Bloomberg News

‘Mormon’ Tickets Soar to $487 as Satire Breaks Broadway Records

June 16, 2011

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Hours after “The Book of Mormon” walked off with nine Tony Awards including best musical, Broadway’s biggest new hit set a record with a top ticket price of $487.25.

That’s what it will cost for a prime orchestra seat bought within 48 hours of a performance, including service charges, according to Telecharge.com, which handles the show’s ticket sales. That price tops the $480 premium ticket introduced by “The Producers” in 2001. (Factoring in inflation, that $480 ticket would cost $612 today.)

The $165.25 regular orchestra seat for “Mormon” is another Broadway record. If any show can command it, it’s this one. Since opening to largely rapturous reviews on March 24, “Mormon” has played to full houses.

In the wake of its Tony juggernaut on Sunday, virtually all available seats for the rest of the year were sold, according to a check of Telecharge. That suggests an advance sale of at least $30 million.

A spokesman for the show declined to comment or to make available the lead producers, Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino. Some single tickets and “premium” seats, selling for $312.25 or more, remain for the year. (Each day, people line up for standing room tickets, at $27, and a few offered through a lottery, for $32.)

No Stars

Steven Baruch, a producer of “The Producers,” said “Mormon” should run for years. Given that its lead actors aren’t household names, he expects sales to be less affected by cast changes than was “The Producers,” which originally starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and saw sales drop when they left the show.

“It hurts a show when a star leaves,” he said. “This group aren’t stars.”

Yesterday, “Mormon” tickets went on sale to American Express cardholders for April 2012 to September 2012.

Adding to demand: The show’s home, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, has about 1,100 seats, making it one of Broadway’s smaller musical theater venues.

“Obviously, these prices exist because they’re getting them,” Baruch said.

Prices are much higher in the so-called secondary market -- “scalpers” in another era. On Ebay Inc.’s StubHub, a pair of orchestra seats for Saturday night is going for $1,832.75

--Editors: Jeremy Gerard, Jeffrey Burke.

To contact the writer of this column: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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