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 one-person show starring a Tony nominee ('On the Exhale'), and a stage adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz.'

Ends May 10

Show Up

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Hilarious, Funny
95
Critics
88
2 reviews
Members
98
11 reviews

The Peoples Improv Theater presents Peter Michael Marino's bold new adventure: a fully improvised solo show.... Read more

After years of performing his solo shows around the world, Marino grew weary of writing and memorizing them. So he's decided to just show up and create one on the spot. The audience will be the subject of this socially anxious experiment that both spoofs and celebrates the solo show genre. All you have to do is show up.

 

Ends Apr 01

Broken Bone Bathtub

Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Enchanting, Resonant, Profound
91
Critics
85
8 reviews
Members
93
13 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
525 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.

 

Ends Apr 01

Kevin!!!!!

Members say: Great singing, Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Must see
86
Critics
83
8 reviews
Members
93
7 reviews

Both spoof and tribute, Recent Cutbacks' highly theatrical parody of 'Home Alone' is intensely physical, imaginative, and silly, using only rudimentary props and costumes to recreate iconic moments from the film.
... Read more

The folks who brought you 'Hold on to Your Butts' and 'Fly, You Fools!' tackle their most ambitious project to date, featuring live projections, puppets, and a four-person choir, all told in Recent Cutbacks’ signature style of humor, nostalgia, and theatricality. Discover the true meaning (maybe) of Christmas this year with 'KEVIN!!!!!!'

 

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 May 27

The Wizard of Oz (Harlem Rep)

Members say: Entertaining, Great acting, Enchanting, Delightful, Great singing
84
Critics
88
2 reviews
Members
83
40 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 Apr 23

The Emperor Jones

Members say: Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Intense, Riveting
84
Critics
88
12 reviews
Members
82
32 reviews

Irish Repertory Theatre revives Eugene O’Neill’s groundbreaking play about the rise and fall of Brutus Jones, a despot who ascends the throne using lies, intimidation, and the politics of fear.... Read more

After breaking out of prison in the U.S., Jones sets himself up as monarch of a Caribbean island. When the Natives rebel after years of exploitation, Jones' journey into darkness becomes a terrifying psychological portrayal of power, fear, and madness. With his demons in heavy pursuit, the Emperor is forced to confront not only the mortal sins of his past but also the depravities against his ancestors—all in search of forgiveness and salvation. Irish Rep last mounted this classic but controversial play in 2009. This production features the same director and designers but a new cast.

 

Ends Apr 02

On the Exhale

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking
83
Critics
76
12 reviews
Members
85
46 reviews

Roundabout Theatre Company presents the world premiere of a provocative one-woman drama exploring one of our country’s most divisive—and urgent—issues: gun violence. Starring Tony nominee Marin Ireland.... Read more

When a senseless act of violence changes her life forever, a liberal college professor finds herself inexplicably drawn to the very weapon used to perpetrate the crime—and to the irresistible feeling of power that comes from holding life and death in her hands. Peering down the barrel of a uniquely American crisis, she begins to suspect that when it comes to gun violence, we’re all part of the problem.

 

Ends Mar 25

Kyle

Members say: Funny, Great acting, Edgy, Clever, Thought-provoking
76
Critics
77
4 reviews
Members
76
17 reviews

FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade and Hot Tramp Productions present the world premiere of Hollis James' dark comedy inspired by the playwright's knock-down, drag-out battle with drug addiction.... Read more

It’s about a guy named Jack, his friend Kyle, and Kyle's friend cocaine. Thanks to his new friends, Jack's life quickly begins to spiral out of control. He loses his job, his girlfriend, his health, and all sense of personal hygiene. Will Jack find the strength to get his life back on track or will Kyle ultimately win?

 

Ends Apr 26

Off the Top

Members say: Funny, Intelligent, Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining
80
Critics
90
5 reviews
Members
78
7 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.... 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.

 

Ends Apr 16

White Guy on the Bus

Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent
83
Critics
77
18 reviews
Members
84
78 reviews

Delaware Theatre Company presents the New York premiere of this drama, a provocative and unflinching look at race and inequality in contemporary America. Starring Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli.... Read more

A wealthy white businessman and a struggling black single mom ride the same bus week after week. As they get to know each other, their relationship sparks a candid and surprising examination of racial and economic divides.

 

Ends Aug 12

A Brief History of Beer

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Quirky, Clever
79
Critics
74
7 reviews
Members
80
21 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 Apr 01

Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant

Members say: Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Funny
78
Critics
75
12 reviews
Members
78
35 reviews

The Custom Made Theatre Co. presents the East Coast premiere of this absurdist two-hander about a young André the Giant hitching rides to school with Samuel Beckett.... Read more

Inspired by a totally true story! 12-year-old André the Giant—already over 6-feet tall and 240 pounds—didn't fit on the school bus. To repay a favor, a neighbor offered to drive André to school in his truck. That neighbor was avant-garde writer Samuel Beckett. 'Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with André the Giant' imagines a series of scenes between the mismatched pair: a giant who could never hide and a writer obsessed with silence.