Thursday, November 19, 2015

Your Guide to Shows on a College Student Budget

If you live in New York City and have never seen a Broadway show, ballet, opera, or sports game, you are doing something wrong. I admit that seeing tickets for $50 plus is a little daunting. I have a nasty little habit of seeing as many shows as I can but because of this I have mastered the art of student discounts, rush, lottery, and everything in between. I have compiled the best and cheapest ways to see any New York classic you want.

CAB Cultural Affair Monthly Raffles
Every first Monday of the month, CAB puts on a raffle for a variety of different shows, games, and museums tickets in McGinley Ballroom at 1pm. Each month there are at least two Broadway shows and one sports game, with usually around 20 to each event. Typically tickets cost $20 but last year I remember they gave away tickets for Aziz Ansari's comedy show for free! All you need is a Fordham ID to get one raffle ticket. My advice is to ask for friend's IDs to get extra raffle tickets (Note: you must have a physical ID, not a photo). As a Broadway buff, I have seen Les Miserables, Beautiful King and I, Sleep No More, and An American in Paris all just from CAB. Very often they have tickets to Rangers, Knicks, and Yankees games. During the holidays they give out tickets for shows like The Nutcracker or  Radio City Christmas Spectacular! This is the perfect way to get cheap tickets because you don't have to leave campus. Plus most tickets will not be any cheaper than these. Just keep your eye out for the Facebook event or posters around campus towards the end of the month!

35 and Under
Some shows have student discounts but more often theater's target people 35 and under. Websites like HIPTIX Manhattan Theatre Club or LincTix offers Broadway show tickets for $25-$30. Last year I spent $25 to see Emma Stone in Cabaret. My advice is to sign up online so they can email you for upcoming shows and when tickets go on sale, as they tend to sell out relatively fast. Even better, these deals will last you well after graduation. If you are looking to save a little cash on facility charges, I recommend going to the theater and presenting your code at the box office where they won't charge those extraneous fees.

Rush and Lottery
Almost every theater has a rush policy where they put aside a set number of tickets to sell for cheap.  Typically these seats are obstructed view. "Rushing" a show usually entails getting to the box office when they open on the day you would like to see the show. Depending upon the popularity of the show, you might have to get there early and wait in line. I have found the best time to rush a show is in the winter when no one is willing to wait outside, just as long as you are willing to get a little cold. Some shows that are extremely popular use a lottery system to give away tickets, either 2 or 3 hours before the show. My go to sites for gauging rush lines are BroadwayForBrokePeople which explains the rush or lottery policies for each show and BroadwaySpotted's Rush Report lets you know the average amount of people in line and what time they got there. Most of the productions at Lincoln Center such as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York Philharmonic, or the Metropolitan Opera have rush options which can be found on their websites. Every Friday the NY Philharmonic gives away free tickets!
*Be sure to double check the rush and lottery policies on the theater's official website.


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