20at20: Off-Broadway on a Budget
It’s that time of year again, when a plethora of off-Broadway plays and musicals offer an enormous discount for theatergoers in The Big Apple. Â Here’s how it works: all participating shows â€“ and there are forty this year â€“ will sell any remaining tickets for their current performance for only $20, beginning twenty minutes before curtain. Â It’s a win-win; the producers get to pack the house, while locals and tourists alike get to see something that might not have otherwise been in their budget.
Unlike Broadway musicals, these off-Broadway gems are spread out all over the city. Â While there are several options in the heart of the theater district, some of these shows are playing much farther downtown. Â The key to making your 20at20 a success is to create a plan. Â When I was first attempting to see shows during this exciting time, I failed miserably; I tried to see one show, and when it was sold out, I went home and ordered take-out. Â A rookie no more, I now accept the challenge and get my friends involved as well.
Open up two windows in your browser, one for the 20at20 site, and another for Google maps. Â Look at the list of participating shows and take note of anything that sounds interesting to you. Â Start finding them on Google maps to see where the areas are that have the highest concentration of shows you’d like to see. Â From there it’s quite simple. Â Hit up your first show twenty minutes before, and if they don’t have tickets available, sprint to the next theatre on your list.
Unfortunately, and I learned this one by mistake as well, you can only purchase one ticket, so all members of your party must be present. Â I thought I would trick the system by waiting in line for one show while a friend was waiting in line for a different show. Â We were both successful in acquiring a ticket, but we both saw our shows…alone. Â A great time, yes, but not what we were planning on.
So what are you waiting for? Â You have until February 10, 2013 to pack in as many off-Broadway as you can handle. Â And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want to up the ante, if you see seven shows, you can earn a free dinner for two!*
*the 20at20 website states:Â See any 7 of the participating 20at20 shows from 1/22/13 through 2/10/13 and receive a FREE voucher for dinner for 2 at an area restaurant! Mail in your ticket stubs once you have seen 7 shows and we will send you your voucher while supplies last.