Thursday, June 12, 2008


This coming Sunday, the Broadway Theatre community honors its own at the Annual Tony Awards. We at TEAM CHEAPIOSITY think that everyone, whether young, old or in between should experience the miracle of live theatre. We know that not everyone can afford to visit New York and see a Broadway or Off Broadway show, but there are National Tours that come to major cities, regional theatres all over the country, stock companies, and amateur productions at your local house of worship, college, or neighborhood or community theatre. Bottom line, live theatre is out there....go find it, you'll be glad you did.

Back to tickets are getting more and more expensive. That's were we come in. Playbill (the theatre magazine that most theatres use as your program) recently did a story on standing room and rush tickets that are sold on the day of the performance for current Broadway productions. Remember the concept, which is usually available for most shows and will save you a lot of money:

So you don't want to stand in the back, huh? Okay, here's what you do. Go to:, which lists discounted shows and provides you with the discount codes you need to get the discounts. You'll need to buy with a credit cards online. The site also features Off-Broadway and other New York events. There are other sites like this, but we've used this site and know that it works.

So you don't like buying on the internet, huh? For years, The Theatre Development Fund, has been selling half-price tickets at their TKTS booth in the theatre district. They now have a second location at the South Street Seaport. Tickets are sold for 'day of' performances and here's the link:

For those of us feeling the financial crunch who can't afford a trip to New York, but still want the live theatre experience, we suggest you Google 'half price tickets.' Many cities offer ticket programs, so you can still see a show if you can't afford the high prices. Check out, which services a number of cities. Also, check with your local theatre and get on their mailing list for discounted tickets. If all else fails, find out if they have a volunteer ushering group, many do....this way you can help people find their seats and see the show for FREE (our favorite word.)

We've given you the tools, so now go and experience live theatre....if you're lucky you'll see a performance you'll remember for the rest of your life!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


One of the founding members of TEAM CHEAPIOSITY has been a longtime rabid collector of clothing and costume pieces for her job as freelance theatrical costumer, part-time hobbyist, and fulltime cheapskate. She rarely throws anything away and has accumulated most of her impressive costume collection at thrift shops and on eBay. Few pieces cost more than five dollars; in fact, $2.95 is her magic price point for collecting random items; for specific garments, she's been known to spend as much as a tenspot.

This year, TEAM CHEAPIOSITY offered to clothe some high school senior friends for their Prom. Gratis. Tuxedo shirts cost savvy thriftshoppers between two and five dollars each, and over the years, she's amassed quite a pile of them in almost every size. In preparation for a show, our costumer friend recently purchased six complete sets of bowties and vests from a tux rental place on eBay for less than twenty dollars total including shipping. Tux jackets and trousers are a little rarer to find, but she's located a precious few over the years, and it's possible you can too. Black suit pants will do in a pinch. (Tux rental places update their stock from time to time; it's worth asking your local provider how and when they rotate their old stock.) Owning secondhand formal wear pays for itself instantly, and repeated use amortises the cost to pennies a wearing.

Slightly used and never-worn formal gowns are thick as fleas in thrift stores, and our collection rivals any department store. None cost more than five dollars. (Cynics can even find wedding gowns and bridesmaid horrors by the score.) We made a party of it, celebrating frugality and spending nothing on Prom. Not a cent. Our fondest hope is that kids with money to burn could donate their promwear funds to a worthy cause instead of flushing it.

Most rental places gouge graduating seniors well more than a hundred dollars for tux rental, and girls spend twice or three times that on average on dresses and shoes and the rest. We officially challenge anyone with a formal occasion to hit the thrift stores long and hard before stepping foot in a mall. Our costumer cohort spent six dollars on the dress she wore to the Emmys last year and even managed to keep the good news to herself. That part was hard. It's easy to look great for next to nothing.

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