Broadway on a budget | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Watching Broadway shows doesn’t have to drain your New York budget if you know what to do. Here are the many ways you can get discounted tickets and how you can make the most out of your Broadway experience.

Discounted tickets

TKTS Discount Booths

There are three TKTS Discount Booths in New York—at Times Square, South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn. The booths offer tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and musicals at up to 50 percent off full price. The Times Square booth sells tickets on the day of the performance only; the South Street Seaport and Brooklyn booths sells tickets to matinees the day before the show and to evening performances on the day of the show. Lines get long so it’s best to go early, as soon as they open. While TKTS offers tickets to a lot of different shows, there are certain shows that are never available through the booths—like Wicked and The Lion King. Check the TKTS schedules on

General rush

Some theaters offer a limited number of general rush tickets on the day of the show. They are usually made available as soon as box office opens. Each person can buy a maximum of two tickets. Rates vary depending on the show. General rush tickets for $31.50 for Chicago; $30 for How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; $26.50 for Sister Act; $39 for Spider-man Turn Off The Dark; $26.25 for Phantom of the Opera; $36.50 for The Addams Family.

Student rush

Student rush tickets are available for some shows but only students who hold a valid I.D. are given access to them (some even require two—a school I.D. and a government-issued one). Some theaters allow students to purchase two tickets each while others allow them to only buy one. Like general rush tickets, rates vary depending on the show. Billy Elliott has student rush tickets for $41.50; Jersey Boys for $27; $31.50 for Mamma Mia; Mary Poppins for $30; Memphis for $26.50; Rock of Ages for $36.50; Chinglish for $31.50.


Give the preshow lotteries a shot, you might just get lucky. Lottery mechanics vary—some shows start accepting names two and a half hours before the show while others begin two hours before the show. Names are usually drawn 30 minutes after the lottery starts and the lucky ones are given the chance to purchase tickets at a discounted price—$32 for the Book of Mormon; $30 for Godspell; $26.50 for Wicked. Make sure you check the lottery schedules online before you go.

Don’t forget your dollars—most shows require lottery winners to pay with cash.

Student lottery

Hugh Jackman, Back On Broadway holds a student lottery before each performance. Students with a valid I.D. must arrive three hours before curtain to join. Names are drawn an hour before each performance and winners can purchase one ticket for $31.50.

Standing room tickets

You can purchase standing room tickets for some shows. They are usually sold at the box office one hour before curtain. But for hot shows like The Book of Mormon, go early—ticket numbers are limited and people start lining up hours before. Standing room ticket rates vary—$27 for The Book of Mormon; $21.25 for Mamma Mia!; $26.50 for Chicago.


Souvenirs can be crazy expensive but you don’t have to shell out for them—keep your copy of the playbill instead. They’re free and—here’s the best part—you can get them autographed.

Don’t leave after the show. Hang out by the stage door to get a chance to meet your favorite Broadway stars. Bring your pen (although most of the time they have their own Sharpie) and don’t forget to charge your camera. Be patient—the wait might last from 15 to 30 minutes.

Some shows offer a behind the scenes tour. Wicked has a tour at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are available for $25. Visit

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.