Is TDF worth it?

wickedlyfantine
Swing
joined:11/5/12
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 01:18am
Sorry if this question has been asked before--I tried searching but couldn't find anything, so here I am.

Right now there are two upcoming shows I want to see: Drood and Phantom. The thing is, I'm sure by next year there will be many more shows I'm interested in seeing. So is it worth it to pay the sign up money now for TDF and get discounted tickets in the future?

I'm just curious because I have no idea how good the seats are. I'd rather spend more money on good seats than pay a discount on bad seats. For instance, I signed up for HipTix and looked at Drood, but the seats are way in the back. I don't care if it's a low price, I can't sit that far back. I'd rather just pay the $100 or however much it costs to sit up front.

So basically, does TDF provide good seats for shows? I don't want to pay for the service and then have it turn out that the seats are terrible, meaning I wouldn't bother using it and it'd be a waste of the sign up fee.

Thanks!
NW
Swing
joined:5/5/11
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 03:11am
You won't know where you're sitting until you pick up your tickets. I've been everywhere from front row center to the last row in the house and everywhere in between. You certainly can't *count* on "good" seats. I think it's worth the money, but you won't know how it works out for you with the shows you buy on the day you go unless you try it.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 06:44am
For YOU, no it would not be worth. ANY discount program is for people that understand that to save money, you aren't going to get the cream of the crop, the cushion on your seat, the center of the meat. And we're ok with that.

Pay full price. You will be happier.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 07:10am
TDF is a jewel for locals with wide-ranging interests (concerts/dance/Broadway/Off- and Off-Off Broadway) and a flexible nature. Doesn't sound as if that's you.

You should try the standard Broadway discount programs offered on this website, playbill.com, broadwaybox.com, etc., where the discounts are less substantial, but you're allowed to choose your seats.

"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 11/14/12 at 07:10 AM
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 10:47am
For me, part of the fun of TDF is picking up my tickets at the box office and seeing if I've scored an orchestra seat. But you've been given good advice from the previous posters. I don't think TDF is what you're looking for.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 01:00pm
"I'd rather just pay the $100 or however much it costs to sit up front."

Then why did you even bother posting this to begin with?
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Wee Thomas2
Leading Actor
joined:2/28/12
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 01:43pm
In my limited experience (2 b'way, 3 off b'way), we've had lousy seats for the b'way shows, and seating doesn't much matter in most Off b'way houses. But the savings from just the Off b'way shows have more than paid the annual fee.

Just picked up Old Jews tix for $30 each (total), and looking forward to it.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 02:47pm
You want the best possible seats at the cheapest price, just like everyone else on here, but beggars can't be choosers.
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda***** 39 Steps**** Another Country** Handbagged** Two Into One*** The Beautiful Game***** Let The Right One In**** Once**** Privacy***** Home** Best of Friends** Avenue Q*** Good People***** Betty Blue Eyes*** (Tour: Salisbury Playhouse) I Can't Sing* A View From The Bridge***** Water Babies **** (Tour: Leicester Curve) Miss Saigon***** In The Heights*** The Testament of Mary*** This May Hurt A Bit*** The Last 5 Years* (Greenwich Theatre) All My Sons*** Happy Days** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels**** Bakersfield Mist**** Ushers** The Pajama Game*** Evita*** (Tour: Orchard Theatre, Dartford)Fings Ain't What They Used To Be**** Billy Elliot***** Titus Andronicus**** 1984*** Clarence Darrow**** Miss Saigon***** A Small Family Business*** Things We Do For Love**** Hobson's Choice*** Rock of Ages*** (Tour: Churchill Theatre, Bromley) Zanna, Don't!*** The Silver Tassie** Bring Up The Bodies** Forbidden Broadway**** Carousel**** Hotel*** The Crucible**** Medea*** The Importance of Being Earnest*** The Pajama Game*** Skylight**** Pacific Overtures** The Invincibles*** Julius Ceasar***
Baiseur82
Featured Actor
joined:11/25/07
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 11:32pm
I'm going to thread jack a little here but I didn't feel like starting a new thread. Does anyone know if Met Opera tickets ever go on TDF?
"I'd rater be nine peoples favorite thing, than a hundred peoples ninth favorite thing"
frogs_fan85
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/05
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 11:35pm
ABT performances at the Met have been on TDF, but not Met performances.

