Sunday, March 15, 2009

For Theatergoers On A Budget: Broadway LOTTERY RUSH


(AN UPDATE OF THIS POSTING HAS BEEN PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2010).
A week ago, I saw the new Broadway revival of WEST SIDE STORY on the cheap, thanks to ticket lottery rush. A $26.50 front row orchestra seat definitely made that experience a lot more fun, considering that a regular orchestra ticket costs $121.50. I signed up two and a half hours before curtain time, and names were drawn 30 minutes later.
It all started with the musical RENT, which, at the peak of its popularity, sold all seats in the first two rows of the orchestra for $20 to whomever would get to the box office in time on the day of the performance. Since then, Broadway has offered rush and SRO tickets to encourage an enthusiastic theatre community. Recently discount tickets are also offered by the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera.

From Playbill.com:
Here are the rush and SRO policies of different Broadway shows. Also included are shows offering low-priced regular tickets.
All Student Rush ticket purchases require a valid and current student ID. All Lottery Rush ticket purchases require a photo ID. Broadway box offices typically open at 10 AM (12 noon on Sundays) and close between 8:15 and 8:30 PM.
Note: This feature is updated frequently, but policies are subject to change without notice. Please email mblank@playbill.com regarding any information that is no longer accurate.

Updated August 2009

Note: This feature is updated frequently, but policies are subject to change without notice. Please email mblank@playbill.com regarding any information that is no longer accurate.

The 39 Steps
Student Rush: $26.50 - available at the box office beginning two hours prior to performance. Subject to availability. Limit 2 tickets per valid ID. Cash Only.
39 select orchestra and mezzanine tickets to each performance are sold for $39. May be purchased in advance. Visit The 39 Steps for further information.
9 to 5
Lottery Rush: Two hours prior to each performance, 38 tickets will be sold by lottery at $36.50 per ticket. These tickets must be purchased with cash and there is a limit of two tickets per person. Lottery entries will commence two hours prior to each show with the drawing taking place 90 minutes before curtain time.
After Miss Julie
General Rush: $26.50 - limited number of tickets sold on the day of the performance when the box office opens. Subject to availability. Limit 2 per person.
Student Rush: Limited number of half-price seats sold at half hour before curtain. Subject to availability. Limit 1 per valid ID.
Hiptix: $21.50 - Roundabout's Hiptix program allows registered patrons between ages 18 and 35 to purchase 1 pair of tickets per production at this price. Free registration is required. Ticket may be purchased in advance as availability dictates. All IDs checked when entering theatre. Info at: http://hiptix.com/
This production accepts credit cards for the above discounted tickets.

Avenue Q
Lottery Rush: 12 tickets will be sold at $21.50 each at a specified time prior to each performance. Tickets are cash only. A card will be provided, on which you will have to print your name and the number of tickets you would like if your name is chosen. Limit of 1 card per person and two tickets per card. The drawings take place as follows: 6 PM for weekday and Saturday evening shows, 12 noon for the Saturday matinee, 12:30 PM for the Sunday matinee, and 5:30 PM for Sunday evening. Cards are available starting 30 minutes prior to each drawing.

Billy Elliot
Student Rush: $41.50 (for tickets regularly priced at $80) - available at the box office two hours prior to performance. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thurday performances only. Subject to availability. Limit 2 per valid ID. Availability may be extremely limited during peak (summer and holiday) months.
Burn the Floor
Student Rush: $26.50 - sold on the day of performance when the box office opens. Subject to availability. Only available to current students. Limit 2 tickets per valid ID. Credit cards accepted.
Bye Bye Birdie
General Rush: $26.50 - limited number of tickets sold on the day of the performance when the box office opens. Subject to availability. Limit 2 per person.
Student Rush: Limited number of half-price seats sold at half hour before curtain. Subject to availability. Limit 1 per valid ID.
Hiptix: $21.50 - Roundabout's Hiptix program allows registered patrons between ages 18 and 35 to purchase 1 pair of tickets per production at this price. Free registration is required. Ticket may be purchased in advance as availability dictates. All IDs checked when entering theatre. Info at: http://hiptix.com/
This production accepts credit cards for the above discounted tickets.
Chicago
General Rush: $31.50 - tickets available at the box office only, when the box office opens. Limit 2 per customer. Not available for Saturday evenings. Subject to availability.

