Friends and longtime readers will tell you that live theatre was one of the big draws for me to move to New York City last year… But living in NYC on a Charlotte salary means I’m BROKE, and thus it can be problematic trying to make the most of the opportunity. That is, unless you can score free theatre tickets almost constantly.
Which I can… I just haven’t been taking advantage of the opportunity very often, until recently.
Dating a hotel concierge certainly helps — from time to time a theatre will give them tickets to go see a show, in the hopes that they will enjoy it and cheerfully encourage hotel guests to see it. Naturally this is only applicable when a show may not be well known or is not selling very well, so we won’t be getting any free tickets to The Book of Mormon anytime soon.
However, I have another resource! Shortly after I moved to NYC, I joined a theatre club called TheaterMania’s Gold Club. For $99 a year, you get two tickets at a time to performance around NYC that have unclaimed seats and are looking to fill the house. There’s an astounding number of shows available almost continuously from theaters who’d rather not have empty seats and are looking for word of mouth, but there are also a lot of surprisingly big-name shows that pop up here and there.
So far I’ve gotten free tickets to Fuerza Bruta, Traces, and A Streetcar Named Desire, with two additional shows this weekend. (I’ll save the titles in case I decide to bust out with a review of either of them.) Surely there’s a catch, you say… Well yes, there’s a $4.50 per ticket handling fee. And for really big shows, the tickets go fast, so you literally have to hound the site almost constantly if you want to catch really in-demand shows. I’ve missed a couple of them when I wasn’t quick enough on the confirmation, but now I’ve got my game face on.
Goldclub also includes some pretty steep discounts on shows — steep like $23 tickets for a $79 show, for example. I was able to score some pretty amazing seats at a concert venue for less than half what it would’ve cost retail.
New York fans of the theatre: you really want to sign up for TheaterMania’s Gold Club. Hit me up if you want to learn more about it.
What can I say… my favorite kind of show is free. 🙂