by Anura Guruge
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The CHEAPEST way to get tickets to see the ‘Phantom of the Opera‘ in New York City is to buy the tickets directly from the Box Office of the ‘Majestic Theater‘ (the home of the ‘Phantom’ since its opening on Broadway in 1988) — unless, of course, you want to deal with the uncertainty, frustration and longlines at TKTS.
During our trip to New York City and Philadelphia ‘after Christmas‘ the kids — now 9 & 15 — were adamant that they had to see the ‘Phantom’. They had wanted to see it ‘forever’ but Teischan, until now, was too young. Plus they had already seen the movie a couple of times and knew the story — and as such it would not be as scary for Teischan.
Deanna and I had seen it in 2004 — when we saw 3 shows (‘Phantom’, ‘Fiddler’ and ‘Bollywood’) in 3 nights. I had seen it at least three times prior to that. I had always got my tickets by going directly to the Majestic Box Office — on 245 West 44th Street (couple of blocks south of Times Square and close to the ‘Port Authority Bus Station‘). But this time, knowing that it was the holidays, I started looking on the Web. Yes, there are plenty of ‘folks’ offering tickets BUT I was shocked at how expensive they were — especially as we needed 4 tickets.
In the end I decided that I will take a chance and wait until we got to New York. And that is what we did. No sooner had we checked into the Novotel, on Times Square, we set off, across Times Square, to the Majestic. We wanted tickets for matinee (2pm) for the next day (Tuesday). I know better than to take kids to 8pm shows that last ‘3 hours’ — even if it is the ‘Phantom’. Yes, they had tickets, at face value. They weren’t great tickets, ‘Rear Mezzanine’, and they were 2 + 2 — not together — BUT at $75 each the price was right. For the ‘Phantom’ the ‘Rear Mezzanine’ is NOT a bad place for your FIRST viewing of ‘Phantom’. So much takes place that it is good to be able to see the whole stage from above. Note, I did say FIRST ‘Phantom’. The kids, ideally and with luck, will see it a few more times like we have.
The first time I saw it, I was doing a seminar for ‘Business Communications Review‘ in Times Square. I was walking by the Majestic after the seminar when I went in on a whim. They sold me a seat in one of the boxes. That was NEAT. Box seats are $75 but are in high demand. I have a plan that the next time we are in NY that I buy box seats, for the future, and then go back just for the show. Anywho … I hope this helps. You can’t order tickets DIRECTLY from the Box Office by phone or online.
Oh! The cheapest seats I found online, also for the Rear Mezzanine, were $129 — this being the crush ahead of New Year’s. We paid $75. So that was a $54 difference. Times 4 = $216. That was worth saving, though we might have been able to sit a few rows ahead if I had bought online.
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by Anura Guruge