It pays to know little secrets to saving big on the shows

March 10, 1997|By Ron Dicker

The following tips for saving big bucks on Broadway begin with more recent developments. Remember, it was the discount-minded Shakespeare who said, "The pay's the thing."

"Chicago" has become a mega-hit, but you can grab mega-savings. Fifty tickets at $20 apiece to front-row and side-orchestra seats go on sale at the Shubert Theater box office (225 W. 44th St.) at 10 a.m. the day of the performance. Limit two per customer. Show up early.

To enter the low-"Rent" district requires stamina. Many camp out all night at the Nederlander Theater (208 W. 41st St.), then wait the entire next day for the 6 p.m. sale. It only seems like 525,600 minutes. Thirty-five or so front-row tickets are available for $20.

The Circle in the Square theater is offering $10 tickets with a $40 one-year membership. The fee entitles you to $10 tickets to all Circle plays for a year. One caveat: Tickets aren't available until August, which means no discounted ducats for "Stanley." Call (212) 307-2704.

The Age of Reasonable Prices has returned, with 40 tickets for each performance of Voltaire's "Candide" going for $20 each. These are being sold in advance. The show opens April 19. Call (800) 755-4000.

Both your good and evil sides will be happy about the $20 rush tickets planned for "Jekyll and Hyde," previewing March 21 and officially debuting April 28 at the Plymouth Theater (236 W. 45th St.). No other details are available.

TKTS, the old reliable, offers same-day tickets reduced 25 to 50 percent at Broadway and 47th Street and at Two World Trade Center. The Broadway location is open Monday through Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. for evening performances; Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for matinees and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Sunday tickets, matinees and evening performances. Lines are shortest between 3 and 4 p.m. for evening start times and from 10 to 11 a.m. for matinees.

It doesn't hurt to go to the TKTS window minutes before show time, either. You will find something. "Go with at least three choices," TKTS' David Le Shay advises. The World Trade Center booth, on the mezzanine, is a lot less crowded and it's indoors. The hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. And it's only at this outlet that you can buy discounted matinee tickets a day before the performance.

You have two options for the Hit-Show Club, which gives substantial discounts on many shows, though the odds of getting reduced ducats for the truly hot ones are slim. You can write to 630 Ninth Ave., Eighth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10036 (enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope). Or you can drop by when you arrive. The service is free. The phone is (212) 581-4211.

Though the season is dwindling, investigate winter discounts. Both "Phantom" and "Miss Saigon," the Cal Ripkens of Broadway, offer them. Call (800) 432-7250.

It also never hurts to call the box office of any show you want to see, and investigate possible savings.


Hotel lobbies still display two-fers. Ask the concierge.

Pub Date: 3/10/97

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