Posts Tagged ‘theater’

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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Broadway Discounts Are a Millennial Student’s Best Friend Series Part 1: Theatre Development Fund

Friday, January 19th, 2018

broadway lights-2

Broadway doesn’t come cheap. If I were a millionaire, my first impulse would be to snag every full-price Broadway ticket.

In the Broadway musical adaptation of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the showstopper “Great Big Stuff” hurls out this laughter-inducing quip: “I can finally afford to see a Broadway show!”

When I was living in Houston, Texas, I dreamed of faraway land of fantasies and wonder of Hamilton and the Comet of 1812. But they’re too pricey to fly from city just to catch a show. Because current productions aren’t available on DVD or Netflix, they aren’t easy to access.

Now having moved to New York City, I confronted plenty of tricks and trades of bargains. It’s not perfect: There are shows too far out of the reach (Curse you, sold out and overpriced Hamilton tickets!) but a student status and familiarity of deals can assuage your thrifty habits.

In 2014, LA Weekly cited that an average Broadway ticket costs a daunting $100, but truth is, ticket prices are often in flux. That does not account for high-demand productions like Hamilton, Hello Dolly, or Once Upon an Island. As a graduate student, I don’t have my wallet full enough to buy $100 tickets on a whim.

First, ask yourself how much you are willing to spend per month on tickets.

My personal goal: 2-3 shows a month. I aim for about $50 or below for each ticket. I’ll have money left for groceries.

Theatre Development Fund Membership

If you’re a student or recent graduate, you are eligible for membership with the Theatre Development Fund (the TDF).

Prices for Broadway productions are often fixed. As of my 2017-2018 membership, I encountered these prices:

For musicals: $51

For plays: $45-46

Yearly membership fee is $35, which is a fair trade off to access $51 tickets, about 50% of the average ticket price.

(Psssss, I Googled the promo code MetroNY on Retail Me Not, which knocked my first-year membership fee down to $29. If this code had expired by the time you read this, Google around to hunt for an additional code.)

I give fair warning: TDF seat selection is a wild card. Before a purchase, it will warn you whether seating is in mezzanine or balcony, but you will not be informed of the exact seating arrangement once you order your ticket. I can credit it for not shoving me at the far rear or the balcony. Once in a while, I got sweet deal of center orchestra seating for School of Rock or center mezzanine for the Cats revival for a grander scope.

Cats

My scope of the mezzanine view of the Cats revival, courtesy of TDF.

Every so often, I was planted at the far side of mezzanine, but a decently close to the front. At one point for Anastasia, TDF put me on the front-row orchestra. Sounds wonderful but there was this catch: It was the orchestra-left side farthest from the center, an angled neck-straining viewing experience.

I find that TDF discount has more variety of Broadway productions than other sites that offers discounts for $51. Average traditional student discounts of $51 often regulates you to the third-floor balcony seating, which I find to be far enough to deem “riiiiiiip-off.” But TDF’s $51 musical tickets have situated me in orchestra or the second-floor mezzanine and never placed me on the 3rd floor balcony. If you are chancing on a balcony seat, the purchase will warn you beforehand. Long-running and high-demand shows like Phantom of the Opera or Hello Dolly will appear, but don’t expect Wicked, The Lion King, or Hamilton to magically pop up one day (I’m keeping my eyes peeled for those).

Ordering through TDF online is ideal for a shut-in introvert like me. I don’t have to rush to a physical location or wait in line for the suspense of obtaining bargains. I never expect the TDF price to radically hike up. Few times, they have sales for tomorrow’s performances. It’s also great for long-term planning. Depending on the available line-up of show dates, TDF allows me to plan ahead with show-dates. I got my Spongebob Squarepants ticket a few weeks before I saw that nautical delight.

Be prepare to email a photo of your student ID or enrollment form as proof of eligibility at POE@tdf.org within 10 days of starting membership.