Given the Met's weekday and now weekend rush ticket program, there is little need for them to sell tickets via TDF.

ETA- To answer the OP's original question, I think it is worth it because the membership essentially self-amortizes with one-two purchases. It certainly helps if you're local and can attend a show on just a few days (or even less than a days) notice. I just checked my account and I've purchased tickets to 9 shows in the past 8 months and recall getting good orchestra seats for several Broadway shows.
Updated On: 11/14/12 at 11:35 PM
jeffmiele
Broadway Star
joined:11/6/07
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/14/12 at 11:43pm
I hae been seriously considering not signing up for TDF.Sure, tickets are still cheap for a musical, $49 including tax and fees for a musical. But for $15-20 bucks more I'd rather use a discount code and know where I am sitting weeks ahead of time. It is a great service if you live around the area. But as someone who does live near New York it is getting harder and harder to justify being a member as prices begin to rise.
SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/15/12 at 01:19am
Yes it is.
kooky
Broadway Legend
joined:7/12/05
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/15/12 at 05:16pm
I agree about the rising prices of TDF & am rethinking my own membership !
goldenboy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/05
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/15/12 at 09:20pm
TDF is a godsend for any theatre lover.
Yes you have no idea where you are going to sit but when I scored third row orchestra for Drood I was very happy. When I scored 15 row Orchestra for Book of Mormon in previews I was delirious. Now for Don't Dress for Dinner, i was saddled way back in the mezzanine. And the same for The Columnist and Enemy of the People. But I love saving money so that being said... I love TDF.. I also love Gold Club on Theatermania. Again you have no say in where the seats are but you see so much more.
wickedlyfantine
Swing
joined:11/5/12
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/16/12 at 04:05am
Thanks! I hadn't realized you have no idea where you're going to sit. Not sure if I want to go for it then. But thanks for your helpful answers, I appreciate it :)

But I have one more question: Let's say a person says that they used TDF and saw Phantom and sat in, say, the orchestra, does that mean that anyone else who uses TDF for Phantom in the future will also sit in the orchestra? Or is it completely random for each performance?

Hypothetical Example: TDF always gets orchestra seats for Drood, always gets mezzanine seats for Book of Mormon, etc. Or do the seat sections always vary?
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/16/12 at 06:10am
First -- they never get tickets for Mormon. There will be no discounts for YEARS.

It's up to the theater -- sometimes it's consistent, somtime it's not.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
I love TDF
Posted: 11/16/12 at 12:56pm
I agree that TDF is a godsend. I joined last year, and just paid my $30 to renew. It's been a great 12 months! I saw 27 shows through TDF. I probably saved $50 to $75 (or even more) per ticket compared to the standard box office price. I started out with musicals and comedies, but now I've started to branch out, and I just got tickets to Virginia Woolf. If you're not fussy about where you sit, TDF is ideal. Best $30 I ever spent!

Updated On: 11/16/12 at 12:56 PM
wexy
Broadway Legend
joined:9/19/05
I love TDF
Posted: 11/16/12 at 01:10pm
i've been a member since 1988. probably over 500 shows since. the off off stuff for $9.
yes its worth it.
'Take me out tonight where's there's music and there's people and they're young and alive.'
rgdave
Swing
joined:10/28/09
Yes, you can get modest discounts with Broadwaybox, et. al, and you'll know your seats when you book. But, in my experience, the available discount inventory is usually side/rear orchestra or 3rd row or further back in the mezzanine, seldom prime center orchestra. So you may know where you're sitting, but it will likely be right orchestra row R, 8 or 10 seats off the aisle. (The exception is booking day before or day of, when some box offices release any still available prime orchestra seats for discount booking.)

