My dad always tells of my first 'role' in my preschool's Thanksgiving play. I was a pilgrim complete with a white paper plate bonnet and black construction paper collar. Everyone had one line which was: 'I brought ________!' filled in by whatever picture of food they had cut out and glued onto their paper plate. My line was 'I brought turkey!' Very clutch. But when it came time to present my line, I got so bashful I barely whispered it in the mousiest tone. Apparently all the parents thought it was adorable because they began laughing and applauding. I couldn't have been more embarrassed but deep down I'm sure I thought Nailed It.
When it comes to performances, I like to leave it to the professionals. BROADWAY baby! This is the perfect city to see all the big Broadway shows, if you have hundreds of dollars to spare, which I don't. But no worries, because there are plenty of ways to find Broadway tickets without being a slave to the TKTS sign.
(1) Hit the theatres early in the morning
Even the biggest shows will have leftover tickets. So make a list of the ones you want to see and go directly to the theater's box office the day of the performance (~$30/ticket). They open at 10am but anyone who shows up after 9am is a fool. Call the box office ahead of time and ask what time they would suggest getting there. Make sure to keep your options open as your first pick may only have a handful of tickets available.
Also, if you have a student ID bring it. It can come in handy.
Shows I've seen with this method: Mamma Mia, Anything Goes
(2) Sign up for email lists
In many ways, NYC caters to the young. I'm signed up for LincTix which offers discounted $30 tickets to shows at Lincoln Center for those 21-35 years old. And if you have young friends, they can sign up too so that you can all sit together! Oh to be young and poor... yet incredibly cultured.
Shows I've seen with this method: War Horse
(3) Find a rich benefactor or... parents
When my family came to visit last summer, my mom, sister and I knew we wanted to go see Wicked. But everyone and their mom wants to see this show (look at previous statement) and I knew the methods above probably wouldn't cut it. So Mama Choo swept in and took care of it all for us. And you know what, I think she'll tell you it was TOTALLY worth it! We planned WAY ahead of time (about 2 months beforehand) in order to get the best seats. This is the old fashioned, most expensive way but if one person plans and another person pays, it seems less painful?
Shows I've seen with this method: Wicked
(4) Make Broadway friends
Don't have any? Hang out by the Tisch School for an hour and you're set. Or find anyone who's somewhat connected to Broadway. You never know, it could be your cousin's landlord's dog walker or your coworker. This week one of the producers for Peter and the Starcatcher gave us some free tickets at work. That's right, FREE tickets! The best kind.
Shows I've seen with this method: Peter and the Starcatcher