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Buying Good Tickets at the Best Price
By Elyse Sommer
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Update: TDF now offers 2 additional services. Matinee and evening tickets sold simultaneously on two performance days and Window #1 will also serve as a “Full-Price Ticket Window” for future performances of all shows, and for same-day performances of shows not available at a discount. For example: on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, when TKTS opens at 10am (or 11am on Sundays), patrons will be able to purchase matinee and/or evening performance discount tickets for that day. Previously, matinee tickets were sold only from 10am to 2pm and evening tickets sold only from 3pm to 8pm. Additionally, Window #1 will also serve as a “Full-Price Ticket Window” which will allow TKTS ticket buyers to purchase full-price tickets to all shows for future performances or same day full-price tickets to shows that are not available at a discount at any other TKTS Booth windows.
Update for ipad owners: There's a terrific FREE app available at the ipad app store-- just punch in TKTS in the search area-- 2 apps will come up-- install the FREE one which is better than the 99cent one-- provides list of shows, when posted, % of the discount-- and lets you click to a page with information about the show.
Due to the number of new plays just opened or currently in previews on Broadway, TDF For many visitors to New York, a visit to the TKTS booth operated by the Theatre Development fund is an experience in itself — a chance to get a hefty discount on a show and to chat with other theater goers. This season, with so many new plays opening, the snazzy redesigned Under the Red Steps booth has added "Play Only" windows where theatergoers can buy their same-day discount tickets to dramas and comedies playing on and Off Broadway during regular TKTS hours. That means hardly any waits.
TDF's handsome redesigned website and the same information can still be found at http://www.entertainment-link.com/tkts.asp However, since these postings are never more than a guesstimate, it's best to just take your chances and heed some of these tips for using the booths (there's one downtown as well as in the Theater district ) and also take advantage of some of the other good deals available.
TDF & TKTS INFORMATION
To check out the redesigned website go here
News: As of Oct. 16, 2008, the TKTS booth is back on Father Duffy Square (Broadway and 47th Street, Manhattan). And ticket buyers will be able to make their purchases using major credit cards, in addition to cash and travelers checks, for same-day tickets to Broadway, Off Broadway, music and dance productions.
Times Square: Hours for evening performances: Monday - Saturday: 3pm - 8pm; Sundays: 3pm until one-half hour before the latest curtain time being sold. Wednesdays and Saturdays: 10am - 2pm for matinee performances only and Sundays: 11am - 3pm. Downtown: For evening performances: Monday - Friday: 11am - 6pm Sundays: 11am - 6pm (closed on Sundays beginning January 21st). Matinee tickets are sold the day before Monday - Friday: 11am - 6pm, Saturdays: 11am — 7 pm, Sundays (to Jan. 21st) : 11am - 6pm
Straight playgoers can avoid long lines by heading for the Play Booth which usually has short or no lines since most TKTS liner-uppers tend to want to see musicals.
Tues and Thursdays are the days you're most likely to get good deals.
It's not always best to be first on line. The lines tend to be shortest after 6pm. What's more the most successful TKTS buyers know that tickets are released to TKTS by the producers who sometimes wait as late as 7pm to send over tickets. This doesn't always work, especially on weekends when a lot of the best shows get picked up fast.
GOOD NEWS FOR BROOKLYN RESIDENTS AND VISITORS TKTS Discount booth in Downtown Brooklyn in 1 MetroTech Center at the corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue will be open from Tuesday - Saturday, 11am to 6pm. The booth has been open from Monday - Fridays. The Saturday hours replace Monday hours, a day when most shows do not perform.
WHERE: TKTS DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – 1 MetroTech Center at the corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue (across from Downtown Brooklyn Marriott) Booth.
HOURS & DIRECTIONS: As of 11/06/08: TKTS downtown will be open Saturdays for Saturday evening and Sunday Matinee performances Saturday - Friday from 11am to 6pm. TKTS will sell tickets to same-day evening performances and next-day matinee performances. TKTS Downtown Brooklyn will accept credit cards, cash and travelers checks.* It is located right outside of the Jay Street-Borough Hall station of the A, C and F trains and near the Court Street – Borough Hall station of the M, R, 2, 3, 4, 5 trains and the Lawrence Street station of the M, and R trains.
Other Ticket Bargains
Savvy bargain hunters use sites like nytix.com and Broadway Box to print out discount codes and use them over the telephone, online or at the box office (Using them at the box office avoids the extra fee imposed by Ticketmaster and Telecharge on telephone and online orders) The discount ticket offers can be purchased in advance (up to 4 months before the show, right up until show time), so these services give TKTS a run for its money and there is no waiting on line.
People who work for large corporations can use CorporateOffers.com where an even greater range of Broadway show discount offers can be gleaned (For example Lion King is rarely discounted in the public domain, but often appears on CorporateOffers.com) The down side is that only the employee can access these offers and then only while they are actually at work
People who live in New York and go to the theater often and are willing to take a chance on shows in previews or playing Off and Off-Off-Broadway, also do well by joining a seat filling club like the Theater Mania Gold Club, Play by Play or Audience Extras where the initial membership fee usually pays for itself once you see a couple of shows. If you don't know what to expect from a show on offer, check our annotated listings for Off Broadway and Broadway
A caveat excerpted from a letter from one of our readers: ". . . you should warn your readers about people who hang around the Duffy Square line hawking tickets which are cheaper than at the TKTS window and center of the orchestra. This is illegal and the tickets could be counterfeit which would mean a raw deal instead of a good deal. On the other hand, I've on occasion gone to a theater box office to purchase tickets and met people who were trying to return tickets they couldn't use. These kinds of arrangements tend to work out okay. Lee B. That's B as in Beware!"