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Discount ticket booth

Old Nov 6th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Discount ticket booth

Know it opens at 10Am is there usually much of a line? wondering how early to get there, especially if it is raining. this would be on a wed - for a matinee.

any thoughts on guys and dolls or voyage around my father?

Joanel is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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Travelnut is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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I'm guessing London.
i_am_kane is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Assuming you mean London, no there arenít long queues.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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Here's a few facts about utilizing the Half-Price Ticket Booth:

The booth is a stand alone structure located at the southern end of Leicester Square. BEWARE! There are several locations nearby that have signs stating they are the "Official" Half-Price booth. These are phony rip-offs. I am amazed they are allowed to continue operation. You will see long lines of clueless tourists lined up at the phony booths. The phony booths are primarily on Shaftesbury Avenue, near Charing Cross Road. They are right around the corner from the real half-price booth. Be careful.

I have never seen a long line at the booth when it opens. In New York, the lines can get upwards of 1.5 hours on certain days (Wednesday matinees in good weather, for example.) Later in the day, the line is diminished to zero at times.

The list of shows are posted in dificult to read frames. I think there may be two postings, one for matinee and one for the evening. All tickets may be purchased by either cash or credit card.

Note that all tickets sold at the Half-Price booth are not discounted. There are some shows (Billy Elliot, for example) that sell full price tickets at the booth.

One further comment. You have no choice in the tickets selection process. One time I wanted to see a comedy that I knew was poorly attended. The half price booth only offered tickets to the far side of the first row, stalls. No other choice was made. I went to the box office and bought cheaper tickets in the balcony, with the assurance that I could relocate.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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yes, london
Joanel is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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It seems that there is lot of laisser-faire in London too, what a pity! I have mixed feelings for this 50% tickets unless I can buy tickets for a show I really wish to see.
Once in London or New York I wish to make the best out of going to the theatre. In London when younger I used to get discounts for students on the same night of the shows I really wished to see. And in NY expensive as they are I settle just for one show but the one I really want to see. Sameday tickets seem to be always available, full price but available.
Many years ago when I used to live in NYC, standing seats were available, at the time there were a fraction of orchestra tickets and it was wonderful to stand behind the last row and watch.
I guess they are not available anymore?
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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there is no line because you can get tickets cheaper elsewhere. do a "best ticket for £10" deal and sometimes it's cheaper to buy tickets at the theatre.
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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sashh has a point if you don't care about "good seats". Theatres do have cheap seats -- way back or extreme sides for less money, but TKTS has half price of the top seats in the theatre. And I have also witnessed people trying to move to empty seats down front when the play started and being stopped by an usher. You do have a choice to buy or not buy at the booth, and if you ask they will tell you first what seats they have. I ask all the time and they will be very honest in saying, "these aren't as good as usual" or "these are really good seats". Usually if there are a lot of empty seats down front, then the TKTS booth will have those available and not be selling you distant or extreme side seats.

If you get in line at 9 then you will wait an hour for the booth to open. Some people do that. If you arrive at 10 when it opens, the lines will be the longest, (I'd disagree with Stuart's statement above) and you may wait a half hour. If you arrive at 11 or in the afternoon, it is doubtful you will wait more than 20 minutes. I've never understood the idea of getting there to wait an hour before it opens so you won't have to wait 20 minutes if you arrive later. Can anyone explain that to me?
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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I totally agree w/ NeoPatrick. The ONLY time of day I try to avoid going to TKTS is at opening. It is the only time you are just about guaranteed to find a long queue. Plus they often only have one evening and one matinee window open first thing in the morning. Later they usually open 2 of each so even if there are queues later on - they move faster.

If I must go in the morning - I wait until around 11:00. Normally I stop by in the mid to late afternoon or sometimes even just before it closes.

Yes, you can get cheaper seats elsewhere. But not cheaper seats that are as good. I do book the big block busters/sell outs ahead of time. But get most of my other tix at TKTS. There are always exceptions - but for the average visitor you really can't beat TKTS.
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Old Nov 8th, 2006, 04:14 AM
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"Why queue for hours"?
Huh? I don't know -- who would do that?

Are you listening? I've probably bought tickets at TKTS about 90 times in the past 10 years. I have NEVER ONCE waited over a half hour (except the time or two I went more than a half hour before they opened), and the total average is probably more like 10 minutes. I often walk right up and within a minute or two I have my tickets. What's more, that's generally in busy May or June.

The discounts for London from Broadway Box are a new development and they are limited, but good, although you usually end up with more fees, and many of those London discounts are for 20 or 30% off before the fee -- not the more usual 50% at TKTS. The Offical London Theatre website (which is the sponsor of TKTS) also does some advance specials.

By the way you can go to the website and see what TKTS has on sale on any day -- the prices shown include the fee. Look and click for the red tab saying "TKTS ticket booths".
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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The reason many people want to be there for the opening at 1000 is they feel they can get the best selection of shows for that day...the reality is that as the day wears along, some theatres release more tickets to them and shows unavailable at 1000 might well be available at 1300 or later (although in fairness it is possible a show available at 1000 might only have a few tickets available and when they are sold out, the show comes off the board).

You will, of course, not find the big blockbusters there such as Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia (although they sell some of these shows at full price and then add on a £2.50 service charge per ticket too) but in almost all cases the clerks will tell you, especially for Mamma Mia, to walk two blocks over and buy tickets directly at the theatre.

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Old Nov 8th, 2006, 04:25 AM
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Actually maybe I spoke a little too soon. I just took a look at the Broadway Box site which I haven't done for a few months. It seems to be rapidly increasing with much more availability than in the past. And while it used to link you to some ticketmaster or other sites, it now all seems to be much more reduced fees. One thing I did notice however, after clicking several shows to the final purchase option is that most seats tended to be in the back of the stalls (orchestra to us Yanks), not the first few rows that you often get at TKTS.
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Old Nov 8th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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We saw both A Voyage around My Father and Guys and Dolls in October by getting discount tickets at TKTS. We also saw Wicked, not available through TKTS, by getting same-day tickets at the theater.

We went to see Voyage because of Derek Jacobi, and he was wonderful. We saw Guys and Dolls because my daughter wanted to see the living, breathing Patrick Swayze. Unfortunately, the understudy played the part that night, but the play was fun and well done. Wicked was a pure delight. I'll never look at Wizard of Oz in the same way again!
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Old Nov 8th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Sorry, I meant to say that in both cases our TKTS seats were front and center in the second row.
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