I highly recommend the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” It is a story about an awkward white guy in high school who is not popular and has a crush on a beautiful girl. Perhaps you can see why I love it already.
In this post I’ll show you a great HD video of the best song, plus explain how I bought my totally sold-out ticket minutes before showtime.
Best Song: “Waving Through A Window”
This video from a live performance on Late Night with Seth Myers captures a lot of the story and features the best song. Start here:
I like the micro-actions and extreme social awkwardness of the star, Ben Platt. The lyrics are great: “We start with stars in our eyes…”
The show was marketed with the message “A new musical for the outsider in us all.” It talks about his struggle in a search for connection and wanting to be included. I felt like that a lot in high school, and still sometimes today.
The full soundtrack is also on Spotify. Here’s the best song:
How I Got My 3rd Row Orchestra Side Same-Day Ticket for $129
The show is very sold out. Here’s how I did it:
- Buying 1 ticket is easier and cheaper than 2+. Because who goes to see a Broadway show alone? Besides me.
- I waited until the very last minutes to buy on StubHub. Like, literally: I bought my ticket at 7:25pm, then jogged to the subway, raced through Times Square to pick up the physical ticket, and back to the theater.
I recognize that paying $129 plus tax for a ticket isn’t a huge win and is still expensive for many people. I’m celebrating my experience because it was a spontaneous purchase, and an awesome show.
If you have more time than money in your life, you can also try this:
- Wait in the cancellation line to try to buy tickets at face value. Approx $69, they sell any available starting at an hour before showtime
- Wait in the line for Standing Room Only tickets, approx $42 each. They give out 20 or so per day whenever it is sold out.
There’s a lot of chatter online about strategies for doing the above. Some people would show up 5 hours early, and still not get tickets. I was not interested in these options due to the uncertainty and time suck.
My Plan: Snipe Last-minute StubHub Price Discounts
By watching ticket prices on StubHub for the 2:00pm matinee, I noticed that the prices for some seats for Dear Evan Hansen dropped by 50% in the hours and minutes leading up to curtain.
30 minutes before the 2:00pm showtime, I saw a $199 ticket for the Saturday matinee suddenly drop to $99 when the seller realized they might not have any buyers.
This was confirmed in this Quora article: When is the best time to buy tickets from StubHub?
As a previous employee on their analytics team, you generally want to buy the day of the event. Prices start to drop drastically as sellers realize they might not sell their tickets.
So I developed a plan for the 8pm show: I would wait until the very last minute, and hope I could get a ticket within my budget of $130.
I saw prices start around $259 at 3pm for the 8pm show. I checked in every hour and saw them steadily creeping down — some dropping to $219, $199, $179, $159, etc. When an Orchestra Side ticket dropped to $129, I purchased it and raced to the subway.
My $129 ticket plus $31.25 in taxes and processing, so in total I paid $161.24 for an 8pm Saturday night Orchestra side ticket Row C, Seat 14 for Dear Evan Hansen. The last single ticket available sold for $99 plus taxes; if I had waited 20 more minutes I could have gotten it. It was a worse seat, IMHO, with less visibility. I talked to the guy who got it: visiting from Tampa, Florida and was in town to run the NYC half-marathon today. Nice guy.
At 1:30pm on Saturday afternoon, I decided I really wanted to see the play “Dear Evan Hansen.” I came to this conclusion after watching a YouTube video clip and seeing a friend’s Instagram post.
At 8:00pm, I was sitting in the third row: $129+ poorer, but very proud of myself for being spontaneous. I’m trying to see more theatres this year, and I like musicals. I am very glad that I went.
Two people encouraged me to see this show: my colleague and friend Ethan Angelica, who previously invited me to see “Fun Home” which was great; and Tina Yip, whose Instagram post about the show pushed me over the edge.