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Don't Make These 5 Mistakes When Buying Broadway Show Tickets

Category Broadway

|by Mark Robinson |


Here’s how to avoid a ticketing snafu when seeing a Broadway show

You are all set to see a Broadway show and you’ve settled on which play or musical will hopefully transport and thrill you for a few hours. Now you have to acquire the tickets that will be your passport to this magical experience. Getting tickets for a Broadway show is a relatively easy task, but there are a few pitfalls along the way of which you should be aware. When planning a trip to a see a show on the Great White Way (Broadway’s illustrious nickname), be careful not to make the following mistakes.

Here’s how to save on seeing Broadway’s best and brightest shows (Photo: iStock)

Here’s how to save on seeing Broadway’s best and brightest shows (Photo: iStock)

Don’t Forget to Check for Discounts and Sales
Though every dime spent is almost always worth it, a trip to see a Broadway show can still be an expensive treat for many. Do your homework before buying tickets to a Broadway show. There are many discounts out there if you are willing to dig around, but here’s one you don’t have to dig for: ShowTickets’ “FALL15” discount code, which will allow you to save $15 on any Broadway show order of $100 or more through the end of November. You can save $15 now on tickets to see AladdinWickedThe Phantom of the OperaBeetlejuiceTo Kill A MockingbirdThe Book of MormonTootsieDear Evan Hansen, and other hit shows, so be sure to take advantage of this deal before time runs out. Everyone deserves to enjoy a night at the theater, and finding discounts helps to keep it from being cost-prohibitive.

Ready to shop the deal? Click here to see our full selection of Broadway shows.

Be Aware of the Seats You Are Purchasing
When buying last-minute and discount tickets, you may sometimes be offered obstructed or partial view seats. This can be a way to save money and see some pretty terrific shows for less. But what does “obstructed view” mean? Sometimes this merely indicates that a lighting instrument is hanging in the line of vision, or you might lose a foot or two of the action on one or both sides of the stage. In other cases, you might easily be giving up a large portion of the view you have paid for. A quick visit to a website like aviewfrommyseat.com will allow you to search the seat in question and see an actual picture of what the view looks like. 

Don’t Make Assumptions
Not every Broadway show plays every night of the week. On certain days, theaters are what they refer to as “dark,” which means that the cast and crew are getting the night off. These “dark” nights (and matinees) also vary from production to production. Be sure to do your homework before showing up at the theater for last-minute tickets rush tickets, only to find the doors locked and box office closed. Shows also sell out, so it is often the case that there may not be tickets available the day of a performance. Unless you are rolling the dice on rush tickets (a viable but chancy option), it is wise to get your tickets in advance. This will ensure that your seats are reserved for the day that you are hoping for.

Be Aware and Beware of Rush Tickets
What are rush tickets? Rush tickets are usually heavily discounted tickets that can be purchased at the box office on the day of a particular performance. Many shows (even some sold-out hits) have digital (sign-up and you are alerted) and general (which must be acquired in person, standing in line outside the theater) rush tickets. The risk with rush tickets is that you are not guaranteed that you will get in if seats are not available for that performance, and even if you do get them, you have no control over what seats you will receive. Also, you are limited to the number of rush tickets you can purchase (most theaters cap it at two). However, if you are in the city for several days, you can always continue to chance rush tickets and ticket lotteries and sooner or later, you may just get into a show for about $40 (the approximate average rush price). Just don’t make the mistake of counting on them.

Consider Comfort
For people who are particularly tall, those who have regular bathroom emergencies, and for parents with small children, it is important to consider carefully which seats you will buy when seeing a Broadway show. Buying a seat on an aisle can often alleviate some of the problems that come along with the aforementioned. On an aisle, long legs can be extended to the side for stretching and comfort. Aisle seats allow an easy exit to use the restroom, or to bring an unhappy child out to the lobby for calming. Most Broadway shows are two to three hours in length, and being uncomfortable or a distraction can make it an unhappy experience. Consider your comfort and the comfort of those around you when planning a theater excursion.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, was released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.

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