No other city in the world has a theater scene with much breadth and depth like New York. Here you will find some of the world’s biggest stage productions and crowd-getters like the Jersey Boys and the Lion King. With Hollywood big stars, such as Daniel Radcliffe, Liam Neeson, Kevin Bacon, Brook Shields, Antonio Banderas, and Susan Sarandon among others on stage, it is but impossible to miss theaters in New York.
Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-off Broadway
When thinking of catching a theater play in New York, you might encounter the terms, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway. Do not confuse yourself with these words as they merely refer to the theater size, location, pay scales, and other details that might be quite arcane if you are not much of a theater buff.
Broadway theaters are mostly located in Times Square. They are most prominent theater types with the most prominent productions and most prominent stars. Being so, theater-goers are expected to pay higher than those located outside Times Square.
Off-Broadway on the other hand does not talk much about the location. Rather, it refers to the contract between the production and the actors’ union. Off-Broadway productions are usually staged for an eight-shows-a-week performance in theaters all over the town, including mini-Theater districts in the Midtown.
Off-Off Broadway are shows that are mostly avant-garde if not nomadic and/or experimental. Most of these shows are staged on theaters with less than a hundred seats and with fewer performances.
Theaters in New York usually have a regular schedule – often eight performances every week. There are evening shows from Tuesdays through Saturdays, along with matinees on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Evening shows start at 8pm; matinees begin at 2pm on Wednesday and Saturday, then 3pm on Sunday. Schedules for Off and Off-Off Broadway can vary though.
Ticket prices vary for most Broadway shows. If you want to get the good seats, then expect paying as much as $100 – or sometimes more for big productions. On average, ticket prices can go about $20 (the cheapest) to $50. Tickets for matinee show are lesser priced than for evening shows; weekday evening shows are cheaper than for weekend evening performances.
There are several ticket outlets in New York for Broadway performances – you can even get them online! Times Square Booth sells tickets on the day of the performance only. South Street Seaport Booth and Downtown Brooklyn Booth sell evening performance ticket on the day of show and matinee performance tickets a day before the show.
Broadway is something tourists should not miss in New York. There’s nowhere in the world you can catch theater performances as extravagant and as big as those in Broadway.