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.

Times Square, the epicenter of all the Broadway Plays in New York.

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.

Me at the King and I. One of the greatest Broadway plays in New York.

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.

Something Rotten was a really funny musical.

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

The beautiful theatre where they show the Book of Mormon.

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

Not my favorite musical of all time. I felt like the story was kind of weak and there was a lot of dancing.

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.)



Nanny by day and travel blogger any other time.

I love writing and traveling and bearing my soul on the page.
I want to inspire others to face their fears and join me on an adventure.


  • Daina 9 months ago

    I saw Wicked when I visited NYC in 2013 and absolutely loved it! I saw Lion King when they went on tour, but know the Broadway experience must be different. Hamilton is also on my list, as is The Book of Mormon! Thanks for sharing your suggestions on how to score cheap tickets!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      So glad you found some of the tips useful. And I actually saw Book of Mormon this past weekend and it was good but not amazing. But I hope you get to see it and love it WAY more than I did. 🙂

  • Becky Angell 9 months ago

    I saw Aladdin and Lion King when i went. Loved them both ????????????

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      I love disney. It always makes my heart so happy.

  • Neha Verma 9 months ago

    You have a bucket list for the broadway plays!! You much be liking them so much. I am sorry, I am from another part of the world and never been to new york. But from your post, it seems like broadway plays are quiet an interesting part of the whole broadway experience. If ever get there, I will definitely try some out

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      They really are wonderful and an amazing aspect of New York. Hopefully you can find a great theater experience near you.

  • James Smith 9 months ago

    The Aladdin show has got to be the best, I hope you write a whole blog page about it as I love Aladdin, especially the song, I Can Show You The World. I used to have a crush on Jasmine as a boy even though she was a cartoon character, I have a picture with her from Disneyland too. I have no plans to go to NYC in the near future but if I do then I know to buy my Aladdin ticket from the Todaytix app.

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      LoL. So glad I’m no the only one who used to get crushes on cartoon characters. And when I see Aladdin I totally will. I have heard amazing things and can’t wait to experience it for myself.

  • Jillian Michelle 9 months ago

    Thanks for the Todaytix tip to getting cheap tickets. I’ve always wanted to attend a Broadway play, but I still haven’t had the chance to visit New York yet. I’d love to see the Lion King. The short Lion King Musical at Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida is one of my all-time favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, so I’ve always wondered how similar and how different the Broadway version in New York turns out to be. Either way, I’m convinced I’ll absolutely enjoy it!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Lion King is one of the best. And I love the cheaper tickets because it affords me the ability to see a bunch of different plays. If I had to pay full price I just would not be able to afford it.

  • Jackie Taylor 9 months ago

    Seeing a show on Broadway is one of the main reasons I want to visit NYC! It’s always nice when you don’t have to pay full price, so thanks for sharing your advice on how to score cheaper tickets. 🙂 I’d love to see the Aladdin show as well!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Cheap tickets are the only way to go. And it’s great now because there are so many different ways to get cheaper tickets that make broadway accessible to everyone.

  • Alexandra 9 months ago

    Totally jumping on the Todaytix wagon the next time I’m in NYC (hopefully soon!)
    I absolutely love musicals and plays – total theatre nut here, so I loved this post. When I was in New York I saw West Side Story, (which was actually super disappointing… the dancing seemed out of sync and they had done a twist by translating some of the songs into Spanish which made it more difficult to sing along). I also saw “Waiting for Godot” with the legendary Nathan Lane (LOVE HIM!) which was absurdly spectacular. I was surprised that the quality was not guaranteed (like you said, some actors/dancers/singers are much better than others) since it was Broadway and all, but what can you do?
    Also would love to see Hamilton with all the hype it’s getting!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Yeah. I actually felt that way when I saw the Carol King Musical, beautiful. It was okay but not as good as I expected. And you’re so right. You go on broadway and think they will all be amazing, but some really are way better than others. And OMG, I want to see Hamilton so bad. I am waiting for it to get less popular. That happened with the Producers and it was awesome when i did see it, and a lot cheaper.

  • Laura Vandenbroucke 9 months ago

    I saw Wicked when I was in London, along with Les Miserables (don’t know if this plays in NY as well?) but I definitely want to go to Broadway one day ..

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      They had Les Miserables in New York, just not right now. But I love that musical. Such a classic.

  • SydneyFashionHunter 9 months ago

    I love Broadway and have seen Sister Act, Mammia Mia and Rock of Ages there over the years but I am a theatre buff in general and try to go as often as I can, sadly I usually pay full price for my tickets most times but i will definitely check out the app next time I am in NY. I hated Phantom (I know. I know. Everybody loves it lol) which I saw in Sydney. I did love the Lion King through so wholly endorse your recommendation for that one, One of my favourites is Miss Saigon which I’ve seen in Sydney and London and cried my eyes out both times. Kinky Boots is now playing in Oz so I might see if I can get tickets for that since you rate it 🙂

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Hey, I don’t judge about the phantom thing. My mom hated it too. That’s why there are so many plays out there. something for everyone. And Kinky Boots is so fun. I didn’t think I would like it but it really makes you feel good and encourages you to be your own person.

