The Broadway musical Chicago is the second longest running show on the Big Apple's theatre circuit, second only to the ghostly living corpse of The Phantom of the Opera. Now this show is celebrating its 25th anniversary to the rhythm of jazz!
As well as being one of the longest-running shows, this New York musical can boast, at 25 years old, of being on the list of the most awarded shows, with 6 Tony Awards, considered the Oscars of the theatre. Almost nothing!
If you're sure you don't want to miss one of the best performances of all time, in this article I'll explain how to get tickets to see the musical Chicago on Broadway, so stay tuned!
How much do tickets for the musical Chicago on Broadway cost?
All musicals are in high demand, but for the Chicago show it's even higher. Day after day it's sold out and tickets are hard to come by even two months in advance. The minimum price you can pay for tickets is around €75 and the maximum is €500.
One of the most expensive times is undoubtedly Christmas, for example, on 25 December and 1 January (New Year's Day) the cheapest tickets go up to €130, almost €50 more than normal. However, enjoying Christmas in New York and its lights is a must for any traveller. Here's the definitive guide to getting around the city during the most magical time of the year.
The best option: buy your tickets online and in advance
From my own experience I recommend that you buy your tickets online as far in advance as possible so that your wallet doesn't suffer. Ideally two to three months in advance. Also, by booking online you will be able to choose the seat you like best, without a huge queue behind you, and in many cases with cheaper prices than at the box office, as no special discounts are offered at the window.
How to get cheap (but risky) tickets
Broadway theatres offer alternative ways to get your ticket on the cheap. However, these options are quite insecure and you will most likely miss out on your ticket. Here are the two most commonly used methods:
Option 1: get your tickets in the Broadway lottery
The lottery: yes, you read that right, LOTTERY. The auditoriums organise a kind of virtual bingo in which they draw tickets for the same day at reduced prices. The way it works is easy: you fill in the form and if you have been selected, you have 60 minutes to pay for your tickets. The worst thing is that you can't plan anything and you won't know until the last minute if you've been one of the lucky ones.
Why I don't recommend this option: you are more likely to win the EuroMillions than to get one of these tickets. Bear in mind that thousands of people apply for them every day and the seats that are usually left are those in places with reduced visibility. Don't gamble!
Option 2: See Chicago standing room only
This option takes the cake. If you don't mind standing for almost 3 hours, stoically enduring the show, this option is for you. How to get this kind of ticket called "Standing Room"? The Chicago musical offers this option at the box office two hours before the start of the show. Not suitable for people with lumbago!
Why I don't recommend this option: because you will end up exhausted and it will be really uncomfortable to stand for so many hours. Besides, for shows as crowded as Chicago, it's practically impossible to get a seat. So you'll be waiting in line for hours for nothing.
Which theatre is playing Chicago on Broadway?
This classic is performed at the Ambassador Theatre, one of Broadway's oldest theatres with a century of history (it opened in 1921) and listed as a New York City landmark.
This auditorium, which for two decades was used as a movie theatre and television studio, is one of Broadway's smallest theatres with a seating capacity of about 1,100. The advantage? It's one of the most spacious between seats.
Location: The Ambassador Theatre is at 219 West 49th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.
Chicago on Broadway performance times
- Mondays: 2:30pm and 7pm
- Tuesday: 8 p.m.
- Wednesday: 20 h
- Thursday: 8 p.m.
- Friday: 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 2:30 pm and 8 pm
Due to its success and the great reception of the public, Chicago is one of the musicals that performs the most shows per week in all of Broadway. In total, 10 shows are performed, with a duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.
What to expect from Chicago on Broadway
Experience is a skill, and the cast and crew of the Chicago musical know it. That's why for decades these professionals have been perfecting the show to make it a New York must-see.
It's an electrifying tale of greed, murder and show business. If you've seen the 2002 film starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, you'll have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about: incredible live choreography, lots of jazz and carefully staged performances, all spiced up with hit songs such as 'All That Jazz' and 'Razzle Dazzle'. It'll give you goosebumps!
A Portrait of 1920s American Society
Set in the turbulent 1920s, the Chicago musical tells the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to leave her.
Desperate to avoid conviction, she fools the public, the media and her cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's most skilled criminal lawyer to turn her evil crime into a flurry of sensational headlines.
The show is based on the 1926 play published by journalist Maurine Dallas, based on the actual crimes she covered for the Chicago Tribune, so it is based on real events.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
If you're in New York this summer, don't miss the free "Broadway in Bryant Park" event where you'll see Broadway's most popular musicals in a park, to whet your appetite!
Can I see Chicago on Broadway with kids?
Chicago is recommended mainly for adult audiences. There are other musicals such as Aladdin or The Lion King that are designed for all audiences and both children and adults will enjoy them just as much.
In fact, seeing these shows as a family is a great plan. Here is a small guide to activities you can do with children in New York.
Did you know that Chicago was the first musical in which minors were banned from entering? At its premiere, there was a huge scandal when the puritanical society of the United States went ballistic because the dances were considered to be too sensual and provocative for the time. Nowadays, it is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Where to dine and drink after seeing Chicago on Broadway
If the show has worked up an appetite, I suggest you recharge your batteries with the best fast food in New York: American burgers. After all, you're on holiday, a time to stop counting calories. My favourite place on Broadway is the Hard Rock Café. I'll tell you why.
Here you'll find a wealth of musical gems from legends like The Beatles, the King of Rock, Elvis Preysler, and more contemporary stars like Madonna. It's a rock and roll museum!
List of the best Broadway musicals
If after attending the Chicago musical, you're already thinking about what's next, here's a list of the 10 best Broadway musicals for the 2021-2022 season in New York. Check them out!
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the most Christmassy musical.
- The Lion King, my favourite choice.
- Aladdin, ideal for all audiences and one of the cheapest options.
- Moulin Rouge, a classic par excellence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy drinks or food in the theatre?
Yes! There are stalls on every floor of the theatre selling water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and even snacks. You can also reserve your drinks at intermission before the show starts. Please note, however, that only bottled water is allowed into the auditorium.
What should I wear to the theatre?
Years ago, it used to be protocol that audiences should dress smartly for the theatre. Nowadays, it is not a requirement and there is no official dress code inside the auditorium. You can wear a relaxed outfit.
Can I buy souvenirs from the Chicago musical?
Yes! There is a shop inside the theatre where you can buy Chicago T-shirts and souvenirs, the recording of the show and many other fun items.
What is the temperature like inside the theatre?
The theatre is air-conditioned, so my advice is to take a jacket in the summer and dress in layers like an onion in the winter - better to overdress than underdress! That way you're sure to get it right.