If you’re visiting New York for Pride and you want to see a show — and you haven’t gotten tickets yet — read on. The good news is that there are tickets to be had during Pride Week, even for shows that took home a lot of Tony, Drama Desk, Obie, and other awards for the season just officially ended.
Many of the hot shows are available at discounts, too, though the seats won’t always be great. For the past several years, I’ve surveyed what’s available during Pride Week, and the best ways to get tickets. Of course, availability is always changing, and what follows is what was available as of June 13.
Even better news is that there are more tools than ever to help you get into the shows you want to see. For full price tickets online, visit Ticketmaster.com or Telecharge.com, except where noted below. You’ll be able to see and select seats before you buy. For discounts, you can join sites like TheaterMania.com and Playbill.com, or you can visit one of the three TKTS booths — in Times Square, at South Street Seaport, or in Downtown Brooklyn near Borough Hall. The Theatre Development Fund that runs the booths has a new app that works on iPhone, Android, and Windows phones to tell you what’s up when the booths are open and what deals you should look for.
The seats at TKTS change with each performance. If you haven’t been there in a while, you’ll be glad to know they now take credit cards and have a line that’s just for plays, allowing you to avoid the bigger crush looking for tickets to musicals. Some shows have rush seats and lotteries, and while those can save you a lot of money, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the seats. Better to spend a little more and be guaranteed a seat.
Of course, you can always go directly to the theater’s box office. You’ll pay full price, but you can get some great seats, especially if you’re willing to take a single. You may also luck out with house seats that have been turned back, and you won’t pay service charges. Regular prices are listed below, and premium seats can range from $199 and up and vary by show.
So, what should you see? Well, that depends on your taste, of course. Unlike in previous years when I’ve done this survey, you can actually find tickets for “Wicked,” though they’re at full price and what you’ll mostly find are singles in all price categories. You can also get tickets for “The Book of Mormon” at some performances, but be prepared to drop a minimum of $369 per ticket for premium seats. It’s so good, it’s almost worth it — especially if you can’t plan a trip back to New York for a while and want to catch some of the original cast members.
The established shows — “Phantom,” “Mamma-Mia,” “Anything Goes,” “Sister Act,” “Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark,” “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” “Jersey Boys,” “War Horse,” and “Chicago” all have seats available and have been on TKTS recently.
What I get asked about most, though, are the new shows, so here are my thoughts on some of the most recent shows you may be considering.
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS
James Corden earned his best actor Tony and Drama Desk Awards. This nearly perfect, over-the-top comedy is probably the funniest thing to hit Broadway since the revival of “Boeing-Boeing.” The outstanding cast, hilarious physical comedy, and joyful spirit will leave you tickled and aching from the laughter. There is good availability in the side orchestra and mezzanine at all performances, and this has been on TKTS regularly.
Music Box Theatre | 239 W. 45th St. | Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m. :Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. | $91.50-$136.50
The Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play is a serious comedy about race, change, and real estate. Combining outstanding performances with a meditation on how perceptions of race and history have changed over 50 years, it’s a thought-provoking and well-crafted play. There is good availability in the side and rear orchestra and mezzanine at all performances, and this has been on TKTS regularly.
Walter Kerr Theatre | 219 W. 48th St. | Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. | $50-$126.50
This won the Drama Desk for outstanding play of the season, and it deserves all the accolades it’s been getting. This sensitive examination of a family in crisis and transition as their deaf son begins spreading his wings is subtle and heartbreaking. The performances by Russell Harvard as the deaf son and Susan Pourfar as the woman who comes into his life are unforgettable. It’s an intimate in-the-round theater, and it has been up on TKTS occasionally.
Barrow Street Theatre | 27 Barrow St. at Seventh Ave. So. | Tue.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Sat.-Sun. at 2:30 p.m. | $75; smarttix.com
GORE VIDAL’S THE BEST MAN
Gore Vidal’s play from 1961 seems a completely contemporary skewering of the sausage factory of politics. The starry cast includes John Laroquette, Angela Lansbury, Candice Bergen, James Earl Jones, and Eric McCormack in an outstanding, focused, and compelling performance. Fair availability on extreme sides of the orchestra and the rear of the mezzanine. This has been up on TKTS as well.
Schoenfeld Theatre| 236 W. 45th St. | Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m.; Wed. at 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. | $66.50-$141.50
END OF THE RAINBOW
There’s no denying that Tracie Bennett gives a tour-de-force performance as Judy Garland, but the play itself is weak. Essentially, we’re watching Garland fall apart as a result of drugs and alcohol, and that ultimately proves unsatisfying as a piece of theater. Good seats are available in all price ranges, and it’s been on TKTS constantly.
Belasco Theatre | 111 W. 44th St. | Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m.; Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. | $31.50-$126.50
It won the Tony and the Drama Desk, and it deserved to. This beautifully told story features sublime performances by Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti that are notable for their simplicity and honesty. The entire company, in fact, is superb in my personal favorite among the new Broadway musicals. Very spotty seats available at all performances, some with partial view.
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre | 242 W. 45th St. | Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. | $59.50-$156.50
This show is dazzling for its set, and it’s very engaging. Perhaps it’s not the best musical ever written, but the familiar story and strong singing make it an enjoyable if undemanding evening. Da’Vine Joy Randolph is terrific as Oda Mae, the reluctant psychic. Good rear and side orchestra, as well as mezzanine. This has regularly been up at TKTS.
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre | 205 West 46th St. | Mon., Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m. |
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
If you can get by Matthew Broderick’s lackluster performance and focus on the wonderful Kelli O’Hara and the Tony-winning supporting performances of Judy Kaye and Michael McGrath, this Gershwin romp is engaging enough. Good availability in all sections, and it’s consistently on TKTS.
Imperial Theatre | 249 W. 45th St. | Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m.: Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. | $46.50-$136.50
THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS
Cutting this four-hour opera down to about two-and-a-half was controversial, but the result is spectacular. Audra McDonald gives her finest performance to date as Bess, and Norm Lewis is magnificent as Porgy. In supporting roles, David Allen Grier and Natasha Yvette Williams are equally brilliant. The quality of the music and the singing throughout and the use of the ensemble under Diane Paulus’ direction are inspired. Good tickets in the side orchestra and mezzanine. This has been on TKTS often.
Richard Rodgers Theatre | 226 W. 46th St. | Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m.| $67-$139
A list like this can never be comprehensive. I haven’t mentioned the hot show “Newsies,” which I found disappointing for trivializing history and reducing it to a fatuous cartoon — though you can’t get a ticket. Likewise, I haven’t spent much time on “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which has improved in its move to Broadway, but is really targeted to a family audience.
There are also shows like “Avenue Q” and “Rent” that have moved Off-Broadway and are worth a look and especially so at an Off-Broadway price. Then there are smaller theaters — like 59E59 or the Mint — which do intriguing, often exceptional work.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Shakespeare in the Park. It is always one of my favorite and most quintessentially New York evenings in the summer — and it’s free. Check PublicTheater.org for shows and information.
Finally, if you’re in town on a Thursday night, you can be an ultimate Broadway insider and see “The Broadway Ballyhoo” at 11 p.m. It’s an hour of wonderful music from a constantly changing roster of Broadway stars. For more information, see siegelpresents.com.
Or on a Monday night at 10 p.m., you can go to “Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” at Birdland, an open-mike night that attracts stars of stage and screen — and you can sing, too, if you feel so inclined. For more information, see castpartynyc.com.