On the day of show, the objective of box offices is to fill in the house. The block of TDF presales gives the box office a great tool to do that. An unsold single in Row F? Let's put that TDF single there. Nobody using the 2 remaining house seats in Row H? A TDFer might just luck out and get them. Last week I lucked out and got Row F center orchestra 4 seats off the aisle for Golden Boy. For a Book of Mormon preview, a friend and I got the 10th row center orchestra aisle pair, directly across the aisle from Jon Stewart. (And yes, we did feel we hit the theater equivalent of the Mega Millions jackpot.)

I've also gotten less-than-spectacular seats. But I think I've gotten better seats overall through TDF than via other discounts.

When I do get a great seat, I make it a point to thank the box office person for giving me such a great seat on TDF.

And remember that part of the great deal of TDF is the $4 fee PER ORDER for tickets (and that covers up to 9 tickets). Compare that to as much as $10 or $11 per ticket when you use a discount through Ticketmaster or Telecharge, and TDF comes out as an even better deal.

Updated On: 11/16/12 at 05:10 PM
soychailatte
Swing
joined:11/16/12

Updated On: 11/16/12 at 11:29 PM
drewmangroup
Understudy
joined:5/22/11
I live in Detroit and visit NYC 2-3 times a year. I love tdf! Those discounted tickets always give the worst seats IMO, so tdf can't do any worse. At least if there are better seats available, with tdf, you will get them. If you look at the attendance% on the Playbill grosses, you can get a sense. As Edwin Drood is having low attendance, you're more likely to get a decent seat on the main floor. Plus, you generally end up sitting by other tdf members, so you have more to talk about when the show isn't on. The fee pays for itself with one ticket and it's a non-profit org that supports theater, so I don't mind it.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Shakespeare wrote: "The PLAY's the thing..." He didn't write "The SEAT's the thing..."

If the play's good I'll enjoy it from any seat in the house--especially if I'm getting a deep discount.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Kaplan18
Swing
joined:11/9/12
Even if you buy only a few tix a year, it's worth it...
followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/19/12 at 01:32pm
Despite the thread subject line, the OP didn't actually ask if TDF is worth it in general. They asked if TDF is worth it if you're only interested in getting excellent orchestra seats for Broadway shows.


"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 11/19/12 at 01:32 PM
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/19/12 at 02:49pm
IMO, TDF is not worth it if you're very choosy about your seats. I think that's pretty obvious. As someone who lives in NYC and can use it last minute to grab cheap tix to shows, it's completely worth it for me.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
mridley2
Chorus Member
joined:1/6/12
Is TDF worth it?
Posted: 11/19/12 at 05:00pm
HIPTIX gold is another option for Roundabout shows. For a donation of $75 per year you are guaranteed 2 orchestra seats for every performance at Roundabout. That said, the ORCH seats are usually off to the side so don't expect center ORCH on the aisle. not gonna happen.

As others have said, if you're that concerned about location, spring for the more expensive seats with offer codes and sit exactly where you want.

Though I am a TDF member i've only bought tickets twice with TDF this year and I doubt I will renew my membership for next year. For less than TDF prices ($25-40 max), you can get rush tickets for most shows or try the lottery (newsies, wicked, BoM.) Some rush seats require student ID's but many are general rush or limited by age. e.g. MTC has a under 30 y/o program but also student rush for $26.50. Just depends on the show. Again seats aren't always great (i rushed Christmas Story last night) and we sat in rear mezz row E seats 1,3. For $40 cash I'll take it without complaint. I see almost every broadway show and simply cannot afford to pay even a discounted price so I take great advantage of rush offers.

Your best bet is to decide which shows you want to see and investigate the cheapest way to see the show. Rush, discount, etc. Also, people on this board are usually qutie kind and will tell you were rush seats are located. Some rush seats are front row ORCH which can be great but again will rarely be "prime" seats. Those are reserved for people willing to pay "prime" prices.

Good luck

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