Standing Room: $26.50 - available at the box office, day of performance, only when the performance is sold out.
God of Carnage
Standing Room: $26.50 - approximately 20 tickets sold at the box office beginning two hours prior to curtain. Only available when performance is sold out.

Hair
"Be-In Box" Ticket Lottery: $25 - a limited number of box seat tickets sold via lottery system. Entries accepted at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office beginning two and half hours prior to each performance. Names will be drawn at random two hours prior to curtain time. Winners must be present at the time of the drawing and show valid ID to purchase tickets. Limit one entry per person, and two tickets per winner. Cash only. Seats may be partial view.
Standing Room: $25 - available at the box office only on the day of the performance. Only available when the performance is sold out.

In the Heights
Lottery Rush: $26.50 - a set number of front-row seats for each performance, sold via a lottery system. Each person will print their name and the number of tickets (1 or 2) they wish to purchase on a card that is provided. Only one card is allowed per person. Cards are checked for duplication prior to the performance. For Tues 7pm performances, cards are available at 4:30pm for a 5:00pm drawing. For Wed-Sat 8:00pm performances, cards are available at 5:30pm for a 6:00pm drawing. For Wednesday and Saturday matinee performances, cards are available at 11:30am for a 12:00pm drawing. For Sunday matinee performances, cards are available at 12:00pm for a 12:30pm drawing. For Sunday 7:00pm performances, cards are available at 5:00pm for a 5:30pm drawing.
Standing Room: $21.50 - available at the box office only when the performance is sold out.
Tickets in the last three rows of the Rear Mezzanine (Rows F-H) are regularly priced at $41.50 for all performances. These tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the box office.
Jersey Boys
Mobile Student Lottery: $27 - students may enter via mobile text messaging and email for the chance to purchase a limited number of discount-priced tickets. Only available for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances. Entries are accepted via text message (text STUDENT to 38568) or online up to three hours prior to performance. Winners are notified via text message or email 1 hour after close of entry hours, two hours prior to performance, and are given a half-hour window in which to purchase tickets at the box office. Winners must present winning text/email and a valid student ID. Subject to availability. Cash only. Visit Jersey Boys for full info and entry hours.
Standing Room: $27 - available at the box office only two hours prior to the performance. Limit 1 ticket per person. Only available when the performance is sold out. Cash only.

The Little Mermaid
Standing Room: $26.50 - available at the box office on the day of the performance only when the show is sold out. There are 12 standing room positions. Credit cards accepted.

Mamma Mia!
Standing Room: $21.25 - available at the box office on the day of the performance only if the performance is sold out. Goes on sale two hours prior to curtain. Limit is 2 per person.


Mary Poppins
Student Rush: $30 - sold on the day of performance when the box office opens. Subject to availability. Only available to college/university students. Limit 1 ticket per valid ID.

The Neil Simon Plays
Tickets for preview performances (except Saturday evenings) purchased by Sept. 6 are priced at 50% savings, ranging from $35 to $50. Online sales begin Aug. 7 and the box office opens Aug. 31. Previews begin Oct. 2 with a scheduled Oct. 25 opening

Next to Normal
General Rush: $25 - limited number of rush tickets available on day of performance when the box office opens (10 AM Mon-Sat; 12 noon Sunday). Limit 2 tickets per person.
Tickets in the last row of the Mezzanine are regularly priced at $36.50. These tickets may be purchased through Telecharge or at the box office.

The Phantom of the Opera
Standing Room: There are $26.25 tickets available at the box office only, only when the performance is sold out. There are only 28 standing room positions.

Tickets in the last two rows of the Rear Mezzanine are priced at $26.25 for Monday through Thursday performances. These tickets may be purchased through Telecharge or at the box office.

