Theatre in New York is expensive, right? Surprise!

The huddled masses queue for ALABAMA or whatever must see musical. If you have TDF, you never need to wait in line again.
The huddled masses queue for ALABAMA or whatever must see musical. If you have TDF, you never need to wait in the TKTS line again.

Seeing theatre in the big city is expensive, right? All those Broadway shows and jacked up prices and what not. It’s surely gonna cost some serious “lettuce” – as the guys in GUYS AND DOLLS would say.

If your heart is set on Broadway, and in particular on those top 10 grossing shows, then yes, you are going to have to throw down some bills.

But elsewhere on the feeding chain where the real action and experience is, theatre in New York is surprisingly affordable. And sometimes it is simply way underpriced to the point of near free.

In fact, New York theatre is often cheaper than almost anywhere else. And when you factor in the quality you get here – a lot of New York theatre is without question the best value obtainable ON EARTH.

And while many of the same shows on in New York will one day make their way to the hinterlands (where they will cost more), those productions will rarely be anywhere near as good as they are here.

So the weird truth in America is that the very best theatre is also often the cheapest.

Why is that? The whims of the giant #NYCtheatre market place. When there are this many shows on jostling for audiences, producers are looking to fill every seat any which way they can. Millions of people come to New York to see theatre. That’s a force you can use.

If you know how to hold out, and particularly if you have access to TDF, which is like TKTS but in advance, you can play the game and walk away with some of the best shows for practically nothing.

So come see those new shows in New York – where they are better and cheaper.

Below is the roster for my current trip. So far, it looks like I only made one mistake – which was squandering $80 for the non play PERMISSION at MCC. I could have got that one in the TDF junk yard for $27. But honestly it’s not even worth that…

Look at these deals.

The new Bruce Norris play at Playwrights Horizons for $20?

Two new plays by Melissa Ross for $25 and $30?

The six hour WOLF HALL marathon for $80?

THE FLICK by Annie Baker inside the cozy Barrow Street Theatre for $27?


That’s right. Insane deals for some of the very best theatre there is. Just any other week in New York.

And look how many world premieres are on. This isn’t tired ass theatuh or that umpteenth production of MIDSUMMER or TWELFTH NIGHT in the sticks we’ve all been (not) waiting for. This is the living theatre. The real deal. New stuff from people with new stuff to say.

The least expensive part of a New York theatre trip is the theatre tickets. It’s getting here and especially finding somewhere to stay (unless you camp in the park, which you can still do) and something to eat (they have Trader Joe’s now – if you can take the hour long wait in line) that will set you back.

So if you want to see the best there is – get on all the New York theatre mailing lists, learn how and when show specials happen. And find a friend in the non profit world who can lend you their TDF member login.

And then settle in to your seat.

Because this one’s gonna be good.

5.27.2015 8 New World Stages – CLINTON: THE MUSICAL world premiere $33 (TDF)
5.28.2015 7 Rattlestick – AFGHANISTAN, ZIMBABWE… by Daniel Talbott world premiere $20 (Special)
5.29.2015 8 Labyrinth Theater – NICE GIRL by Melissa Ross world premiere $25
5.30.2015 12-7 Theatre for One – I’M NOT THE STRANGER YOU THINK I AM world premiere FREE
5.30.2015 4 Bushwick Starr / New Georges – HEARTBREAK by Ariel Stess world premiere $20
5.30.2015 8 MCC Theater – PERMISSION by Robert Askins world premiere $80 MISTAKE >> Could have got for $27 on TDF
5.31.2015 2 Fiasco Theatre – THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA by Bill Shakestein $27 (TDF)
5.31.2015 7:30 Playwrights Horizons – THE QUALMS by Bruce Norris $20 (Special)
6.1.2015 7 Ars Nova – ANT FEST – Orpheus and Eurydice Are Fucking in Love $12
6.2.2015 7:30 Soho Rep – 10 OUT OF 12 by Anne Washburn world premiere $25
6.3.2015 2 RSC – WOLF HALL: PART ONE by Hilary Mantel $39 (TDF)
6.3.2015 7 Vineyard Theatre – GLORIA by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins world premiere $29 (TDF)
6.4.2015 7 RSC – WOLF HALL: PART TWO by Hilary Mantel $39 (TDF)
6.5.2015 7:30 Harlem Stage – NOTES OF A NATIVE SONG by Stew world premiere $60
6.7.2015 7:30 Barrow Street Theatre – THE FLICK by Annie Baker $27 (TDF)
6.9.2015 7 Manhattan Theatre Club – OF GOOD STOCK by Melissa Ross world premiere $30 (TDF)
6.10.2015 2 Lincoln Center – SHOWS FOR DAYS by Douglas Carter Beane world premiere $86.50
6.10.2015 7:30 Roundabout – SIGNIFICANT OTHER by Joshua Harmon $27 (TDF)