Enter the Lottery
If you’re willing to be flexible and play it by ear, many shows sell same-day tickets through a lottery system. Just head to the box office for the show you want to see a few hours ahead of time, and they’ll draw names at random. Some shows (like Hamilton) are even doing these lotteries online now, so you can enter a lottery from the comfort of your home or hotel room and pray for good luck.
Perhaps the most common way to score cheap tickets is to head to the Theater Development Fund’s TKT booth on the day of the show you want to see. The booth is located at 47th and Broadway, and you can find tickets for 50% off for all the best Broadway shows here. Beware, though, the lines here are long. If you really can’t stand to wait you can check out their stands in Brooklyn or South Street Seaport, or go to the ‘Play Only’ line if you’re not looking for a musical.
It’s no surprise that in the age of the internet, you can scour the web for ticket deals. Try the TodayTix app to browse discounted tickets up to a week in advance, or, if you’re a frequent Broadway goer, try nytix.com, where you can become a member for $4 and browse tons of deals. Other sites, like Broadway Insider and Broadway Box, also offer discounts, so it’s best to just do some Googling and see what you can find.
Some shows offer these when the performances are totally sold out, and usually you can find out at the box office ahead of time. Be warned, though: ‘standing room only’ tickets are exactly what they sound like – you will not have a seat. Sometimes you can sit in unoccupied seats if people don’t come back after intermission, but don’t count on it. Wear comfy shoes if you’re opting for this, as Broadway shows are long.
Become a Member
Most of the major theater companies offer memberships, and these come with discounted ticket prices plus perks like discounted food and drink. Simply pick a company that puts on shows you like, pay a fee up front, and get discounted tickets for a full year. The Theater Development Fund (TDF) also has a membership deal that offers tickets in advance for $35. Not everyone qualifies, but if you do and you’re a frequent theater goer, it’s worth it.
Be Young or a Student
Many theater companies offer amazing discounts for young people, so it’s best to do some research on this. HipTix, for example, offers tickets to Roundabout Theater Company shows for $20, and LincTix offers $30 tickets to Lincoln Center Theater shows. Plus, many shows set aside last-minute tickets for students, so check out sites like Student Rush and Tix4Students to see what you can find.