J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Louisville's Broadway Shows for Half the Price

I love Broadway shows.  What’s there not to love? Broadway shows often has amazing music, beautiful costumes, lively dances and familiar stories of love, lost, triumphs and happy endings.  The Lion King, Wicked, Chicago, and Book of Mormons are a few of the famous ones.  What I do not love are the steep prices.  Most tickets start at $40 for the seats way in the back (Balcony) and above $100 for the nicer seats near the front (Grand Tier & Orchestra).  But do not fear!  Here are two ways for us common folk to enjoy a bit of culture without breaking the bank, too much.

Tickets for Half Off

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts offers 50% off on unsold tickets 2 hours before most shows.  These Student Rush Tickets are available to anyone, they sold it to me and a senior gentleman yesterday.  To obtain the discounted rate, just show up at the box office 2 hours prior to the show and inquire if there are any tickets available.

To ensure you’re not making a trip downtown in vain:
  1.  Call the box office a day or even 30 minutes before the show and ask if they have any rush tickets available.  They are really nice and will check into it for you, just give them the date you want.  Or
  2. Go to their website, click on the date you want and see if there are still many seats available.  If so, chances are Rush Tickets will also be available.  
A few things to keep in mind:
  • Only certain sections and seats of the theater are available for Rush Tickets
  • Rush discounts are typically not announced until the week of the show
  • The best time to get Rush Tickets are on weekdays when fewer people buy tickets, leaving more available tickets for Rush
  • Some shows do not include Friday/Saturday evenings
  • Rush availability varies from show to show so always call ahead and ask
If there's a Broadway show that you're dying to see, Rush Tickets might not be the best method, as you risk the tickets selling out.  The better way to save in that case is to buy tickets early so you'll have more options available. Lion King tickets go on sale 12/3/2014 (for 3/3/2015 - 3/29/2015), if you buy early you can get it for $33 in the balcony section.  These can go fast.

We went to see Disney's Newsies yesterday for only $34, regular price for Grand tier seat was $68. Newsies is less well known so there were still a lot of unsold tickets left.  This Tony award winning musical, known for its high energy choreography and music, is in town until Sunday 11/ 23/2014.   Though not my all time favorite Broadway show, Newsies was funny, entertaining and we enjoyed it!

If you happen to be in New York, you can do the same thing and see a Broadway show for ½ the price.  Details can be found here.  I got tickets for ½ price to see Rock of Ages, still steep at $70 but I was on the third row sitting next to the suckers who paid $140 for their tickets :)

See the shows for free

If you love Broadway Shows (or theatre in general) and don't mind working for it, then sign up to be an usher for the Center.  Ushers help direct guests to seats, provide general directions, stuff programs and other related work.  The great perk is, once everyone finds their seats and the show starts, you can sit down and enjoy the same show for free.  You get to pick the shift you work therefore the show to see.  But you might have to stand if no seats are available.  I paid $200 for two tickets to see Wicked last year, my friend saw it for free because she was an usher.

The Center only offers long term volunteer programs, so you'll have to make a commitment to do 60-80 hours a year or less, depending on which category of volunteer you fall under.  Click here for details on volunteers program they have available.

So if you're looking for something to do this weekend, why not see a Broadway show instead.  You'll be inside and you'll be warm!