Ask the Readers: What are Your Best Entertainment Tips? (A Chance to Win Tickets to a Broadway Show!)

We have our winners!

The winners of the $10 Amazon Gift Card are:

Comment #30:  Involvement.Submitted by magnoliasouth  "Many times you can get in for free or at an incredible discount if you offer some volunteer work for a show. I used to be involved in the local ballet company in a major city, and I volunteered to make phone calls for donations. In exchange, I got a few free ticket or discounted tickets.  Not all places will allow it, but it's worth asking about. Especially if you like to frequent the arts."

Tweet from @FiscalFizzle - To save on entertainment, I love 'staying local' - whether it be Mom & Pop restaurants, high school choir, or AAA baseball   from TweetDeck

And the winners of the tickets are:

Wishful Drinking:

Comment #6:  I always check for student..Submitted by Em "I always check for student discounts or any last minute deals on theater, shows, concerts, etc. And for classy dining, wait for Restaurant Week in your city."  


Comment #12:  If you like to go to the..Submitted by Kate.  " If you like to go to the movies, try purchasing a local entertainment book - they usually have discounts for the movie theaters, generally between $2-5 off each ticket, which adds up."

Burn The Floor:

Comment #15: We go for long walks and...Submitted by Therese "We go for long walks and then go to the early shows when prices are usually cheaper.  I'd like to be entered for both."


Broadway fans have seen the current economy cutting into their entertainment budget, often leaving them without room for tickets to some of the most magnificent shows in the U.S.! We want to hear how you choose to continue pursuing your passions (whether it be Broadway, skiing, or fine dining) even in the face of tighter times. Since Wise Bread’s mission is “Living Large on a Small Budget,” we agree that it’s an important topic of discussion. Share your thoughts for a chance to win 2 tickets to a show or a $10 Amazon GC!

One way to keep up with your Broadway and Off-Broadway entertaining budget is to take advantage of this year’s twice annual special edition of Playbill, which was available as a booklet in August 30th papers throughout New York City. This year, the discounts are also available online at, and feature deals for shows, hotels and attractions, including:

The 39 Steps, Burn the Floor, Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Fela!, Finian’s Rainbow, HAIR, In the Heights, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Next to Normal, Phantom of the Opera, Rock of Ages, Shrek the Musical, South Pacific, Superior Donuts, and Wishful Drinking

We’d love to hear your tips for classy entertainment on a dime. Just leave us your comments below, and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 pairs of tickets to a show! Tickets are for Chicago (October 6th), Burn the Floor (for a date to be announced at a later date), and Wishful Drinking (date TBA.) We will also be giving away two $10 Amazon Gift Cards!

Those of you who aren’t familiar with the “drill,” read below for full details:

Win Tickets to a Broadway Show or a $10 Amazon GC!

We're doing two giveaways -- one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Please remember to indicate which Broadway show you are most interested in seeing, or if you just want to be entered for the $10 GC. You can also be entered for both by telling us “Both please!”

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Thursday, September 3rd at 11:59am CST. Winners will be announced after September 3rd on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings -- once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

Good luck!

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Guest's picture

I absolutely love going to theater productions, but tickets can get pricey. Instead, we dress and go to a small local theater show. The tickets are a fraction of the cost of a broadway show, and you usually get better seats!

I would love to be entered to win tickets to Phantom of the Opera. I have seen it once before, but my husband has never seen it and I am dying to take him!

Guest's picture

Being from the suburbs, every chance I can get to visit local theater productions and even high school performance offer cheap and entertaining productions that, although not on a grand scale such as Broadway, offer good performances for a night out. When I do plan to visit Broadway productions, I visit the box office the day of the show for last minute discounts and half price tickets for a limited amount of seats they sell each day. This leaves us with extra money for transportation and dinner downtown.

If there is an opportunity for Broadway in Chicago tix, that would be wonderful. If not, I would love to win a Amazon GC.

Thank you,

Guest's picture

In NYC the TKTS stands offer discount last minute tickets. I prefer the one near the Seaport, because it is a lot less crowded than Times Square. I also have a membership to a papering company. For $100 a year I receive access to last minute tickets to various shows (most are not on Broadway) for $3 per ticket, and I can buy up to 2 tickets at a time. I also am subscribed to mailing lists for free movie tickets. I have previewed movies for free, before they even open!

Guest's picture

I subscribe to a local FunSaver newsletter that offers discounted tickets to music, theater, museums and more! I haven't had to pay full price for entertainment in a long time!

I would love tickets to see Chicago!

