When you think of Times Square, your imagination conjures up images of shiny, neon lights and vibrant billboards that sparkle with the promise of mesmerizing, theatrical performances (your first thought may not be about how to get cheap Broadway tickets at the last minute),
Times Square would just not be the same without this radiant, mecca of electric beauty.
What would Broadway be without the glitz and glam of the bright lights, forever alluding to a delightful assortment of theatrical musicals and plays that are just waiting to be enjoyed?
In New York City, Broadway isn’t just an elaborate demonstration of exquisite choreography and expert singing prowess.
It represents the heart of the city.
Any social innovations or pop culture trends are exemplified through the series of musicals and plays that are brought to the stage in the City that never sleeps (I promise, I’ll get to the part where you find out how to get discount Broadway tickets at the last minute).
Without the beauty of Broadway:
New York City would become lost in a sea of soullessness, with no identity to call its own.
I mean, come on. We all know, and probably love, the iconic Broadway production of Hamilton and could easily see ourselves planning a one-day Hamilton themed NYC itinerary. Am I right? Of course I am!
Broadway plays (and cheap broadway tickets apps) are such an integral part of any trip to New York City.
Without witnessing the theatre here, it’s difficult to understand how New Yorkers think, feel, and interpret the world around them.
If you’re a local New Yorker, getting tickets to a Broadway show is fairly easy to do.
You just hop on the subway, head to Times Square, and BOOM, you just stumble into any Broadway play you choose.
For many others, visiting New York City and experiencing Broadway Theatre is the culmination of an arduous journey and possibly even a once in a lifetime experience.
As a result:
It only makes sense that any visitor to NYC would want to see the best plays on Broadway, and at the cheapest prices.
In this article, I’m gonna show you exactly how to get cheap Broadway tickets last minute.
You can use all the money you saved to do other, super fun things after the show.
Kick your heels up, relax, and enjoy all of my secret local, tips, and tricks, to help you find the best, cheap Broadway tickets last minute.
Since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high chance that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets in NYC at the Last Minute
I attend Broadway performances so frequently that I kind of feel like I live there.
And while I’m not gonna rattle off a list of all the Broadway shows I’ve ever seen, just to prove my theatrical prowess, I will answer the one question that everyone seems to ask me, “How can you afford to go to Broadway so much?”
The simple answer?
I NEVER pay full price for tickets and always buy cheap Broadway tickets last minute (or cheap off-Broadway tickets as the case may be).
The tickets that I purchase usually cost between $60 and $70.
At this price:
The seats are usually located on the mezzanine level of the theatre and, on super rare occasions, in the Orchestra.
But, enough of my incessant babbling.
Instead, let’s look at the 7 different ways to score cheap Broadway tickets last minute.
1. Use the Today Tix App
If you want to get discounted theater tickets for yourself, I HIGHLY recommend using the Todaytix app.
All you have to do is download the free app to your phone, and it basically does the rest.
Once fully downloaded:
Just click on the app and it will provide you with a complete list of shows that you can see for up to two months in advance.
But the best part?
It’s incredibly easy to use. As long as you have a credit card handy, all you need to do is scroll through the shows, find a play, date, time, and price that works for you, and that’s it!
Once your order goes through, you’ll receive a confirmation email that will remind you to pick up your tickets outside the theatre, about 30 minutes before the performance.
Just look for someone who is wearing a red, TodayTix shirt
You won’t be able to miss them.
And once you do find them, give them your name and they’ll give you your tickets.
***PSST: The tickets advertised on the app aren’t quite as cheap as they first seem. Once you start to order your tickets, you’ll see that you have to pay an additional $12.50 per ticket. Yeah, I have no idea what it’s for but I just wanted you to be prepared.***
2. The TKTS Booth in Times Square
If you’re not a fan of doing things electronically:
You can always go to Times Square and wait in line, at the TKTS booth, on the day of the performance.
Just mosey on over to the booth that is located right under the giant bleachers in the center of Times Square.
Read through the list of available tickets, and choose the show that’s perfect for you (TKTS is able to sell discounted tickets because the tickets on sale have not yet been sold and would otherwise go to waste).
And the prices?
