New York City is the capital of numerous industries including fashion, finance and food. But the most beloved of all scenes NYC harbors within its concrete municipality is music, dance and theater. With notable music, dance and theater establishments peppering The City, its not hard to see why both performers and enthusiasts alike make pilgrimages to acquaint themselves with the legendary productions. But exorbitant rates tend to detour visitors and potential patrons from attending these presentations. To discover ways around the costly tickets take a peek below for some unexpected and wallet friendly performances.
Performing Arts Colleges and Universities
NYU, Columbia and The Julliard are among the most sought after universities in the nation especially; when it comes to their performing arts departments. These schools constantly harvest future virtuosos of the stage. Pairing raw talent with exceptional training, these world-class schools churn out top notch artists who often go on to be featured performers at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Broadway. But until then, many of these performing prodigies settle for the stages and concert halls of their chosen university. The good news for penny-pinchers is that universities tend to sale tickets for their performances at lower costs than many professional theater arts companies. So if you’ve been hankering to see the ballet or craving some classical music performed by a real live symphony, and don’t want to shell out the big bucks, check out NYU’s Tish School of the Arts homepage, The Julliard’s Performance Calendar and Columbia University School of the Arts website. You’ll find a plethora of productions and performances for all different tastes.
Watch a Dress Rehearsal
No matter how good performers are, most productions require rehearsals of some sort. However, since New York attracts such high caliber performers, most rehearsals are performed with minimal mistakes, so in many ways attending a dress rehearsal can feel like you’re attending the real thing. Research you’re favorite performance group and see if they offer dress rehearsals open for public viewing. Carnegie Hall has a number of performance groups that hold open working rehearsals in their acclaimed facilities. Classical music lovers might be interested to note that the New York Philharmonic holds open rehearsals at Lincoln Center for a discounted price of $20.
Broadway Rush & Lottery
Want the Broadway experience without paying the Broadway (read expensive) price? Numerous Broadway theaters hold a number of tickets for day of performance sale. But there is a catch. You must be the first 10 to 20 people in line at the box office when it opens. Despite the early morning wake-up call, the prices can’t be beat. Often the seats in question are in the first and second rows, which means most of the time you’re close enough to feel the sweat (this might be good or bad depending on your preference). You should arrive at the theater’ hosting the production you want to watch no later than 8:30 am to be sure you are one of the first people in line. Not all Broadway plays offer this arrangement so call ahead or check out this website before you spend the better part of breakfast waiting for Broadway tickets instead of eggs and bacon.
New York is known for Broadway productions, but overpriced tickets can leave a dark cloud over even the most captivating performances. So if you aren’t picky about the theater companies, check out New York’s Off-Broadway productions. Off-Broadway shows are theatrical productions that take place in theaters with less than 499 seats. These shows may not be the heavily advertised playbills broadcast on taxis or Time Square billboards, or have the most elaborate bells and whistles, but many are just as entertaining! Visit Theater Mania for more information on tickets and shows.
Buskers & Street Performers
Some of the thrill in attending performances in the Big Granny Smith (Big Apple) lie in the ambiance of going to an ornate theater, dressed to the nines. However, if you’re willing to overlook traditional theatrical atmosphere and take an informal approach to the performance scene, you might just find your next theatrical thrill on sidewalks and subway platforms. Many large metropolises attract street performers, yet most cities don’t have the caliber and skill that NYC’s buskers tend to exhibit due to the fact that many are professional performers moonlighting to rake in an additional income. Unconventional as it may be, buskers in the Big Apple provide hours of entertainment. If you’re looking for a particular area to find these unorthodox performers the Time Square subway tends to attract an exceptionally entertaining bunch of artists. But be sure to stalk your wallet with singles, as donations are encouraged.