Hey there, I was just wondering if you have any tips on how to get tix to les mis on broadway relatively cheaply? I'm trying to head up to ny this summer but I couldn't pay to travel and ~$150 to see it
Hi! Thanks for the ask!
So here’s what I’ve tried or what has proven to work for other people regarding seeing les mis on broadway without going completely broke.
My first recommendation for buying a ticket for les mis would be just getting a rush ticket. All you really have to do to get that to work is you show up early (approximately 4 hours before the box office opens early) and just wait by the front of the Imperial. Les Mis is one of the most competitive shows to get rush tickets for, but it is by far the best way. I’ve gotten some pretty great seats before (once I went on a thursday and got front row way house right and it was the second best seat I’ve ever gotten).
Tips for Rush:
Each ticket costs $37 and they take cash and cards. You can only buy two tickets at once per person. If you’re going with more than two people and you want to all sit as a group you’re out of luck. Also the tickets they sell you are always day-of and if you’re going on a double show day, specify whether you want matinee or evening when you buy.
If you’re worried about getting in line on time to get a ticket before they run out of rush tickets don’t worry. The box office sells anywhere between 22-30 tickets per show (I think early in previews they sold about 40 on the weekends but I don’t think this has been the case for a long time). However, whatever amount of tickets they sell overall for rush, they sell double that amount on days when there are two shows (wednesdays and saturdays). If you’re between 10th-15th in line you are most likely getting a ticket, and if you’re under 10th it’s guaranteed (not officially, but mathematically). No telling on whether you’ll get one if you’re after 15th in line, though, in that case you might just have to pray hard.
I recommend going on a thursday the most. I know some people want to see Ramin, but since thursdays are his day off, there’s less of a crowd at rush and rush tickets on those days tend to be better seats. Don’t sell his alternates short! His alternates, Nathaniel Hackmann and Aaron Walpole, are wonderful performers and people and they will never disappoint. If you want to see who will be on for valjean on any particular thursday you can ask them on twitter @aaronwalpole for Aaron and Nathaniel @super_n8. They switch off performing as valjean every other thursday. Other good days to do rush are the two double show days wednesday and saturday, since you’re twice as likely to get a ticket due to there being two shows that day.
The hardest part of rush is getting your ass to the theater and keeping it there, but if you stick it out it can be very rewarding. you get to see your show without dying financially and I’ve met countless awesome people in rush line before. Just get a lot of sleep beforehand, set multiple alarms on a loud setting, and get coffee and a good breakfast before you go because you’ll be waiting for a while. Bring a book or your iPod or whatever it’ll take to keep you occupied.
The theater is dark on mondays so obviously don’t show up on mondays because there’s no show. On tuesdays-saturdays the box office opens at 10 AM, and on sundays it opens at noon. I would never recommend showing up earlier than 6 AM (unless on a sunday, in which case maybe around 7) because the closer you are to the front of the line the better your tickets will be (and almost all of them are partial view). Keep in mind the tickets sold in pairs are often worse seats than single tickets and you cannot pick where you sit.
If you have back problems like I do, bring something to sit on. Even if it’s one of those teeny foldable lawn chairs or a pillow or a jacket, trust me and just bring it. There’s nothing worse than waiting 4+ hours for a ticket and ending up with an aching back the whole show.
If you’re going to step out of line for anything make sure you’ve made the acquaintance with the people next to you before then and determined whether or not they’d be okay with holding your spot first. Most people are okay with this but some are not and you’ve gotta respect that. Just keep in mind, don’t take advantage of anyone’s patience. Make sure you’ve become friendly with your line-mates before getting up and don’t be a dick and spend half of your time out of line only to jump back in when you’re ready to buy your ticket. Keep any trips down to one and even offer to buy people coffee or whatever as a thank-you before you get up. Kindness will get you everywhere, no matter where you are.
If you want to check weekly rush reports (aka average time people tend to start showing up in line/how likely you are to get tickets) check broadwayspotted rush report
Another way you can get tickets cheaper than full price is to try TKTS. the TKTS booth is just underneath the red steps in times square and the hours that tkts is open is available here. you can also check what tickets are available daily through here
TKTS is great because you can SOMETIMES kind of choose your seats, you only have to show up no more than 2 hours before the booth opens, and you can buy up to about a dozen tickets (don’t remember the exact number though, sorry). The only problem with TKTS is it’s not as cheap as rush and it’s also not as reliable.
tips for TKTS:
show up 2 hours in advance. the workers might kindly make fun of you for showing up so early but they aren’t mean about it and you gotta do what you gotta do. Just like rush, the best tickets are sold first and if you’re first in line like I’ve often been they can sometimes give you INCREDIBLE seats.
go to a friendly looking person where they sell tickets and ask for tickets “as close to the stage as possible” or “as close to the center as possible” or whatever your preference is. some people don’t do this and I’ve gotten snapped at for asking one time but if you go to someone who seems friendly you should be ok).
tickets are rated 30%-50% off based on how many available tickets they have for that day. Rates change every time the booth opens. This is based off of an “average” ticket which is about 150$ by their rates. Your cheapest option for les mis at this booth will be about 70$ when it’s marked 50% off.
Les Mis has only just recently started to show up semi-regularly on the TKTS board, so be patient. you might wait an hour and a half only to have the options come up on the board and see that les mis isn’t up there, or that it’s only 30% off and have to give up and get out of line.
Sometimes you can predict if a particular show will be up (and if so, for how much they might knock off) by checking the board online regularly a few days or a week in advance to buying your tickets. Just have a couple days set aside for potentially seeing the show and some loose plans to do with your evening that you can act on if the tickets don’t work out.
My last big recommendation is getting tickets in the rear mezzanine. I would buy these kind of tickets anywhere from a couple weeks to a month in advance (I’d recommend a month to be on the safe side because these seats sell fast due to being so cheap). They’re usually about in the 50-70$ range depending on how early you buy them. I have actually never sat rear mezzanine for les mis just because of the simple fact that rush exists but I’ve heard rear mezzanine isn’t too bad and that you can always see everything. I would personally recommend binoculars if you sit rear mezzanine. They’re dorky, but worth it because you get to see everyone’s cute faces without squinting.
there are also websites where you can get discounted tickets online but I have never used one personally, so I can’t tell you much about them. I would message my friend Kitty aka mariuseponines on tumblr to ask about discount ticket websites. However, anything you ask her might be also found in this video she made a while back about buying cheap tickets on broadway.
In addition, you can also ask my friend Ali aka permets-tu on tumblr, who has seen to Les Mis on broadway more times than me.
Thanks for your question, and I hope my answer was helpful!!