I was the “practice child” growing up. Meaning, as the oldest niece on my mother’s side that lived around the majority of childless aunts and uncles, they “practiced” their parenting on me. This may sound a little sketchy, but it came with a lot of perks! I was given way too much sugar, stayed up past my bedtime, and taken to events that the adults wanted to enjoy but needed a kid for admission (otherwise it just looks weird). All the only child fun came to a screeching halt once my younger cousins came along, but I’m grateful for those few years because I had a pretty good run!
One of my aunts made it her responsibility to expose me to all things artistic; museums, the ballet, and musicals. I remember these occassions required a pretty dress, were usually in a bustling downtown area, and we would eat out afterwards. It was a whole production to little ol me, whose parents were always working hard to make ends meet, and I made sure to soak it all in. I recognized early on that the arts stirred my imagination the same way reading did, which I was already in love with. The arts provided the pictures that my adolescent mind couldn’t fully paint, and I was hooked.
While I couldn’t afford to go as often as I liked during my young adult life, I took advantage of any invitation or free local show to go to. Once I became a Mom, I tried my best to share this interest with my children, but I’ll be honest, it was a bit intimidating. Walking into shows, it was very clear that I would be the only audience member “representing” young, low income, single mothers.. I must have looked like the Nanny!
The good news? Times have changed. I recently had the opportunity to watch Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical in Sacramento. While searching for tickets, I was pleasantly surprised at how much more affordable it is to attend a musical! With most money saving strategies, it takes research and planning to get the best deal, but know that it IS possible. Some of these programs may be specific to Broadway Sacramento, so I suggest contacting your local theater to see if they have something similar. Here are a few things I learned in my search;
- Tip: Download the Groupon App, where they advertise discount codes that can sometimes be stacked for additional savings. You can also use credits toward your purchase, meaning trading in a Groupon that you no longer want to use for a more desireable deal. The great part about this is that you exchange value for value! So if you used a coupon on an old deal (ex, paid $10 for a $15 voucher that is worth $25) you exchange the value of the voucher ($25) not what you paid for it ($10).
Join a Club – Broadway Sacramento has a great program called $35 Under 35 that aims to make the theater affordable for those age 18-35 in hopes of gaining life long supporters. Free to sign up, members are emailed when tickets are available and are not subject to additional booking fees.
Rush Tickets – Feeling lucky? At most theaters, day of show tickets are offered at a heavily discounted price two hours prior to show time. Broadway Sacramento offers seats for $25 to students with a valid ID.
Group Rates – Moms Night Out, church function, and school outings may qualify for a discount. Plan in advance as the size of your group varies by theater and is still subject to additonal fees.
Social Media – Follow your local theater on all their pages for discount codes, specialty nights, and ticket giveaways!
I feel so blessed to have been exposed to the theater and musicals at a young age, and even more relieved that I didn’t let a few uncomfortable moments in my adult life stop me for continuing to attend shows. You might think “oh thats not my thing,” but I encourage you to give it a try! Check out the upcoming list of shows that Broadway on Tour will be performing in Sacramento and you’ll see that there’s something for everyone.