How To Do Broadway on a Budget

Think you have to spend an arm and a leg to see a Broadway show? Wrong. I found the best way to see the lights on Broadway without breaking the bank.

It’s a fact — Broadway tickets can be expensive. But what most visitors don’t know is that there are plenty of ways to see a show on even the tightest of budgets. “Rushing” a show lets you see some of Broadway’s best shows — sometimes from better seats — for much cheaper. My best friend and I took to the streets on a mission to get a good deal on the must-see Hand To God before it goes off to London in the new year.

Houston, we have tickets!

The Name of the Game

Some Broadway shows have what’s called a “Rush Policy.” Anyone can show up at the box office when it opens in the morning (usually at 10:00am) and purchase tickets for around $30.

Here’s the catch: there are only a limited amount of tickets to be sold at the rush price each day, so you have to get there early and wait in line. Each Broadway theater has a different policy so make sure you check out this list before you go.

Be prepared to wake up early, bring something to occupy you — like wonderful company — and wait in line for at least an hour and a half. But if you’re willing to put in the time, you can score some pretty amazing seats for a fraction of the price.

Now we play the waiting game

7:00am — Rise and Shine

My best friend and I woke up at 7:00am, threw on some comfy clothes, and took the subway to Times Square. It’s not every day that you’re in the central hub of the Big Apple at 8:00 in the morning, so it was quite the sight to see. We even stumbled into the Harlem Globetrotters filming live on Good Morning America, smack dab in the middle of Times Square.

Hurry up and Wait…

To be safe, it’s best to get in line between 8–8:30am, depending on how new or popular the show is that you’re rushing. For example, if you want to get tickets to Les Miserables on a Saturday morning, the sooner you get there, the better. Theaters usually sell up to two tickets each to the first 30 people in line, and some only take cash, so make sure to hit the ATM before getting in line.

I also suggest bringing coffee, and bagels or donuts. Having breakfast in the heart of New York City is a great way to pass the time and fuel your adventure.

Pre-show Dinner and Drinks, on a Budget

Pre-Broadway dinner is almost as much a part of the experience as the show is. We stopped by my personal favorite New York City pizza joint, Joe’s Pizza at the corner of 3rd Ave and 14th St.

Try getting that kind of deal at a Midtown Theatre prix-fixe restaurant! To top it off, we grabbed a pre-show drink at New York Beer Company, which is right around the corner from the theater. They even have a killer happy hour — $5 drink specials! And for any New Yorker, that’s a true deal.


We showed up to the theatre about 15 minutes before curtain call. No need to get there super early: you already have assigned seats and they usually don’t open the doors until 15 minutes before showtime anyways. We were ushered to our front row seats that we purchased for only $27.00 and sat down to enjoy our well-deserved Broadway show.

Hand To God had us cracking up and crying, all in one evening. Even if you can’t make this show before it goes to London, you can definitely find other comedies to rush.

Now that you know the secret to rushing Broadway shows, go ahead and give it a try! Not only do you get to save some serious dough, but you also get the priceless gift of a memorable adventure with a pal.