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You can always take your chances and stand in line at the TKTS booths in lower Manhattan or Times Square waiting with the throng to get reduced-price tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. There's nothing wrong with this, of course; we, in fact, usually recommend this approach because it saves you money. But it doesn't always save you time. We'd like you to know there's a way to save both simply by joining--for free--a discount club.

Signing up for the Hit Show Club (www.hitshowclub.com) is fast and easy. You fill out a short form online, submit and there you have it--discounts of up to 50% (sometimes more). Members can purchase up to eight tickets for reserved seats with promotion codes provided online. The outfit has been going strong for over 40 years, and the scheme has the added advantage of allowing you to book in any of four different ways, only one of which involves even the possibility of standing in line.

Don't want to submit your information online? You can join by calling or faxing 212/820-9798. Members also receive free regular mailings (snail mail or e-mail) and access to a regularly updated information phone line.

Once you have the code for a show you want to see, you can order your tickets in any of the following ways:

  • By phone at Tele-Charge, 212/947-8844, identify yourself as Hit Show Club member and provide the current discount code.
  • Online, at www.broadwayoffers.com with the code you find at www.hitshowclub.com.
  • By mail. You print out the Web site page with the code on it, and write down the show date and time you prefer, with an alternate date, the number of tickets requested, your name and daytime phone number. Make a check for the total amount of your tickets payable and mail to the theater identified with the offer you intend to use.
  • By going to the theater's box office. Again, have your code handy.

You can also visit nearly 2,000 retailers where discount offers are available around the New York metropolitan area. Coupons are available from Hit Show Club offices located in the Times Square area at 630 Ninth Avenue (8th Floor), between 44th and 45th Streets, open Monday to Friday 9 to 4. The coupons are also available from NYC & Company Convention and Visitors Center, 810 Seventh Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd Streets), phone 212/484-1200, online at www.nycvisit.com.