Carly White - Broadway Ticket Expert

About Carly White - Broadway Ticket Expert

Ontario, Canada is a long time behind Carly, but still loves Toronto (go Leafs!) Carly likes to write about Broadway happenings that are a little less mainstream

Favorite Saying: "The enlightened are free from doubt, the virtuous from anxiety, and the brave from fear." 

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Broadway Actors Go Solo at Birdland in August

Clarke Thorell

Clarke Thorell

The Birdland Jazz Club (315 West 44th Street, between 7th and 8th avenues) showcases the best of the Great White Way with the “Broadway at Birdland” series this month. Clarke Thorell (Annie, Titanic) will do an evening called “Songs I Wish I’d Written” on August 5 at 7pm. Thorell will sing songs by an eclectic range of musicians, including Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Sting, Chris Thile, and Adam Guettel.

Actress Julie Halston will perform “Classical Julie” on August 12 and 19 at 7pm, offering her unique take on Ibsen and other esteemed writers. And on August 26, actor/singer James Barbour (A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast) will perform a solo concert at 7pm.

To get tickets to these shows and others, call 212-581-3080 or visit online at www.BirdlandJazz.com.

Key Brand Entertainment Adds BroadwayBox to the KBE Family, Already Includes “Broadway Across America” Show Producer and the “Broadway.com” Ticket Brokerage

Broadway.comOne could expect that the official Broadway ticket vendors, the brokers who sell Broadway tickets at inflated prices, and the companies that offer Broadway discounts would all be in competition with each other. But with a couple of recent mergers and acquisitions, it appears that Broadway companies increasingly prefer to be involved on all ends of the Broadway ticket market – low, medium, high and now very high.

The company that owns the Broadway ticket broker site Broadway.com, Key Brand Entertainment (helmed by John Gore), recently bought BroadwayBox.com, a website that offers Broadway discount ticket codes. Some Broadway fans who enjoy using BroadwayBox codes to buy their theater tickets at a discount have expressed concern at the acquisition. They are worried that this change will enter the territory of ‘conflict of interest.’ At a minimum there are worries that Key Brand may diminish BroadwayBox discount offers altogether. But the worst case scenario is that Key Brand might plan to transform the site into another kind of overpriced ticket broker even though BroadwayBox had seemingly been moving in that direction prior to the acquisition, to one that offers after-market ticket prices (i.e. overpriced) when discounts aren’t available for those shows. This would not be wholly unexpected as Key Brand Entertainment is no stranger to investigating new paths for additional business revenue. For example, the BroadwayBox acquisition by Key Brand is not its first purchase – in December 2010 they bought Broadway.com, which was a first for them in Broadway ticket sales area, and as well as being a producer, they are also a distributor of live theatre in North America, and they also own Broadway Across America. So Key Brand Entertainment proverbially has their pennies in many buckets- or in these circumstances, the hard earned money of Broadway show fans in many of their pockets.

However, since BroadwayBox’s business model involves getting paid directly by the producers of Broadway shows for sending out e-mail blasts with Broadway discount ticket offers, it may make more sense for Key Brand to allow BroadwayBox to continue targeting the discount seekers. After all, a great deal of BroadwayBox users likely can’t or won’t pay $155 for a full-price Broadway show ticket anyway (let alone that plus the extra $40 or $50 that Broadway.com tacks on to the ticket price).

shubertThe Shubert Organization, Key Brand’s direct competitor, likely had the same idea in mind in 2011 when it purchased Plum Benefits, a service that offers discount codes for Broadway shows and other events directly to tens of thousands of large corporations and their millions of employees. Shubert also owns numerous Broadway theaters and handles the ticketing for all of them through its own ticketing service, Telecharge. Not every potential ticket buyer will be prepared to pay the full prices they see listed on Telecharge.com. But if that person sees the opportunity to buy a ticket to that same show at a discounted rate through Plum Benefits, then Shubert is winning a customer it would have otherwise lost. Whether the person buys a full-price ticket or a discounted ticket, if they order online or by phone, they still have to pay a Telecharge surcharge (usually $10-$15 per ticket) that ends up in The Shubert Organization’s pocket.

