Arts Selling Theater Seats That Don’t Exist
Scalping isn’t normally an issue for local theaters—nobody wants to see plays that badly. But at least a dozen websites have begun selling unauthorized tickets to ACT Theater’s upcoming production of The Pillowman. The tickets are going for almost double what ACT charges—and some of them are for seats that don’t exist. You can buy tickets in ACT’s 18th row on Ctlive.com, ticketliquidator.com, tickettriangle.com, and other web sites. “But the theater only has eight rows,” said Karen Bystrom of ACT’s marketing department. “You’d be sitting across the street in the Union Square Grill.”
The sites are also selling overpriced tickets (with actual seats) to Late Nite Catechism at ACT, various events at the Paramount, and Wonderful Town at the 5th Avenue. “That’s scalping!” Jennifer Rice of the 5th Avenue shouted when she saw the site. “Ticketmaster would kill us!â€ť (Insert Ticketmaster-as-institutional-scalper joke here.) On checking with the ticket office, Rice discovered that the “scalpedâ€ť tickets were still available for sale (as opposed to having been purchased for resale).
Only one theatergoer has come into ACT with a printed receipt for one of the non-existent seats. “We’re trying to get the word out,” said Bystrom. “To make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else.” ACT, the 5th Avenue, and the Paramount are continuing to investigate.
The sites selling nonexistent seats at ACT include: