How to Get $30 Tickets to a Sold-Out Show: The Rush

Ticketing Tips and Tricks: Part One

Show-Score | By Doug Kenney, Partnership Manager

When it comes to buying cheap tickets, you may have heard your theater friends talking about a “Rush.”  Aside from rhyming with “hush,” there’s nothing secret about it.  It’s quite simple and we've got the scoop!

The rush line for "Once" - we miss this show! The rush line for "Once" - we miss this show!

See all our tips and tricks on lottery, rush, and standing room tickets.


The Gist:

You can get super-discounted tickets to certain shows through a process called "The Rush."  If it’s an In-Person Rush, you need to show up at the box office before it opens in the morning, wait in a line, and, if you got there early enough, you’ll get tickets for as little as $30 for a Broadway show, or sometimes less for a show Beyond Broadway.  If a show has a Digital Rush, you can do this whole process from the comfort of your TodayTix app.  

For a complete listing of all shows with Rush Tickets, click here!

If, like me, you want to know all the ins and outs, read on!

What's a Rush?

There two types of Rushes, and we list them both here at Show-Score.  In general, a Rush is a way for those who have more time/energy than money to grab tickets to a play at way below-market prices.  

  1. An In-Person Rush means that a show will sell a limited number of tickets to that same day’s performance at their box office. Rush begins as soon as the box office opens (in most cases this is at 10AM, but it’s always good to check beforehand!).  It’s called a “rush” because it’s first-come, first-served, so if you’re too far back in the line, you may miss the limited quantities. Note that only general rushes are open to everyone; some rushes are only open to students and those under a certain age, so be sure to look for the word "general" in the description of the rush policy.

  2. A Digital Rush is a much newer invention. Instead of physically showing up at the box office, you can now login to TodayTix at 10AM on the day of the performance and get discounted tickets to participating shows right on your phone.  Very convenient, but you’d better act fast - everyone loves that convenience, and they’re usually snapped up pretty quickly!

Why Do Shows Offer Rush Tickets?  Where Did This Idea Come From?

It all started with “Rent” back in 1995.  The show originated at New York Theatre Workshop, where ticket prices were (for the time) quite reasonable. As soon as the show transferred to Broadway, however, the show took off in popularity, and prices rose. The producer (Jeffrey Seller, who has a knack for hits; he’s the lead producer of “Hamilton”) realized something incredibly important.  

The people that the show was about couldn’t afford to see it.

So, in order to make tickets more financially accessible, he created a “Rush” line where, if you showed up early enough in the morning (or, in some cases, camped overnight), you could get an affordable front-row ticket to the show.

Shows have continued the tradition ever since, and many find it a great way to put the most energetic crowds right in the first row.  

So, How Do I Do This, Exactly?

Check our lists on Show-Score to find out whether the show you want to see has a rush, and if so, whether it’s In-Person or Digital.

If it’s In-Person, just show up to the box office before 10AM on the day you want to see the show.  The earlier you get there, the more likely you are to guarantee availability.  Check our listings to see if you need to bring cash, or if they accept credit card.  

If it’s Digital, download TodayTix and go to the show’s listing on the app.  If there are tickets available, you can buy them right from there; if that day’s inventory has been sold, you can conveniently set an alert to be notified when there are more tickets available.  

Good fortune - good fortune, ticket hunters! ("Wicked" reference, anyone?)

And don’t forget to check back here in the coming weeks, as we continue to offer more tips and tricks on the nuances of getting theater tickets on the cheap! We'll cover youth/student rushes, online lotteries, digital lotteries, and more!