Better than Times Square?

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The curtains have gone up on the long-awaited TKTS booth at the Metrotech Center in Downtown Brooklyn.

The booth offers the same selection of discounted on- and off-Broadway tickets that the crowded Times Square booth sells and will soon have discounted tickets to Brooklyn venues, such as Fort Greene’s Brooklyn Academy of Music and Midwood’s Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College.

The tickets are priced at 50-, 35- and 25-percent discounts, and are available for same-day evening performances and next-day matinees.

Although TKTS Downtown Brooklyn won’t be open on the weekends like the Manhattan booths, on weekdays, it will open at 11 am, just in time for the lunch-hour rush and a full four hours before the Times Square booth. The booth also accepts all major credit cards, while Times Square still only accepts cash.

Because the show selection changes throughout the day, the earlier opening isn’t necessarily an advantage.

“We have more shows [available for purchase] in the afternoon,” explained Theatre Development Fund spokesman David LeShay. “A lot of the box offices don’t open until 10 or so, and they may not want to make that decision [to offer discounted tickets] until a little later.”

There certainly wasn’t much of a wait when the booth opened for the first time on June 10 (pictured). At 11 am, only 13 people stood in line.

Carroll Gardens resident Josh Huttenbach was first in the cue. He arrived at 10 am to get first dibs on the “Legally Blonde” tickets that were much coveted by his daughters, Sasonah and Yonah.

“I was anticipating longer lines, remembering the [Times Square booth],” said Huttenbach, who was buying from TKTS for the first time and was pleased with his experience, especially after he got his seven orchestra seats.

LeShay said that TDF isn’t expecting as many crowds at Metrotech as Times Square, because Times Square is mostly full of tourists and “in Metrotech, we’re looking at a population of people who work in the area or live in the neighborho­od.”

TDF is a not-for-profit performing arts service organization that provides financial assistance to theatrical works of artistic merit and encourages diverse audiences to attend live theater and dance in all their venues, which is why the Brooklyn location is important to them.

“We’re really stoked, we’re excited to be there, and excited to serve the community,” said LeShay.

TKTS Downtown Brooklyn is located at 1 Metrotech Center on the corner of Jay Street and the Myrtle Street Promenade in Downtown Brooklyn. The booth is open Monday through Friday, from 11 am to 6 pm, and accepts all major credit cards. For information and to sign up for “TKTS Today,” a daily e-mail announcing the current offerings, visit

Updated 2:39 pm, July 12, 2010
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