Best Bets for Under $50

Show-Score | By Raven Snook

Tickets to these popular shows are always under 50 bucks!

One look at regular Broadway prices and you may worry that you'll need to cash in your 401K in order to afford a night out at the theater. While there are certainly discounts, lotteries, and rush tickets floating around, you want a sure thing. We get it. Luckily, there are lots of wonderful, well-reviewed, and highly scored productions off the beaten Broadway track that save you big bucks without skimping on entertainment. Every show below sells tickets for $50 or less to every single performance. There's no catchthey're not partial view, or just for students, or only when there's a blizzard. And while these productions generally take place at smaller theaters, there are often big names involved. Our current crop includes a hilarious 'Harry Potter' parody ('Puffs'), a 'Golden Girls' satire ('Thank You For Being a Friend), and a musical revival starring a Tony nominee ('Finian's Rainbow'). So bail on Broadway and try something that's a little Off.

Ends Feb 26

Broken Bone Bathtub

Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Resonant, Quirky, Profound
94
Critics
87
5 reviews
Members
100
2 reviews

Solo artist Siobhan O'Loughlin returns to NYC with an immersive theater experience that explores themes of trauma, suffering, human generosity, and connection.... Read more

'Broken Bone Bathtub' is an award-winning, immersive, one-person play set inside a bathtub in an actual bathroom. After a serious bike accident, a young woman musters up the courage to ask for help and share her story. The audience members (of four to eight people at a time) take on the role of her close friends, listening and sharing their own experiences, and assisting the cast-clad artist in taking a real bath. 'Broken Bone Bathtub' takes place in different homes throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Audiences are encouraged to choose their tickets based on availability and neighborhood. Once a ticket has been purchased for a performance, the exact location will be provided.

 

Ends May 20

In The Heights (Harlem Rep)

Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Original, Delightful, Great writing
91
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
91
506 reviews

Harlem Repertory Theatre revives Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning musical in an intimate and expressionistic new production. ... Read more

In the neighborhood of Washington Heights, Usnavi is a bodega owner who looks after the aging Cuban lady next door, and pines for the gorgeous girl working in the neighboring beauty salon. He dreams of winning the lottery and escaping to the shores of his native Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, Nina, his childhood friend, has returned to the neighborhood from her first year at college with surprising news for her parents, who have spent their life savings on building a better life for their daughter. Ultimately, Usnavi and the residents of the close-knit neighborhood get a dose of what it means to be home.

 

Intellectual rapper Baba Brinkman and neuroscientist Dr. Heather Berlin explore the brain basis of improvisation and humor in this live comedy show featuring cutting-edge research and freestyle rhymes.... Read more

Married in real life, Brinkman and Berlin bring you the latest research on brain science and creativity while putting their odd-couple relationship under the microscope. Learn how a rapper seduces a scientist, how hard it is to solve a math problem while rapping, and how your subconscious mind influences your daily thoughts and feelings.

 

Potter changed the world forever. The Puffs were also there. 'Puffs" gives you a front-row seat to the sidelines of the world’s most famous magical journey.... Read more

Some people are born to do great things. Some people change the world. Some people rise from humble beginnings to beat back the forces of darkness in the face of insurmountable odds. 'Puffs' is the story of the people who sit in class next to those people. And badgers. Wayne Hopkins, a boy from New Mexico, finds out he's a wizard. Upon arrival at a certain school of magic, he's placed into the Puffs: a group of well meaning, loyal rejects. Over seven increasingly eventful years, he'll learn magic, get out of the shadow of his world-famous nemesis, and try not to get hurt in what is actually a very dangerous place for unsupervised children. This Off-Broadway comedy transferred from its initial hit run at the People's Improv Theater.

 

Ends Jan 29

The Dork Knight

Members say: Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing
86
Critics
84
10 reviews
Members
87
71 reviews

Abingdon Theatre Company presents Jason O’Connell’s solo show tracing the ups and downs of his life through the prism of his love/hate relationship with the 'Batman' movies.... Read more

A look into one man’s obsession with movies about another man’s obsession with dressing up like a rodent and punching people. Featuring numerous “cameos” from the bat-voices in O’Connell’s head, 'The Dork Knight' is a trip down cinematic memory lane that begins with the 1989 Michael Keaton blockbuster, and strolls past George Clooney’s bat-nipples, Christian Bale’s bat-growl, and a couple of iconic Jokers en route to (sigh) Batfleck. O’Connell’s intimate memoir explores how one’s inner geek can guide and inspire in good times and in bad. Note: 'The Dork Knight' contains adult language and themes, and is not recommended for anyone under age 13.

