Broadway Prices Out of Control

Fosse76
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Broadway Prices Out of Control#0
Posted: 11/7/05 at 12:57pm
Hairspray (which annoyingly keeps changing its Sunday schedule) will be raising prices in 2006 to, yup $110. This is getting way out of control. Shows are reserving entire sections as VIP and charging $200-$300 per seat, and the average theatregoer is no longer going to be able to see shows, which means new shows in the mold of Caroline, or Change are going to be even less likely to appear on Broadway, and more insipid Jukebox and Disney musicals will show up. I won't even mention the OBSCENE concessions prices at the Hilton.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#1
Posted: 11/7/05 at 12:59pm
i have a question... is it the theatres responsible for this? Or was it a decision by the producers?

Not referring to hairspray, but to the shows raising their prices as a whole.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#2
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:02pm
That's really unfortunate. It's already hard enough for those of us who aren't independently wealthy to see shows on a regular basis.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#3
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:02pm
I don't have a problem with the $110 top price, but the premium seating has to go.
Nothing precious, plain to see, don't make a fuss over me. Not loud, not soft, but somewhere inbetween. Say sorry, just let it be the word you mean.
Thesbijean
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#4
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:20pm
The Producers of the shows decide. I remember when top prices were $85 for musicals, and The Producers (the show) changed that to $100...
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bschneid76
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#5
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:28pm
I just have a problem paying 110 for 2 hours worth of entertainment. If I were to spend 1 week in NYC and want to see 1 show each night that comes to 7 shows which equals $770 per person to see a show. Ridiculous!
"Love the Art in Yourself. Not Yourself in the Art." -- Stanislavski
Fosse76
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#6
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:32pm
As far as tickets to the show, that is solely at the discretion of the producers. I agree that the VIP seating has to go. At the most, they should save maybe six seats at most in the fourth row for VIP and that's it. Spamalot reserves most of the center orchestra for VIP (at least that's what the very rude box office guy told me) which is completely unfair to ticketbuyers.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#7
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:38pm
I don't get the reason behind the premium seating, either. They want to avoid people buying from scalpers so they triple the prices. Ok.....
Nothing precious, plain to see, don't make a fuss over me. Not loud, not soft, but somewhere inbetween. Say sorry, just let it be the word you mean.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#8
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:40pm
a lot of the reserved seats in the center orch are house seats, right? reserved for the producers and those closely connected with a production to always have seats available if they'd like. Are these the ones that go for premium if they are unused?
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wickedfreak
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#9
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:46pm
I have a question....

For the VIP seating....are you only able to get the center orch seating of you buy the $250 seating? or can you get it if you buy far enough in advance? i am confused!!!!!

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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#10
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:48pm
Well, keep in mind that a large majority or tickets are sold at a discounted price. Full price tickets are based on what the average ticket is selling at. Not too many (yes, a few) sell out at full price.
MargoChanning
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#11
Posted: 11/7/05 at 1:50pm
Actually THE PRODUCERS top was $90 in previews and went to $100 the day the rave reviews came out. They also announced the founding of the Broadway Inner Circle for premium seats that day. By the way, anyone else notice that JERSEY BOYS raised its top ticket price to $110 this morning?

Premium seating isn't going anywhere and in fact may increase. Unfortunately, the precedent was already set in the sports and concert realms and for too long the Broadway people felt left out and are now making up for lost time. NYC is the entertainment capital of the world (or the US at least) with tons of people with lots of money from all over the world -- the market for premium pricing, premium seating, and similar perks is absolutely enormous. The fact is it costs some $2000 for a courtside seat to see the Knicks (face value, not scalper's prices), and there is similar premium pricing for the skyboxes at MSG, as well as at Giants Stadium and the Meadowlands -- and this prime stuff is always sold out (in fact there are waiting lists for it).

I'm sure everyone on this board, at least, would agree that a Broadway show is as worthwhile a piece of entertainment as an NBA game. So if you were a commercial producer, what would you do? Thank heaven for the not-for-profits (MTC, LTC, Roundabout etc.....) who have to compete in this marketplace, but who's primary concern is theatre and audience developmenet and not pleasing investors. I understand that the job of commercial producers is to maximize the profits for their contributors, but I do wish that for every additional $350 seat they sell, that they would provide a few more $25-40 seats for the rest of us who can't afford the steep prices and are there supporting show after show once the high rollers leave town.
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Updated On: 11/7/05 at 01:50 PM
Gothampc
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#12
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:14pm
I have to agree with Margo: thank goodness for non-profit groups.

Broadway is about commercialization. It's first priority is to turn a profit. That's why they comb London for shows and directors, so they can minimize their financial risks. There are more rich people that can afford the high prices.

I can honestly say that many of the great shows I've seen have been off-Broadway. That is where the really creative stuff gets done. Think of all the great stuff off-Broadway has produced: Little Shop of Horrors, Frankie & Johnny, Steel Magnolias, Driving Miss Daisy, etc, etc, etc.

