Seeing a Broadway show is a must for anyone visiting New York City. But with 41 theatres showing various plays and musicals, not including off-Broadway shows, where do you start? From The Lion King to Mean Girls, there's a show for everyone. But deciding which show to see isn’t always easy. Plus, considering how expensive Broadway tickets can be, planning to see a show can be an overwhelming experience. However, to help you make the most of your trip to New York City, we’ve put together The Ultimate Broadway Guide. It’s full of top tips including… 
  • The most popular Broadway shows
  • Broadway shows new for 2019
  • How to get cheap Broadway tickets
  • Broadway vs Off-Broadway
  • NYC attractions for theater fans
  • And more!

Save on admission

Remember, many popular New York attractions are included with the New York Explorer Pass. You could save up to 50% on admission vs gate price.

What is Broadway in New York? What’s the difference between Broadway and off-Broadway?

A Broadway show is a play or musical presented in one of 41 theatres with more than 500 seats along Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. An off-Broadway show is a play or musical presented in a Manhattan theater with between 100 and 499 seats. An off-off-Broadway venue has fewer than 100 seats.

How to get cheap Broadway tickets?

Broadway tickets can be expensive. However, there are lots of ways to get cheap or discounted Broadway tickets. From the Broadway lottery, rush tickets, ticket apps, and booths, this is how to save money on Broadway tickets: 

Today Tix app

Today Tix is a free app for purchasing discounted theater tickets. However, to save even more money on Broadway tickets, make the most of Today Tix’s rush tickets and ticket lottery options. 
  • How to get rush tickets?

Rush tickets are released in the morning for a show that day and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. So you have to be quick! They are often cheaper, as the theaters are selling off any unsold tickets for that day’s performance. You can’t always choose where you sit, but if you’re looking for a great discount, rush tickets are a great option. You can also get rush tickets from the theater itself, but this often means getting there really early and lining up for hours, which will eat into your vacation time. We recommend utilizing the rush tickets option on the Today Tix app.
  • How to win the ticket lottery?

The second option is to enter a ticket lottery. A ticket lottery is a cheap option, but entering doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a ticket – you may need a backup plan if you don’t win. However, ticket lotteries are worth entering, as you could win tickets to Broadway shows like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for as little as $40 on the Today Tix app. Or, head to the theater directly for the chance to win a ticket to Hamilton for as little as $10.

TKTS Booth 

Visit a TKTS booth at Times Square, South Street Seaport or the Lincoln Center for same-day tickets discounted up to 50%. Head here as early as you can as the lines can get long. If you want to see a play instead of a musical, join the ‘play express’ line which is often quicker than the general line. Bear in mind that every ticket is subject to a $6 fee, but the discount should be great enough that you will still make a saving.

Visit New York during Broadway Week

If you plan your trip to New York for Broadway week, you can save tons of money on Broadway tickets. For a short time in January and September, you can get 2-for-1 Broadway tickets for popular plays and musicals. The next Broadway Week is September 3-16, 2019. Check the Broadway Week website from mid-August to get your tickets.

Don’t buy from street vendors

There are some people selling tickets on the street, especially in popular tourist areas like Times Square. Be wary of street vendors as the tickets may be fake or fraudulent. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t risk wasting your money and only buy tickets from reputable sources. 
times square broadway new york

What are the most popular Broadway musicals?

If you can’t decide which show to see, consider choosing from this top five list. They’re popular for a reason!  The highest-grossing Broadway musicals currently running are:
  • The Lion King 
  • Wicked 
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Chicago
  • The Book of Mormon
Kids will love The Lion King and Wicked, whereas The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and The Book of Mormon are more suited to older audiences. These long-running Broadway musicals are classics – you can’t go wrong with one of these.

What are the new Broadway musicals and plays?

There are also many newer plays and musicals that are enjoying incredible success on Broadway. Some popular Broadway plays and musicals that have only started in the last few years include:
  • Hamilton
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Come From Away
  • Mean Girls
  • Waitress
Everyone’s talking about Hamilton, the musical about Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the USA. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical is incredibly popular, so try to get tickets if you can. Another popular choice is the two-part play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. See the magic come to life in the show about everyone’s favorite boy wizard. Come From Away and Waitress are great options that have achieved success on London’s West End as well as on Broadway. Dear Evan Hansen is a Tony Award-winning musical about a teenage boy trying to fit in, and Mean Girls will be popular with fans of the film.

What Broadway musicals are new in 2019?

If you’ve already seen the most popular Broadway musicals, don’t worry – there are plenty more to choose from. Loads of musicals have started on Broadway in 2019, including:
  • Oklahoma!
  • Tootsie
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Hadestown 
  • Beetlejuice
Oklahoma!, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1943 musical is back in this 2019 Broadway revival reimagined for the 21st century. Tootsie is a new comedy musical inspired by the 1982 film of the same name, and Moulin Rouge is another film-inspired musical new to Broadway. Yet another film-turned-musical is Beetlejuice, based on Tim Burton’s 1988 movie. Hadestown premiered off-Broadway in 2016 but came to the Broadway stage this year, and won a Tony award for best musical.
radio city new york go

Attractions for theater fans

New York City has plenty of attractions for theater fans. If seeing a Broadway show isn’t enough to satisfy the theater fan in your group, make the most of these theater-themed attractions:
  • Radio City Stage Door Tour

Broadway fans will love the Radio City Stage Door Tour, as you’ll get the chance to explore the venue that hosts the Tony Awards. The 75-minute guided tour will take you behind-the-scenes, onto the stage itself, and you will even meet a real Rockette. Getting in: Admission to the Radio City Stage Door Tour is included with the New York Explorer Pass.
  • Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour

The Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour has to be on any theater fan’s New York itinerary. You will be guided by a Broadway actor who will tell you all about the area’s history, plus insider secrets and trivia about your favorite musicals and Broadway stars. Before you go, check out our Times Square guide to make the most of your visit. Getting in: Admission to Broadway & Times Square Walking Tour is included with the New York Explorer Pass.
  • The RIDE

The RIDE is a unique New York attraction that feels more like a show than a bus tour. Its theatrical street performances and hilarious guides will be appreciated by any theater fan. Be sure to read our guide to The RIDE to make the most of your visit. Getting in: Admission to The RIDE is included with the New York Explorer Pass.

In summary

We hope this guide has helped you decide which Broadway show to see and that our top tips will help you save money on Broadway tickets. Remember, admission to the popular New York attractions mentioned in this guide are included with the New York Explorer Pass. You could save up to 50% on admission vs gate price.

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