Living Large In The Cheap Seats

My two best friends recently saw ‘Ain’t Too Proud (to beg) The Life and Times of The Temptations‘, a musical biography of the group with the same name, on Broadway in New York City. They paid $250 per ticket, making the start of their Saturday night out $500.

I’m a Broadway buff but I would NEVER pay such a high price like that to see any show. I’m not going to play ‘back in the day’ but let me just say this: back in the day I used to pay $25 to see a top, Tony-award winning musical or play. As the years passed and the ticket prices grew, I drew the line at $100 per ticket. And even that is exorbitant to see a Broadway show, sit in a squeezed seat, with at most times, a terrible view and bad sound.

Thank heaven to the person or persons who developed the traveling Broadway production company. Top NYC Broadway shows come to a local town near you, all across America and play at more reasonable prices. I frequent such other theaters as PPAC (Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island), The Palace Theater in Albany, NY and when I am in Florida, I always frequent The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.

By attending the traveling version of these performances, I’ve been able to see top Broadway productions at more affordable prices. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Jersey Boys, Book of Mormon, Les Miserables just to name a few. Some of the theaters are very clever in the way they promote the cheaper seats. Sarasota likes to label the cheap seats, the ‘smart seat’ and by golly, that’s always been the one I select. It’s the last row in the theater and I can see and hear everything that goes on on the stage just perfectly fine and dandy!

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 5.12.47 AM.png
a sample of the pricing for a top Broadway show at The Van Wezel Theater.

According to The Boomer Club: Culture is wonderful, but it can be expensive. When you’re on a budget it may seem frivolous to spend several hundred dollars for tickets to a symphony, concert or hockey game. But there are ways to get out of the house and experience some culture, even if you’re in the cheap seats. That’s better than no seats at all. Because it’s definitely not a party if you’re sitting at home, staring at your popcorn ceiling.

Culture and art not only feed your soul; they also make you smarter.

So, I am very happy to say that I just scored two tickets to see Waitress, a current musical playing on Broadway NYC but will go on tour starting January 5th. The show will be playing in Sarasota when I’m down in Florida. Naturally, I purchased 2 Smart Seats for hubby and I and 2 more for my sister and her husband. (there were only 5 seats left for sale!) For only $84 per couple, which is less than just one ticket on Broadway, we’ll be going to the matinee and have enough cash left over for a lovely dinner out.

Living large in the cheap seats. I couldn’t have said it any better.

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 5.49.50 AM.png
The cast of the Broadway hit musical, Waitress.





  1. Ooh I want to see Waitress too!
    I am not a huge play person, so someone paying $250 PER TICKET seems insane to me.
    I have a friend who is crazy about plays and she has disposable income, so she would do that.

    Hamilton is another I want to see too but it was really expensive here in Chicago.


  2. Hi Cindi,
    I saw Hamilton and Tapestry at the Bushnell in Hartford and it was really good even better because it was a thank you from my daughter. She always gets orchestra seats front and usually center. I enjoy seeing two or three shows a year. I usually buy my tickets from my Reward ME account, a money market account where I stash the cash I get back from my cash back credit card, The interest rate was as high as 2.4%but last week it was 1.82%.So, so Looking forward to my free Cape Cod suite from my travel rewards card this fall. Hopefully the weather will be dry!
    Amazing September rally in stocks very busy with this side hustle! And my grand kids. Sincerely, Lara



  3. I saw “Ain’t Too Proud” a few months ago on Broadway and loved it. It did cost a pretty penny and you are right about the squeezed seats. The show was so good though that it was worth the squeeze.


    • Hi Lora. That’s good to know. I can look forward to seeing ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ also when it hits the road. To write this post I looked up the price of tix…..starting point was $299 and then down. Gulp! That’s a lot of money!
      Thanks for your comment.


  4. When we get the Broadway shows, they are still super expensive, so rarely take the opportunity. I love college and high school plays-night out, maybe not the same, but still enjoy. The best I ever experienced though was when I scored Wicked tickets plus two course dinner for two for my daughter in I in London-just a day ahead, for under 150 pounds. It was wonderful-dinner and the play.


    • Hi Sam. Yes, you scored! Wicked is still on my wish list! London theater is extra special! When I worked for a local newspaper here, I got to interview the man who designed the set for Wicked. He explained to me how he came up with the concept. Thank goodness the show is still playing. Somewhere. Hopefully I’ll get to see it.
      I hear you on the school plays. Sometimes you can really see a good production. The school here has done Mamma Mia and Jesus Christ Superstar. Lots of talented people among us for sure.
      Thanks for your comment and some good tips and ideas.


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