Sunday, December 14, 2008

Discounted Theatre Tickets Plentiful From Broadway to the Boonies

Sometimes you just have to get in line, but more discounts are being offered on the internet.

It's happening all across America, tickets for theatre, music and dance are being discounted more heavily than ever before. If you are in the hinterlands, you may be able to find deals as well. Our survey indicates a growing number of half price and discounted ticket operations springing up everywhere.

If you want to get away, travel to the big cities is being discounted as well, Amtrak just finished its holiday promotion, and Greyhound has just began theirs. The airlines are beginning deep discounting again what with a recession and oil prices dropping like a rock.

The biggest destination of all is New York City, but further down in this blog you will find details on Atlanta, Austin, Boston, the Berkshires, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, DC. If we have missed one, let us know through the comments sections.

Half Price Tickets in New York City

TKTS during its recent construction in Manhattan

I have written before about TKTS, run by the Theatre Development Fund, but I have only mentioned their Times Square location. There are two others as well - in South Street Seaport on the lower East Side and in Downtown Brooklyn in the MetroTech Center. 

The TKTS ticket booths offer same-day discount tickets to Broadway shows, Off-Broadway, and other arts events at up to 50% off their original prices. There is no way of finding out which shows are featured day to day, or even minute to minute, since additional tickets often arrive as show time approaches. The theatres are mostly close by, so if the box office manager thinks the show will be left with unsold seats, TKTS may be called and a messenger dispatched to pick them up.

If ticket lines and seating roulette is not your idea of fun, there is a wonderful site you can visit that enables you to buy show tickets ahead of time, and at deep, deep discounts. You can even choose the seats, though it is always from whatever inventory remains at the time you buy.

This arrangement works best for those who make frequent trips to New York and don't mind paying a membership fee. New York Tix

My personal choices are August: Osage County from the incredible Steppenwolf company - a resident Chicago company, and Slava's Snowshow, a holiday pick. Among the musicals, there is Young Frankenstein, Hairspray and Gypsy. Timing is important since many of these shows will close shortly after Christmas.

Here's some great news for parents! The Disney "Kids Free" promotion which I detailed in an earlier Arts America blog entry has just been extended until December 23. I will work up a new blog entry on that tomorrow.

The basic rule of thumb for buying tickets to live performances is that the earlier you act, the better your seats. On the other hand, if you wait, you can often get the remaining seats at bargain prices.

Here too are some links to shows doing various other promotions.

The Blue Man Group - Use code NYTTW and call 1-800-blueman or go to this page.

Gypsy with Patti LuPone until January 18 - half price which means only $59.50 orchestra and $27 balcony - Use code GYNYT54 at 212-947-8844 or go to this site.

And if you are 40 or under, you can get tickets for events at Carnegie Hall for $20 with a "57 and 7" Membership. Details are here.

Even the super expensive Metropolitan Opera has instituted a $25 Weekend Ticket program which is more like a lottery than a sale, but worth the effort. You could end up with $250 seats at that bargain price. The incredible Met Lottery Deal Each week's entries begin on Mondays at 10:00 am ET.

Never, ever, trust scalpers!

Now on to the other cities.

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