Tuesday, March 25, 2008

“I Go, I Go, Look How I Go”

“Whither thou goest, so shall I.”

Tip Of The Day: Get all cultured and educated and refined for less money than a round of drinks at your favorite bar. Cheaper AND better for you.

Tip For Tomorrow: The ONE, VERY BEST EVER, YOU NEED NO OTHER tip for saving money on your wardrobe. Ooooo, that got your attention!

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: When I talk about going to the theater, most people would assume I meant the movie theater, and a discount movie theater at that. Surely someone writing a blog about frugal living would never fork out the cash for live theater.

First, don’t call me Shirley. Second, live theater doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive. With a bit of forethought, planning, and standing around, you can save BIG on theater tickets to shows like the aforementioned A Midsummer’s Night Dream (ahhh, now you know the quote in the title! Or don’t you? Sheesh, haven’t you ever read Shakespeare? Not even in school? I swear, what ARE they teaching kids today…).

You can buy rush tickets, and they are an excellent way to save. Rush tickets are just that – tickets you buy in a rush, right before the show begins. The theater releases a certain amount of tickets (the ones that haven’t sold yet for that day’s performance) to be sold at a huge discount in the few minutes before the show starts.

Here’s how it works:
1. Get to the theater AT LEAST an hour before the show is scheduled to begin.
2. Get in the rush ticket line.
3. Wait. For an hour. Perhaps you should bring a friend or a book.
4. 10 to 15 minutes before the show begins, the theater will start selling off the leftover tickets.
5. If you are in luck, and there are enough seats left, buy your ticket for MUCH less.
6. Enjoy the show.

A few things to remember when buying rush tickets:
1. They are sold on a first come, first served basis, so if they sell out before they reach you in line, you are SOL. Also, you don’t get to have much say in your seat selection.
2. If you did bring a friend, chances are you won’t get to sit next to each other. But that’s okay – you’re not supposed to talk during the show, anyway. And you can meet up during intermission. With the money you saved, you can afford to buy an over-priced drink!
3. Most rush lines only accept cash or check – they don’t have time to process your credit card info.
4. According to the kind folks at the Guthrie in Minneapolis, the bigger the theater, the better the chance at tickets. But, the more well-known the show, the less tickets available. And you actually want to go earlier in the run of the show, not wait until it’s almost over for the season.

Locally, here are the theaters that offer rush tickets:
1. The Guthrie Theater,
The Guthrie’s rush tickets, sold 10 minutes before the show starts, are just $15 for previews, $20 for weeknights and matinees, and $25 for Friday and Saturday nights and openings.
Also? If you go to the Guthrie’s website, they just announced their Spring and Summer season. Guess what’s first? Yep, A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
2. The Children’s Theater Company (CTC),
The Children’s Theater sell their rush tickets 15 minutes before the show starts, for just $13. They say their evening performances have better rush availability than matinees.
The CTC also offers ONLINE rush tickets! The day of the show, beginning at 10 AM, you can go to their website and buy rush tickets for only $13.
And if that weren’t enough, Target offers 2 for 1 tickets for CTC opening nights. For more details, check out their website.
3. The Ordway,
Brave New Workshop, http://www.bravenewworkshop.com/
These theaters offer rush tickets to college students only. Bring your student ID and save big!

All these theaters have group rates and membership specials. As the commercial says, membership has its privileges. So, if you want to go to the theater often, or would like to support the arts, become a member. You’ll save money AND be part of something great.

Now, go forth and have more talk of these sad things… sorry, I’ll stop with the Shakespeare. But hey! Go forth and see a show for less. We have all these amazing theaters in MN, it’s time we start taking advantage of them.


jilly said...

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra also has an online club if you are in your 20's and 30's which you can sign up for. They offer $10 tickets for specific performances at the Ordway as well as free tickets to certain shows in the twin cities. It is worth signing up for.

LaRue said...

I am also quite fond of Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins. They are another children's theatre and just as good as Children's. Their regular tickets are $15/11 for adults/kids and they offer a 25% discount off for season tickets. This coming season is their 25th and they will be showing PEEF, Goodnight Moon, How I Became a Pirate (a personal favorite) and the Wizard of Oz. Current shows are The Reluctant Dragon and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.

Incidentally? If you have kids Orchestra Hall has family days, and the Art Institute has FREE days to bring your kids along.

As Martha says, its a good thing.