Watching Broadway shows was definitely one of the highlights of my recently concluded NYC trip. It just feels different watching plays in Broadway. The vibe and energy- it’s pure magic.
In relation to this, I wanted to share that the first thing I did after booking my NY flight this Jan 2018 was actually to look for a Hamilton ticket. That’s when I felt lost- I didn’t quite understand how to navigate through the broadway ticket buying system online. I was scared as I heard a lot of horror stories on possible fraudulent transactions. 9 days in NYC and 5 shows after (Hamilton, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress, Anastasia), I’m happy to share that I finally have an idea of how the system works. Getting Broadway tickets is not as daunting and impossible as you think- you just need to know where to get your tickets! *Disclaimer- this is based on my personal experience only. I’m no expert as it was also my first time in New York but I thought of coming up with this consolidated list to help aid you in watching your first Broadway show!
WHERE TO GET BROADWAY TICKETS?
1. SHOW’S WEBSITE
If you don’t mind paying for the full price, you can purchase seats to a show in advance via their websites where transactions are usually handled by Broadway online partners Telecharge and Telemaster. This service often has around 15% of service charge.
2. TKTS BOOTH
There are 3 TKTS centers all over Manhattan. One in South Street Seaport, one in Lincoln Center, and the main one is in Times Square- just a few steps away from all the Broadway theaters. This is where you can line up and get discounted tickets for same-day shows. They start selling on-the-day tickets for matinee shows at around 10am and evening shows at 2pm and usually offer 50-80% off. Good deal if you’re willing to wait in the line!
You’re in for a treat as some of the shows have either digital or in-person lottery. Meaning- you can enter by submitting your name/email address and you’ll be able to get the ticket at a super good deal. This, perhaps, is one of the cheapest ways to get a ticket. For those questioning it, the system’s legit, you just need to be really lucky- I know someone who has been joining the Hamilton lottery every single day for a year before he won and another person who was just visiting NYC and tried it once and won right away!
Approx Prices: Aladdin ($30); Anastasia ($42); The Book of Mormon ($32); Dear Evan Hansen ($40); Frozen ($30); Hamilton ($10); Harry Potter ($30); Kinky Boots ($32); Lion King ($30); Phantom of the Opera ($40); Wicked ($30)
4. BOX OFFICE
The safest way to buy legitimate tickets is via the Box Office, the old school way.
- General Rush
Good news! Some shows offer “general rush” tickets wherein they sell limited quantity of same-day tickets at a VERY low price. The teller I got to talk to told me that people usually line up as early as 6am for that since they just give out around 10 pcs a day.
Approx Prices: Anastasia ($42), Band’s Visit ($40), Beautiful- The Carol King Musical ($40), Chicago ($49), Come From Away ($48), The Ferry Man ($40), Head Over Heels ($35), King Kong ($49), Mean Girls ($42.50), My Fair Lady ($32), The Play That Goes Wrong ($30), Pretty Woman ($42), School of Rock ($39), Summer- The Donna Summer Musical ($42), Torch Song ($42), Waitress ($40), The Waverly Gallery ($40)
- Standing Room
The cheapest “seat” in the room! If you don’t mind standing for the whole show, then go for this! Afterall, you still get to see the show.
Approx Prices: The Book of Mormon ($27); Chicago ($27); Come From Away ($32); ; The Pantom of the Opera ($26.5); Waitress ($32)
- Cancellation Line
Believe it or not, some people do cancel on the day. There is a first-come-first-serve line in the theater selling on-the-day tickets at face value. It is not 100% guaranteed that there will be cancellation ticket sold for the day though, but worth to gamble if you really want to watch a particular show!
- Advanced Regular Tickets
There’s nothing harm in checking the box office in person as the service fee here is not as high as online sometimes, they have good seats with super good price. This was what I exactly did for Hamilton, for which I was able to get a really good seat at a price cheaper than everything I’ve seen online.
I wouldn’t really recommend this as risk is still high but if you’re really really desperate, there are websites where individuals can resell their tickets. Make sure to check the reviewS and customer service of the site before buying so you’ll be covered, worst comes to worst . One of them is StubHub– this was my 2nd resort for my own Hamilton experience. My transaction got through but the seller pulled out my ticket last minute. So far, their customer service is responsive. I have yet to receive my refund from the bank though.
Best to not buy tickets from people reselling along the streets as it’s really hard to authenticate if their tickets are legit or not.
PS: If you’re wondering what’s currently playing in Broadway, check out the list HERE.