Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Broadway Sets More Records
The week between Christmas and New Year's is usually the biggest of the year and this one was no exception. 15 shows grossed more than $1 million at the box office, which isn't so surprising since more and more tickets were priced at "premium" levels of $250 to $300 and more. This practice is going to keep spreading and spreading until NO good seats will ever be available to a Broadway show for less than $200 or $300, especially Friday and Saturday night. "Dreamgirls" made a lot of money at the movies by having a one-week run with $25 tickets; they also gave you a program and other souveniers. But they weren't stupid enought to do it for the entire run throughout the country. Imagine if "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" charged $20 tickets for Friday and Saturday primetime screenings when it opens next May. Think that would be a smart move by the film industry. Of course, a Broadway play has a limited number of seats available, while a movie studio has a relatively limitless supply of theater screens. But the long-term damage of this practice is obvious: middle class theater goers are being squeezed out, will stop going to Broadway regularly and young people will almost never get any exposure to Broadway.