Guest's picture

College productions are often quite good (and often quite bad), and are often very cheap.

I'm not huge on broadway/offbroadway shows, more an Opera type. Many Opera houses have student pricing, and the Met offers live HD broadcasts to theaters across the country for much cheaper than going to a show in person.

Guest's picture

I always check for student discounts or any last minute deals on theater, shows, concerts, etc. And for classy dining, wait for Restaurant Week in your city.

Enter me for both please! Wishful Drinking sounds interesting =)

Guest's picture

Symphony tickets can be expensive, so instead, attend one of their open rehearsals. Most symphonies will open up some of their rehearsals to the public, which gives you the chance to hear the great music, and even see the work that goes into it. And it's free!

Guest's picture

I'd prefer the Amazon gift card.

Running is pretty cheap. Once the cost of clothing is sunk, the marginal cost is just the opportunity cost of the time running. I've started to do more intervals and fartlecs to reduce the time of running required to get about the same amount of exercise.

Guest's picture

Every year my husband and I buy an Enjoy the City coupon book for our area. For $20, we get hundreds of coupons for restaurants and attractions, many of which are buy one get one free. In our area there's minor league baseball, ski resorts, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and some theater companies that put coupons in the book. Usually it pays for itself by the time we use the 2nd or 3rd coupon. We also love, especially when they're having a sale. Typically, you can get a $25 gift cert for select restaurants for just $10, but a few times a year they have an 80% off sale, so that same gift cert goes for $2. Time to stock up!

Guest's picture

I know this is kind of cheating the system BUT if you order your movie tickets online in advance from Fandango or or similar, buy them as Senior Citizen tickets.. even if you're not they almost NEVER check.. and if they do check just say you made a mistake and they will usually let you in anyway or you simply pay the difference.
If you're a couple who sees 15 movies a year in the theater that savings could be over $100 /yr!

Guest's picture

I LOVE going to shows - Broadway would be the ultimate of course but as you are all mentioning, the economy and ticket prices don't seem to mix these days! So I have attended many dinner theatre, local theatre, and college/REP productions. Some performances can be very good, and of course the tickets are cheaper. Not to mention since it is local, no need for travel/hotel stay expenses. Plus, I like supporting the local arts scene. But if you'd like to give me the tix, I'd love to go see a Broadway show!! Thanks.

Guest's picture

If you like to go to the movies, try purchasing a local entertainment book - they usually have discounts for the movie theaters, generally between $2-5 off each ticket, which adds up.

Please enter me in both - I'd love the chance to see Chicago.

Guest's picture

We are trying to seek out new sources of entertainment, the quirkier the better. If we're not really interested in something, we'll replace it with a new option. If we are really excited about doing something, we find a way to save some money if we can but if not we treat ourselves.

Guest's picture

When I was in college, I saw many theatrical productions (and movie festivals, concerts and many other shows) at the local theater by being a volunteer usher. We showed up a bit early, stuffed programs, showed people to their seats, directed people during intermission and got to see the shows for free. For Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, I got to sit on the steps in the aisle of the first balcony. The person in the seat next to me had paid at least $100. I spent a little extra time and saw the show for free.
Occasionally, if the theater had trouble getting help for mid-week performances, they would offer certain college students who ushered regularly free tickets to an upcoming weekend show if they could usher like a Tuesday night.

Guest's picture

We go for long walks and then go to the early shows when prices are usually cheaper.

I'd like to be entered for both. I would like to see Billy Elliot.

Guest's picture

I use Goldstar to keep an eye out for discounted tickets but in the last few years I've "saved" money by not seeing my favorites shows a second time. Previously, I had a subscription to the local performing arts center and had the opportunity to see a ton of good shows. Some of the great ones, I'd want to see again when they came through town a few years later. But they just didn't quite live up to the first experience. I would remember so many of the details of that first experience that any deviation from that just seemed wrong.

So, aside from trying to find a bargain the first time around, seriously evaluate seeing a favorite again or just closing your eyes and hitting play on the CD/iPod and reliving your memories.

Guest's picture

I've scored a couple of good deals from Groupon, and Craigslist usually has some good options as well.

Guest's picture

If you live near NYC and you are not DEAD SET on seeing a show that day, there is a wonderful thing for you.

The following shows have raffles:
In the Heights
Rock of Ages

Others might, but you have to go to the web page.

You can get tickets for less than $30 per ticket. How? What you do is go to the box office 2 1/2 hours before the show. Put your name in the raffle and how many tickets you want. (Maximum is 2) Wait a half hour and then they will call names and those people will have EXCELLENT seats for somewhere around $28.00 per ticket. We have seen Wicked this way, as well as Avenue Q (which is closing).

