Let's hope this is the last snowstorm of the season for this tip to work, but snowy, icy weather on Thursday and Friday serves up a deal for theater-loving, bargain hunters. When the snow flies and ice-slickened roads make theater-goers nervous, reservations get canceled and bargain hunters who can safely make it to theaters can get better seats at discounted prices. 

Anyone who lives or works near downtown Minneapolis can take advantage of rush tickets at the Guthrie Theater or Children's Theatre. Cyrano de Bergerac is now playing and it's getting strong reviews. Rush tickets are only $25 (regularly up to $72 on weeknights) and go on sale at the theater two hours before showtime. The Hobbit is playing at the Children's Theatre in Minneapolis. Tickets are $15 each and go on sale two hours before curtain at the theater. Note: Most rush seats must be paid for by cash or check. No credit cards.

Chanhassen Dinner Theaters also offers rush seats but only for high school and college students with a valid school ID. Pay $20 for the show only (no dinner) one hour prior to show time. Mamma Mia is currently playing to solid crowds. 

NEW: Artistry Theater in Bloomington is offering $20 tickets (reg. $41-$46) to Victor/Victoria, the Blake Edwards/Henry Mancini musical that deduted in Minneapolis in 1995 based on the 1982 movie, The discount is good Thursday night only. Purchase tickets on the website or at the door using code MAKEITSTOP. The theater is in the Bloomington Center for the Arts in Bloomington at 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd.

NEW: The Science Museum is St. Paul is opening its galleries to adults only Thusday night from 6 to 10 p.m. for its Game Changers exhibit.. Besides live music and cash bars, Thursday night's event also features more than 100 playable video games from the past 40 years. Admission is $10 or $15 for members. Snow and ice means more free play time for intrepid souls venturing out. No tokens or coins needed to play.

This next discount isn't snow-related, but it starts as the storm is winding down. Sign up starting Friday for a Lucky Seat Lottery and get a chance for $35 tickets (reg. $39-$115) to "Hello Dolly" starring Betty Buckley. The show, part of the Hennepin Theatre Trust season, runs April 16-28 at the Orpheum in downtown Minneapolis. The LA Times called Buckley "glorious" in its review.  

If theater isn't your thing or you already have tickets, take advantage of the sudden availability of open seats at popular restaurants instead. When pressing the flesh with a $20 bill can't get you a table at 7 p.m. at Spoon & Stable, Hyacinth or Young Joni, try showing up on a snowy evening and world may be your oyster. (Honestly, does slipping the host a few bills to get a table still happen in the Twin Cities? )

Keep safety in mind when considering this tip. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle that scoffs at snow drifts, give it a shot. Better yet, if you live or work downtown, you can cross country ski, walk or drive a short distance to the Guthrie, Children's Theatre or various restaurants.

if you know of other theaters or venues I overlooked that have rush-seat performances tonight or Friday, let me know and I'll add them. Email jewoldt@startribune.com. 

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