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All Your Theater Needs

August 10, 2008|Christopher Reynolds

For 40 years, TKTS has sold same-day show tickets 25% to 50% off to dozens of productions from a Times Square booth. But be warned: The clerks take cash, traveler's checks and gift certificates but no credit cards. (There's also a $4 transaction fee that benefits the nonprofit Theatre Development Fund.) While its traditional site on Duffy Square is being renovated, the TKTS booth has moved to the Marriott Marquis on West 46th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. Hours are 3 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. to half an hour before the latest curtain on Sundays. TKTS also sells matinee tickets from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

TKTS has two other locations outside the theater district (and those do take credit cards). The South Street Seaport site (199 Water St.) sells same-day tickets and tickets for the next day's matinees. The Downtown Brooklyn site (1 MetroTech Center) sells same-day tickets, next-day matinee tickets and tickets to Brooklyn events. The TKTS website ( www.tdf.org) has a helpful "NYC Theatre 101" page for newcomers.

The Drama Book Shop (250 W. 40th St.; [212] 944-0595, www.dramabookshop.com) dates to 1917 and features thousands of plays, scores and volumes about theater people and theater history.

The Public Theater (425 Lafayette St.; [212] 539-8500, www.publictheater.org), founded in 1954 by the late impresario Joseph Papp, is the nonprofit organization behind the free Shakespeare productions every summer in Central Park's open-air Delacorte Theatre, usually at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. (Tickets are first-come, first-serve, so you'll need to invest a few hours of waiting beforehand.) This summer's shows: "Hamlet" (now closed) and the not-so-Shakespearean "Hair" (through Aug. 31). Year-round, the Public produces shows in several venues at its headquarters in Greenwich Village.

If you want to inhale a little Broadway history with your dinner, there's always Sardi's (234 W. 44th St.; [212] 221-8440, www.sardis.com), founded in 1921 and the site of innumerable producers' huddles and post-show suppers. Open Tuesdays through Sundays for lunch and dinner. Dinner entrees are $18.50 to $37.

-- Christopher Reynolds

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