by Rae Bell. @RaeOfSunBell.
NEW YORK, New York --- A new kiosk from the team behind TKTS has opened in the heart of Times Square selling Broadway merchandise at steep discounts - in some cases as low as $40 for a “My Fair Lady” t-shirt or “The Prom” mug, The Broadway Beat has confirmed.
“We offer an affordable alternative to the often exorbitant prices of Broadway theatres’ merchandise stalls,” notes founder Elias Elliot. “For example, you can get a pack of ‘The Ferryman’ pins for only $65. Ask anyone - that is truly a game changer.”
Peter Johnson, a 42 year old father of two who stood in line at TSHRTS for six hours, was grateful for the new booth.
“My girls loved ‘The Lion King’ and begged me to buy them shirts during intermission - it broke my heart to see the price tags and have to say no. This morning I got up at 4am to get in line at TSHRTS, and I’m so happy to have been able to snag a shirt for each of them.”
Johnson, who had already taken out a second mortgage to buy his family’s Lion King tickets, considered himself extra lucky to have gotten one shirt at a particularly intense discount.
“It was a misprint. It says ‘The Lino King’ on the front. But little Sarah’s only four, she won’t be able to tell. And it was only $98!”
The Broadway community has attempted other solutions to the issue of merchandise pricing in the past. The Majestic Theater began a program last fall that allows potential merchandise buyers to pay for their purchases in monthly installments.
“I bought this Phantom of the Opera button in October,” explained 24-year old Elizabeth Stephens. “I couldn’t afford to pay for the whole thing. They let me take the button home and pay it off monthly. I’ve been sending them $20 every month, and by August I’ll own the button for real. I had to fall a bit behind on my heating bill, but I’d say it was totally worth it.”
When asked about TSHRTS, Stephens expressed optimism at the possibilities it could bring.
“I’ve always dreamed of owning a Broadway show hoodie, and I like to think with programs like TSHRTS, one day it’ll happen. Thank you, TSHRTS,” proclaimed Stephens as she cooked a packet of ramen in a pot of collected rainwater. The city shut off her water last spring after purchasing a “Kinky Boots” handkerchief.