Live performances don't have to be expensive

HOUSTON But if you think the ticket prices are just too outrageous, wait until you read about the discount tickets.

Premium theater tickets can set you back more than $75 per ticket. But if you are flexible with dates and where you sit in the theatre, you can find tickets for as little as $10.

The Nutcracker ballet, A Christmas Carol and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas are just some of the shows you can catch in Houston's Theater District.

"All of our holiday concerts have a $25 ticket on the orchestra level to encourage anyone to come experience the symphony," said Glenn Taylor with the Houston Symphony.

But the savings are even better if you sign up for the Houston Symphony newsletter. Every two weeks, the symphony sends out an email blast with news, but more importantly, special savings.

Right now if you purchase tickets at the Houston Symphony website and enter the promo code "snow," you'll get 50 percent off symphony tickets to this weekend's family concert called The Snowman. With the discount, tickets are as low as $8 per child and $12.50 for adults.

"You may not think about it when you think about the symphony, but there are budget-friendly ways to experience live orchestral music," Taylor said.

Over at The Alley Theater this weekend, tickets for A Christmas Carol are discounted. The price is normally $40 dollars a ticket, but this weekend it's $25.

"We will do family four packs, so you can get four tickets for $100 for your family -- that's a fabulous deal," said Dean Gladden with The Alley Theatre.

But if that's too pricey, during the non-holiday season, The Alley Theatre offers what they call "cheap thrills." Many seats are priced at $21 for Tuesday and Sunday evening performances.

If that's still too pricey, how about a $10 ticket?

The Alley Theatre partners with a non-profit on the first Saturday matinee of the month during the non-holiday season. Tickets are just $10 but you will have to bring in a donation.

"We ask you to bring some toiletry items to donate to the Salvation Army," Gladden said about the show in January.

At the Houston Ballet for The Nutcracker, customers can save up to $10 per ticket.

"Out of our 34 performances, we have 10 discount performances," said Andrew Edmonson with the Houston Ballet.

Edmonson says it's better to call the Houston Ballet box office and ask for discounted tickets rather than go online.

"The dates are noted on our website as being discounted but sometimes people get confused and it helps to have a live person to talk to," he said.

Theater Under the Stars offers student and senior discounts for 50 percent one hour before show time.

As for some last minute deals, $71 orchestra tickets for The Nutcracker are discounted to $40 for this Sunday's 2pm show. The Society for the Performing Arts is presenting Handel's Messiah Rocks tonight at 7:30pm in Jones Hall. There are half price tickets online or at the door.

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