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Broadway Discounts Are a Millennial Student’s Best Friend Series Part 3: Rushes, Deals and Lotteries, oh my!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

It’s not just about having sharp eyes for deals. It’s all about luck and timing to increase the odds.

Sometimes TDF or TKTS doesn’t do for you. Luck be a lady tonight, let us talk about other deals, rushes, and lotteries.

Mark your calendars and alerts for:

NYC Broadway Week Deal

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Around early September and February, it’s the semi-annual Broadway Week! This means theatre producers are releasing two-for-one ticket deals for a time frame. Snagging an extra ticket is a magnificent bargain gift for your Broadway buddy–or relatives to introduce theatre too.

If you’re on a stricter budget, split the cost of the one-ticket price between your Broadway buddy and enjoy your two tickets together. If you’re paying the whole price out of your own credit card, have your friend reimburse you through Venmo. (Make sure they’re trustworthy.)

Broadway Week happens twice a year, so exploit it when it comes around. Tickets sell out fast.

Rush Tickets

Profit is a full house. When there are empty seats, theaters scramble to get them sold and filled.

The TKTS booth is a popular place to hunt for rush tickets, but some theaters sell rush directly from their own box office. Go to a production’s personalized websites and see when $30 rush tickets are available. Rush tickets often are available 2 hours before showing, but some buyers are lucky to just walk up to a window 10 minutes before curtain and obtain a rush.

Sometimes rush is offered at the crack of dawn right when box office opens. I made the mistake of chancing that A Band’s Visit might offer rush only two hours before a showing. But once I reached the booth, I was told there was none and rush were actually sold in the morning.

The free TodayTix app can inform you of available rush tickets through notifications. Rush for Hello Dolly can amount to $39 seats.

A referral code of TodayTix

A referral code of TodayTix

Bonus Hack: You’ll get a referral code when you sign up on Today Tix. Post your referral code on your Twitter and Facebook. Find a Broadway buddy who is also on TodayTix and use their referral code to get $10 credit when purchasing, and tell them to use your referral code for credit.

 

In-Person Lotteries

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Many years ago, I lingered in a crowd of fans at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre to enter my name into the then hottest-Broadway Best Musical Tony Award-winning Book of Mormon lottery for discounted seats, with up to two tickets for each entry. Alas, Heaven did not smile upon me and my name wasn’t drawn.

Some high-demand productions conduct an in-person raffle at their theatre doors, usually in the range of $30-40. While this is becoming a thing of the past (thanks, digital age), some theaters still operate in-person lotteries. As of 2018, Book of Mormon still conducts in-person lotteries (now $37 tickets) while also supplementing it with digital.

Digital may save us the inconvenience of going outside. But the wonderful thing about in-person lotteries is the atmosphere of community and the suspense of hearing your name called out. You can insert one entry for up to two tickets. To increase the odds, bring your Broadway buddy so they can slip in a 2-ticket entry.

Warning: DO NOT enter your name twice in the raffle. Not just because you will get caught because they do double-check for double-entry. That’s cheating and not fair to the other participants. The theatre will ensure that you slipped in only one entry form. Sometimes a well-intended friend or family member might throw in another entry card for you, but make sure they don’t. There is a horror story of a disappointed girl when her friend threw her name twice into the raffle without her consent, disqualifying her from claiming tickets.

Digital Lotteries

Ah, technology, enabling us to do tasks from the sinking comfort of the sofa or bed. If you’re not a fan of snow slipping into your boots or the sun beating down on you, digital is your thing.

The miracle with a production like Book of Mormon is that it holds its own digital lottery and in-person raffles, and you can enter both to bolster your odds.

Each production can hold their own digital lotteries, including Phantom of the OperaSchool of RockAnastasia.

Broadway Direct Lotteries online hold lotteries for $30-$40 seatings. A friend testified that he won a total of six times: from Willy Wonka (which is closed), to Wicked, to Lion King.

Ham4Ham Lottery: The Hamilton app has a lottery for  the coveted $10 tickets, ironically the cheapest lottery tickets around for a notoriously high-demand production. Also, it has a notification system.

Not all lotteries can offer smartphone notifications like the Hamilton app. It’s up to you to check each production for the lottery opening times. Set alerts on your smartphone to remind you to submit your entries. So when you lug yourself out of bed, you’re getting your shot and you ain’t throwing it away. A win can just be a few finger taps away.

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Someday, I’ll be in the room where it happens.

Playbill has more info on where to find rushes and lotteries for each currently-running production.

By Caroline Cao


Carol is a queer Vietnamese-Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of New York. When she’s not seeing a Broadway production, she’s buried in her nonfiction MFA homework like Hermione Granger and her Hogwarts studies. When not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, Carol is cooking her own Chinese food instead of buying take-outs and dreaming of winning Hamilton lotto tickets. She chronicles the quirks of New York living and writing, runs writing and scripting services, and lends her voice to Birth Movies DeathThe Mary SueFilm School Rejectsand The Script Lab. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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