New York City’s theatre community is the most vibrant in the world, attracting talented performers, directors, artists, and musicians from the four corners of the earth. While seeing a Broadway show can be costly, there are quite a few options to enjoy Broadway on a budget – especially during Broadway Week. Here are some of our recommendations for Broadway lovers to soak up the magic of the Theatre District:
How to Get Discounted Tickets
NYC Broadway Week – September 3rd-16th, 2019
Broadway Week offers the opportunity to procure tickets to major Broadway shows at a 2-for-1 price. Prime seats in the orchestra and mezzanine are available for shows running now through 16th. Discounted tickets are still available, so be sure and secure your tickets before they run out.
Enter the Official Digital Lottery for Broadway shows for the chance to win $40 tickets to the plays Spongebob Squarepants or Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and $30 tickets to Aladdin or The Lion King. The way it works is simple: you fill out an entry form for the date/showtime you would like to attend, and within minutes you’ll get an email revealing whether or not you’re one of the lucky winners. After that, you have 60 minutes to claim your ticket.
Broadway lovers, do yourselves a favor and bookmark this tab. It’s an incredible curation of links and advice to help you score heavily-discounted tickets to shows ranging from Book of Mormon ($27-32) to Kinky Boots ($42).
This online lottery is a Broadway fan’s dream come true, offering the ongoing opportunity to win seriously-discounted tickets to five Broadway shows like Hamilton ($10) or Mean Girls ($42.50). Entering the contest takes approximately one minute and Lucky Seat announces winners at noon the day before the show.
If your life could use a little more theatrical sparkle, consider becoming a volunteer usher at a Broadway or off-Broadway theatre. While most theatres employ union ushers, a number of them, particularly off-Broadway, rely on theatre lovers like you to help guests find their seats. Best of all: you’ll be paid in your favorite currency—free theatre tickets!
Best Restaurants for Broadway Lovers
1650 Broadway and 51st Street New York, NY 10019
This 1950’s themed diner is a must for Broadway lovers. It’s staffed by aspiring industry performers who put on regular dinner-time performances of tunes from your favorite musicals. Since opening in 1987, this spot has been a neighborhood favorite, so be prepared to brave a line. Trust us, it’s worth it!
234 West 44th Street between Shubert Alley & 8th Avenue New York, NY 10036
Sardi’s is beloved among the NYC theatre community for its celebrity caricatures and has been home to many a Broadway opening night celebration. According to local lore, Sardi’s was even the birthplace of the Tony Awards, conceived of by the partner of actress and director Antoinette Perry (Tony for short) after her death.
362 West 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues New York, New York 10036
Schmackary’s serves up some of the most delectable cookies in all of New York City and has established itself as the go-to spot for Broadway stars (and showgoers) with a sweet tooth. As you nosh on red velvet and peanut butter cup cookies, keep an eye out—you just might see one of your musical theatre idols!
326 West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues New York, NY 10036
Decorated with theatrical posters from legendary Broadway flops, this beloved restaurant is a living monument to all the shows that don’t get shining reviews in the New York Times. Joe Allen has been attracting NYC theatre lovers since 1965, back when a Broadway ticket cost $7.50. Its menu changes daily but always contains a wide selection of hearty comfort food, making it the perfect pre-show spot for a quick dinner.
Best Activities for Broadway Lovers
Broadway Walking Tours
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Want the Broadway glitz and glamour without a hefty price tag? Savvy Broadway fans might consider taking a walking tour of their favorite neighborhood with Broadway Up Close ($35). Every tour is an insider experience led by working industry actors and stage managers who offer the full inside scoop on Broadway’s wild history and fascinating present. Throughout this nearly two-hour tour, you’ll visit a former Broadway theater hidden inside the AMC Empire 25 theater complex and hear the Theater District’s best ghost stories.
690 8th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, Floor #6 New York, NY 10036
Dedicated entirely to the art of the theatrical poster, Triton Gallery is pure eye candy for NYC theatre lovers. It boasts the largest collection of antique and modern theatrical posters in the world, as well as a stock of rare window cards and other Broadway collectibles.
250 West 40th Street near 8th Avenue New York, NY 10018
The Drama Bookstore has been delighting and overwhelming theatre connoisseurs since 1917. It offers an incomparable collection of scripts from all over the world as well as a hefty supply of books on stagecraft, costumes, and more. The store’s theatre company, The Striking Viking Story Pirates, also offers classes and performances for young fans of the theatre.
Ways to Get Involved in NYC Theatre
Love Broadway so much you want to make it your permanent home? Check out real estate in the area surrounding the theatre district. If you’ve enjoyed exploring the sites Broadway has to offer, you’re certain to get a kick out of our guide to “small” New York City, a collection of the city’s smallest clock shop, park, and more!