As you may have guessed from my book cover, I'm very into dance. I've been dancing pretty much my whole life. In fact, the 30th anniversary of my very first dance recital is this weekend!
Growing up in NJ, we used to go to shows on Broadway often. Eventually I started seeing my old friends from the dance studios in the shows, but not until I was a teenager (well, just for one show...Rick Faugno, who was my tap nemesis, played Will Rogers, Jr. in The Will Rogers Follies) and then in my 20s. Now that we're all in our 30s, I'm not certain if any of my old buddies are still on Broadway. Most have moved on to owning dance studios, or dancing at Disney World, or in Vegas, or TV work.
But even so, Broadway is still a thrill for me. So when I looked at my RWA National Conference schedule and realized I had a hole one of the nights, you better believe the very first thing I did was check the listings to see which show I might be interested in seeing.
Every year around this time, I get an itch to go to NYC. You see, the Tony Awards were just this past Sunday, and as always, they managed to remind me of the glitz and glamour of my favorite street in the Big Apple. The performances were wonderful!
If you didn't see the awards show, then you missed out on some fantastic singing and dancing, including host Neil Patrick Harris'...wait for it...LEGENDARY rap recap.
THE hot ticket on Broadway this year is The Book of Mormon, a hilarious and irreverent (yet surprisingly touching) musical from the creators of the trash-talking cartoon, South Park. I've heard it's fantastic, but what do you expect from the guys who wrote the song "Blame Canada"? If you didn't already snag yourself some tickets weeks ago, don't expect to go while you're in town for RWA.
It's been a challenge to score tickets ever since it premiered in February, but now that the show has won NINE Tony Awards, landing a seat is even more daunting. Many performances are sold out weeks or even months in advance, and the day after the Tony Awards, the producers hiked the price of tickets by an extra $13, bringing the top non-premium ticket price to $155 (although during a holiday weekend, you can tack on an extra $20.) If you want to take your chances with scalpers, expect to pay nearly $500 per seat. Each day, a ticket lottery is held outside the Eugene O'Neill Theatre for a limited number of full-price same-day seats, with the lottery drawings hundreds of people ecery day.
So yeah, RWA-goers, The Book of Mormon just ain't gonna happen. But there are still plenty of other fabulous shows. And if you're patient and flexible, you can get your Broadway fix on for 25-50% off!
How? I'm glad you asked. Check out the Theatre Development Fund's famous TKTS booths, famously known as "The Half Price Ticket Booth." You may even be able to see the original TKTS out your window from the Marriott Marquis, in the middle of Times Square. This location is very convenient to the conference, but the lines are crazy. You might be better off venturing down to the South Street Seaport location, where the lines are about 1/10 as long.
Does TKTS have tickets for every show? No. It's hit and miss, to be honest. You never know what shows they'll have from day to day. So it helps to have a list in mind ahead of time, so you can easily choose a replacement if your #1 choice isn't available.
Here's a listing of the shows that appeared on the boards at the TKTS booths last week:
Just because something was there last week, doesn't mean it will be available two weeks from now, during RWA, particularly if the show happened to win some Tony Awards a couple of nights ago. But it's a start.
So go forth and patronize the arts!