Liam Rudden: Show must go on - but not at £144

Statue of Liberty New York. Pic: Liam Rudden
Statue of Liberty New York. Pic: Liam Rudden
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JUST back from New York, where I managed to avoid seeing a single show on Broadway. At $220 a pop, are you surprised? That’s what it would have cost for a brief to see Les Miserables for example, or as the US marketeers of the show have branded it Les Miz.

No, I have no idea when the ‘zee’ comes from either.

That $220 converts to about £144, which got me thinking, how much would you pay to see a musical. As I suspect the new Broadway production of Les Mis is simply a remount of the recent 25th anniversary touring version with a few tweaks, £144 is steep indeed.

So, how much should a show ticket cost? And is the inclusion of a big name a valid reason to hike up the cost? Not that Les Mis had one.

I suppose it depends on how badly you want to see one specific performer, although I can’t think of anyone I’d pay that much to see.

And then there are the extras. the additional charges. Recently I bought a pair of tickets for a show in Glasgow and paid £16.10 in handling and delivery fees for the privilege.

Is it any wonder audiences are declining and many shows playing to less than half-full houses midweek?

At least in New York you don’t have to pay to enjoy drama. As has been said many times, turning any corner in the Big Apple is akin to finding yourself in what could easily be a scene from a movie, so familiar is the city.

And a couple of tips if you are heading over soon; take the Circle Line boat trip; see New York by night from the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Centre); make like King Kong and see it by day from the top of the Empire State Building; and save money on all three by buying a CityPass (www.citypass.com/new-york).