Theater for College Students: TodayTix and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

By Tara Dalton

via Paper Mill Playhouse
via Paper Mill Playhouse

The sidewalk is packed and I’m thoroughly confused. My brother trails along beside me as we head down various streets, referencing the blinking dot on Google Maps. Moving through the busy sidewalk is a feat and even the direction we’re walking is uncertain. Are the street numbers increasing or decreasing? Wait, we just headed a block over, not down. Wait, the dot isn’t moving. I repeat, the dot has stopped moving. What do we do now? Slowly, we tilt our heads up towards an actual street sign.

When my family came to visit in September, I’d only been in NYC for about three weeks and most of that time was spent below 14th Street, close to Washington Square Park. Naturally, my navigational skills were, at that point, far from solid. Had I not owned a smartphone, I’m certain that I would have been lost attempting to venture outside my safe little rectangle of city. Everywhere else would be a foreign maze for another time. Luckily, I had my phone and I ventured out of my rectangle, and we eventually found our way to the Richard Rogers Theatre that afternoon.

That September day marked not only my first family visit, but also my first experience with TodayTix, an app that has a marvelous habit of providing really good deals for theater tickets.

The chaos of our navigation experience provides a nice comparison to what followed upon our arrival: a friendly woman, in a bright red TodayTix shirt, stood outside theater. My brother and I walked up and, after showing my Id, were handed an envelope with two tickets and wished a good show. Easy. Convenient.

And only forty-five dollars to see Idina Menzel in “If/Then.”

Since that day, I’ve unofficially become one of TodayTix’s strongest advocates and continue to recommend the app to nearly every single theatergoer I encounter (no exaggeration). The sales on the app beat TKTS every time, and can be purchased up to a week in advance. It’s also completely free to download.

The main hesitations people tend to have regarding the app center around tickets being limited to in-person delivery, as opposed to other methods such as picking tickets up at the box office or printing at home. To this, I can only provide my personal experience: as a newcomer to NYC, only slightly familiar with the Times Square area, I had no issues finding and retrieving my tickets. This app has been a solid resource for me this year and I have no doubts regarding its ability to continue to provide great deals.

Speaking (well, writing) of great deals, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s” run is set to end on Sunday, April 5. The show is at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, New Jersey. Before you let the cumbersome process of traveling to New Jersey deter you, consider that this show is the result of a collaboration between Alan Menken, whose past credits include “The Little Mermaid,” “Newsies,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and Stephen Schwartz, whose past credits include “Wicked,” “Godspell,” and “Pippin.” This show has been advertised as being much darker than the Disney movie it’s based on, having closer ties to the Victor Hugo novel that inspired the cartoon movie.  Should you call or visit the Paper Mill Playhouse the day of a performance, student rush tickets are available for $20 with a valid student ID.

Tara Dalton is a contributing writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com.

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