It’s always the top ticket prices that grab headlines on Broadway, especially during the annual holiday bonanza when skyrocketing demand pushes premium pricing through the roof. (Want a top-tier premium seat to “The Book of Mormon?” That’ll be $477.) But this Yuletide season, one production has turned heads with prices on the other end of spectrum.
Since opening at the Belasco Theater in November, the Globe Theater’s repertory stagings of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III,” pictured above, have seen weekly sales snowball to well beyond the $800,000 mark — modest compared with a megamusical, but a strong tally for a play in a relatively small theater, and robust enough to set B.O. records at the venue.
It’s unusual enough that historically accurate, original-practices presentations of Elizabethan drama have become not just critical hits but popular ones as well. But what’s extraordinary about these plays is that at every single performance, 250 seats are priced at $25 each. That’s 2,000 tickets per eight-show week, or nearly a quarter of the inventory in a house that seats 1,051.
The initiative, the brainchild of lead producer Sonia Friedman, goes against the grain in a Broadway economy that can seem greedy and discriminatory as prices creep ever higher. And with the production on track to recoup its $3.1 million capitalization in the first half of January, “Twelfth Night/Richard III” could stand as a model that works both as a commercial venture and as a pricing accessibility initiative.
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