Broadway Plays in New York – What Should be on your MUST SEE list
February 13, 2017
Broadway Plays in New York
When you think of Times Square in New York, your imagination conjures up images of shiny, bright lights and billboards that sparkle with the promise of Broadways latest theatrical attraction. Times Square would not be the same, radiant, pulsating place of exuberance and life without the bright lights of Broadway glittering in the background.
But to New York, Broadway is not just a demonstration of fine choreography, exquisite dance moves, and expert singing prowess, it represents the heart of a city. Any societal innovation or popular trends are demonstrated through the series of plays that are brought to the stage. So in essence, the theatre of New York represents the thoughts, fears, joys, and heartbreaks of a city that is at the forefront of modern creativity. And without this creative outlet, New York would be a city lost in a sea of soullessness, with no identity to call it’s own.
That’s why Broadway plays are such an important part of the New York experience. Without witnessing the theatre here, it is hard to understand how New Yorkers think, feel, and interpret the world around them.
Now if you’re a local New Yorker, going to Broadway is fairly easy to do. Just hop on your local subway stop, head to Times Square, and stumble into the first Broadway play you see. But for many others, visiting New York and experiencing Broadway Theatre is the culmination of an arduous journey. As a result, it only makes sense that a visitor to the city would want to see the best plays at the cheapest cost. And I’m here to help you do that.
How to get cheap tickets to Broadway
Okay, so I attend Broadway plays so much that I feel like I actually live there. And while I’m not going to rattle off all the Broadway plays I’ve ever seen so that I can prove my theatrical prowess to you, I am going to answer that question that everyone asks, “How can you afford to go to Broadway so much?”
Great question. The answer is that I never pay full price for tickets. Generally speaking, the tickets I buy are between $60 and $70. For this price, the seats are usually located on the mezzanine level of the theatre.
Now, to access these discounted tickets yourself, I generally use the Todaytix app. All you have to do is download it on your phone, and the app will provide you with a complete list of shows you can see that week (Sorry, my Type A people out there. They don’t sell tickets more than a week ahead). But it’s really easy, as long as you have a credit card handy. Just scroll through the shows, find a play, date, and time that works for you, and just pick up the tickets outside the theatre, 30 minutes before the performance. Someone will be standing outside the theatre with an iPad and a red shirt that says Todaytix. You won’t be able to miss them. It’s that simple.
If you don’t like this option, you can also go to Times Square and wait in line the day of the performance, at the TKTS booth. The booth is located right under the giant bleachers in the center of Times Square. TKTS can sell discounted tickets because the tickets have not been sold yet and would otherwise go to waste. That’s why tickets here are sold at about a %50 discount or between $80 and $90. And while it is annoying to wait on line outside, the bonus is that you can score cheap orchestra seats if you go early enough (With the app, you usually only get Mezzanine level seats).
The last cheap ticket option, and I don’t use this one because I’ve seen too many Broadway shows, is Broadway Roulette. The premise of this site is that you pick the date and number of tickets that you want, up to three months in advance. You then select up to four plays or musicals that you would not like tickets to.
On the day of the performance, you will receive an email and a text with the name of the show, the theater address, and the time of the performance. Notifications for matinee shows are sent by 9:30 am the day of the performance and by 2:00pm for evening performances. All tickets are between $49 and $59 and Broadway Roulette will never send you tickets for the same show twice. Just pick up the tickets, the day of the performance, at the theatre will call using your own name.
Which Broadway Plays in New York should I see?
Now that you know how to procure cheap theatre tickets, like a local New Yorker, you need to find a show that is worth seeing. And while most shows have great singing, dancing, and acting, some are better than others. And with 27 plays currently on Broadway, some shows are better than others. So here is a quick list of shows that are sure to tickle your theatrical taste buds.
KINKY BOOTS (Don’t take your conservative uncle to this one because it’s about a drag queen. But a seriously fun story that has great music and generates a positive message about being true to yourself. I left this one feeling more upbeat and positive about life.)
PLOT: A young Brit named Charlie Price, abandons his family’s shoe factory to live with his demanding girlfriend. After the unexpected death of his father, Charlie returns to the struggling factory and doesn’t know how he is going to keep the business alive. Enter Lola the drag queen, who gives Charlie the idea to create ladies’ shoes for men or “Kinky Boots”. Find out if this scheme can actually work and if these two extremely different men can become real friends.
THE LION KING (This one has amazing music that most of us know and love. I also love the artistry of the costumes and the intricate movement of the puppet. You will never see another show as beautiful as this one. Just go NOW. Also a great musical for kids.)
PLOT: Story of a young lion prince living in the flourishing African Pride Lands. When an unthinkable tragedy, orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, takes his father’s life, Simba flees the Pride Lands, leaving the life he knew behind. But when a desperate plea from the Pride Lands come to find the adult prince, Simba must take on a formidable enemy, and fulfill his destiny to be king.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Funny story. When I saw this one, I had no idea what it was about and didn’t know it was an opera. I just thought it took place in an opera. But since, I have grown to love this timeless tale of unrequited love and loss. Go see it if you’re in a romantic mood.)
PLOT: This story follows a deformed composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House. Sheltered from the outside world in an un
derground cavern, the lonely, romantic man tutors and composes operas for Christine, a gorgeous young soprano star-to-be. As Christine’s star rises, and a handsome suitor from her past enters the picture, the Phantom grows mad, terrorizing the opera house owners and company with his murderous ways. Still, Christine finds herself drawn to the mystery man. Find out what happens and who Christine chooses in the longest running show in Broadway history.
WAITRESS (This one totally took me by surprise. I saw the movie and hated it, so when I saw this musical my expectations were VERY low. I actually only got tickets to this show because I didn’t know what else to take my picky dad to see. But it was AMAZING and the theatre smelled like pie. I mean, what is better than pie? The show was also the perfect combination of funny, sweet, sad, and romantic. Plus, I did;t know any of the songs but loved them all and wanted to sing along. Thank God I didn’t sing along because I quack like a duck.)
PLOT: This musical tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker. Jenna dreams of finding a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
WICKED (I love the music to this one. And it touches my heart because I feel like we have all been misunderstood and felt different at one point or another in our lives. Kids and adults alike will love this one, except my dad but he’s my dad so his opinion doesn’t count. LoL. Just kidding. He just doesn’t like fantasy so he was a lost cause from the start with this show.)
PLOT: Long before Dorothy arrives in Oz, there is another girl who is smart and misunderstood because she is born with emerald-green skin. When she goes to school and meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” Find out what happens in the untold, “true” story of these two witches.
The Broadway Plays in New York that are on MY Bucket List
With shows constantly opening and closing on Broadway, its pretty difficult (and expensive) to see every single play or musical that is currently running. Therefore, here is a list of shows that I think are probably awesome but that I haven’t gotten the chance to see yet.
A Bronx Tale (I’ve heard good things about this one and my dad ACTUALLY wants to see it. VICTORY!)
Aladdin (Dying to see this one. I love Disney and this reminds me of my childhood.)
Hamilton (Pssh. I don’t have connections and I definitely can’t afford tickets right now, but hopefully in the future.)
In Transit (An a cappella musical sounds pretty cool to me.)
Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Honestly, I have no idea what this is play is about and I don’t really care. All I know is that Josh Groan is in it and that’s good enough for me.)