Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Go To The Theatre For Cheap

Saving Money Tip #113 - Go To The Theatre For Cheap. If you like Broadway shows, but don’t like the average $100 price per ticket, then there are many alternatives to see plays and musicals for very little cost. Besides professional theatres, there is, of course, community theatre, which will often have tickets well less than half the cost of professional theatre. Tickets at community theatre may be as low as $20 each. And the caliber at community theatre should not be questioned. Participants are often trained actors and actresses who just may not have made it into the big time or who only do theatre on the side.

If the cost of community is even too steep for you, check out your local colleges and high schools. You may be surprised at what a great job these student actors do. For approximately $5-$15 per ticket, you can get a nice night out on the town and see an enjoyable show for about the cost of a movie. With artistic students pitching in for the scenery and the musical students participating for the the score, you will see and hear talent displayed by young members of your community, while supporting them as well.

If you want to pay even less or have children that you would like to take to the theatre, then check out the middle schools and elementary schools in your area. They, too, put on plays and musicals often for under $5 per ticket and sometimes for free. The price certainly cannot be beat. You will probably be impressed at the level of professionalism that even 5th and 6th graders can have. And for the young child, it is a great introduction to live theatre at a low cost.

Suppose you go to your local schools’ shows and your community theatre, but you still want to go to a professional theatre such as Broadway? Did you know that you can buy tickets for sometimes as much as half off? In Times Square there is a TKTS booth that sells discounted Broadway tickets for the day of the show. Many hotels sell “twofers” tickets - two for the price of one, also for the day of the show. Costco sells limited tickets for Broadway shows and other professional shows outside of New York at a discount. Your local Entertainment Book offers tickets at a discount for many local professional theatres. And for some larger cities there is a site called Goldstar that sells premium theatre tickets at a deep discount. There may be similar sites for your locality that sell discounted tickets. Before you buy, do a search on the Internet for discounted tickets along with the name of the show or the theatre and you may be surprised to find cheaper tickets for sale.

In Real Life (IRL) – I love musicals. They’re fun, entertaining, and just in general a nice evening out. Having said that I can count on one finger the number of shows I have seen on Broadway – Annie - when I was 9 years old (as an aside, Sarah Jessica Parker played one of the orphans in the show I saw). Broadway theatre is generally not in my budget, and I don’t live near enough to go often anyway. Besides that show, I have seen a few professional shows in Philadelphia where I used to live. I remember getting half-price tickets to a show on Easter (we are Jewish so we weren’t celebrating anyway). I have seen professional shows in DC where I live now. One great site I have bought discounted tickets from in DC is from the Cultural Alliance Organization. I have also seen shows at the university level that students put on. And I have taken in many live productions at several different community theatres.

Recently, I just started taking my daughters to see some shows put on at our local schools. I live in a very populated area so I can get probably 20 different high schools within a half hour of my home. I took my oldest daughter to the Wizard of Oz at a local high school a few years ago. For the price of $10 or $12, my daughter was mesmerized and was thrilled beyond belief to get the actors’ autographs. Try that on Broadway! Since then I have taken them to see Annie and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the local elementary schools. These plays were put on by 5th and 6th graders and were extremely well done. It seems, in general, that schools put on their big shows in the spring. I am picking out one or two to take my children to in the next couple of months. Here is a list of local school shows in my county as well as in a neighboring county. A great selection and a great price!

So if you like live theatre, do not be put off by the high price of tickets. You are sure to find discounted or cheaper alternatives where you live.

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