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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54 Below To Host Tony Viewing Party

54 BelowBroadway fans looking to watch the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 9 with fellow theater lovers can cheer for their favorites at “Celebrate the Tonys,” 54 Below’s Tony Awards viewing party. The venue will broadcast the Tony ceremony, which airs from 8:00-11:00pm, live on large screen TVs.

Located at 254 West 54th in the bustling theater district, 54 Below has become “Broadway’s nightclub,” a place where many of the finest and most famous theater singers and musicians love to perform. Given its Broadway-friendly reputation, it seems an ideal venue for theater fans to gather on Broadway’s most celebrated night.

There is no cover charge to attend 54 Below’s Tony viewing party, but there is a $30 food/drink minimum. Reservations are recommended, and can be obtained by calling 646-476-3551. Walk-ins will be allowed in, too, if the event hasn’t filled to capacity. Arrival time is 6:15 to 6:30pm for those who have made reservations, and the festivities start at 7pm. Find more information at www.54below.com.

Tony Awards Making Student Rush Tickets Available

Tony AwardsA limited number of tickets to the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 9 will be offered to New York metro area students through a lottery being held on June 6 at 12pm. The lottery will be held at the Helen Hayes Theatre (240 W. 44th Street), home of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.

The student rush tickets will be $40 each, cash only. Students can begin submitting their names into the lottery at noon, with the drawing taking place at 12:30pm. Students who are selected will need to present a valid student ID, and they can buy up to two rush tickets.

Justin Matthew Sargent, currently starring in Rock of Ages as Drew, will draw the names. Participants have to be there in person as the names are being drawn to receive tickets.

Jane Lynch To Host TrevorLIVE Event on June 17

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

Glee star — and now also a Broadway star, thanks to her current turn as Miss Hannigan in the Annie revival — Jane Lynch will serve as host for TrevorLIVE New York, taking place on June 17 at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

TrevorLIVE is the annual signature event of The Trevor Project, an organization that LGBTQ youth who are in crisis. Directed by Michael Wilson (The Trip to Bountiful), the event will include performances from Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Sara Bareilles, DJ Kiss, and others.

“I am so thrilled to be hosting TrevorLIVE New York and proud to be part of such a worthwhile cause!” stated Jane Lynch. “The Trevor Project is a beacon of hope for so many through their tireless advocacy and outreach — it’s an honor to help bring attention to all that they do.”

To find out how to to get tickets to TrevorLIVE, go to TheTrevorProject.org/TrevorLiveNY.

Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Alda Participate in Free Shakespeare Reading

Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave

Just as The Public Theater’s free-to-the-public Shakespeare in the Park season is getting started at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park next month, the Public will be offering another free Shakespeare-themed event. On June 17 at 8pm, they will be hosting “What Are We Worth? Shakespeare, Money, and Morals,” a Public Forum event that invites attendees to take part in a town hall-style discussion.

Moderated by Harvard professor Michael Sandel (author of What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets), the conversation will be about the ways that the language of money directs our lives. The event, which will feature selected readings from Shakespeare plays, boasts the participation of many former and current Broadway stars, including Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Alda, Liev Schreiber, Raul Esparza, Jesse L. Martin, Lily Rabe, and Hamish Linklater.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Aspen Institute and the brilliant Michael Sandel to create this lively and passionate evening,” stated Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public. “Shakespeare was writing at the birth of the modern economy, and his searing insights into money and value will be the perfect frame for this exhilarating event.”

“What Are We Worth?” tickets will be distributed for free at the Delacorte Theater at 12pm on June 17 (limit of 2 per person). There will also be some ticket distributed through an online ticket drawing. Visit shakespeareinthepark.org to learn more.

Tony Awards Tickets On Sale To The Public

tonyawardsOn June 9, CBS will broadcast the three-hour Tony Awards ceremony, celebrating the best of Broadway. But if you would rather watch the drama unfold in person, tickets are now available to the general public for the event, which is being held at Radio City Music Hall (1260 Avenue of the Americas) in New York City.

Tony Awards tickets are steeply priced at $275 to $475. To order, call 866-858-0008, or visit the Radio City Music Hall box office in person. Be aware that there is a limit of six tickets per order, and ticket sales are final.

The Tonys are a black-tie-only event, so you must be dressed to the nines to attend. Doors close at 7pm.

Ticketmaster Adds Website Rate Limiter to Thwart Ticket Brokers

In a bid to limit robot, automated, and ticket broker transactions on their website, Ticketmaster has introduced IP address rate limiting technology that stops users from looking at too many web pages on their site during a daily period. It has been reported that this magic number is ten pages per hour.

