Broadway Shows NYC
Broadway New York City means phenomenal talent and breathtaking performances. All shows are performed live onstage, right in front of you. No cuts, no do-overs.
Broadway artists are true performers. They may not get the same attention as Hollywood stars, but their brilliant ability to belt out a tune, dance, and act night after night in front of a crowd is certainly remarkable. The talent showcased on a Broadway stage is virtually incomparable. The effects, lighting, and stage design are top quality too.
Broadway is a fun and popular activity for tourists and locals alike. Approximately 12 million people attend Broadway performances annually.
Musicals vs. Plays
Broadway’s most popular shows tend to be musicals. Often when people say “Broadway,” they are referring to Broadway musicals. Plays can be dramas, comedies, or thrillers and generally do not have singing. So if you are looking forward to stellar vocal performances, be sure to choose a musical.
Generally, evening shows are presented every night from Tuesday through Sunday and matinees are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets to matinees are usually a little cheaper than to evening shows.
Broadway is “dark” for most shows on Mondays, meaning there are no performances that day. There are exceptions, so check the show times and schedules.
Choosing a Broadway Show
The Broadway New York City stage has much to offer, from long-running classics to fresh new shows. There is enough variety on Broadway to satisfy a range of tastes.
There are many shows to choose from. The New York Times website has summaries and reviews of current Broadway shows. The site also allows you to sort by categories such as “Critic’s Picks” and “Family Friendly.” Broadway shows may include heavy topics, nudity, and off-color language, so if you’re bringing kids it’s worth doing a little research to find a show that is appropriate.
Many find they have a greater appreciation for a Broadway show when they are familiar with the storyline or music. If you feel this will be the case for you, consider choosing a show with a story that you are already familiar with (e.g. The Lion King or Spiderman) or music you already know (e.g. Mamma Mia! or Rock of Ages).
If you aren’t familiar with the show, it doesn’t mean you won’t find it enjoyable. But you may want to look it up online and read a little background first, just enough to know the gist of it going in.
Tickets to Top Broadway Shows
Beware of ticket scalpers trying to sell you tickets near the Broadway theatres. They may just be working on behalf of brokers trying to unload tickets at the last minute. But because they have no official affiliations, they may also try to get away with selling you fake tickets, tickets for the wrong performance, or tickets where the seats are not together.
Are you willing to stand in line to save money on Broadway New York City tickets? Learn how to get cheaper Broadway tickets from the tkts booth.
Long Running Classics
Phantom of the Opera is Broadway’s longest-running show in history. It has been going strong for two and a half decades! Chicago and The Lion King are also popular classics.
- Phantom of the Opera Tickets
- Chicago Tickets
- The Lion King Tickets<
Shows that have been time-tested and remain extremely popular are Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and Jersey Boys. The Book of Mormon and Rock of Ages are two newer shows that have received much acclaim.
- Wicked Tickets – Read our Review of Wicked
- Mamma Mia! Tickets – Read our Review of Mamma Mia!
- Jersey Boys Tickets
- The Book of Mormon Tickets
- Rock of Ages Tickets
If you’re looking for a good show to take your kids to, it’s hard to go wrong with Mary Poppins, Spiderman, or The Lion King.
- Mary Poppins Tickets – Read our Review of Mary Poppins
- Spiderman: Turn off the Dark Tickets – Read our Review of Spiderman
- The Lion King Tickets
Some exciting musicals have come out recently…
- Once Tickets – A story of two musicians and their friends in a Dublin pub, Once won eight Tony awards including Best Musical.
- Evita Tickets – This classic has been revived on the Broadway stage!
- Newsies Tickets – The NYC-based musical Newsies has received positive reviews for it’s high-energy music and choreography.
Want More Broadway New York City?
Find even more shows to choose from. View All Broadway Tickets Here.
Broadway vs. Off-Broadway
To be considered Broadway Theatre, a show must take place in a venue with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District of New York City. Off-Broadway caters to a smaller audience. It also allows for a more experimental atmosphere, featuring off-beat and unconventional material without the pressure of drawing in large crowds. Some shows get their start Off-Broadway and “graduate” to the Broadway stage.
This isn’t to say you can’t find star power and superb talent Off-Broadway. Also, the ticket prices are cheaper than Broadway.
Location: Theatre District
Broadway theatres are clustered around Times Square in an area known as the Theatre District. The street named Broadway is the main thoroughfare running through this area but many theatres are also located on the side streets off Broadway. The area inside the blue rectangle above is home to Broadway New York City’s many theatres.
Have you seen a good performance on Broadway? Have a musical or a show you would love to recommend to others? Tell us about it here!
Buy Discount Broadway Tickets at a TKTS Booth
You don’t have to pay full price to see Broadway! The TKTS booths are a great way to save big on Broadway Tickets.
If you can stand to wait until the last minute to buy tickets and you’re not dead-set on one particular show, buying tickets at one of the three TKTS locations can save you a lot of money. Discounts range from 25% to 50% off each ticket.
This is a great deal for tourists who are flexible on which show they see and don’t mind standing in line for 1 to 2 hours.
How It Works
To purchase reduced-price tickets, visit one of the three TKTS locations:
- Times Square (at Broadway and 47th Street)
- South Street Seaport (in Lower Manhattan)
- Downtown Brooklyn
Look for the red and white TKTS logo. There may be a long line (especially at the Times Square location). Look at the digital board to see what shows are available and the discount offered.
You have to purchase tickets at the TKTS booth either the day of the show (for an evening show) or the day before the show (for a matinee – South Street Seaport and Brooklyn locations only). They are basically selling whatever seats are still available at a reduced price.
You can’t buy tickets for just any show at TKTS. The booths generally sell tickets to slightly older shows that aren’t selling out anymore.
Is It Right For You?
Buying tickets at TKTS is not ideal for every tourist. It is more time and hassle than ordering off the internet beforehand. You may want to pay full price for your tickets ahead of time if:
- There is one specific show you are set on seeing, especially if it is new.
- Your schedule doesn’t allow for standing in line for a few hours.
Tips for TKTS
The line might be long and slow, but once you get to the ticket window, you will be expected to make a decision fast and get out of the way. To get the most out of the discount system, keep these tips in mind:
- Pick your top 3-5 options and rank them. It is possible that the show you want could either sell out while you are waiting in line or your whole group won’t be able to sit together.
- Discuss with your group before you get to the ticket window whether or not you are willing to split up (possibly sitting in pairs) to see a show.
- Be prepared when you get to the ticket window. You will be under pressure to make a speedy decision so have your first choice and backups in mind.
To find out more information on TKTS, including location and hours, visit the Theatre Development Fund’s helpful website, tdf.org.