A 2016 Nielson Scarborough survey found that as many as 47 million Americans had attended a type of live entertainment in the past month. Do you know how to buy Broadway show tickets? Do you know the difference between Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off- Off- Broadway? Unless you are a theater aficionado, it is likely that you vaguely know that big name plays are shown on Broadway, but the process of actually attending one is unfamiliar to you. This is true for many people, and it is frankly a shame.
The performing arts can be a wonderful source of entertainment for many people, even those who think the theater is too high-brow for them. Entertainment should be accessible to everyone. For a quick background on Broadway plays, and how to buy Broadway show tickets, read below.
Is There Only One Place to See Shows and Buy Tickets?
For newcomers, it is a surprising discovery to find out that not only are there many theaters even on Broadway, but that some of those theaters aren’t even on the official Broadway Boulevard in Manhattan. Tickets to plays and musicals can be purchased at the box office, or online through a broker, or won through a lottery, or by several other options.
Confused yet? It’s actually fairly simple once you understand how it all breaks down.
What Are Off Broadway Musicals?
The concept of Off- Broadway can be a little confusing to people unfamiliar with the theater scene. Off- Off- Broadway might throw them through a loop. The terms refer to both a certain tier of exclusivity, as well as actual location in some cases. The Broadway Boulevard was once what made a show On Broadway or Off- Broadway.
However, in the past 100 years this has changed. There are in fact four theaters on Broadway Boulevard, each seating at least 500 people, that show plays and musicals in the On Broadway category. Some of these theaters actually have an address that is not officially on the eponymous street though.
To shake things up a little more, there are several theaters that show Off- Broadway plays and musicals with the theater being located somewhere on Broadway Boulevard. Off- Off- Broadway plays and musicals can be shown anywhere technically.
Why does this matter? Because these are categories that indicate the level of money invested in the performance. The most financial backing is behind shows on Broadway, the a bit less for Off- Broadway, and then very little for Off- Off- Broadway. Theater goers will see this reflected in the actual cost of Broadway show tickets, as it is a tiered system.
The Best Place to Buy Broadway Show Tickets.
If you want to buy Broadway show tickets, one of the best places is the actual box office. The tickets will be legitimate, and there is no markup from a broker. The downside is that it can be a long wait time. Another option is to go through a ticket broker, but in so doing there will be an added fee from the broker. This is a preferable option for those who are short on time.
For some people, another option is to participate in the lottery, which offers cheap show tickets to the winner of the randomized selection. The caveat is that it can take longer than other options, as the person’s name who is drawn must wait at the box office until just before the show begins. This is a good choice for those short on money with plenty of time to spare.
Going to a Broadway show, or even an Off- Off- Broadway show, can be memorable. While many people long to see a famous musical or play in person, actually getting tickets to a show may seem like a long shot. But there are ways to get discounted tickets, it just depends on your time and level of patience.