Rock of Ages
Lottery Rush: $26.50 - each performance day a limited number of tickets will be available via lottery. For 8 PM shows: signup at 6 PM, lottery held at 6:30, ticket pickup at 6:45. For 7 PM shows: signup at 5 PM, lottery held at 5:30, ticket pickup at 5:45. For 2 PM matinees: signup at 12 noon, lottery held at 12:30, ticket pickup at 12:45.
Shrek
Lottery Rush: $26.50 - 16 tickets per performance, sold via a lottery system. Each day, two hours prior to show time (12 PM for 2 PM matinees; 1 PM for 3 PM matinees; 5 PM for 7 PM performances; 6 PM for 8 PM performances), people who present themselves at the Broadway Theatre box office will have their names placed in a raffle drum. Thirty minutes later, names will be drawn at random. Winners must be present in order to win and this lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of 2 tickets per person. Winners must provide photo ID at the time of purchase. Only one entry is allowed per person.
Student Rush: $36.50 - available at the box office on the day of performance. Subject to availability. Limit 1 ticket per valid ID. Cash only.
Tickets in the last two rows of the Rear Mezzanine (Q-R) are priced at $41.50 for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances. These tickets may be purchased through Telecharge or at the box office.

South Pacific
Student Rush: $20.00 - available at the box office beginning two hours prior to a performance. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances only. Only available to college/university students. Limit 1 per valid ID. Subject to availability. Credit cards accepted.

West Side Story
Lottery Rush: $26.50 - limited number of front-row seats sold via lottery system. Entries accepted at box office beginning two and half hours prior to each performance. Names will be drawn at random two hours prior to curtain time. Winners must be present at the time of the drawing and show valid ID to purchase tickets. Limit one entry per person, and two tickets per winner. Cash only.

Wicked
Lottery Rush: Each day, two hours prior to show time (11:30 AM for 2 PM matinees; 12:30 PM for 3 PM matinees; 4:30 PM for 7 PM performances; 5:30 PM for 8 PM performances), people who present themselves at the Gershwin Theatre box office will have their names placed in a hat. Thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for 28 front-row seats at $26.50 each. This lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of 2 tickets per person, cash only. Photo-ID.
Wishful Drinking
General Rush: $26.50 - limited number of tickets sold on the day of the performance when the box office opens. Subject to availability. Limit 2 per person.
Student Rush: Limited number of half-price seats sold at half hour before curtain. Subject to availability. Limit 1 per valid ID.
Hiptix: $21.50 - Roundabout's Hiptix program allows registered patrons between ages 18 and 35 to purchase 1 pair of tickets per production at this price. Free registration is required. Ticket may be purchased in advance as availability dictates. All IDs checked when entering theatre. Info at: http://hiptix.com/

12 comments:

SarahB said...

I love RUSH whether its by lottery or by standing in line. How was first row of West Side Story? That stage is quite high and I'm concerned that I wouldn't be able to see the dancers' feet.

Noel Y.C. said...

Your concern is valid. The first row seats are too close (that's why they're $26.50). I was lucky I had a center seat, at least. And I would do it again.

Burt L. Swersey said...

My wife and I did the lottery and got 2 first row tickets to West Side Story.. for $26.50 each..
It was the BEST experience that I have every had on Broadway..
First row is GREAT..

Anonymous said...

First row at West Side Story was amazing.. My wife and I got the lottery tickets.. best show I ever saw on Broadway..

Shonah said...

Thank you so much for your information! We are going to try for the lottery tomorrow for West Side Story.
I wish I had of found your blog before our holiday to NY, NY!

411 New York said...

Broadway Lottery Rush Tickets for In the Heights?
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100326143716AArqSTI

We hope that link gives you some page impressions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

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Carry on the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at nyclovesnyc.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
John

Noel Y.C. said...

An update has been posted on Sept 13, 2010.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I have a message for the webmaster/admin here at www.blogger.com.

Can I use part of the information from this blog post right above if I give a link back to this site?

Thanks,
Oliver

Noel Y.C. said...

sure oliver. i would also suggest visiting playbill.com for an updated information.