It’s become a hassle to get Broadway tickets nowadays. The cheapest seats trailing the balcony exits sell out first, usually within just a few moments of going on sale. The remainder, those spectacular orchestra seats where once in history the ragged groundlings would mass, are far too expensive for everyday people.
Everyone is too busy to jump on the starting pistol of a sale, too broke to afford seats in the first five rows of the orchestra section and too pressed for time to wait hours in line at TKTS — the Times Square ticketing booth that offers discount seats for theatergoers and tourists alike. Students can get cheaper rush tickets for these shows, but that’s always a gamble, even if you get in line at the crack of dawn.
Now, on your smartphone, there is an option to avoid all of these obstacles and get cheap tickets to popular Broadway shows, and they’re often for good seats rather than the unwanted ones that are sold at TKTS.
TodayTix is a free app created by two Broadway producers, Merritt F. Baer and Brian M. Fenty, which offers a variety of discounted tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Unlike physical vendors or their online counterparts (Ticketmaster, Telecharge and Eventbrite), TodayTix offers an easy-to-use interface that minimizes the confusion that fans have come to expect when buying tickets.
“The prospect of being able to get cheap tickets without standing in line for student rush or TKTS is really appealing,” Gallatin senior Shannon Coulson said. “I’ll definitely be seeing more theater, assuming the app works as well as it seems to!”
Tickets can be purchased for shows at any time — even on the day of the performance, providing more impulsive theatergoers with a chance to see shows that may have otherwise been sold out.
Once tickets are bought on the app, they can be claimed at the theater from a TodayTix representative. This service adds $5 — a fee slightly higher than Telecharge’s $4.25 surcharge — to the ticket price.
Currently, TodayTix’s selection of 38 shows remains limited to Broadway and off-Broadway headliners, but even this allows for a diverse selection. Among the shows eligible for TodayTix purchases are “Les Misérables” revival, Kenneth Lonergan’s Michael Cera-led, coming-of-age play “This Is Our Youth,” “50 Shades! The Musical” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
At this time, the only tickets available on the app are for New York productions.
One of TodayTix’s goals is to democratize the Broadway audience and increase the purchasing power of people, mostly New York residents. Doing so will encourage New Yorkers to go to plays and musicals in their own city.
“Usually it’s so much work to find the cheapest tickets and I end up not going to many shows because of it,” CAS senior Emily Maloney said. “But with an app like TodayTix, I think I’ll definitely be able to see more shows since it makes the whole process so much easier.”
Aiming to provide for younger audiences, the app also affords those with tighter schedules and budgets the opportunity to see more shows, or any at all.
TodayTix is a warm addition to the phones of New Yorkers and tourists alike, offering easy access to one of America’s grandest venues. Finally, there’s an app for that.
Email Nikolas Reda-Castelao at [email protected]