We had visited and travelled around New York for 10 days in the middle of this April to celebrate our 3rd anniversary with my wife. Normally, we celebrate our anniversaries with a dinner in a nice restaurant. At least we did so in our first two anniversaries. However, this time my beloved wife came up with an amazing idea. She suggested to see a Broadway musical this time which would be much more special than an expensive dinner. Considering it is one of the must-do activities if you are in Manhattan, I jumped into her suggestion and left the choice of musical to her.
After some research, she decided on the “Wicked” Musical which tells the story of the Wizard of Oz from a different angle, from the perspective of the so-called Wicked Witch of the East, Elphaba. The show was first opened in 2003 on Broadway and it has been continuing since then. It won three Tony Awards and hailed by The New York Times as “the defining musical of the decade”.
As we made a last-minute decision to see the musical instead of having a dinner, we unfortunately saw that even the back row seats of the show costed around USD150-200 per seat which is quite above our budget. Then we started to search for some discount opportunities which were very common as we heard from our friends. We tried some options as suggested on internet; first we dropped by the ticked office at the same date of the show to ask for discounted ticket but there was none; then we started to wait in the long que for TKTS ticket booth at Times Square where you can buy last-minute tickets for most Broadway musicals at discounted rates, but the staff informed us that the Wicked was one of the most demanded shows in Broadway and hence there was no discount on its tickets.
It was the moment I gave up for the musical and started to search for a cozy restaurant; however, Ozgun was really determined to see that show and continued searching the web until she found another way. She discovered a phenomena called the lottery for the tickets. We learned, it is common that some of the Broadways shows gives away tickets at very low rates with a lottery held at the same day before the show. Although most of the lotteries were held online anymore, we found out that the lottery for the Wicked would be held in person in front of the ticket office. All we need to do was to go there 2.5 hours before the show and write our names on a piece of paper with the number of tickets we request and give it to the staff, so we did. The rules were simple; you need to be in front of the ticket office in time of the drawing, you need to show an official identification document, you may get maximum 2 tickets and you need to pay in cash. The drawing would be held sharply 2 hours before the show, and it was a very anxious 30 minutes to wait after we wrote our names. When the time’s up, one of the staff put all the names into a rolling bowl and started to draw papers out of it without saying anything. Then, he made some calculations, I guess about the number of seats, and come out with a bunch of paper in his hand and started to read names. We must have been really lucky at our anniversary so he read both of our names and we were entitled to purchase our tickets at the rate of USD30 per person! The location of the seats was not the best but in the middle where we couldn’t afford with its regular price. Cheers!
The show was really amazing! The talented cast, the vibrant costumes, the stage which is in constant motion and the clearness of the sound, let alone the magical story itself! We both agreed that what we saw would be actually worth even USD500 without hesitation. The venue, Gershwin Theatre, was full with almost 2000 people! After seeing this show, we totally understand why Broadway is Broadway.