The New York Times recently ran a great article about Death of a Salesman, the crux of the article being that even though the play centers on the middle class Loman family, the middle class is no where to be seen in the audience.
“Certainly few middle-class people, or at least anyone from any “middle class” that Loman would recognize, are among the audiences attending this production. What was once a middle-class entertainment has become a luxury item,” Lee Siegel writes.
The Times writes that tickets for the 1949 original run of Salesman, tickets cost between $1.80 and $4.80. If you were to buy tickets for the 2012 version, they go anywhere from $111 to $840.
For $840, Philip Seymour Hoffman better invite me on stage and Andrew Garfield better get out his Spider-Man web shooters, put me on his back and take me for a ride around the theater.
Yes, shows are expensive to produce and everyone from the crew to the actors need to get paid but these prices are ridiculous. I’m lucky enough to get a good portion of my theater tickets for free but still, even when I’m not, I have to be choosy in what I see when I get to the city.
Most, if not all, of my New York actor friends can’t even afford to go to a show on Broadway. Yeah, you can do rush tickets but who has the time for that? Even TKTS prices, which usually hover around $60, are questionable on an actors budget.
I wish there were some sort of program with Equity (or even SAG-AFTRA) that set aside a handful of tickets for it’s members at a discounted price.
Hey Unions, you listening?