It can sometimes be discouraging when you're hoping to see a Broadway show and ticket prices are the cost of a monthly car payment. This is especially true for students or young theater lovers who want to experience theater on a grand scale, but are on tight budgets.

Sure, you can take your chances with one of the many theater lotteries that are available, promising great seats at $25 or less, but the odds of winning those are slim. There is a better option. A number of plays and musicals have cheaper tickets that can allow anyone to see a show on most nights. Consider the three shows below for an evening of great entertainment. They include two musicals and an intriguing drama. All three have captured Tony Awards. 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Tony Award for Best New Play in 2015.Tickets to the acclaimed production start at just $29.

Adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon's internationally best-selling novel, and directed by two-time Tony winner Marianne Elliott, the play tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher (currently being played by Tyler Lea), who is remarkably intelligent but ill-equipped to function in the everyday world. Trouble arises when he's accused of killing his neighbor's dog and his journey to discover the truth leads to an outcome that will change his life.

It's much beloved and at a cost that's little more than a movie and popcorn; it's one of theater's best bargains.

Matilda

Matilda, which took home five Tony awards in 2013, including Best Book of a Musical, is a favorite of adults and children because it combines fantasy and serious themes. The show features memorable  tunes such as "When I Grow Up" and "Revolting Children."

The story is based on Roald Dahl's popular children's book of the same name and follows a precocious 5-year-old girl who thanks to her gift of telekinesis, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her friendly teacher to reclaim her life.

Matilda is currently being played by a trio of young theater stars-Ava Briglia, Aviva Winick and Willow McCarthy. Tickets for Matilda, playing at the Shubert Theatre, begin at $39.

The Phantom of the Opera

If those two shows don't seem adult enough for you, another great, cheap option is the longest running show on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre. Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is considered by many to have one of theater's best musical scores, and tickets can be purchased from the box office for as low as $29. 

The play opened on Broadway in 1988 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical that year. The lead then, Michael Crawford, won a Tony for best actor in a musical, as well. It is based on a novel by the French writer Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux. 

The story brings us to the Paris Opera House, where a facially scarred man roams the tunnels below, haunting anyone who doesn't give him what he wants. His current desire is for young ingénue Christine to get the lead in an opera he's written. He threatens the owners of the theatre that if she doesn't, disaster will strike. The Phantom teaches Christine to become a singing star and believes that she will fall in love with him, despite his disfigurement, which is hidden behind a mask. James Barbour is currently playing the Phantom, and Ali Ewoldt is Christine.

You could see all three shows for under $100. They are great bargains.