Just in time for summer, an economic boom is being felt on Broadway, and theater fans are not afraid to shell out for high ticket prices as long as the hits keep on coming.
According to a news report published by The New York Times, the most recent Broadway season resulted in revenue worth nearly $1.5 billion, which represents a 5.5 percent increase on an annual basis. The higher income being enjoyed by the theater industry on Broadway has been rising gradually since 2013, and it appears as if audiences are not complaining about ticket prices; in fact, theater goers seem to be very pleased about the ongoing quality and diversity of musicals and plays.
Expensive tickets are setting box office records on Broadway. Hamilton, one of the most discussed musicals of the century due to the historical and political themes it portrays, has commanded $849 for orchestra seats; this is even higher than VIP balcony seating during concerts by international opera stars.
Star power is certainly fueling the Broadway boom. The classic musical Hello Dolly, for example, features Bette Midler in the starring role; tickets for this event can run as high as $749. Even theater plays that could hardly be considered classics, such as Dear Evan Hansen, are fetching ticket prices higher than $350.
Broadway producers and theater managers are making the most out of their plays and musicals thanks to a combination of dynamic pricing, marketing and top billing. Bringing the film Groundhog Day to the stage has been an undeniable success, and risky propositions such as Indecent, which deals with Jewish morality as it relates to harlotry, has resulted in piquing the interest of Broadway newcomers.
Barry Weissler, a producer of major Broadway hits such as Chicago, told the New York Times that he has never experienced anything similar to what is happening today on Broadway, and he feels vindicated. After decades of playing second fiddle to Hollywood and the television industry, Broadway is finally get its comeuppance, and it is a testament to the hard work involved in making screenplays and musicals come to life.
Showbiz insiders believe that orchestral performances, opera and ballet could be the next Broadway boom; in fact, producers are already marketing these events to younger audiences.