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 critically acclaimed revival of a Tony-winning musical ('Raisin'), and a stage adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz.'

Ends Jun 11

The Box Show

Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious, Delightful
91
Critics
92
4 reviews
Members
91
49 reviews

One woman. 25 characters. All inside a cupboard! In Dominique Salerno's solo show, the space is limited, but the comedic possibilities are endless. A hit at the 2016 NYC Fringe Festival.

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Each time the cupboard doors fly open, we discover an entirely new reality with a brand-new set of characters. These dynamic scenes include a drunken couple mid-fight in a Las Vegas hotel, the entire Greek Army within the Trojan Horse, a lonely Giantess, a lost Pope, and so many more. With sketch-style characters and musical numbers, 'The Box Show' is a fast-paced and adrenaline-filled roller-coaster ride that plunges its audience into vastly different worlds without ever leaving the physical space of the box. It's a shot glass of theater: potent, highly concentrated, and it gets the job done. 

 

Already closed

In The Heights (Harlem Rep)

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

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

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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.

 

Ends Jun 04

Iphigenia in Splott

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Edgy, Thought-provoking
86
Critics
85
25 reviews
Members
86
84 reviews

Sherman Theatre presents a contemporary drama inspired by the Greek myth, which drives home the high price people pay for society's shortcomings. Part of 59E59's annual Brits Off Broadway festival.

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Stumbling down Clifton Street drunk at 11:30am, Effie is the kind of girl you'd avoid eye contact with, silently passing judgement. We think we know her, but we don't know the half of it. Effie's life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs, and drama every night, and a hangover worse than death the next day—till one night gives her the chance to be something more. This one-woman play makes its New York debut following performances at the National Theatre in London.

 

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.

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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 May 27

Raisin

Members say: Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Resonant
86
Critics
91
3 reviews
Members
85
37 reviews

Astoria Performing Arts Center presents NYC's first full-fledged revival of this 1974 Best Musical Tony winner, based on Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking play 'A Raisin in the Sun.'

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In segregated '50s Chicago, Walter Lee Younger and his mother Lena fight over how to spend their insurance money. He wants to start a business with friends, while she is eager to move the family out of the South Side and into Clybourne Park. Pulsing with the musical beat of the city, 'Raisin' depicts a black family’s struggle in the face of change. 

 

Ends Jun 05

Series A: Marathon of One-Act Plays

Members say: Clever, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful
84
Critics
82
2 reviews
Members
87
1 review

Ensemble Studio Theatre presents Series A of its 36th annual one-act play marathon, featuring 15 plays presented in three separate lineups. See Series B and Series C.

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'Showtime Blues' by France-Luce Benson, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III: A potentially dangerous encounter and major train delays force Ameira and Darius to confront their internalized prejudice, and the harsh realities of life as a moving target.

'El Grande' by Maggie Bofill, directed by Pam Berlin: W
hen Adriana locks herself in the bathroom, declaring she will now be living there, her two sisters Yolanda and Antonia have to get her out.

'Blue Handed' by David Zellnik, directed by John Giampietro: As a
 soldier testifies about an atrocity committed against an Arab civilian, his interrogator wrestles with a deeply buried memory of childhood shame.

'The Fork' by Emily Chadick Weiss, directed by Andrew Grosso:
Joyce, a proud grandma and leader in her field, is about to retire and feels she should use this time to assassinate the President.

'How My Grandparents Fell in Love' by Cary Gitter, directed by Colette Robert: In 1933, Charlie, a Polish Jew who has immigrated to America, returns to the Old Country in search of a wife.

 

Ends Sep 09

The Wizard of Oz (Harlem Rep)

Members say: Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Great acting, Great singing
83
Critics
91
3 reviews
Members
82
63 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.

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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."

 

Open run

The Infinite Wrench

Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Ambitious
83
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
83
37 reviews

The New York Neo-Futurists present an ever-changing lineup of short plays, each written by a performer, honed by the ensemble, and randomly collaged with high-energy audience participation.

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After shuttering the long-running 'Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,' the New York Neo-Futurists are mounting a brand-new weekly series. 'The Infinite Wrench' is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience. Each play offers something different, be it funny, profound, elegant, disgusting, topical, irrelevant, terrifying, or a song; all are truthful and tackle the here and now, inspired by the lived experiences of the performers. With new plays every week, 'The Infinite Wrench' is the Neo-Futurists’ ongoing and ever-changing attempt to shift the conventions of live performance and speak to audiences including those unreached or unmoved by traditional theater.

 

Ends Jun 25

Baghdaddy

Members say: Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant
83
Critics
80
29 reviews
Members
83
202 reviews

Baghdaddy begins in a support group for the disgraced spies who helped start the Iraq War, and quickly escalates into a manic musical comedy where the characters tell their stories and search for redemption. 

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The show begins in a church basement, where disgraced spies gather for a support group meeting. The action soon shifts to Frankfurt Airport, where a mysterious Iraqi defector claims he built secret bio-weapons labs. At CIA headquarters, our other characters are contending with their own ambitions, rash decisions, inflexible bosses, unrequited affections, and unremitting boredom, when a fax arrives from Germany with a golden opportunity. If the defector's story holds up, it will be the ticket out of the basement and into a corner office. It's all fun and games until the looming cataclysm changes everything. 'Baghdaddy' was previously produced in New York in 2015 under the title 'Who’s Your Baghdaddy?' at the Actors Temple Theatre.

 

Ends Jun 29

Happy Karaoke Fun Time

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Quirky
82
Critics
83
2 reviews
Members
82
35 reviews

Under St. Marks presents this troupe of improvisers who create a brand-new, one-act musical at every performance.

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These improvisers make up the scenes, choreography, and original lyrics to karaoke songs you know and love, all based on the title of a musical you shout out. Welcome to opening (and closing) night!

 

Ends Aug 12

A Brief History of Beer

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Delightful, Quirky
80
Critics
75
7 reviews
Members
81
26 reviews

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

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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 Jun 28

Off the Top

Members say: Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Absorbing
78
Critics
90
5 reviews
Members
78
28 reviews

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.

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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.

 

Ends Jun 10

Rotterdam

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing
85
Critics
72
13 reviews
Members
88
30 reviews

Hartshorn - Hook Foundation Ltd presents this bittersweet, Olivier Award-winning comedy about gender, sexuality, and being a long way from home. Part of 59E59's annual Brits Off Broadway festival.

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It's New Year's in Rotterdam, and Alice has finally plucked up the courage to email her parents to tell them she's gay. But before she can hit send, her lover, Fiona, reveals that he has always identified as a man and now wants to start living as one named Adrian. As Adrian begins his transition, Alice must face a question she never thought she'd ask: Does this mean she's straight?

 

Ends Jun 16

Wild Women of Planet Wongo

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Clever, Fluffy
74
Critics
74
13 reviews
Members
74
88 reviews

Go on a wild, immersive ride at the return engagement of this retro sci-fi musical about two astronauts who land on an alien planet of sexy warrior women who’ve never seen men!

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In this loving send-up of '60s B-movies, two astronauts find themselves on an unfamiliar world populated solely by females. Though hesitant at first, the captain finally joins his crewmate in tasting Wongo Flesh, in his case, the Queen. But sex isn't the only thing the Wongettes have in mind. They are also starving—and have very different plans for their male guests! The show is for ages 21 and up. Each ticket includes a complimentary drink. Standing room only.