So Key Brand Entertainment now provides discount Broadway tickets (through BroadwayBox) and broker tickets (through Broadway.com), but it still lacks the complete picture that the Shubert Organization has already achieved, by missing a big spot in the corporate market.  We anticipate another potential acquisition by Key Brand Entertainment of corporateoffers.com or workingadvantage.com, allowing them to play with a full hand in the lucrative corporate market, thus creating an interest in all sectors of Broadway ticket sales.

As a side note, TheaterMania, yet another Broadway ticketing website, also takes a piece of both the high-end and low-end of the Broadway pie, but they did it without acquiring other companies. Originally a purely content-driven site, TheaterMania started offering discount codes and a papering service to budget-minded Broadway and Off-Broadway fans, only to eventually create its own full price ticketing service, OvationTix, which is used by many off-Broadway houses – but never on Broadway – due to the theatre agreements that preclude any new companies from entering the scene.

Whether or not these companies can continue to satisfy the entire spectrum of Broadway theatergoers remains to be seen, but so far it appears that they hope to make money off of all Broadway ticket buyers, from bargain hunters to those willing to pay top price.

Off-Broadway Musical Parodies Saved By the Bell

Bayside the MusicalThe high school sitcom Saved By the Bell is getting an unauthorized parody tribute with Bayside! The Musical!, which will start performances at the Off-Broadway space Theatre 80 (80 St. Mark’s Place) on September 12. Bob and Tobly McSmith penned the music, lyrics, and book to the musical, while Jason Wise provides choreography.

Airing from 1989 to 1993, Saved By the Bell was a light-hearted NBC show that launched the careers of actors such as Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez.

The show’s press notes state that, “Bayside! The Musical! tackles all the tough questions: Will Zack and Kelly break up? Will Slater quit wrestling forever? Who will develop an incurable caffeine addiction? Can the gang save The Max? Will Screech die? Bayside! The Musical! has it all: large cell phones, wrestling, feminism, ducks covered in oil, teenage pregnancy, and proms.”

Go to www.BaysideTheMusical.com to learn more about the show and how to purchase tickets.

Idina Menzel To Star in If/Then on Broadway in 2014

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

If/Then, a new musical by the Next to Normal team of Brian Yorkey (book/lyrics) and Tom Kitt (music), is coming to Broadway early next year. The show is scheduled to start preview performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 4, with an opening set for March 27.

Tony Award winning actress Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba in Wicked, will star in If/Then, which will be directed by Michael Greif. Before coming to Broadway, the musical will get its world premiere in Washington D.C. at the National Theatre this coming November.

If/Then is a romantic new musical about Elizabeth, a woman who moves to New York City to get a fresh start in her life and career and discovers that the smallest decisions and occurrences have greater impact that she could have ever imagined.

Find out more about the show at www.IfThenTheMusical.com.

Broadway Stands Up for Freedom Benefit July 22

Broadway Stands UpNumerous Broadway actors and singers will join together on July 22 at the Skirball Center (566 LaGuardia Place) for a benefit concert titled “Broadway Stands Up for Freedom”. Proceeds from the benefit will go to NYCLU’s youth programming, which includes support for LGBT teens, an initiative that educates teens on their right to health care access, and efforts to halt overly aggressive policing and military recruiting at NYC public schools.

The currently-scheduled line-up of Broadway performers includes Anthony Rapp (Rent), Nellie McKay (Old Hats), Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher), Charl Brown (Motown the Musical), Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Randy Graff (City of Angels), Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages), Broadway composer Andrew Lippa (Big Fish), and many more.

Tickets for “Broadway Stands Up for Freedom” start at $60. Go to NYCLU.org/Bway for more information.

Kinky Boots Switches From Rush to Ticket Lottery

Kinky BootsThe Tony Award-winning hit musical Kinky Boots, featuring music by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, has changed its rush ticket policy. The Broadway show started out offering a first come, first served rush ticket model, where discounted $37 rush tickets were sold at the box office as soon as it opened. But effective Tuesday, July 9, Kinky Boots is switching to a lottery.

