I am a firm believer in careful shopping - not crazy like driving 15 miles to a gas station that has gas 5 cents a gallon cheaper than a closer one - for foods and services. And like most consumers there are just some things I don't cut corners on. No matter what you tell me, generic brand pasta sauce in a jar is not as good as chunky vegetable Ragu or generic chocolate creme cookies are as good as Oreos! BUT, if I have a coupon for Ragu or Oreo cookies, I'm going to use it right?
So I obviously love live theatre (we wouldn't be here if we didn't, huh?). Why pay full price when you can use a "coupon"? Ahhh... I have come to LOVE ticket discounts, even more than TKTS. For one, I can use them from home with no lines and I can take my time and pick my own seat!
Now, I have made peace with a few things. One, I'm most likely NOT going to get a fifth row center seat. Two, the really hot shows (Billy Elliot) aren't going to be discounted, and I'll have to pay full price. Three, I will still (most likely) have to pay those damnable service fees if I do my business online.
Where do I get my discounts? I use a short list, because I've weeded out the more obnoxious, less customer friendly sites that are hawking tickets cheap. Here it is, though I am not endorsing one over the other - I use each about equally, and I am not receiving any sort of compensation for naming them. They are listed aplhabetically.
- Broadway Box.com
- The Playbill Club
- The Theater Mania Discount Club.
That is really it. There are many others, but like I said, I have found these to be the easiest and most user-friendly.
- READ THE FINE PRINT on the discount ad. It will save you much heartache. If you are like me, you always seem to want to go on a "blackout date!"
- Even though sometimes you are offered the same seats no matter what code you put in, it happens to me enough that trying the discounts offered by all three for the same show may offer different seats.
- Take your time! Don't settle for the first seats they offer! I have actually gotten what I consider to better seats MANY times by clicking "look for next seats" 6, 8 even 10 times before saying OK, I'll take these.
- The more possible dates the better your chances.
- If you are going with another person or more, consider single seats. You might get individually better seats. And you can't talk during the show anyway!
- Ordering as soon as the discount is posted will give you more choices. But I also know that sometimes better seats pop up as available the closer the date is to when yo want to see the show. Remember, a lot of people use these discounts. Hot tickets will go fast no matter how long you do or don't wait.
- If you are in town, take the discount to the box office. Be ready with date choices, even DAY OF, and the best part is NO SERVICE CHARGES. And I have on more than one occasion gotten seats from the nice guy behind the window that aren't usually part of the discount.
- Even though it will increase your emails, DO sign up for "special bonuses." I have gotten some great deals - including front row center tickets for Hair - through these "specials," which include extra days, advance notice and no service fee special deals.
We've all had our share of horror stories and disappointments when it comes to tickets. After all, a crappy seat is a crappy seat at any price. But online discounts are one of the best things to happen to Broadway theatre-going in years.
Any tips you'd like to share? Add your comments below!
(The logos above come from their respective websites. No endorsement of one over the other is intended, not is use of the logo meant to be a copyright infringement. Rather they are meant to represent the icons readers might look for when searching each site.)