Thursday, November 12, 2009

When ticket prices defy logic

I saw Wicked on tour at the Providence Performing Arts Center in January 2007 and fell in love with it - with the music, with the witty and clever way it tells another side of the Wizard of Oz story.

Ever since then, I've wanted to see the show on Broadway. I just figure it'll be even grander there. But whenever I plan a trip to New York City, there's always so much to see and the lure of new shows is strong, so I always put it off.

Well, no more. With Tony-winner Rondi Reed currently playing Madame Morrible, I didn't want to put it off any longer. So I've got my ticket for December for the Gershwin Theatre. (Another Broadway venue to cross off my list!)

I paid $125, which puts me in the center orchestra, my favorite spot, but toward the rear. (Not my favorite spot.) I could have gotten much closer to the stage with a $300 premium ticket. The cheapest ticket is $65.

I can afford a premium ticket for Wicked without going into debt. But honestly, there comes a point when the price seems too high. Maybe I'll regret it once I see how far back I'm sitting in the 1,900-seat Gershwin! (And I realize that for a lot of people, even $125 is too high.)

So with that background, I was shocked to find out that a ticket reseller is charging $430 for a single ticket to the touring production of Wicked in Syracuse in January.

For that amount of money, you could buy a premium ticket on Broadway, round-trip bus fare to New York City, your meals and have a little left over for souvenirs!

What really makes me angry about ticket resellers is they perpetuate the myth that you practically need a second mortgage to take your family to see a Broadway show, even on tour. Not true! I went to Ticketmaster and tickets for Wicked in Syracuse range from $40 to $95.

Wicked is a wonderful musical - especially for introducing teens or preteens to the theatre. So go, and take the kids. (It's returning to PPAC in December.)

But please, before you spend an outrageous amount of money, check with the official ticket seller first.


Vance said...

I think people just don't know and I think sometimes are fooled that it's the only way to get tickets. I'm always asked where to get tickets. I'm like, uh, the BOX OFFICE at the theatre? Or go to their official website and through there? But in London, a lot of touts disguise themselves as the "half-price ticket booth" and it drives me crazy. Such blatant fraud (yet apparently not illegal there so it continues).

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Ditto what Vance said.

Esther said...

Yeah, I'm sure you're right about people just not knowing where to turn. I mean, I didn't really know how to get tickets before I went to my first Broadway show - and it's a good thing, because that's how found Steve On Broadway!

I just wouldn't want anyone to get taken in and think that's the only way they can see "Wicked." Plus, like I said, it just makes me mad. It makes me mad that they can buy the tickets and resell them for that amount. It leaves the impression that you need a lot of money to go to the theatre.