The show’s tour recently began in San Francisco and presenting houses booked for the 2017-18 season are already reporting a jump in subscription sales by 30 percent. That’s no surprise because getting tickets for “Hamilton!” since its Broadway opening in 2015 has been a Herculean task. The stratospheric prices for premium seats — $750 tickets for the Broadway show (and higher from scalpers and ticket agencies) — has made many theater consumers feeling, as another song from the show goes, “helpless.”
Part of the reason is that buying tickets to a hit show has become in recent years as confusing as purchasing an airline ticket. That’s because “dynamic pricing” — first mastered by Disney productions — has come not only to Broadway, but to many of the state’s nonprofit presenting and producing houses.
In years past, tickets were at an unvarying pricing range. Now top ticket prices are ever-changing, allowing theaters to raise prices for sought-after tickets as a show’s popularity increases. That’s why Broadway’s “Hamilton!” is grossing more now than when it first opened, not because there are suddenly more seats in the theater or performances were added. It’s because of a whatever-the-market-will-bear approach.
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