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How To Get Last Minute Broadway Tickets - Smart Last Minute Deals!

Your New York City trip is absolutely incomplete if you don't watch a Broadway show. There's something special about watching a Broadway show in the city. The old-school charm of dressing up to go to a theatre, the thrill of watching performers at the top of their game pouring their hearts out on the stage, and of course the joyous mayhem of watching song and dance live. Broadway is both the general name of theatrical performance in New York City and the name of the area where most of the theaters are located. At present, New York City is home to 41 Broadway theatres and 62 Off-Broadway theatres hosting a diverse range of plays and musicals.

Despite the presence of so many theatres, last-minute Broadway tickets aren't that easy to find. Most people book their Broadway tickets online months in advance, especially for popular shows like Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and more. Looking for effective tips on scoring last-minute Broadway tickets? We have just what you need!

How to Get Last-Minute Broadway Tickets?

1. Broadway Theatre Apps

Like everything else in our lives, technology has hit the Broadway ticket market as well. There are various apps available online that sell last-minute Broadway tickets - Headout, TodayTix, Ticketmaster etc. Convenient, easy to use, and reliable, these apps sell tickets for some of the hottest Broadway shows of the season. The best part? Unlike offline tickets, you have the option of picking your seats in the theatre. If you have last-minute Broadway plans, Headout is the ideal choice as they sell same-day Broadway tickets.

Pro Tips

  • Certain Broadway blockbusters, including Hamilton, have their own ticketing apps. On these apps you can purchase a ticket at the booth rate or try your luck on lottery tickets.

  • If you're purchasing your ticket from an app or a third-party website, you'll need to collect your physical tickets from the concierge service arranged. Check the online voucher for exact pick up location. While this may sound like an inconvenience, it actually is not! Think of it like your personal concierge for tickets.

2. TKTS Tickets

TKTS are ticket booths that sell same-day discounted Broadway tickets. Currently, there are 3 TKTS booths in New York City in the following locations: Times Square, South Street Seaport, and Lincoln Center. The Times Square TKTS booth has been around for over 40 years, the oldest TKTS booth with the longest lines as well. The other 2 satellite booths have shorter lines and also offer matinee tickets for next day's show.

Pro Tips

  • If the weather is being unkind, head to the indoor TKTS booth at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium.

  • While the TKTS booths generally open by 3:00 PM, certain Broadway theatres wait till 6:00 PM to release TKTS seats..

3. Broadway Lottery Tickets

Broadway lottery tickets can be won by entering your name in a raffle organized by the theatre or registering for a digital lottery online. A couple of hours before the curtain rises, an in-person lottery is organized outside the theatre. If you get lucky, you'll win lottery tickets (generally for the orchestra section) at affordable rates. Each show/theatre organizes their own lottery. Visit this link to know which productions are offering cheap lottery tickets.

Pro Tips

  • To enter the lottery contest, you need to have a valid photo ID and have a maximum of two people you're entering on behalf of. Also, in case you win, you need to pay for the tickets within 60 minutes.

  • Broadway lotteries are conducted either online or through the TodayTix app. Stay updated with the timing and other details for the show you want to watch.

4. Broadway Rush Tickets

Rush tickets are essentially for same-day- first come, first serve seats sold at the theatre box office. Generally, rush tickets are sold as soon as the box office opens in the morning. While the prices for rush tickets are pretty reasonable, they involve a lot of effort on your part.You probably have to stand in queue for a minimum of 3 hours, sometimes even camp outside the theatre from early morning! There's a separate category of rush tickets available for students or patrons below a certain age.

Pro Tips

  • Each Broadway theatre has its own Rush ticket policies that are usually listed on their website. Give them a read before you try for Rush tickets.

  • If you're serious about getting Rush tickets, you'll need to reach the box office as early in the morning as possible. For popular shows, people even camp near the venue overnight.

5. Standing Room Tickets

Many theatres on Broadway are equipped with an additional row at the back of the mezzanine or main level. Tickets for this row are called Standing Room Only (SRO) and these should be your last resort. While cheap, SRO tickets are very limited in number and you also don't get to sit through the duration of the show. Generally, SRO tickets are only worthwhile for extremely popular shows like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen where the chances of getting regular tickets are slim.

