My quintessential visit to New York includes a three day trip crammed full of seeing as many Broadway shows as possible. Broadway features the most superb shows (plus a few flops) in the world. I fell in love with Broadway many years ago, hook, line, and sinker, and hope for everyone to partake in this fabulous entertainment offering at some point in their life, in which I have detailed instructions for newbies below.
Broadway consists of 41 theaters, riddled with marquees and lights, all within walking distance of one another. No matter when you go, there is always a great variety of shows to choose from, complete with talented musicians, actors, actresses, and plus celebrity guests. Broadway’s streets offer themed gift and souvenir shops as well as delicious restaurants, many with pre-fix theatre menus. One of my favorite restaurants to visit before a show is Bobby Van’s Steakhouse on 45th for a prime cut of beef and classic side items with a professional and attentive staff.
There is an art to buying Broadway show tickets, other than just slapping down the American Express for a face value ticket. I have been doing it so long and only recently learned to subscribe to many Broadway based websites that offer special deals, as well as deep discount offering special discounts, as well as promotions for new shows and those in the trial run phase. Theatre-goer loyalty clubs allow you to cash in earned points for free tickets. Best of all, they are easy to use, which is a big bonus.
The legendary TKTS ticket booth, located right in the midst of Times Square, is home to some of the best deals on Broadway, with discounts reaching 55% off. However, in order to purchase these tickets at such a discounted rate, you have to stand in line for hours and upon reaching the box office, may discover that tickets for the show you want to see are not available. Generally speaking, Telecharge and Ticketmaster are the most popular choices for obtaining tickets because they can be purchased in advance. Another option is to stop by a theatre box office and see what last minute ticket discounts they might be offering. I lucked out once and got an “Exit the King” ticket for $29, 10 rows from the stage.
Upon entering the theatre, you will be given a Playbill, the show’s directory per se, that gives you a listing of the cast and characters, a brief overview of the show you are seeing, the musical selections and writers/composers, as well as latest Broadway news and ads. For Broadway lovers like myself, this is the holy grail. I store my collection of Playbills in binders that I have purchased from Broadway.com that showcase them in a lovely fashion. There are also apps that allow you to keep track of the stars and performances you have seen and what theaters you have been to. This is a must for list freaks like myself!
When the show ends, collect your belongings and run, do not walk, to the outside stage door, to see the cast up close and personal as they exit the theatre. Performers may even offer to sign playbills and take some pictures with you. Even if you are not currently a Broadway fan, it is a lot of fun to watch transpire. This is my favorite part of the event.
Lastly, no show is really complete without a nightcap or scrumptious 1,000 calorie dessert from somewhere fabulous such as Max Brenner’s or Junior’s Cheesecake.
Whether your preference is musicals or plays, on or off-Broadway, big or small venues, the choices are all yours and there is something for everyone. You may not know what your likes are yet but after a few shows, you will quickly find out why you should be loving Broadway. It is contagious!
Photos from some of my favorite Broadway star meetings after the show:
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