Now these $37 discount tickets will be distributed through a lottery held a few hours before each performance of the show. People wishing to enter the lottery can enter their names into the drawing starting two and a half hours before the performance. The actual drawing will take place two hours before the show. Lottery winners are allowed to purchase up to two tickets.

Based on the British independent film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of a young man who inherits a failing family shoe business and discovers — with the help of a new friend — that he can revitalize the company by designing flashy, high-quality footwear for drag queens.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Recoups

vanyaandsonia2_largeWhen the wacky Christopher Durang play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike transferred from Off-Broadway to Broadway earlier this year, it might have seemed like a risky move, considering Durang is renowned for off-beat fare that doesn’t necessarily translate to the mainstream. However, bringing the comedy to Broadway has proved to be a wise choice, as it has just recouped all of its $2.75 million investment.

It isn’t easy for a Broadway show to earn back its investment, but Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike steadily gained steam after opening at the John Golden Theatre in March, going on to capture the Tony Award for Best Play and earning honors from the Drama Desk, the Drama League, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and the Outer Critics Circle as well. After winning the Tony, the show quickly became a very hot ticket.

Starring David Hyde Pierce, Sigourney Weaver, Kristine Nielsen, Billy Magnussen, Shalita Grant, and Liesel Allen-Yeager, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is currently scheduled to play through August 25. As of July 30, Julie White will take over for Sigourney Weaver.

Broadway’s July 4 Holiday Schedule

Cinderella Broadway MusicalRather than attempt to compete with the massive fireworks displays that will be filling New York City skies on July 4, nearly every Broadway show (with the lone exception of Cinderella, which has a 7pm performance on Independence Day) will be cancelling its performance that evening. One show, the hit play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, will have a 2pm matinee that day. Otherwise, Broadway fans are out of luck if they want to celebrate Independence Day in a Broadway theater.

To make up for cancelling their Thursday evening performances, most Broadway shows are adding either a Monday night performance to their schedule or a Friday matinee. These added shows give people taking long weekends an opportunity to squeeze one more Broadway play or musical into their show-going schedule.

Normally, there are only about seven Broadway shows that play on the traditionally dark Monday night, but on July 1 there will be 16 shows to choose from. Friday matinees are a rarity, with Annie the only Broadway musical that currently has them on its regular schedule. But on July 5, a total of seven shows will offer 2pm performances.

To view the entire July 4 holiday week schedule, click here.

TKTS Celebrates 40th Anniversary in Times Square on June 26

TKTS BoothBest known to Broadway fans and tourists as the half-price ticket booth, TKTS will celebrate its 40 years of selling discounted Broadway tickets in Times Square on June 26 with special festivities starting at 11am.

On Broadway and 47th Street, behind the TKTS booth, a proclamation from the City of New York is going to be presented to the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the organization that runs the booth. Broadway performer and writer Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Newsies) will be there to accept. When the presentation is over, the Forbidden Broadway cast will perform a special TKTS tribute, penned by Forbidden Broadway creator Gerard Alessandrini.

After that, karaoke singers will perform Broadway numbers (all from the past 40 years), while TKTS representatives show off costumes created in the style of shows that have appeared on Broadway during the last 40 years. Actress Julie Halston will introduce the singers and also interview ticket buyers waiting in the TKTS line.

Ann Offers Discount Tickets for Youth

Holland TaylorThe Broadway play Ann about former Texas governor Ann Richards may be closing on June 30, but in the last couple weeks before the one woman show starring Holland Taylor shutters, it is going to give young people ages 14-18 a special opportunity to get heavily discounted tickets.

The discount Ann tickets are priced at $20 each and are available for every remaining performance of the show, which plays at the Vivian Beamont Theater at Lincoln Center. They start selling the tickets each day when the box office opens, and they can also be purchased in advance for future shows. An I.D. is not required.

“Something in the spirit of Ann, herself, that she would love,” said Holland Taylor, announcing the new youth discount ticket policy. “Parents can come to the box office to buy their own tickets and bring their kids who can buy their own tickets. Groups of kids can come. Kids can come all by their lonesome. This is an unrestricted gift to the generation Ann cared about the most.”