 

Opens Jan 25

1599 Project

Members say: Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Entertaining
85
Critics
76
4 reviews
Members
86
49 reviews

Irondale presents an encore run of '1599 Project,' named for the year when Shakespeare penned 'Henry V,' 'Julius Caesar,' 'As You Like It,' and 'Hamlet'. The four (truncated) plays are mounted as one searing evening.... Read more

Seen together, these plays form one spellbinding drama, tracing the journey of one mythic hero as he transforms through four plays and four characters, from youthful idealist to a madman ending his journey in hopeless chaos. In honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Irondale presents this epic four-play cycle with just six actors taking on all the roles.

 

Ends May 27

The Wizard of Oz (Harlem Rep)

Members say: Entertaining, Great acting, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever
84
Critics
91
2 reviews
Members
84
38 reviews

Harlem Repertory Theatre mounts a one-hour, family-friendly adaptation of the iconic 1939 MGM movie musical about a little girl from Kansas who journeys to the Land of Oz.
... Read more

When Dorothy wakes up in a strange land filled with witches and wizards, and munchkins and monkeys, she's charmed but desperate to return home. She sets off on a quest to ask the Wizard for help and along the way befriends a scarecrow without a brain, a tin man without a heart, and a cowardly lion. Journey down the yellow brick road while humming along to memorable songs from the Oscar-nominated film, including "Over the Rainbow," "We're Off to See the Wizard," and "If I Only Had a Brain."

 

Ends Jan 29

Finian's Rainbow

Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Enchanting, Dated
81
Critics
80
25 reviews
Members
82
86 reviews

Irish Rep revives its adaptation of the classic E.Y. Harburg Burton Lane musical with Tony-nominee Melissa Errico reprising her role as Sharon. Hit songs include "Old Devil Moon" and "If This Isn't Love."
... Read more

Equal parts romantic fairy tale and sociopolitical satire, this groundbreaking 1947 musical follows an Irishman who steals a feisty leprechaun’s pot of gold and escapes with his daughter, Sharon, to Missitucky, a mythical region in the United States that is part of the Jim Crow South. The daughter and the sprite each find love with others, but also encounter bigotry, economic disparity, and cultural injustice.

 

Ends Jan 29

Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People

Members say: Great acting, Resonant, Great writing, Absorbing, Quirky
81
Critics
80
7 reviews
Members
90
1 review

Caps Lock Theatre presents Mariah MacCarthy's autobiographical solo show about her unplanned pregnancy and her efforts to place the child with the gay couple of her dreams.... Read more

'Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People' tracks one birth mother’s true adoption journey, from conception to placement—while still living her life, dating, and attending the occasional orgy. From adoption agencies to vaginal discharge, burlesque to good-­byes, this intimate night of storytelling is up close and personal.

 

Ends Feb 26

Thank You For Being a Friend

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Delightful, Quirky
81
Critics
67
9 reviews
Members
82
33 reviews

Hit the Cutting Room for this musical parody of iconic '80s sitcom 'The Golden Girls,' starring drag queens as the sassy seniors. Expect period fashion, petty fights, sex talk, cheesecake, group hugs, and songs.
... Read more

This live stage show follows your favorite, over-the-hill funny ladies from Miami—Blanchet, Dorothea, Roz, and Sophie—as they prep for the annual Shady Oaks Retirement Home Talent Show. When pop-star Ricky Marin moves in next door and enters the contest, too, the competition gets seriously stiff. The only way the Golden Girls can win first prize is to pull out all their talent and beat him at his own showbiz game. Bonus for big fans: Come early and compete in 'The Ultimate Golden Girls Trivia Challenge!' Winners are crowned 30 minutes before showtime. $20 food/drink minimum per person, which is part of the ticket fee indicated.

 

Ends Aug 12

A Brief History of Beer

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Quirky, Funny
79
Critics
74
7 reviews
Members
80
20 reviews

Horse Trade presents 'A Brief History of Beer,' an hour-long, drinkeractive, time-travel adventure.... Read more

In this intoxicating comedy, the audience travels through time, from Ancient Sumeria to today, to help their two hops-loving hosts save beer from a mysterious nefarious villain. Wish Experience has been touring the interactive 'A Brief History of Beer' to pubs and theatres around the world since 2013. And yes, beer is consumed!

 

Ends Feb 12

Albatross

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging
78
Critics
72
21 reviews
Members
80
33 reviews

The Poets' Theatre, Inc. presents a multimedia solo show inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.'
... Read more

Written and performed as a rollicking sea yarn, 'Albatross' is about Mariner, an 18th-century sailor cursed with immortality who is thrust into the modern world. Full of privateers, storms, battles, spirits, and penguins, it's a thrilling adventure story that also delves deep into urgent questions about violence, mindfulness, and our impact on the natural world.