Center Stage SPOTLIGHT

The Online Journal for Center Stage Playhouse

Do Expensive Broadway Tickets Hurt Live Theater?

by Nick Leshi…

So many people have told me that they cannot afford to attend Broadway shows anymore.  With the price of “good seats” at “good times” for popular shows costing over $100 a ticket (not counting dinner or parking), going to a Broadway production can be a fortune.  The result is the negative perception that the live theater experience has become elitist (or worse, just something for a niche audience), or that going to a show is a luxury that people treat themselves to only on special occasions, maybe once or twice a year if they’re lucky. 

I know that the cost of producing a high-quality theater show continues to skyrocket, and producers need to recoup their investment for the show to go on.  I also know that there are many options for discounted seats, including the excellent TKTS.  But there needs to be a more dedicated effort to bring down the cost of tickets, especially for the much coveted orchestra seats, especially for people who do not wish to wait until the day of the show to gamble getting decent seats.  Only then can we truly foster the notion that live theater is a great entertainment for the masses, not just for tourists or wealthy patrons.

There are also plenty of affordable Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theater companies, including Center Stage Playhouse in the Bronx.  But Broadway is the gold standard, and Broadway shows act as ambassadors to the world of theater. 

I fully understand the concept of supply and demand, and I do not fault producers for trying to turn a profit in a business that arguably sees more failure than success.  But maybe if the overall cost of tickets was more affordable, it would encourage more people to see more shows, filling more seats, causing a domino effect that revitalizes live theater as a great form of entertainment for everyone, not just for those of us who already know it. 

I applaud those producers who seek innovative ways to lower ticket prices without hurting the bottomline.  Sometimes, those creative ways actually boost sales and revenue.  It might seem like a wacky concept, but they might actually make more money by lowering the cost of tickets.

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2012 by and tagged , , .

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