A trip to Manhattan is not complete without watching a show on- or off-Broadway. Unless you’re uber picky about the seats that you have, you can usually find discounted tickets.
Although there are scalpers who will try to sell you tickets on the street, I find it sketchy because it’s hard to tell whether or not their tickets are actually legitimate. Thus, I prefer to go the more official route which, for Broadway shows in New York, is TKTS, run by TDF (theatre development fund).
TKTS has a decent website, which will tell you that there are 3 discount ticket booths. Each booth has a big board that displays all of the available shows, the % discount per ticket, and the showtime (typically 8pm for evening shows and 2pm for matinees). Currently, Wicked and the Lion King do not offer discounted tickets so you have to purchase those through the box office or online through their respective websites; it sounds as though Disney never offers discounted tickets.
- The main one is in Times Square, right by the Times Square-42nd street subway exit. They only sell day-of-performance tickets and they’re open from 3pm-8pm. The line can be fairly long as it’s a convenient central place to purchase your tickets. Not to mention that there are tons of tourists in Times Square at almost any time of day. This means lots of potential customers.
- The other two locations are open 11am-6pm and sell both day-of-performance tickets as well as tickets for matinee shows that are on the next day. One is in downtown Brooklyn and the other is at the South Street Seaport. I went to the latter at around noon and only waited in line for about 20 minutes; this gave me just the right amount of time to look at the board and decide which plays I wanted to see.
The ticket booths accept credit card and cash. They’ll tell you what seats are available and the associated price. Make sure to double-check that your tickets are correct before leaving the booth. Tickets seemed to be around $70-80USD each. With a discounted ticket, I was in the second row…so not bad!
Once you have your tickets, it’s recommended to arrive at the theatre 15-30 minutes before showtime. There is usually a line-up but your tickets are for specific seats so no need to fret, even if the line seems miles long in front of you. There isn’t a strict dress code because you get your nice mix of locals and tourists.