Up next: TKTS Booths and other discount methods

Sources:

– https://www.tdf.org/

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 Death, The 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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Free Weekend (Week of 9/21/12)

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

So many great things to do around this city this weekend! Just remember to wear a jacket while you enjoy the beautiful weather in store:

 

FAB! Festival 2012

 

The FAB! (or Fourth Arts Block) festival is a music, theater, and dance festival taking place on East 4th Street (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue). The festival will include many indoor and outdoor stages showcasing the three art forms that the festival is centered around.

Advertised as a family-friendly affair, activities will feature everything from world music performances to cooking demonstrations to open theater, art demonstrations, art activities for kids and screen printing, to trivia, and more.  There is even a bike friendly tour that is free with RSVP. Find out more here and visit the website for more info.

 

 

Canteen’s Epic Brooklyn Book Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literary magazine Canteen is throwing an awesome party tomorrow night. The event will feature live performances from 3 great bands (Devin, Starlight Girls, and Vorhees) plus a three hour open bar courtesy of  The Noble Experiment and Brooklyn Brewery.

This event will totally be worthwhile and can be summed up with a simple equation: 3 live bands + 3-hour open bar = Friday night well spent. Be sure to “like” the event page and get there early.

 

 

 

Stars @ Mercury Lounge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian band Stars will be playing a free show at Mercury Lounge this Saturday. It’s a thrillcall sponsored event, so to get in you need to download their app and get the tickets through there.

 

 

 

Brooklyn Book Festival

Literary celebration has been in full swing for about a week now and will be going on until the 23rd. Organized by the Brooklyn Book Council, the event features author readings and discussions. Attendees can sample the offerings of indie publications and even their own publications at the event.  If you’re a writer or aspiring writer this is a great event to showcase your work to an audience you probably haven’t even thought of. Check out the website for more information.

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Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitterand Facebook

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Let’s Dance: NYPL for the Performing Arts

Friday, June 11th, 2010

My favorite library in NYC is the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, no contest. I was there today picking up an obscure dance book for some summer reading (fun, right?), and was reminded of just how great this place is. Not only does it have the most extensive library of dance books, periodicals, photos, and videos, but it also celebrates the arts in an important way. This library is not your standard collection of resources – it contains information on all types of performance art, and also has installations and events to celebrate the artists found within the vast collections of books and other resources in this library.

When you enter from the Lincoln Center Plaza entrance (which is almost completely done with construction, and looks GORGEOUS, by the way), straight ahead you will see a room that is home to changing displays. I have seen a display of Cunningham costumes, a musical celebration, and many other exhibits here. Currently, it is under construction, but it’s always worth poking a head in to see what is being showcased – you might learn something, and there will certainly be something to look at or listen to.

If you enter from the Amsterdam Avenue entrance across from La Guardia High School, you’ll walk in and see another small exhibition center to your right and a theater to your left. Two years ago, one of my teachers curated an event on the Dance Theatre of Harlem. In the room to the right we got to see video of past performances, examples of costumes and documents, and posters of the dancers both past and present. As part of this exhibit, I also attended a panel discussion in the auditorium across the hall and got to listen to Arthur Mitchell, one of the creators of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, talk about his experience in the dance world. Obviously, the exhibit has since changed – they change every couple of weeks, and the latest exhibits can be found here.

As if these exhibits weren’t enough, there are also performances constantly happening at this library. Weekly concerts, movie showings, and speakers are all common events. And in addition to these being educational and truly well-done events – they’re FREE!! I’ve always loved libraries, but one complete with performances and exhibits really takes the cake.

So head over to the Performance Arts library, located at 40 Lincoln Plaza (65th Street, by Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues) and check out the exhibits, performances, and books. And if there’s no upcoming events that pique your interest? Consider going into the research archives and watching a historic performance. I’ve spent entire days there watching their footage of William Forsythe‘s choreography – it’s not the same as seeing it live, but at least it’s free and accessible!

-Meghan Q

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