One thing to keep in mind that there are many more salaries in play than just actor's. Stage managers, stagehands, musicians, company managers -- those are all substantial as well, and all of the salaries at play in a show contribute to the overhead. I would say yes, they are one reason among many for rising ticket prices, because any rising costs will contribute to rising prices. But it's one among many factors at play.
Several already mentioned have been recent favorites of mine -- Something Rotten, Gentleman's Guide -- and I'll add Hand to God for doing some super clever advertising. I loved the Playbill ads they did that were customized to the show they were being printed in.
They could be holding seats specifically for the public sale tomorrow. We wouldn't be able to tell by looking at the map now. So I'd still check tomorrow when they go on sale, because the chance isn't actually zero.
Well. I got a new order confirmation, but it came with the same additional email of "your seats will be decided later..." and no information in the confirmation about where I'm sitting. (Also no charge or refund on my credit card.) The old order appears in my Telecharge account as 0 tickets and no new order to be found. I'm going to give it a couple days to see if it all sorts out, but. It's strange.
They might be sold out by this point, Shari. They were definitely going faster than the rear mezz when they went on sale. I got a pair in the side orchestra for a weeknight, but I was one of the lucky ones that didn't have any issues with Ticketmaster their LincTix number.
Probably it's biggest commercial impact would be on licensing for the show regionally (which is the actual reason for a lot of cast albums). However, Encores isn't in the position of a lot of producers/investors of Broadway shows in getting part of that licensing profit for a period of time, which is the reason for a lot of cast albums' existence.