  • Susanna Kelly 9 months ago

    Oh I would just love to see a broadway play! I grew up in a small town in Alaska where we did not have much musical theater like this. We would occasionally get something like Stomp in years after it came out elsewhere. Your tips for finding good tickets are so good! I would enjoy the roulette option. It sounds fun. So, I assume that those cheap ticket options only work for certain plays, otherwise would would be able to go see Hamilton? I hope you can go someday!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Yeah. Some of the plays/musicals you have to wait awhile before they come on the cheap ticket platforms. That happened with Wicked and Lion King and Book of Mormon. Eventually they get less popular and have surplus tickets to sell on the discount sites. Hoping that this eventually happens with Hamilton.

  • Stephanie Fox 9 months ago

    I saw Chicago on Broadway in NYC and loved it! We booked in advance but as you say can definitely get tickets cheaper. Id love to see the Lion King or Phantom of the Opera!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Chicago is such a fun classes musical. So glad you got to see it.

  • Meg Marie 9 months ago

    I saw Wicked when it was on Broadway. So. Much. Fun! It’s a splurge but I definitely recommend people go and see a show there. It’s just so spectacular!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      I agree. I got tickets for Christmas one year and literally jumped around the room screaming. Loved it and the music always puts me in a good mood.

  • Maja | Mexatia 9 months ago

    I wish I knew about Broadway Roulette during my visit! I MUST save this post for the future trips. We are not going back to NYC anytime soon, but you just convinced me to go to see the Lion king show in Mexico City.

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Do it!!! That one is amazing. I have never seen such artistic puppetry in my life. Such a well done, magical show.

  • Erica Coffman 9 months ago

    I WANNA SEE THEM ALL! Thanks so much for the section about cheap tickets – so helpful. Great post!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Thanks!! I want to see them all too. I have to restrain myself though so that I can save some money for travel.

  • Tanvi 9 months ago

    I am not much of a musical person. I like to watch plays. Thanks for sharing your tricks though. When I have family in town I will try them to score some tickets 🙂


    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      I hear ya. Musicals are not some people’s thing. It’s also nice to switch it up and see a play sometimes, like when I saw the Crucible. Love that play.

  • Sara Bernard 9 months ago

    Wow! Those are really good tips for an outsider!! I don’t know when we’ll be going to NYC but we’ll keep them i mind. Thanks!!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      No problem. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure out the best ways to score good deals. That’s where locals come in handy.

  • Young And Undecided 9 months ago

    Last Time I was in NYC I used the TKTS Booth and got tickets for Newsies at $80, 8 rows from the front! What luck 🙂 I’m going back in May with the sole purpose to see Broadway shows. I am so EXCITED 🙂

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      I love Newsies!! One of my favorite musicals ever. So glad you got to see it and had such great seats.

  • Haylee @ From All Corners 9 months ago

    Great tips on buying cheaper tickets! On my first trip to NYC in 2012, my mum and I saw Wicked and I remember those tickets really chewing into our budget but for us it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ sort of thing. Great to know for next time though! i’d also LOVE to see Aladdin on Broadway!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Wicked was one of my absolute favorites. So glad I got to see that one. And happy you found some of my tips helpful.

  • Kinga Jaskulska 9 months ago

    Visit NYC and go on Broadway is one of my dreams! Thanks for sharing info abour cheaper prices and what is really on top! Ive seen Alladin show in Poland, amazing experience. Thanks!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      So glad you have access to shows like Aladdin all across the world. Happy to hear that.

  • Everywhere Bucket List 9 months ago

    Great tips for discounted tickets! I’m headed to NYC in May and am hoping to head to a Broadway show!

    • Kelly Ann Duhigg 9 months ago

      Awesome!! Have an amazing time. NYC is beautiful in May.

  • francesca murray 9 months ago

    I’m gonna bookmark this for my next trip to New York! I went a few yrs ago and really wanted to see broadway so without much research I chose The Phantom of the Opera without reading much on it, simply because it was famous. I didn’t enjoy it at all! Next time I’ll try to catch Wicked or the Lion King!

    • girlwiththepassport 9 months ago

      I hear ya. I love phantom but it’s not for everyone. I felt that way about The Book of Mormon. I saw it last weekend and didn’t like it as much as everyone else seemed too. But I hope the next time you are here that you find a play that you love.

  • Yacon Root 3 months ago

    Great Blog. Very much enjoyed reading.

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