Been a little while since I've had a moment to sit down and write. I guess that's to be expected. I'm backdatng this so it is less confusing later on.
Started thinking that seeing a show would be good, and getting into the habit of doing theater early on is something that I'd like to encourage in us. So I hunted around online to see how rush tickets work. The best information I found currently is these pages:
NYTix - Rush schedule
Playbill - Rush policies
Some shows are just rush: get there early enough before the box office opens, line up, and you can buy a couple tickets (usually two per person) at a deep discount. Other shows are student rush: same rules, but you must have a valid student ID. A newer form is the "rush" lottery: show up a couple hours before showtime, put your name in the hat, wait for half an hour or so, and if your name is called then you pay (cash) for deep discount tickets. Less deterministic, but also favors people in the area who can be free at that time of day vs. students / tourists with time on their hands.
So tonight we headed up to the theater district to put our names into the lottery for Wicked tickets. We showed up at 5:30, put our names in, killed 20 minutes, came back, and waited with the crowd to see if we were called. They did something like 25 names (pairs of tickets). Right toward the end, my name was called! Totally exciting. Based on the size of the crowd I'm guessing that we had something like a 1 in 10 chance. (Would be better not in the summer, and also probably better on a Tuesday or Wednesday). So that's how I wound up buying two front-row tickets to see one of the biggest Broadway musicals, at $26/each.
Ran home, had some dinner, changed clothes, headed back to the theater. The show itself was great, easily a 9 out of 10. Didn't quite have the pull-at-your-emotions tug of something like Les Miserables, which is my only very very minor nit. All in all, a huge fun time, and definitely a top-notch way to start out NY theater experience.