When Ticketmaster users try to access too many pages within a short period of time, they are confronted with a message that informs them that they have exceeded Ticketmaster’s web page request limit and will need to wait awhile before trying again:

ticketmaster-disabled

Previously, Ticketmaster’s primary method for defeating robots was the use of the Captcha command, which requires the user to enter a unique series of letters and/or numbers into a box before a ticket request is successfully processed. The Captcha command is already annoying to many users who are performing multiple searches, but this new rate limiting measure additionally forces the customer to wait several minutes.

Theoretically the rate limiter could be advantageous to the average customer if it slows down the aggressive ticket brokers who are buying up all the inventory for high-demand shows. However, it’s a high price for customers to pay in terms of general aggravation. After all, it isn’t that unusual for a legitimate customer to want to do numerous searches in order to assess seat availability for a Broadway show, or they may want to check on what’s available for a single event over multiple dates. If that person is continually forced to wait for minutes at a time in the middle of their search, they may give up altogether.

While it is good to see Ticketmaster looking for ways to fight brokers, Ticketmaster isn’t by any means innocent when it comes to ticket brokering themselves. They have their own ticket broker website, TicketsNow, which has unfettered access to Ticketmaster tickets and this poses a huge conflict of interest for them. Competing ticket brokers are accusing Ticketmaster of manipulating the ticket market for their own benefit, but congress disagrees.

It remains to be seen whether or not this latest piece of technology in the war against brokers will stick around, or whether Ticketmaster finally removes it when they inevitably get a host of customer complaints or aggravation from show producers who cannot sell tickets to their shows because Ticketmaster is blocking their clients access to buy.

Tom Hanks Hosts Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration June 10

Tom HanksLucky Guy star and Tony Award nominee Tom Hanks will serve as host for “Something Wonderful! The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein”. A gala benefit to raise funds for the Irish Repertory Theatre, this special concert will be held at the Broadhurst Theatre on June 10.

Featuring Shirley Jones, the evening will include an array of cherished Rodgers & Hammerstein’s songs, such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” and “Shall We Dance?”. Jones has a strong association with the famed songwriting team, as she appeared in the film versions of their classic musicals Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel.

Tickets to “Something Wonderful!” are $150-$350. Call 212-727-2737 or go to www.IrishRep.org for details.

Kevin Kline To Play Pirate King on June 10

Kevin KlineOscar and Tony Award winning actor Kevin Kline will reprise one of his signature roles, the Pirate King, in a gala performance for The Public Theater on June 10. The gala concert will be a one-night-only staging of the celebrated 1980 production of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance. As with the earlier production, this special event will take place at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, where The Public produces its annual Shakespeare in the Park series.

In the 1980 production, which began at the Delacorte and later transferred to Broadway, Kevin Kline starred alongside Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith, but the rest of the cast for the gala concert has yet to be announced.

Anyone interested in receiving an invitation to this special event can email gala@publictheater.org or call 212-539-8547. Visit www.publictheater.org for more information about this and other Public Theater offerings.

Book Of Mormon Tickets Push New Price of $500 Per Ticket and Raise the Very Lowest Ticket Price to $149

Book Of Mormon

Book Of Mormon Sets Broadway Ticket Price Record

It’s already the highest priced ticket on Broadway and regularly has the highest “average paid attendance” (last week it was $191.55), but in a bid to further thwart ticket brokers, recoup some of the profit for the show’s investors, and raise money to finance the touring productions, The Book of Mormon has set a new ticket pricing schedule that raises the stakes in its premium and cheapest seat ticket prices to new Broadway ticket price records:

Premium orchestra seat tickets during popular show times are now $477 + fees. At less popular times, these seats are now $352 + fees.

Even the very back rows in the mezzanine, which were previously the only bargain at Mormon at $69 each, have been raised to $149 per ticket (these tickets are set to increase again to $159 after July 2013).  During the holidays and other popular times, the “worst seats in the theatre” have been raised to an astonishing $255. This puts the difference between the best premium seat in the house and the very worst seat at just $222, a difference of only 50%, which sets another Broadway record for lack of pricing diversity. In a bid to not completely divorce themselves from lower priced tickets, Book Of Mormon does still offer sixteen “limited legroom” seats in the very back of the mezzanine for $69, but these seats are not available online or over the telephone – and even in person,  they are sold a year in advance and for the the last eight attempts by this writer, no such tickets have been available at the box office.

