Broadway's Rush and Standing Room Only Policies

News   Broadway's Rush and Standing Room Only Policies Playbill On-Line has joined forces with Camp Broadway and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University during the 2002-03 season to create opportunities for four high school student journalists, covering Broadway news for Playbill's teen readership. From September 2002 until May 2003, four students who were selected for the program will be responsible for writing an article every other month. One such article appears below.

To make tickets more affordable to students and other theatergoers on a budget, many Broadway shows have implemented rush and standing room only (SRO) policies. Anyone willing to get up and get to the box office early, spend some time in a line, or stand during the show, can get greatly discounted tickets to most shows on Broadway.

It all started with Rent, which, at the peak of its popularity, sold all seats in the first two rows of orchestra for $20 to whomever would get to the box office in time on the day of the performance. Naturally, students embraced the opportunity and lines formed at dawn. Since then, Broadway has offered rush and SRO tickets to encourage an enthusiastic theatre community.

Rush and SRO tickets are sold on the day of the performance, usually as soon as the box office opens, unless otherwise specified. Many policies are restricted to students and require student IDs. Seat location varies with different shows, from front row to real mezzanine. The wait in line is usually inevitable. For more popular shows, it’s reasonable to anticipate a wait spanning at least a couple of hours. Also, most box offices only accept cash for rush and SRO tickets.

Standing room patrons stand in numbered spaces that are the width of a regular seat. They are usually located at the back of the orchestra. SRO tickets are trickier to get because they are only available if the show is sold out. There’s no definite way to predict in advance whether a performance will sell out, without actually calling the box office a few hours before curtain time. Shows that sell out often include Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, The Lion King, and The Producers. Also, it is likely that any show will sell out very early in its run.

Here are the rush and SRO policies of different Broadway shows. Also included are shows whose regular tickets are similarly priced. 42nd Street
Type: Student Rush
Price: $21.50 per ticket
Time: 8pm evening shows are sold 4:30-5:30pm
2pm Wed. and Sat matinees are sold 11am-12
3pm Sun. matinees are sold 12-1pm
Amount: 1 ticket per person (22 tickets available)
Location: First row
ID: Full-time student ID and other government-issued picture ID (i.e. driver’s license)

Aida
Type: Student Rush
Price: $25 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Location: Usually first and second rows
ID: student ID

Type: Standing Room
Price: Mezzanine $15, Balcony $10

Beauty and the Beast
Type: Standing Room
Price: $25 per ticket

Cabaret
Type: Student Rush
Price: Half-price
Location: Varies due to availability
ID: student ID

Chicago
Type: General Rush
Price: $25 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Special Conditions: Security guards start handing out bracelets and taking names Mon-Sat. at 8am, Sun. at 10am. The line usually forms earlier, and people are accommodated in the order that they arrived.
Location: First few rows of orchestra

Def Poetry Jam
Type: Student Rush
Price: $15 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person
ID: student ID

Dinner at Eight
Type: Student Rush
Price: $20 per ticket
Time: Two hours prior to curtain
Amount: 1 ticket per person
ID: Student ID

Flower Drum Song
Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket

Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune
Type: Standing Room
Price: $25 per ticket

Type: Inexpensive Tickets
Price: $26.25 or $21.25 for balcony seats

Gypsy
Type: Standing Room
Price: $25 per ticket, $20 for Wed. matinees

Hairspray
Type: Lottery Rush
Price: $25 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Special Conditions: Lottery takes place daily, and begins at 5pm for evening performances, 11am for Wed. and Sat. matinees, and 12 for Sun. matinees. There is no need to arrive early. Each person may enter only one name into the lottery. The individual whose name has been entered must be present to purchase tickets. There are 25 tickets available.
Location: Rear mezzanine
ID: Photo ID

Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person

Imaginary Friends
Type: Student Rush
Price: $40 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person
ID: Student ID

The Lion King
Type: Standing Room
Price: Orchestra $20, Mezzanine $15
Amount: 1 ticket per person (22 tickets available)

La Bohème
Type: General Rush
Price: $21.25 per ticket
Time: Two hours prior to curtain.
Amount: 2 tickets per person (24 tickets available)
Location: First two rows of orchestra
ID: Photo ID

Mamma Mia!
Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket
Time: 2 hours prior to curtain
Amount: 2 tickets per person (25 tickets available)
Location: Behind orchestra

Man of La Mancha
Type: Standing Room
Price: $26 per ticket

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket

Medea
Type: Student Rush
Price: $25 per student
Time: Two hours prior to curtain
Amount: 2 tickets per person
ID: Student ID

Metamorphoses
Type: General Rush
Price: $35 per person
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Note: Customers may get wet. Towels provided.

Movin’ Out
Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket

Nine
Type: Standing Room
Price and details to be announced closer to beginning of run.

Oklahoma
Type: Student Rush
Price: $20 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person (20 tickets available)
Location: Last few rows of orchestra
Note: Mon., Tues., Wed. evening performances only
ID: Student ID

Type: Obstructed View
Price: $20 per ticket
Note: Front row obstructed view tickets are sold on Mondays for performances for the entire week.

Phantom of the Opera
Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 (28 tickets available)

The Producers
Type: Standing Room
Price: Tues-Fri. evenings $26, Wed. matinees $21, Sat. and Sun. $31
Time: Two hours prior to curtain
Amount: 2 tickets per person

Rent
Type: Student Rush
Price: $20 per ticket
Time: Two hours prior to curtain
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Location: First two rows
Special Conditions: Lottery drawing held at the theater.

Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket

Take Me Out
Type: Inexpensive Tickets
Price: $25 for balcony seats

Tartuffe
Type: Student Rush
Price: Half-price
Time: Half an hour prior to curtain
Amount: 1 ticket per person
ID: Student ID

Type: General Rush
Price: $21.25 per ticket
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Location: Rear mezzanine

Thoroughly Modern Millie
Type: Student Rush
Price: $25 per ticket
Note: Tues, Wed, Thurs. performances only
Time: 10am-3pm
Amount: 1 ticket per person
Locations: Rear mezzanine
ID: Student ID

Type: Standing Room
Price: $20 per ticket

Urban Cowboy
Type: Standing Room
Price: $25 per ticket

Urinetown
Type: General Rush
Price: $25 per ticket
Time: Three hours prior to curtain
Amount: 2 tickets per person
Location: Last row of orchestra