How it works:
There are 3 locations to get tickets from tkts — Times Square, South Street Seaport, and Downtown Brooklyn. Most have quite a few shows at 50% off!
I recommend downloading the tkts app, which shows what tickets are left, where! I have bought tickets at the tkts in Time Square (under the iconic red steps) during the week, but when Becky and I tried to get tickets on Saturday afternoon, the app told me Times Square was wiped out! So, we went to the South Street Seaport station in lower Manhattan, which had quite the selection, even on a Saturday afternoon. (If you're in the Times Square area, it's just a quick ride on the 1, 2, or 3 train downtown.)
You likely aren't going to land Aladdin or Lion King tickets (or any new, hit, or new hit show!) from the tkts booth, so go in with realistic expectations. It's even best to pick your top three shows from their list because availability can change by the time you get to the front of the line. If you're buying with someone else, agree on a top three list!
Phantom, Chicago, and Les Miz are regularly available at the tkts booths, and I've been lucky enough to see them all! A few quick Mini reviews:
The Phantom of the Opera is probably the greatest display of talent I've ever witnessed. This is currently the longest running show on Broadway for good reason. The songs gave me chills, the set was magical, and the story, of course, was moving. The chandelier from the theater is pictured above! (Favorite song: Think of Me)
Chicago is incredibly minimalistic (no costume changes, band on stage, all actors/actresses sit on the side of the stage the whole time). I thought it was good – especially if you're into (all that) jazz music — but it wasn't my favorite. I'm more for a big, flashy show than a simple one, but that's just my preference. (Favorite song: Cell Block Tango)
Les Misérables is beautiful. The music is beautiful, the story is beautiful. The story is also, well, kind of miserable — which shouldn't be a shock. ;) There is lots of violence and death, and also a slew of sex references so I wouldn't take kids to this one (though if I were taking kids to Broadway, I'd probably opt for a Disney show.). I was blown away by the voices of Jean Valjean and Eponine! (Favorite songs: On My Own and, of course, I Dreamed a Dream)
Do you know any genius ways to score Broadway tickets on the cheap? If I could, I'd go to a show every single night I'm in New York :)