How’s Love, Love, Love doing at the box office? #richardarmitage
I’ve already bought all the tickets to this play I plan to buy. (Mr. Armitage, did you think we’d forgotten?) But I was curious as to how the tickets are selling, so I decided to take a random snapshot of how sales are going at this point. Keep in mind that I have no idea of how many seats the Roundabout Theater Company normally expects to have sold at this point, and also that the number of seats I can see as available probably does not reflect seats actually already sold, although it may be close. Theaters like these in NYC typically reserve some small proportion of seats from open general sale for various reasons, including seats that may be allotted to actors as part of their contract or held for VIPs or high-priced last minute sales.
Roundabout has one show already in previews (Holiday Inn — to me, the weather still seems a bit warm for that at the moment, honestly) in the much larger Studio 54 venue, with roughly 1,000 seats. Glancing at their ticketing webpage, seats for the show for the first week look roughly half occupied on weekdays and and up to two-thirds occupied on weekends.
A second show, The Cherry Orchard, starring Diane Lane as Lyubov, will begin previews on September 15 in Roundabout’s 740-seat American Airlines venue. Looking at that show’s ticketing webpage, between 150 and 300 seats are still showing as available for the first week’s performances, which would reflect sales of 60 to 80 percent of seats.
An impressionistic look at Love, Love, Love, since I didn’t feel like calculating every single day of it: This much-smaller venue has 424 seats. Up to sixteen seats per performance are visible but not available to the average viewer (either premium seats available only with a donation of $2500, or held for theatergoers in wheelchairs or who need other assistance), but calculating using 424 as n, the seats for the first week are between two-thirds and four-fifths occupied. There is one performance that’s 86 percent sold, but it’s a Wednesday matinee, so I’m wondering if there aren’t a lot of school children in that audience. The performance closest to apparent sell-out at this point, with only 36 seats available, is the evening of Wednesday, October 6, probably because those tickets were discounted to under-35s. The performance I saw with the least seats taken is Monday, November 21, with 260 seats left — one assumes because this is the substitute performance for the Thanksgiving Day holiday later that week, and potentially many fewer subscribers want a Monday show. Flipping around the page, however, suggests that most performances have sold at least two-thirds of their seats. Watching sales from the beginning, it looks like roughly a third of those went to subscribers and another third to new purchasers, but that is almost entirely a guess. Most of the seats that have always been blocked off from purchase are in the center front of the orchestra and the first row of the mezzanine.
For comparison purposes — the Old Vic Theatre has roughly 1,000 seats. It’s impossible to make a direct comparison to their ticket sales for a number of reasons — bigger potential audience, different kind of play, more complex pricing structure including protected seat allotments with discount prices for under-21s and people who live in the neighborhood, and extremely cheap nose-bleed seats. For The Crucible in 2014, the first preview did sell out shortly before the curtain rose (well, there wasn’t any curtain, but you know what I mean), but most shows initially did not, although after the first month the evening shows started to come close. For much of the run, the play remained a potential last-minute decision as opposed to appointment theater. My recollection is that shows did not begin selling out completely in advance until about the last five weeks of the production. Even then, for theatergoers who were available to stand in line, it wasn’t impossible to get a return.