#NYC Broadway Week Is Back. Here’s What You Need to Know
The average Broadway ticket price last season was a whopping $123.07. That’s $13.86 more than the previous year, and $19.19 more than in 2014. And though seeing some of entertainment’s best performers strut their talents in the greatest productions on earth is well worth the price of admission, there’s no denying that new dent in your wallet.
Enter NYC Broadway Week—which, in fact, runs for three weeks in winter, plus another two in late summer. (Hey, we just report this stuff). This partnership between NYC & Company and The Broadway League offers 2-for-1 tickets to an amazing array of plays and musicals, from classic stage productions like The Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady to family-friendly shows like Aladdin and Anastasia to recent movie-to-stage adaptations including Mean Girls, Pretty Woman and The Band’s Visit and breakthrough stage originals like Come from Away and Dear Evan Hansen.
This winter’s season runs from Jan. 21 to Feb. 10. Booking opened on January 9, and though some shows sold out quickly, more than 20 are still available. Two theater geek tips: First, go ahead and spring for the $20 upgrade when you buy your tickets—you’ll get better seats at a steeper discount; and second, mark your calendar now for early August, so you get in right at the beginning of this summer’s Broadway Week launch.
But as long as we’re still in deep winter, consider this: Cold weather keeps fans from waiting around after the show, which means less competition for those Playbill autographs and #stagedoorselfies. Dress warmly and get ready for your close-up.
As for which stars should appear by your side in those Insta-gold posts, here are five of our favorites:
Come From Away
As the devastation of 9/11 unfolded across New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania, the FAA closed the nation’s airspace and rerouted 38 planes with 6,579 passengers to the Atlantic town of Gander, Newfoundland (pop. 9,651). Come From Away is about what happened over the next five days: a single-act, 100-minute, 12-actor show in which creators David Hein and Irene Sankoff sketch composites of 16,000 stories from the layover against a backdrop of Celtic music (about 20 percent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s population has Irish roots). One of Broadway’s most universally popular original musicals—nominated for 7 Tony awards and tied with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for high score on the Broadway reviews aggregator Show-Score—Come From Away even drew praise from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Sara Bareilles is back in the title role of the Tony-nominated movie-turned-musical she wrote, but only for limited performances through February 3. The “Love Song” singer called her first day back on the Waitress stage on January 7 an out-of-body experience—and if the $400,000 boost in ticket sales during that first week is any indication, audiences feel the same. The two-and-a-half hour production follows down-on-her-luck waitress Jenna as she channels her emotions into baking pies. (We thought we were the only ones.) And yes, that’s the scent of actual pies baking inside Brooks Atkinson Theater! Between the whiffs of cinnamon and numbers like "It Only Takes a Taste,” you’ll be jonesing for pie yourself by the final curtain call, so text yourself a note right now: The Little Pie Company is just five blocks away. And 90s boy band fans rejoice: New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre joins the cast as Dr. Potter on February 5.
Pretty Woman: The Musical
This is your show for peak Broadway royalty—especially now that Adam Pascal, originator of the role of Roger in Rent and one of theater’s most beloved performers, has joined the cast. He's appearing opposite Samantha Barks, one of the Great White Way’s newest darlings since her acclaimed London turn as Éponine in Les Miserables (with rumored ex- Nick Jonas)—and her reprisal of that role in the 2012 film alongside Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. If that’s not enough star power, Pretty Woman’s original score was co-written by Bryan Adams (yes, that Bryan Adams), and you might actually see him: Adams has been known to pop up and join in on the fun, as he did at the January 3 performance, when he surprised audiences with a whole medley. He also gave a surprise performance at the Atlantic Records soundtrack release party. Important theater-nerd trivia: 22 years ago, Pascal debuted in Rent on the same Nederlander Theater stage where Pretty Woman currently runs.
For a totally fetch night out, dress in pink—and get invited to the sit with the Plastics at the ultimate high school musical, Mean Girls. Based on the iconic early-aughts teen flick of the same name, this production was just voted top show of 2018 in Broadway.com’s year-end awards. Lead actress Erika Henningsen also snagged star of the year honors. Lindsay Lohan, the film’s star, may have moved on to the Beach Club scene, but she’s seen the musical and was spotted hanging out with cast members just weeks ago.
This one runs only through Jan. 27, so don’t sleep—it’s worth the hustle: Waverly Gallery scored the bronze medal spot in The New Yorker’s Best Theatre of 2018 list. And no wonder, with a script by acclaimed playwright and Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan (Best Original Screenplay 2016, Manchester By The Sea) and an equally stellar cast including Michael Cera (who also appeared in Lonergan’s Lobby Hero), Lucas Hedges (who worked with Lonergan in Manchester By the Sea), Joan Allen (Tony winner for Burn This), and the legendary Elaine May. More nerd love: This is the very theater in which May made her stage debut 58(!) years ago in An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May. Waverly Gallery’s theme—coping with the memory loss of an aging loved one—may be heavy, but Lonergan weaves in enough humor that you may actually find yourself using the old Broadway fallback afterward: “I laughed, I cried....”