When I saw the announcement that Laura Benanti, Megan Hilty, and Kelli O'Hara were performing at 54 below, I was so excited. But then I saw that ticket prices START at $300!!! And go up hundreds for better seats! I know that this comes with a free meal and that it's a cool experience, but that prices out literally everyone except the very wealthy. I read the fine print, and you have to pay for every drink past the first complimentary free one. That's insane! 54 below is a great venue, and does great shows, but the fact is that the cheapest tickets you can even get to any show is about $50 including the high minimum, not counting the high price of food. Does this bother anyone else? Young people basically can't afford to see anything there. I know it's a legendary venue, but I can't afford to go very often. Does anyone else feel this way? Why make cabaret shows so inaccessible!
Cafe Carlyle is $190 + an $80 dinner tab per person. Feinstein's @ the Regency had famously high prices back in the day. It looks like those "Diamond Series" concerts are also longer shows than the standard 80-minute affair (8:30 start time with the encouragement to arrive early and stay late). For non-Diamond concerts, it's still a low price for a major Cabaret room.It's an expensive club to run, and 7 years in I don't know if it has recouped. So much of its programming is occupied by lesser-known "filler" concerts that cater to younger crowds because there are so many time slots to schedule. We should be so lucky that it has managed to stay open.(I also wouldn't call it a legendary venue: it's beautifully-designed, but it's less than a decade old. Carnegie Hall is a legendary venue.)
For what it's worth, I was also surprised by the price — mostly because I'm afraid this is going to be the "new normal" for anyone really good at 54 Below. I think if their prices had always been this high it wouldn't be so shocking.
kerrydixon said: "For what it's worth, I was also surprised by the price — mostly because I'm afraid this is going to be the "new normal" for anyone really good at 54 Below. I think if their prices had always been this high it wouldn't be so shocking."I'm sure they'll set the prices at whatever the market can sustain. I don't specifically remember the prices for Stokes' recent engagement, but they were much higher than an average show (on nights when they also had 9:30 and 11:30 shows). And if that doesn't work out, perhaps they revert back to the old model of a high ticket price + drink minimum.
I'll take the prices of 54 over Cafe Carlyle.At least at 54 you get a little more room, a much better kitchen and a staff that doesn't act like they're doing you a favor by waiting on you. CC is a place I'll never go to again. It's past its prime.If I'm overpaying at The Carlyle, I'll do it at Bemelmans.
I threw out a show and a concert I was planning on going to and put my whole 2nd quarter entertainment budget into ringside Saturday. Quality over quantity. Kelli's Carnegie Hall concert was memorable. She was onstage for two hours and fifteen minutes without a break. They are kind of tantalizing you with an implication that they're going to intentionally keep the audience below max and that the aftershow mingle might be with the star and other celebs who show. I think that Kelli would just want to go home to her family that late.It wouldn't surprise me if ticket prices for Laura and certainly Megan were not as expensive. But still very expensive. Linda Eder, who always sells out, has three dates in March with regular table $125 and ringside $175. Plus a $25 cover not that bad.I would really miss 54 Below if it shuttered. When I go there alone I usually find someone interesting to talk with. They make delicious Manhattans and allow flashless photography. But I think I'll keep the camera holstered for this one.Last year they had Chita Rivera booked for two weeks and she had to reschedule just a week or two in advance. That left them staring at two empty weeks with little time to find replacements. It must be nerve wracking to be responsible for booking.
Looking at the seating charts, it looks like they have dropped at least fifteen seats for the Diamond. However cutting attendance from say 115 to 100 does not make it sound exactly intimate. They have to offer something concrete to justify the price You can buy two VIP tickets to the Stony Brook University Staller Center to see Kelli and Sutton Foster for $250 each, and that includes some kind of reception afterwards.No open bar or hor d'oeuvres. There has to be something special about this concert or they will have a lot of trouble selling tickets for the others.
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