Yeah, they’re pretty great. Tickets here are sold at about a %50 discount or between $80 and $90 a ticket.
And while it can be annoying to wait in line, outside:
The benefit of this method is that you may actually be able to score cheap orchestra seats (or seats to REALLY popular shows like Hamilton) if you arrive early enough.
You also don’t have to worry about making reservations or planning ahead since you’re getting cheap Broadway tickets for that night’s (or afternoon’s) performance.
TKTS also has a handy app that you can use to tell you which shows are selling seats for that day.
***For matinee performances, the TKTS booth is open Wednesday through Saturday, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, and on Sundays between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. For evening performances, the TKTS booth is open Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, between 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Tuesdays between 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.***
3. Enter the Ticket Lottery at LuckySeat
Then take your chances at luckyseat.com, where you can score discounted tickets to some of Broadway’s hottest shows (even Hamilton).
Just make your way over to Luckyseat.com and select the shows that you’d like to see, and the city you’d like to see them in!
You’ll register your email address and phone number with your entry since this is how they’ll notify you if you win.
You just have to wait and hope that you win!
And If you do end up being the chosen one?
Well, you’ll receive a code, via email, that you can then enter into the Ticketmaster website to receive your discount.
This is by no means a reliable way to get discount Broadway tickets, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try!
Just don’t depend on this method if you have your heart set on seeing a Broadway show.
4. Broadway Roullete
I don’t use this site because I’ve seen way too many Broadway shows.
Broadway Roulette is perfect for anyone who hasn’t seen a ton of Broadway shows, especially since tickets are super cheap and cost between $49 and $59 a ticket.
The premise behind the site is that you pick the date, time, and the number of tickets that you want, up to four months in advance.
Enter your name, email address, and phone number into the website.
Choose between standard roulette and family roulette, and select up to five plays or musicals that you do NOT want to see.
Then on the day of the performance:
You’ll receive an email, and text, with the name of the show, the theater address, and the time of the performance.
Notifications for matinee shows will be sent to you by 9:30 am, the day of the performance, and by 2:00 pm for evening performances.
Pick your tickets up, the day of the performance, from the theatre will call, using your own name.
All in all:
Yet another fantastic way to get SUPER cheap Broadway tickets.
Broadway Roulette will never send you tickets for the same show twice, so that’s definitely an added bonus.
5. Rush Tickets
Although rush tickets are not as common nowadays, they still exist!
Some rush tickets require that you have a student ID, or that you are under a specific age.
To ensure that you qualify:
Head over to Playbill.com and look through the list of Broadway shows that offer rush tickets and see what the requirements are.
Depending on the show that you’ve selected, you can enter either a digital rush (an online lottery) or a general rush (an in-person, wait in line lottery).
If yous show offers a general rush:
Be sure to get up EARLY and arrive at the theater a few hours before showtime (like right when the box office opens), so that you can wait in line for your tickets, which are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.
You can expect to pay about $40 for rush tickets, but this does vary by show.
While you do receive a great discount, this method can have some age restrictions (it will say Student Rush is this case) and does require waiting in line, with no guarantee that you’ll actually get tickets (womp, womp, womp).
6. Standing Room Only Tickets
Otherwise known as SRO in the world of show biz:
Standing room only tickets are sometimes released when a show sells out.
Are they ideal?
No, not really. I mean, you just stand in the back and don’t actually have a seat, or a great view for that matter.
They are a great way to see a popular Broadway shows for anywhere between $25 and $40 a ticket.
If you want to get your very own SRO tickets, just navigate over to Playbill.com and find out which shows offer them (you can also find out at the box office).
7. The Cancellation Line
Ready to press your luck (big money, no whammies)?
Then why not try to nab some awesome, discount Broadway tickets from the cancellation line?
It’s a great, albeit risky, way to score a golden ticket to your dream show, and at a heavily reduced price.
Like rush tickets:
This method is not ideal since you’ll have to wait in line at least 2 hours before the start of the show (more is better) to snag tickets that have been canceled at the last minute (For certain shows *cough* Hamilton *cough*, the cancellation line starts at dawn).
Before you go:
Be sure to look up the show and the theater’s specific cancellation line policies since they can vary from theater to theater.
