Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On Efforts to Watch a Broadway Show

When my friend asked me what I wanted to do while in New York, nothing was really coming to mind. Usually when I go to NYC I usually spend most of my time in Chinatown, but I figured that since I can get all the Asian food I like wherever I am, I should probably try to find something else to do this time around. The only thing I could come up with was going to see a Broadway show. Fortunately, my friend had quite a few tricks up his sleeve on how to get into a Broadway show without paying Broadway prices.

There are generally two ways you can get cheap tickets to see a Broadway show. The first is a lottery system, and second is rush tickets. We tried first for a lottery.

Man selecting winners for the Wicked lottery

When I got off the bus at the Port Authority, we were just several blocks away from the theater where Wicked is performed. We dashed over there to put our names in the lottery for tickets. Generally tickets for this show go for over $100, but if you win the lottery, you can see the show for just $30 per person. Each person can request one or two tickets each and they draw names two hours before the show. When we arrived, there were at least 100 people waiting for the lottery so we knew our chances were slim... but we went ahead anyway and gave it a try. But, alas, it was not meant to be.

Announcing the winners for the Wicked lottery. We were not one of the lucky few...

The next day we headed out early and got in line for rush tickets at a musical with good reviews called One Man, Two Guvnors. We counted heads in front of us when we arrived and thought we were doing ok since there were only about 30 people ahead of us. But unfortunately, a lot of them had been babysitting spots in line for others. When 12:00 rolled around and the line started moving we got our hopes up for a few moments, but after half the line had gone in and gotten tickets, it was announced that there were no more rush tickets available, only full price. We thought, if the prices wasn't bad we would just buy them, but the cheapest seats were $97.00. So we moved on.

In line for rush tickets to One Man, Two Guvnors on Sunday morning

Then my friend had a brilliant idea. We'd been trying to get into musicals, which are very popular, but what about a play? So, we headed around the corner to the Walter Kerr Theater to check if they had any rush tickets left for Clybourne Park. We strolled right in at 12:30 with no line, walked up to the counter, asked for tickets and got them. Four rows from the stage on the left hand side of the theater. Just $30.00 per person. Apparently plays just aren't that popular.

Outside the Walter Kerr Theater

The play itself started out slow for the first 10 minutes or so, but then the plot started to unravel and all of a sudden it was intermission... the first hour slipped away in what seemed like 20 minutes... And the second half was just as good as the first. The play is loosely based on A Rasin in the Sun, but with a modern day twist, half way through the performance.  And it is also the story of how one small event can change the course of history, kind of like how the butterfly flapping it's wings in one place can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. The play had us talking for a good hour afterward, it is definitely worth watching.

Inside the Walter Kerr Theater

So, if you're in New York and you want to see a show and can't get into that musical you were dying to see, try checking out one of the plays in town. You might be pleasantly surprised! But either way, if you're trying to save money, definitely look into rush tickets and lotteries!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you made it to a Broadway play! We go to a place in Times Square about 3 p.m. and there are lots of lines for discounted tickets for different shows. We saw "The Addams Family" for about $60 per person - pricey but much better than full price. Have you tried a New York hot dog at one of those vendors on the corner?