The Super Guide to Broadway
Buy your tickets early.
The newer and more hyped the show, the harder it is to get tickets. We recommend subscribing to shows’ official mailing list on their websites and following shows’ social media accounts. You don’t want to be that person buying tickets for thrice their original value on resell sites.
The same goes for flights. While there are no piso sales for tickets to and from the US, airlines often offer discounted airfare during their anniversaries or special occasions in their countries of origin.
Explore the area for other shows you may want to watch.
Don’t limit yourself to the shows you pre-bought. Walk around Broadway and see what other plays and musicals are currently showing. Chances are, there will still be tickets for sale on the day itself if the show has been on Broadway for over a year.
(Pro tip: Balcony seats on each side of the stage are often cheaper because they partly obscure your view, but in most theaters you’ll only really miss the actors’ entrances and exits. They’re usually the nearest you can get to the stage without spending over $100 a seat.)
Find lodging outside Midtown.
Broadway itself is located in Midtown in New York City. The location may be central as the name suggests, but it’s also the heart of the city’s tourist hub, meaning overpriced food, expensive hotels and a ton (A TON) of foot traffic. To save cash, stay in districts surrounding or near Midtown like majority of New Yorkers.
When it’s the day of your Broadway show, however, allot ample time for travel because doors close at exactly the time they say they will. Better yet, schedule your Midtown tourist destinations (Times Square, Grand Central Station, and more) on the same day so you won’t have to travel far, and just bring a change of shirt for the show itself.
Eat a hearty meal (and go to the bathroom) before the show starts.
Eating before the show means you won’t be tempted to buy food at the theater, as they tend to be pricier (think $3 or P150 for a tiny bag of chips). And just like in cinemas or concerts, most people tend to pee either during intermission or after the show.
(Pro tip: To avoid long lines, find your seat ASAP and head straight to the bathroom before anything starts. Plus, the toilets will still be cleaner by then.)
Don’t buy merchandise at the venue (but if you do, we won’t judge).
We get it; it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy all your collectibles from the merchandise booth inside the theaters. But unless said swag is exclusively available at the venue, it’s likely you’ll find said collectibles cheaper online.
Case in point: the “Anastasia” original cast recording cost $25 inside the theater, but the exact same CD can be bought on Amazon for half the price.
If you really want to buy something in the theater as remembrance (again, we won’t judge), it’s better to buy before the show starts as there’s generally less people in line. Or, instead of merch, go buy soda at the snack bar instead. The cups and mugs used for drinks will most likely have exclusively printed designs of the musical you’re watching, and those you can’t buy anywhere else.
(Pro tip: Scour the theater after the show to see if anyone left their cups behind for the taking. Just be sure to wash them!)
Bring a camera and paper for autographs after the show.
It’s a quintessential milestone in every Broadway junkie’s life to line up outside the staff entrance right after the show to meet the show’s stars for photo-ops and autographs.
Most actors (even the top-billers!) will come out to meet fans about 30 minutes after curtains close. Ready your camera or smartphone, and surface to sign (people often have their playbills signed), and find a good spot in front. It really doesn’t matter how far you are from the door; all stars will inevitably walk your way.
When it’s your turn to meet the stars, try not to take too much of their time as a courtesy to the other fans waiting in line with you. Say a few words of gratitude and ask for your photo and autograph, and let them move on to the next person in line.
(Pro tip: Most stars in our experience are huggers. They also willingly take the selfie for you if you’re having trouble fiddling with your camera.)
Chuck embarrassment out the window and enjoy every second of it.
Not everyone has the opportunity to watch a play on Broadway, even those living in the US. So while you’re there: Relish. The. Moment. Stand up and clap at the end of the play if you really did enjoy it. Pose for those wacky photos outside the theater you’d otherwise be too embarrassed to take any other time. —SARA ISABELLE PACIA
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