***This method of getting discount Broadway tickets at the last minute works best during the winter, on days when the weather is particularly bad.***
If you want to book discounted Broadway tickets with ease, then head over to VividSeats.
Like right now. Don’t worry, I’ll impatiently wait.
Are you back? Okay, great.
See, not does Vividseats provide users with fantastic tickets, at seriously low prices, but they also sell tickets to just about any event you can think of.
If Broadway’s not your thing, and you want to hit up a Billy Joel concert instead, then Vividseats is where it’s at.
Because let’s be real:
Getting last-minute tickets to popular shows and events can be incredibly stressful.
But not so with Vividseats!
Using their easy-to-use, online platform, I was able to purchase a ticket to see Broadway’s Aladdin in under two minutes flat.
Yes, it was THAT easy.
But you wanna know the best part?
Not only were the tickets crazy CHEAP, but the seats were amazing and way better than I ever imagined.
That being said:
When purchasing your tickets with VividSeats, definitely opt for electronic tickets since the shipping cost for delivered tickets can be quite pricey.
Other than that:
Just find the show you want and let Vividseats take care of the rest.
But Wait! Which Broadway Show Should I See?
Now that you know how to snag discount Broadway tickets like a local, you’ll need to find out which shows are actually worth seeing.
While most shows are fantastic, with 27 plays and musicals currently on Broadway, some are definitely better than others.
Here is a quick list of shows that are sure to tickle your theatrical taste buds.
1. The Lion King
Umm, who doesn’t love the Lion King?
I mean, not only is the story heartbreakingly beautiful but the music is truly amazing and something that like 99.9999% of the population can sing along to.
The artistry of the costumes and the intricate movements of the puppets is unlike anything that you’ve ever seen before.
So yeah, just go NOW.
And bring the kids, if you have them, since you will never see another show quite like this one.
PLOT: The story of a young lion prince living in the 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 for help comes from the Pride Lands, Simba must take on a formidable enemy, and fulfill his destiny to be king.
2. The Phantom of the Opera
Clearly, the Phantom of the Opera has to be on this list, especially since it is the longest-running show in Broadway history.
So I mean yeah, they’re obviously doing something right.
Now, funnily enough:
When I first saw this show, I didn’t know what it was about and had ZERO idea that it was an opera.
I thought it took place in an opera but wasn’t actually an opera itself. LOL.
I now know that is most definitely an opera and that it tells the beautifully tragic tale of unrequited love and loss.
An overall beautiful show, with enduring and powerful songs that are perfect for anyone who is in the mood for a bit of romance.
PLOT: This story follows a deformed composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House. Sheltered from the outside world, this 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 enters the picture, the Phantom grows mad with jealousy and terrorizes the opera house with his murderous ways. Still, Christine finds herself drawn to this mystery man. Find out what happens and who Christine chooses in the end.
This one totally took me by surprise.
I saw the movie and was not a fan, not even a little bit.
When I saw this musical my expectations were incredibly low.
Truth be told:
I only got tickets to see this show because I didn’t know of any other musicals that my dad might like.
But guess what?
It was AMAZING! And the theatre actually smelled like freshly baked pie, which is like the coolest thing ever.
Is there anything better than pie? Yeah, I think not.
The show was the perfect combination of funny, sweet, sad, and romantic, all rolled into one giant ball of awesome
And even though I didn’t know any of the songs, I still loved them all and wanted to sing along.
But I didn’t.
Which is good since I am a terrible singer and basically quack like a tone-deaf duck.
PLOT: This musical tells the story of Jenna, a waitress, and an expert pie maker. Trapped in a small town and a loveless marriage, Jenna dreams of finding a way out. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may be her chance for a fresh start. With her fellow waitresses by her side, Jenna tries to summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
This is one of my favorite musicals of all time. I just love the music and how it speaks to my soul.
Because truth be told:
I think we have all felt a little misunderstood and different during at least one point in our lives.
Kids and adults alike will definitely love this one, except my dad.
But he’s my dad so his opinion clearly doesn’t count. LoL.
He just doesn’t like fantasy so he was a lost cause from the start.
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 witch 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.
***Some other awesome Broadway shows that I still haven’t seen yet include Frozen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Chicago, Come from Away, and more.***