All Book of Mormon tickets remain sold-out for a rolling year. But the official face value of Book Of Mormon tickets (which is somewhat academic) is now:

  • Amex Premium Ticket Desk tickets are $252.00 – $477.00
  • Select Mid-Premium Seating tickets are $227.00 – $299.00
  • Select Premium Seating tickets are $352.00 – $477.00
  • Select Premium Seating tickets are $477.00
  • Premium Seats: $352 (off-peak) – $477 (peak)
  • Regular Orchestra and Front Mezzanine Seats: $252 (off-peak) – $299 (peak)
  • Rear Mezzanine Seats: $149 (off-peak, raising to $169) – $252 (peak)

telecharge

The Book of Mormon operates on a rolling-year ticket purchase, so all well-placed regular priced tickets are sold out a year in advance.  Each week the box office makes another set of tickets available to buyers (usually a week’s worth), most of which are purchased by ticket brokers (who are the only people that would normally buy tickets a year in advance). This leaves only the less well placed ticket inventory available for the same price, closer to the performance date. For example: a ticket for a seat in Mezzanine row J on the month prior to the performance is the same price as a seat in Orchestra side row A, but only when sold a year in advance.

Ticket brokers have been actively speculating on The Book of Mormon tickets since the show received its bevy of awards at the 2011 Tonys, which drove up interest in the show by leaps and bounds. Recently, Book of Mormon tickets have become so hot that ticket brokers have even resorted to sending their staff down to the daily ticket lotteries because of the tremendous profits that can be made by selling a $32 front row seat for $400 after winning the ticket lottery – in some cases selling the tickets to clients before winning them (this is known as naked short-selling in the stock market).  Other ticket brokers can be seen on the day of the show selling these ‘recently acquired’ tickets outside the theater 30 minutes prior to the performance. Brokers have brought their full set of market manipulation techniques to bear through practices like drip feeding or scalp seeding – practices that are illegal in the New York stock market, but perfectly acceptable in the Broadway ticket market. More recently, ticket speculation for The Book Of Mormon has reached a fever pitch and is now starting to look a lot like the 1624 Amsterdam Tulip bubble, which ended disastrously for both the buyers and producers. It’s that speculation bubble that all others are now judged by and Broadway may be heading that way.

Creatively speaking, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre is the perfect size for The Book of Mormon, but from a financial perspective, it’s clear that the size of the theater is drastically limiting the revenue that the show could potentially achieve – see The Book of Mormon on the Broadway ticket sales analysis or the Broadway sales chart.  With only 1100 seats per show and eight shows per week, The Book of Mormon is missing out on a much higher attendance potential when compared with its two cousins in the the top three Broadway show list:  Wicked and The Lion King. (The disparity can actually be seen across all Broadway shows in “total attendance” when compared to Book of Mormon.)

With The Book of Mormon producers clawing back the profit from the ticket brokers by setting the new standard for pricing for this show, ticket brokers will in turn pass these price increases onto their own clients.  This could set the after-market broker ticket pricing on The Book of Mormon on Broadway at $750 to $1000 per ticket, from the $500 to $600 that they are currently on, a potential bubble in the making.

As The Book of Mormon is now the number one show on Broadway, it has within its grasp the opportunity to change the Broadway ticket game by cutting out ticket brokers for good. It’s clear that Mormon no longer needs brokers to promote the show, so if they were to add buyers’ names on tickets and demand government ID to match at the door (much like airline tickets), it could recoup all profit for the show overnight, cut out all ticket brokers, and provide consumers with a more equitable situation than the one currently being experienced with runaway pricing, no available ticket inventory and market manipulation.

Book of Mormon touring shows open at various locations across America in the coming months, but it’s unclear how this will affect sales of the New York Broadway based show tickets.  Ticket brokers may find themselves with unsold inventory, which could potentially crash the whole Broadway ticket market – something that has never happened in the history of Broadway, even dating back to the Broadway ticket speculation that transpired with the reign of Joe LeBlang in the early 1900s, when Broadway theatre had just moved uptown and the Broadway business was in its infancy.

But then again, Broadway ticket revenues weren’t $25 million per week and face value Broadway show tickets weren’t pushing $500.

Broadway Beauty Pageant To Be Held May 20

Broadway Beauty PageantThe 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant will take place at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (60 Washington Square South) on May 20 at 8pm, and Tony Award nominated performer Tovah Feldshuh will host the event. Proceeds from the pageant will go to benefit the Ali Forney Center, which provides safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City.

Unlike most beauty pageants, the Broadway Beauty Pageant is a male-only event, featuring cast members of Broadway shows. The men will compete in talent, interview, and swimsuit competitions. Their judges for this year’s event include Broadway and Off-Broadway stars Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Andrea Martin, and Michael Urie. However, it is the audience who will ultimately vote to crown the winner. The most recent winner of the Broadway Beauty Pageant was Andrew Chapelle, Mr. Mamma Mia 2012.

Directed by Seth Sikes and including choreography from Paul McGill, the Broadway Beauty Pageant has tickets ranging from $25 -$150 available. With VIP tickets, you can to attend pre- and post-show cocktail receptions, and also receive premium seating and a gift bag. Get tickets here.