8 Broadway Shows to Rush Before the Year Is Over

A guide to what Broadway shows to rush for under $50 and where and how to do it.

(Illustration by Min Ji Kim)

When my parents came to visit me in April, they were horrified by the tall stack of Playbills on my desk, thinking I had dropped $100-$150 on each Broadway show. I quickly assured them that I, of course, had not — I rushed them.

Rushing a Broadway show means showing up at the theater’s box office at 10 a.m. on the day of the show and paying a drastically reduced price for up to two seats. Many Broadway shows offer rush tickets to build up a fanbase for their shows and to fill last-minute empty seats. Sometimes you find yourself with dead-center orchestra seats, though most of the time you’ll be in a partial-view orchestra seat on the side. Even more shows offer standing room tickets where, if able, you can pay around $20-$30 to stand at the back of the orchestra section for the show. Any physical discomfort evaporates when you realize you just paid about $40 to see a show others paid $120 for.

Separate from rushing is the lottery, which shows like “Wicked” and “Hamilton” have implemented to give people a chance to pay $10-$30 for a seat to a top show that doesn’t offer rush tickets since most shows sell out. You can enter lotteries online and avoid making a trip uptown. The benefit to rushing a show, though, is that you don’t have to block off your day in case you win; just head to Times Square and visit a few theaters in the area until you find a rush ticket available, and you’re sure you’re going.

I’ve compiled a list of tips for rushing shows, as well as where, when and how to rush eight of the hottest shows out there. Make good use of it before you no longer live just 2.1 miles away from “Hamilton.”

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General Tips:

  • The earlier the better. Most box offices open at 10 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday. Rush tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you can get there at 10 a.m., or a few minutes earlier, you’ve got a better shot. That being said, I’ve rushed some of the less popular shows at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, so anything is possible.
  • Theaters take a break on Mondays. Don’t show up then.
  • You must ASK for rush tickets. If you just ask for tickets for that night, they might sell you seats like a regular customer. Know the price you’re supposed to pay and say, “Hello, do you have any of the $40 rush tickets available?”

 

  1. Come From Away

 

Where to go: Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St.

Price: $38 General Rush, $32 Standing Room

When: Open run (there is no set closing date)

“Come From Away” tells the true story of Gander, a tiny town in Newfoundland that took care of over 7,000 airline passengers the week after their planes made emergency landings there due to the 9/11 terror attacks and the resulting no-fly zone in the United States. “Come From Away” is a theatrical feat with only 12 actors playing hundreds of roles — all based on real people who were interviewed — and an inspiring story with great music to back it up. Bring tissues.

2. The Ferryman

Where to go: Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St.

Price: $40 General Rush

When: Open run

Recently nominated for nine Tonys, including Best Play, “The Ferryman” takes place in Northern Ireland during the 1981 Hunger Strikes. Jez Butterworth wrote “The Ferryman” for lead actress Laura Donnelly after she found out her uncle’s disappearance was part of a long line of covered-up murders committed by the Irish Republican Army. “The Ferryman” runs three hours and 15 minutes long, so guzzling water before curtain is not recommended.

  1. Hadestown

Where to go: Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St.

Price: $42.50 General Rush

When: Open run

“Hadestown” led this year’s Tony Awards with 14 nominations, including for Best Musical. Recognized for its fantastic score, “Hadestown” follows characters of Greek mythology, Orpheus and Eurydice, as Orpheus travels to the underworld and back to save his fiancee. “Hadestown” has all genres of music, ranging from folk to rock to jazz. It’s not one to miss.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird

Where to go: Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St.

Price: $49 for orchestra General Rush, $29 for balcony General Rush, Standing Room $39

When: Open run

Tickets for “To Kill a Mockingbird” are selling at about $250 from now through July, so you’re going to want to get to this box office early. The play puts Harper Lee’s famous novel onstage with some tweaks, as Scout Finch, joined by her brother and friend, try to learn more about their mysterious neighbor Boo Radley. Scout’s father Atticus works to free a black man unjustly accused of rape in this story about Jim Crow laws and racism in the United States.

  1. Mean Girls

Where to go: August Wilson Theatre, 245 W. 52nd St.

Price: $42.50 General Rush

When: Open run

Based on Tina Fey’s blockbuster comedy, “Mean Girls” tells the story of Cady Heron as she moves from Africa to a savannah just as wild: public high school in the Chicago suburbs. “Mean Girls” features multiple stars from its original cast, including Taylor Louderman and Barrett Wilbert Weed. These two powerhouses make the show worth seeing before the cast turns over.

  1. Waitress

Where to go: Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St.

Price: $48 General Rush, $32 Standing Room

When: Open run

With music written by pop and rhythm and blues singer Sara Bareilles, “Waitress” is based on the 2007 film of the same name, following the titular waitress Jenna Hunterson as she navigates an abusive marriage. When Jenna meets Dr. Pottamer, currently played by Jeremy Jordan, she remembers what it feels like to feel loved and safe. Expressed through an assortment of pies — “I Hate My Husband Pie,” “Fallin’ In Love Pie” — Jenna must figure out how to best care for herself as she prepares for motherhood.

  1. Be More Chill

Where to go: Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.

Price: $40 General Rush

When: Open run

Based on a book that went viral on Tumblr a few years ago, “Be More Chill” follows Jeremy’s journey after he takes a pill that creates a hologram within his brain. It accompanies him everywhere and tells him how to be a more chill dude. More and more people start taking the pill, and this sci-fi adventure explores how much chill is too chill. “Be More Chill” is a fun show with great music, but due to its younger fanbase, it isn’t expected to have a long run, so see it while you can!

  1. The Prom

Where to Go: Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St.

Price: $40 General Rush

When: Open run

Another front runner in the Tony nominations this year, “The Prom” brings four Broadway actors to rural Indiana where Emma, a high school student, has been told she cannot bring her girlfriend to the prom. “The Prom” has a mix of spectacular dance numbers on the Broadway side as well as sincerity and struggle from Emma’s story of self-acceptance and determination.

If the show you’re dying to see isn’t on this list, check out your options at https://www.broadwayforbrokepeople.com/ aka my second home.

Email Liv Rocklin at [email protected]

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