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VIP ACCESS: Rush Tickets to the Top Five Broadway Shows

October 26th, 2011

Every fourth Wednesday of the month, the “VIP Access” column will serve up advice on how to make your theater-going experiences cheaper, easier and more fulfilling with inside scoop from the experts. This month, we’ve got the secret to getting your hands on cheap tickets to sold-out shows…

Hugh Jackman. Photo by Joan Marcus.

It seems that Hugh Jackman likes ’em young.

The producers of Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway have announced a lottery system for last minute tickets to the show, but you’ll need to be a student to enter the drawing. Three hours before showtime, people with valid student ID can put their name into the hat at the Broadhurst Theater box office. Two hours before the show, an unspecified number of “winners” will get a pass for single tickets at $31 each (recipients must be present, subject to availability, etc.). The pass can then be exchanged for tickets no sooner than 30 minutes before curtain (ID must be shown again so don’t think about doing a trade). Got all that?

While it may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through just to ogle the boy from Oz, the policy is actually quite normal and is a great way to make a last ditch play for hard to get seats. Generally, “day of” Broadway tickets are available through one of three possible scenarios:

  • Lottery: Like the policy above. Names go in a “hat” and everyone has an equal chance of getting seats. Luck be a lady tonight.
  • Rush: A select number of discounted seats are made available when the box office opens each day. First come, first served so you’ll need to prepare to wait outside, deal with weather, and guess how early you want to show up to get near the front of the line (the more popular and younger-skewing the show, the earlier the line forms). Patience is a virtue.
  • Standing Room: Doled out in a similar fashion to a rush policy, but seats are standing room (yeah, you figured out that part) and often distributed closer to curtain time when they know if they’ve sold out regular seats or not. No sell out, no standing room. And bring your comfy shoes because, if it’s a long show, you’re going to feel it.

Let’s take a look at the current Broadway top five grossers and see what their websites are saying, legalese and all (be sure to check with the box office just to be sure; policies do change):

Chandra Lee Schwartz and Jackie Burns in "Wicked". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Wicked: Twenty-six tickets at $26.25 each are sold through a lottery prior to each performance. Participants can sign-up for the lottery in the Gershwin Theatre lobby two and a half hours before show-time. Lottery winners are drawn by production representative two hours before show-time. If your name is drawn, you can purchase up to two tickets. Entrants must be present at the drawing to claim their tickets. Payment is cash only and identification must be presented. Only one entry per person. No standing room tickets.

The Lion King: Just can’t wait to see King? Then you’ll need to buy regular tickets because they do not list a current rush or lottery policy.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: $39 Rush Tickets are available each morning at the Foxwoods Box Office. Limit 2 per person, cash only. Subject to availability and may not be available for every performance.  Box Office opens Monday – Saturday at 10am, Sunday at 12pm.

Andrew Rannells in "The Book of Mormon". Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Book of Mormon: A limited number of “standing room” locations are sold at the box office one hour before each performance.  People start lining up early so be prepared. A limited number of tickets for each performance will be sold through the lottery. Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning two and a half hours prior to each performance for up to two tickets. Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random for a limited number of tickets priced at $32 each. Only one entry is allowed per person. Cards are checked for duplication prior to drawing. 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. Tickets may be purchased in cash or with a valid credit card. Tickets are subject to availability.

Jersey Boys: Standing Room tickets are only available on the day of the performance from the Box Office. Tickets are sold 2 hours before the performance for $27, cash only. Limit 1 per person. Standing Room tickets are only available for sold out performances; tickets will not be available for all performances. Standing Room prices and times of sales are subject to change without notice. Jersey Boys offers a limited number of Student Rush tickets per performance. Rush tickets are $27 each, cash only, and available at the box office on the day of the performance beginning at 10:00 AM. Two kinds of photo ID must be shown: a non-expired full time student ID, as well as a government issued photo ID, drivers license or passport. Limit 2 tickets per person per 30 day period. Tickets are subject to availability and may not be offered at all performances. Locations may be partial view.

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