I highly recommend it.

Guest's picture

I love seeing shows, but it can get super pricey. I have found some fantastic deals for shows on I love that website, it's great. I check it daily, and they send me alerts about new events as well. Some theaters also offer ticket lotteries. I've participated in these before, they usually occur the day of a particular performance. You come in a few hours before the performance and enter your name to win orchestra tickets for any given show. Then, about 2 hours before the performance, you come back and see if you won. Even if you don't win, they'll often give you deals on tickets for the show that day. So if you've got time to kill, you can usually get good seats at really cheap prices that way.

Please enter me for the Amazon gift cards! Thanks!

Guest's picture

Sorry for the double post

Guest's picture

I won 4 tickets to Spamalot last year. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the show myself, but my b/f and his friends enjoyed them.

Guest's picture

The most class per dollar we've ever gotten was attending a local university jazz concert. Cheap, unusual, and great fun!

I am not anywhere near broadway, so please just enter me in the $10 GC drawing. Thanks.

Guest's picture

Cincinnati has an incredible program called Enjoy the Arts. If you're under 35, you can get an arts pass for $40 (or cheaper if you're a student) that gives you two free tickets to approximately 20 major arts organizations (the ballet, the orchestra, the playhouse, a trillion local theatres and dance companies). Once you've used your free passes, you can get buy one get one tickets. The only catch is that you can only get the tickets on the day of the performance.

I love this - it's 20 cheap dates for $40 and arts organizations get to build their audience base by giving away seats they wouldn't have sold.

Enter me for both please!

Guest's picture

I live in las Vegas.if you are a local there you can get local discount.some shows are two for is best to read your local magazine.I have scored great tickets and seats for mamma Mia and phantom of the opera ,nestles,etc.If your not a local ,sometimes the magazines still have coupons for shows and dinners.

Guest's picture
martha in mobile

In our town, the local Opera Company and some musical groups will do mini-shows at the local library for free! It's fab.

My best hint is to go to concert rehearsals in churches. I saw St. Mark's in Venice all lit up (it's normally kept quite dark for tourists) and listened to heavenly music w/o any crowds during a rehearsal. Same with Ste. Chappelle in Paris -- sunset through the amazing stained glass windows while listening to a flute concerto.

Since I'm nowhere near Broadway, I would like the Amazon card, please.

Guest's picture

We support our local kids/student production shows, to show young and upcoming artist an encouragement and usually shows are much reasonably priced. Best of both world for us.

Guest's picture

My fiance and I have made a pledge to keep our broadway subscription even in this economy. However, this year we bought the Saturday afternoon matinee package which was by far the cheapest. This way we can also go to the plays in the afternoon and not feel obligated to go out to dinner beforehand.

Please submit me for both!

Guest's picture

I enjoy walking and running, and I'm lucky enough to live near several trails, parks and lakes. But even though I am content spending an afternoon walking the trails, I do understand that is not for everyone. So for people who like to go out, I'd suggest checking the newspaper to see which local restaurants or bars have live music or open mic nights. If you live near a college, check to see when their symphony or performance arts schedules are open to the public. The tickets are usually quite affordable and plentiful. Also many students in the music departments graduate programs have recitals that are free (probably part of their graduate requirement) and they'd love an audience.

Guest's picture

classy entertainment for cheap:
-use to reduce dinner bills
-look for free shows and music in your area. in the summer parks have all sorts of things.
- go to shows at colleges. they are great and inexpensive
-stroll through the park - romantic and sweet - and quality time
-make a homemade meal and rent a movie.

Guest's picture

$10 GC only! I don't live anywhere near any Broadway shows, so Amazon please. :)

Many times you can get in for free or at an incredible discount if you offer some volunteer work for a show. I used to be involved in the local ballet company in a major city, and I volunteered to make phone calls for donations. In exchange, I got a few free ticket or discounted tickets.

Not all places will allow it, but it's worth asking about. Especially if you like to frequent the arts.

Guest's picture
jamie g

I'm lucky that most of what I find entertaining is naturally cheap. I keep a list of free and cheap things that I love to do around to remind me that there are options. The best free sources of entertainment for me are parks and libraries. But I also love the occasional matinee, rented dvd, or happy hour with friends.

I'm always on the lookout for local festivals, craft and garden classes, and local music for some cheap happy experiences.

I'd love an Amazon GC!

Thanks, and good luck everyone!

Guest's picture

I love exploring new music.