WATCH: Stars and Spectators on How Theatre Has Changed Their Lives
By RAVEN SNOOK
Thursday, October 11, 2018  •  
Thu Oct 11, 2018  •  
Broadway  •   4 comments Share This
"TKTS brought me a lifetime of enrichment. I am forever grateful."

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the TKTS "red steps," audiences and artists share the shows (and ticket deals) they'll never forget

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It's been a year of celebrations at TDF: Our not-for-profit organization turned 50, our Times Square TKTS Booth turned 45 and October 16 is the 10th anniversary of our iconic "red steps." (They don't look a day over nine.) To mark these milestones, we asked the most devoted theatre lovers in town, our TDF Stages readers, to share their favorite TKTS moments and they did not disappoint. We've compiled 10 amazing memories that will spark nostalgia or envy, depending on which legendary productions you were lucky (or old) enough to have seen. A few poignant recollections may even make you teary-eyed and serve as potent reminders that sometimes, seeing a show can be a life-changing experience.

Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner, Wicked songwriter Stephen Schwartz and Hamilton's Brandon Victor Dixon can certainly speak to that firsthand -- and they did at TDF's 50th anniversary gala. Which shows inspired them to become theatre artists? Watch the video below to find out, and then read on for how TKTS inspired many others to become theatre audiences.

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My favorite TKTS memory is taking my 10-year-old daughter to see the original production of Once on This Island, her first Broadway show. She is now 33. We sat in the first row, and I'm not sure if I watched the show or the expression on her face. Priceless. -- Arthur Klein

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On a nasty, slushy Saturday in January of 1988, my friend Chuck and I got tickets to the matinee of Anything Goes starring Patti LuPone. As soon as the show ended, we ran back to TKTS and got great seats to the evening show of Into the Woods starring Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and the entire original cast. Musical theatre heaven! My favorite "I Love New York/I Love Broadway" memory! -- Michael Z.

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Right after I moved to New York in 1995, I went to the TKTS Booth to buy tickets to Arcadia at Lincoln Center. I waited in a very long line. When I got to the window, I learned I was short. I had exactly enough cash for two half-price tickets; I didn't realize there would be a service fee. Without any discussion, the man behind me handed me a bill -- probably a then-unthinkable $10 -- and told me to enjoy the show. -- Ayun Halliday

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It was August 1976. I was in Manhattan for the first time. My mother, sister and I were in the TKTS line. When we reached the window, we snagged three tickets for the original production of Chicago. It was my first NYC theatrical experience! OUTSTANDING! I was 16 years of age. That night, I made my decision to dwell in Manhattan. Five years later, I moved to Manhattan with a degree and desire. I love my Manhattan life; I worked in the theatre; every day brings me a measure of joy. TKTS thus brought me a lifetime of enrichment. I am forever grateful. -- Denise Robert

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When I was at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, my religion teacher, Father Corry, took a group of us to many, many Broadway shows. It really had nothing to do with our religion class; he just wanted to share the theatre that he was passionate about with the students he knew. It was the 1980s, so someone had to go down to the TKTS Booth most times with cash and buy tickets for the people who wanted to go. We saw Gemini. We saw the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd. We saw Mousetrap downtown. We had great conversations about the shows we saw, and I ended up talking about Sweeney Todd's view of human nature in my interview for a Harvard Club scholarship (I got it!). I've never performed in a dramatic production, sadly, but I've remained a huge fan of the theatre, and have seen all sorts of plays and musicals over the years. I started taking my daughter to local children's productions at a very young age, and she announced that she wanted to start auditioning when she was in second grade. She's done many musicals since, and is now a student of drama at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School. -- Margaret Groarke

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My first TKTS show: A Chorus Line in 1988. I was literally front row center (for the first time) on Broadway...and for only $40! The good old days, huh? -- Douglas Robertson

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I have a fond memory of standing in the TKTS line with my husband to see a performance of Equus when it was new on Broadway in 1974. We became friendly with the woman behind us who wanted to see the same show. We discussed the play and she commented that, "It was GOOD theatre!" I enjoyed the fun of anticipation and a friendly encounter. I also never forgot her comment. -- Anne Andersson

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I was just yesterday talking to a fellow professor about what made a difference in our theatrical life. We both agreed, had it not been for the TKTS Booth, neither of us would have the firsthand knowledge of the theatre we do. The fact I could say to a friend, "Let's meet at the Booth and see what's on," is definitely part of the magic of New York. -- Milton Justice

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My Mom took my little brother and me out of school on September 13, 2001 once Broadway reopened after 9/11. We went to see Beauty and the Beast and got our $30 orchestra seats from TKTS. The city was recovering from the chaos, but the smoke-filled downtown sky was a stark reminder of the past few days. I can't say it was my favorite TKTS moment, but certainly the most memorable. -- Alexa Rennie

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Although I am an avid theatre fan, my connection to the TKTS Booth is a bit different. I am an architect and I teach a construction class nearby. Every semester, I take my students on a walking tour of the neighborhood to point out buildings and construction techniques we learn about in class. We always end at the TKTS Booth, and I use the building as a teaching tool. The students are fascinated to see that the entire building is made of glass, including the structural beams! No steel! Steps made of glass! Glass that's colored red! Plus you can see all of the infrastructure inside from the street. It's a little gem of a building and thanks for allowing me to open up my students' eyes to new construction techniques! -- Ralph F. Carmosino

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Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.

TDF Members: Go here to browse our latest discounts for dance, theatre and concerts.




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4 Comments:
Debbie Cohen said:
In 1990 my now 36 year old daughter’s 3rd grade class went to see CATS and I was a chaperone. That performance ignited a passion in me which I had not known was missing. That passion still blazes fiercely today!
Posted on 10/13/2018 at 11:21 AM
Brita Darany von Regensburg said:
Hey, I have never noticed that the TDF building is all glass. I must go SEE it again as it is usually surrounded by snakes of people that conceal the structure... just see it without the pressure of needing tickets for the night that we drove inall the way from out of town! I love archititecture so thanks for bringing to my attention the unique character of this NY icon!
Posted on 10/13/2018 at 6:35 PM
Tony Glover said:
It was 1978. I was a freshman at La Salle Academy, a Catholic high school which had a cultural night out on the town. There were many events to choose from. I chose to see A Chorus Line. I will never forget it. For the first time in my life I took in a story, a musical, that had both an African man and a gay man. At 13, Black and gay, it changed my life. I knew I was not alone.
Posted on 10/13/2018 at 8:09 PM
Linda Vollkommer said:
My Sixteenth Birthday was a trip to see Barbara Streisand in funny Girl and the rest is history.
Posted on 10/18/2018 at 4:29 PM
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