $20 tickets to tons of shows.
If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can wait until right before a show to buy tickets if you’re sure it won’t sell out. “If you’re buying tickets online from Ticketmaster or another site, ticket prices usually lower right before a show if there are still unsold seats,” says Gianluca Russo, an editor at BroadwayWorld.com.
Russo says that she sees almost every Broadway show for less than $50 a ticket. And that includes the afterglow of the Tonys, when people flock to catch the winners. Her two-word strategy: rush line. Russo describes this bit of theater lingo as a small but rewarding window for the brave.
“Most shows have a small number of rush tickets available when the box office opens each day for that day’s performance,” she says. “With shows like Dear Evan Hansen, some begin to line up the night before to ensure a ticket. There is also a cancellation line, which is less reliable but still a good option.”
If you’re a student, you can use that to your advantage for student rush tickets -- or you could score standing-room only tickets, available once a performance sells out. “They’re cheap,” Russo says, “but you have to stand through the whole show (which is worth it a lot of the time).”