6 Ways to Get Cheap (or Free!) Show Tickets in NYC

New York City, Parties, Festivals & Events, Tours & Attractions — By on August 13, 2010 at 6:00 am

By Natalie Buster
LG Intern, Travel News

Nothing says New York more than catching a razzle dazzle Broadway show on the Great White Way, and with the temperatures New Yorkers have been experiencing lately, it’s also a great way to beat the heat.  With ticket prices sometimes clocking in at $125 a seat, however, it’s good to know that there are some other, cheaper options to catch some shows at theatre festivals staged around the city this summer. Whether you’re in the mood for the next possible Broadway hit or a night devoted to clowning, there’s plenty to choose from. You may even find a star hidden in the casts, as a lot of movie actors love to stretch their wings a bit on the stage during the summer.

1.  New York International Fringe Festival
Genre:  With more than 200 shows to choose from, ranging from fantastical spectacles for the kids to introspective one-actor shows, these completely original plays offer something for everyone.
Where:  Various theatres throughout New York
When:  August 13-29
Cost:  $15 advanced tickets, $18 at the door
Fun Fact:  This festival employs only two full time employees; the rest of the personnel, from the ticket taker to the stage manager, are volunteers.
More Information:  Pick up a program guide at Fringe Central, located at 1 East 8th Street, at 5th Avenue, or print out a guide yourself at fringenyc.org

2.  New York Musical Theatre Festival
Genre:  More than 30 productions and more than 50 concerts, readings, workshops, seminars and other special events to choose from, ranging from Glee-inspired comedies to a memoir written by Broadway notable Anthony Rapp (from Rent) with music by Rent composer Jonathan Larsen
Where:  Various theatres around New York City
When:  September 27-October 15
Cost:  $20
Fun Fact:  Of the 232 new musicals presented at the Festival since it started in 2004, more than 60 have gone on to successful productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, in almost every U.S. state and in more than a dozen countries around the world
More Information:  Visit nymf.org

3.  Broadway in Bryant Park
Genre:  Enjoy FREE performances from Broadway musicals currently playing, including Fela!, American Idiot and Mamma Mia!
Where:  The Lawn at Bryant Park
When:  12:30-1:30 every Thursday through August 12
Cost:  FREE!
More Information:  Visit bryantpark.org
Tip:  There are plenty of chairs and tables in Bryant Park, but bring a blanket if you wish to picnic on the grass while enjoying the show tunes.

4.  Strawberry One Act Festival
Genre:  Original one-act plays where the audience can help vote for the best play of the festival
Where:  The Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th St, between 9th & 10th Avenue
When:  August 13-29
Cost:  $22 for each series (which includes 3 one-act plays), or $242 for entire season pass. The finals and awards ceremony are $27 each
Fun Fact:  The Strawberry Festival is actually twice a year and is under the umbrella of the Riant Theatre, a company that provides an environment for new playwrights and artists.
More Information: Visit therianttheatre.com

5.  Dream Up Festival
Genre:  A festival highlighting 25 original theatrical works involving dance, poetry, music, and drama.
Where:  Theater for the New City
155 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
When:  August 8-September 5
Cost:  $12 per show
Fun Fact: Once only open to submissions from local artists, the festival now accepts national as well as international submissions
More Information: Visit dreamupfestival.org

6.  New York Clown Theatre
Genre: Clown performances from Paris, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, the United States and more are part of this festival with 23 mainstage productions and 19 one-night-only cabaret performances.
Where: The Brick located at Williamsburg, Brooklyn at
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street)
When:  September 3-26
Cost: $15
Fun Fact:  What to learn some clowning of your own?  The festival provides a series of lectures and workshops by some of the top clowning professionals from around the world.
More Information: Visit bricktheater.com

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com’s kamalaboulhosn

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