Pro Tips

  • To identify if a theatre has a standing row, check out its seating chart or the official website.

  • If you're opting for SRO seats, remember to wear comfortable shoes because you'll be standing for 45 to 2 hours, depending on the duration of the show.

6. Third Party Ticketing Websites

Often, it's difficult to find tickets from the official website for theatres, especially when it comes to last-minute Broadway tickets. A great solution in this case are third party ticketing websites, such as Headout, Stubhub and TodayTix. These websites offer last-minute Broadway ticket discounts for some of the most popular Broadway shows. When you book your Broadway tickets from Headout, enjoy the lowest price guarantee.

Pro Tips

  • Certain prime seats in the theatre are reserved for guests/friends of the production staff. Depending on how many seats are left, these seats are available online around 24-96 hours before curtain time. Check Headout 2 days before the date of the show to find these premium seats.

  • You'll need to pick up your physical ticket from a Headout representative located outside the theatre. Check your online voucher for additional details.

7. Concierge on Times Square

To help tourists from around the world who aren't quite familiar with New York’s Theatre District, there are physical concierges available on Times Square. Apart from last-minute Broadway tickets, you can also get personal advice from the concierge representative on a variety of topics - including places to see, restaurant recommendations and much more.

Pro Tips

  • Concierge service are mostly used by tourists and there are a lot of tourists in Times Square. Prepare to wait for a bit for your turn.

  • The CTC website has daily and special deals for members. The website also has a chatbox where you can get your queries resolved.

8. Cancellation Line

White this should be your last resort, there's a good chance you might get premium tickets at the cancellation lines. Generally, not all the seats in a theatre are claimed. If you wait around the theatre at least two hours before the show, there's a chance that these unclaimed seats could be yours. There's no guarantee, so be prepared to go home without watching the show!

Pro Tips

  • If the weather is bad on a particular day, chances of cancelled tickets are higher. If you're up for braving the weather, go to the box office and you'll surely find last minute discounted tickets to the show of your choice..

  • Only opt for cancelled tickets from the box office. There are vendors around the venue who claim to sell cancelled tickets, but these are illegal and not to be trusted.

9. Theatre Development Fund Membership

The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) is a non-profit organization that manages the TKTS booths in the city. From students to teachers, freelancers to retirees and more, a whole lot of professionals are eligible for TDF membership. For a nominal annual fee of $34, TDF members get access to discounted last-minute tickets to Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows.

Pro Tips

  • Full-time students, full-time teachers, recent graduates (up to 26 years old), retirees, government employees, members of the armed forces are easily eligible for a TDF membership.

  • Each TDF member can take up to 9 tickets per booking.

Conclusion

If you haven't booked your tickets in advance, there are many ways you can score last-minute Broadway tickets. If you play your cards right, you can also get great discounts on your Broadway tickets. Armed with these insider tips, make your Broadway viewing dreams a reality!

FAQs- Last Minute Broadway Tickets

Where can I buy last minute Broadway tickets?
The TKTS booths open at different times depending on the day of the week. Here are the timings for both evening performances and matinee shows.

For evening performances:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday*, Friday*, Saturday: 3pm - 8pm
Tuesday*: 2pm-8pm
Sunday: 3pm-7pm

For matinee performances:

Wednesday and Saturday: 10am-2pm
Sunday: 11am-3pm

* If there is a matinee performance for sale on these days, the booth will open at 10am. Check the electronic boards for show schedules.

Should you buy Broadway tickets in advance?
Yes. To get the seats of your choice and score considerable discounts on your tickets, buying Broadway tickets in advance is highly recommended. If you are hoping to book a show for a Saturday evening performance, earlier booking is advised.
How far in advance are Broadway tickets released?
Depending on the show, Broadway tickets are released months in advance. You can plan to book your broadway show tickets at least 1 month in advance from apps like Headout, TodayTix.
What is the best day of the week to see a Broadway show?
NYC locals favor weeknights for attending Broadway theater. Thursday night performances are the most desired, followed by Tuesday nights. Friday night falls third in order of preference and Saturday night fourth.