May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Affordable Seats for Broadway Shows Are Just a Click Away

As the summer wanes, it’s a great time to head to the city because devoted urbanites are usually heading out to other beachier, breezier places. That makes for less traffic on the way into NYC, and more opportunities for us locals to get well-priced seats for great tickets to Broadway musicals and plays.

Aliza Gans, my neighbor and Bergenfield’s most Broadway-savvy teen, recently apprised me of the best ways to get tickets in a rush or on a short term basis. The rule of thumb is if you need more than two tickets, you likely won’t be able to use a lottery, but for those times you can, she has some great tips to share. (Tear this out of the paper and store it for a rainy day!)

Following Aliza’s magnificent advice, two friends and I visited https://lottery.broadwaydirect.com/ the morning of the day before the next evening (i.e., we entered lotteries on Tuesday morning for a Wednesday evening performance) we would all be available. Both friends had seen at least one of the shows we were interested in, so we were flexible enough to know that we would only win two seats, if we won at all. Each lottery opens within a day or so of the performance, with some flexibility for matinees and some sell for the later dates as well. While all three of us entered lotteries—and there’s no limit to how many different shows’ lotteries you can enter—one friend found out a few hours later (many lotteries close by 3pm and results are available by 6 or 8pm) that she won the chance to purchase $40 tickets to MJ, the excellent musical featuring the music and dance stylings of Michael Jackson. Bam! We had plans for the following evening. What was especially exciting was that an hour or two prior to the performance, my friend received the digital tickets and found that we had been placed in row four of the orchestra section. When MJ did his signature moonwalk, we were close enough to note the color of the bottom of his sneakers! One caveat: keep an eagle eye on your email: If you win the lottery, you only have an hour to claim and purchase your seats. Other similar lotteries are also available here https://my.socialtoaster.com/////st/lottery_select/?key=BROADWAY#_= and https://www.luckyseat.com/home.

Second, if you have been to a few shows in the season and can take two minutes to review two shows, you are offered crazy deals on the shows they have available. Within a few moments after reviewing two musicals I had seen recently, I was offered $12 seats to Rock and Roll Man, a show playing on Broadway about the DJ Alan Reed. That’s $24 for two tickets, which is essentially cheaper than a night out at the movies. Visit https://www.show-score.com/promotions?filter=member_night

If you are looking for plans literally “tonight,” check out http://rush.telecharge.com/ at 11:00 AM on the day of performance. I have not done this but I believe the lotteries close pretty quickly so you have to be punctual.

Also, if there’s a specific show you’d like to see, it doesn’t hurt to do some strategic googling to see if your show has its own lottery. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s legendary Hamilton used to appear in some lotteries through ticket agencies, but as it has become more enduring, the show now uses its own app to exclusively manage its lottery. Currently, the app opens multiple lotteries for shows about five to 10 days in advance of the performance date. Check it out by downloading the “Hamilton” app on your appstore of choice. The good news is that if you win, the internet says that tickets are just $10.

Since I saved so much on tickets using these methods, I certainly felt no guilt about driving into the city and using my trusty Spot Hero app to book a parking space near the theater (usually around $30 if you book, even an hour before). Without a reservation, Times Square parking lots charge above $60. Speaking of apps, TKTS and TodayTix both have apps as well that work for the day of performance. The prices are a bit higher than the lotteries but there’s generally a lot to choose from. And hey, clicking a link beats waiting in line every time!

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