Move over, Broadway. Fulton Street has arrived as a theater destination.
The TKTS booth Downtown, which has sold discount tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows since 2008, is finally getting hip to what we have long known about Brooklyn being a capital of performance arts by carrying stubs for shows at borough theaters.
The question burning a hole in our notebook was “What took you guys so long?”
“More and more theaters seem to be moving to the Brooklyn area,” said Michael Naumann, managing director of the Theatre Development Fund, which runs the TKTS booths. “And we want to support that.”
The window is located in MetroTech Center and often draws long morning lines of tourists and local drama-philes pushing for first shot at discount ducats. The booth sells same- and next-day tickets to select Manhattan productions, and now to shows at smaller Brooklyn theaters, such as the Irondale Ensemble Project and Bric, both spitting distance from the famed spine of Fort Greene’s performing arts district, Fulton Street.
As if we were not already sold, the ticket master figured he would tell us what we have known for more than 34 years.
“If you live in Brooklyn, you don’t have to come into Manhattan to see a show,” said Naumann.
The new service is a boon for Bric as well as its customers because the playhouse does not have its own full-time box office, a spokeswoman for the venue said.
“This gives us a physical place where we can send our patrons,” said Bric’s Colleen Ross.
That is the good news. The bad news is that most local theater admission slips run full-price, since they are below the $30 threshold TKTS has set for its discount. What is worse, Brooklyn stubs will not be sold at the TKTS booths located in Manhattan.
Naumann said the Theatre Development Fund always wanted to offer Brooklyn shows at the Downtown booth, but the smaller theaters could not participate because the booth’s service only worked with TicketMaster. The organization has since added the ability to hawk passes through a smaller service called Ovation Tix that is used by some of the more independent performance halls.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music has sold tickets at TKTS in the past and Naumann said it may again in the future.
And Fort Greene’s Theatre for a New Audience says it hopes to sell at the window sometime soon but did not have enough tickets available for this go-round.
“It’s a really great thing for everyone in Brooklyn,” said Nella Vera, the theater’s marketing director.
The catch-all box-office is still rolling out the added venues, and hopes to have more participating by this spring.