What’s Playing

What’s Playing

Knowing what’s playing on Broadway is one of the first steps that you need to take if you want to get the most out of catching a major production. There are several good resources available out there on the web, but no one source is going to be definitive.

There are a few really good resource when it comes to finding the best theater tickets, and they are not a secret at all. In fact, using Google can point you to some of the big plays right off the bat. Some, you don’t even need to search for. Everyone has heard of the popularity of shows like Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked. Other plays might just be hitting Broadway, or they might not have the same audience base yet, and they might be located in a small, Off-Broadway theater.

We recommend searching for shows by city and by ticket availability. For example, if you know that you’re going to be in New York and you want to catch a show, rather than trying to sort through all of the plays in the city and then deciding, search by what shows have tickets available. Third party ticket sites like SeatGeek have great search options and will help you to find not just what’s playing, but also to help you pinpoint cheap tickets so that you can actually get in and see the show that you want. The major sites also have brief descriptions of what the shows are about. This will help you to make better decisions so you are choosing a show that you’ll enjoy. Just be sure to select a site that has a good reputation and follow all basic online safety rules.

If you know what it is that you want to see, then that’s a completely different story. Instead of typing in the city and looking under the theater heading, you will type in the city and the production’s title for your search. This will make it a lot easier to find tickets.

As a final suggestion, print resources, such as The New Yorker magazine, tend to have solid and trusted reviews, not just when it comes to the productions that are being held, but when it comes to sneak previews of what is in store for the coming weeks. Major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles all have their own local publications that fulfill for their cities what The New Yorker does for NYC.

Get Your Terms Right

Broadway shows are typically broken down by size. The term “Broadway” is used to refer to the biggest of the plays, both musicals and non-musicals. It originally referred to the plays that were held in theaters on this street in New York City, but it now has a much broader definition. These plays, as a generally accepted rule, have seating capacity of 500 or more. Usually, they refer to productions held in New York, but this meaning is starting to disappear.

Off-Broadway is used when talking about plays with 100 to 499 seats, and Off-off-Broadway is used to refer to plays held in theaters with less than 100 seats. Knowing these terms can be helpful for finding tickets to the theater for some of the lesser known plays, or those that are just starting to gain a larger audience.

Whether you’re looking for the hottest play on Broadway, like Hamilton, Lion King, or Kinky Boots, there are almost always tickets available. But if you want to find those hard to get tickets, you first need to know what’s playing. Hopefully, this little tutorial has helped.