But I think that off-Broadway has started to lose its way. The brilliance that it once had is slipping away. Plus their prices are getting higher because of real estate in NYC. It's just harder to take a gamble on a show.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#13
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:15pm
I have front row center, that I got for $109.75---this is for a show in February for Spamalot. I think that the reason it wasn't included in the $$$ seats is that it was a single seat. I also bought it in June, so that may have had a little to do with it. I believe the thinking behind the premium seats was a kind of "why are the scalpers getting the money and not us?" mentality. I won't do the premium seats, but buying single seats has its advantages!
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Updated On: 11/7/05 at 02:15 PM
MackieManiac
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#14
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:15pm
You cant run a show giving the house away. Prices to PRODUCE the shows have skyrocketed.. so it is no wonder the ticket prices are going up. Premium seats are great.. because there are people who will buy them... they would rather pay the $ to the theatre than to a scalper of concierge (whats the difference). And if they cant sell ALL the premium seats at full price..t hen they sell it to people who want to pay regular ticket prices. As great as discounted tickets are.. you can not run a show on selling them. Yes it is word of mouth.. but honestly.. people who buy cheap seats talk to more people who want cheap seats.
dmb_rent
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#15
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:30pm
there's always the lotteries and discounts....i got my 6th row rent ticket for $45 (normally $85 or $90 i think?) because of a student discount. student id's are great for stuff like that...if you don't have one, well i dunno -- the lotteries are always a good try.
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kasim
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#16
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:38pm

No offene i think the pricing is fine.

The premium seating which may be pricey to ya'll caues you are used to being in town is well worth it to those on the outside.

I am FAR FAR from well off. I make a decent income. But i dont hae the luxury to plan trips 7 months in advancd (especially being a consultant) I dont always know when i will be busy.

So for example when i go next in 2 weeks to NYC, i am paying $800 for air fare and hotel alone. I'd be damned if i am gonna have ****ty seats as well. To me paying $50 vs $100 no big deal when all the other prices.

And with premium seating, its honestly wonderful. My sister really wanted to see wicked, so when we went in june, i splurged for those seats (which were the only seats available online anyway).

So may suck for ya'll, but its great for the rest of us.
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Elphaba
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#17
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:42pm
for those of you who smoke.........stop smoking and save a minimum of $1100 a year..(if you smoke a pack a day....that is 10 shows, right there
It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story... AGATHA CHRISTIE, Life magazine, May 14, 1956
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#18
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:46pm
I second that
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orangeskittles
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#19
Posted: 11/7/05 at 2:57pm
I think that if the prices do get too out of control for the non-wealthy to attend Broadway shows, they will realize their mistakes and start backing down. Courtside tickets at a Knicks game may be $2000, but there's also hundreds of people up in the cheap seats. No millionare is going to pay $200 for those seats in the last row with no leg room at Women in White, because it's just not worth it. They need the groundlings to fill up the cheap seats, because any sane person will just realize it's not worth it.

That being said, if you are an avid theater-goer and are worried about it all adding up, take advantage of as many discounts as humanly possible. I saw 5 shows in one weekend last month and only paid full price for one of them.
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uncageg
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#20
Posted: 11/7/05 at 3:02pm
AS a smoker, I will continue to smoke and go to shows. If I quit, I will do so when I am ready to! I do agree that prices are getting out of hand. I am leaving for New York this Saturday morning. Seeing 4 shows (Color Purple, Sweeney, 5 Course and Piazza). I usually see more. If I didn't have a friend to stay with and had to stay in a hotel, I would not be able to see as many shows as I wanted to. Plus I am getting comps for Purple and 5 Course. Also, my friend is a concierge at a very nice hotel there. He is constantly getting tickets for guests. And not the premium seating. He uses a broker. He has people paying up to 300 bucks a seat for Spamalot. Of course the people that stay at his hotel can afford it.
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Updated On: 11/7/05 at 03:02 PM
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#21
Posted: 11/7/05 at 3:24pm
Well, everything gets out of hand when everyone starts to desire more than their fair share. One thing me and my mom find rediculous is that for a play, the Producers charge $100 a pop, when they only have investors, crew and cast to pay. Musicals I can full heartedly understand, as you have the orchestra, and they have more sets than plays, and their is no singing in plays, so you get less in plays, so you should pay less for plays.

My cousin's grandma twice removed said once that her friends would take themselves into the city on a train, have lunch and then see a show and take the train back to where they lived. Now, gorget about it. Heck, overpricing is one of the reasons that "Frog and Toad" (Great show) flopped miserably.
I recall someone saying that if it were not for premium seating, prices would have skyrocketed. I also think that premium has to go. But, what are we going to do about it?

I always to shows when they have discounts. I'm seeing SWEET CHARITY (Yes, I am) for $45 for a seat in row D, seat 111. Thank God for those, as well as TKTS. Nothing we can do but buy tickets discounted.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#22
Posted: 11/7/05 at 3:41pm
About a month ago I saw a lecture by Rocco Landesman (producer of "The Producers") and this topic came up. He commented that prices will inflate in accordance with costs/inflation. More importantly though, he stated the wonderful (and expensive) thing about theatre is that it is created every night. So many, many artisians need to be paid every week and in accordance with union minimums, these costs are passed on to the consumer. There is a very real fear among producers and theatregoes alike though that they may price their audience right out of existence. He also took responsibility for the creation of the VIP tickets. Which he admitted did not help the situation, but the real bottom line is that theatre is a business and if the market will allow these tickets to be sold at these prices then producers will continue to offer these high priced tickets.
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kasim
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#23
Posted: 11/7/05 at 3:56pm
"He has people paying up to 300 bucks a seat for Spamalot. Of course the people that stay at his hotel can afford it. "

-- I paid a lot more than that for my spam tickets, i got front row mezzanine though.
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re: Broadway Prices Out of Control#24
Posted: 11/7/05 at 4:11pm
Can I just ask:

Has anybody here EVER bought "premium seats"? Anybody here know anybody who buys them? I have a lot of friends who are regular (at least 1-2 times a week) theatregoers and none of them have ever bought premium. I've never bought premium. Honestly, has there ever been a show that you would pay $300 to see?