The rise of the secondary ticket market for Broadway shows has given buyers a second chance to snag tickets to sold-out shows. Theatergoers have also been able to purchase tickets at prices below their face-value listing.
This has occurred as many popular shows have drawn huge audiences and tickets for many performances have been scarce. The secondary market has provided opportunities that might not have existed a few years ago for Broadway fans to see shows.
The downside is that when a show becomes popular, demand causes resale prices to skyrocket well over the primary ticket value. This can also cause confusion for some potential ticket buyers, who may not realize they can buy primary tickets from the box ofﬁce for a lower rate.
Still, theatergoers should consider the secondary market as an option if they can't attain tickets at the box office for a show at their preferred time and date.
Below is a list of the ﬁve most expensive tickets on the market by average resale price, along with their original price range. Also listed are each show's policies on rush tickets (a limited amount of tickets sold the day of the performance for a big discount, available on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-serve basis when the box ofﬁce opens), and group rates
The Humans currently has the priciest resale ticket on the market, as tickets average $353. It's a surprising, unlikely candidate for that position: It is a new play by Stephen Kram, and unlike most shows on Broadway, it doesn't beneﬁt from well-known stars; nor is it based on a famous work of literature or music. Rather, The Humans has become an in-demand hit primarily because of critical acclaim. It was widely regarded as the best play of the season with some even labeling it an instant classic, and it was a ﬁnalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show also won big at the Tony Awards last month, taking home the top honor of Best Play, along with featured acting awards for Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell. The show is currently on a brief hiatus, as its original home of the Helen Hayes Theatre will soon undergo renovations, but it will resume Aug. 8 at the Schoenfeld Theatre. (This move should make availability easier, as the Schoenfeld has several hundred more seats than the Helen Hayes, Broadway's smallest venue.) But primary tickets for The Humans are still available for the show and range from $59 to $165 through Telecharge, or in person at the Schoenfeld Theatre. The show also offers $30 general rush tickets.
The Color Purple
Resale tickets for the acclaimed musical revival The Color Purple average at $237. While its biggest name headliner, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, departed the show in May, it still has plenty of star power: Hudson was replaced by Tony-winner Heather Headley, who joins Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks on the marquee. But the biggest attraction is Cynthia Erivo, who received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and some of the strongest raves of the season, for the lead role of Celie. Like The Humans, the show also received a huge publicity bump from the Tonys: along with Erivo's win, the show received the award for Best Revival of a Musical, making it the only non-Hamilton musical of the night to score major awards. The show also has strong name recognition as it is based on the beloved, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, which was adapted into a successful 1985 Steven Spielberg ﬁlm. Primary tickets for The Color Purple go from $59 to $145. You can purchase tickets in this range through Telecharge or at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The show also offers general rush tickets for $35, and discounts for groups of ten or more.
Les Miserables has been a Broadway institution since the 1980s, and the current revival started in 2014. The most likely reason for the steep price is that it will close Sept. 4. With a ﬁnite number of performances left, ticket prices have increased, averaging at $219. The show has been a top draw for summer tourists, because it is such a recognizable name. The 2012 Oscar-winning ﬁlm adaptation reintroduced such songs like "I Dreamed a Dream" and "One Day More" to an appreciative public, who embraced the tale of courage and perseverance set in mid-19th century France. The musical is based on the novel by Victor Hugo, one of the giants in French literature. For Les Mis die-hards, the ﬁnal months have also seen the return of fan favorite John Owen-Jones to the role of Jean Valjean, the story's protagonist. Primary tickets are available from $42 to $162, either through Telecharge or in-person at the Imperial Theatre box ofﬁce. Tickets for select Wednesday performances go as low as $37. Les Mis also offers general rush tickets at each performance for $37.
Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen doesn't play its ﬁrst performance on Broadway until Nov. 14, but already demand is high for this highly-anticipated show with resale tickets averaging at $215. This new musical, from the director of Rent and Next to Normal and starring Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, The Book of Mormon), had a sold-out run at the Second Stage Theatre, received rave reviews from critics and won several industry awards, including the Helen Hayes award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. Everyone wants to be the ﬁrst to see the next-big-thing on Broadway, which Dear Evan Hansen has the makings of. Primary tickets for Dear Evan Hansen range from $49 to $155, which can be purchased online through Telecharge, and will be available at the Belasco Theatre box ofﬁce when the show moves in.
An Act of God
Resale tickets for
An Act of God
currently average $210. Like
this might be due to a ﬁnite supply of tickets, as the show will end its limited engagement on Sept. 4. But the show is also an appealing choice for audiences looking for an enjoyable summer night out, as it's a fun comedy with a likable celebrity at its center. True to its title,
An Act of God
stars God himself, who brings his message to the audience by taking the form of a well-known television personality,
Will and Grace
star Sean Hayes (a role originated last year with The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons). Primary
range from $59 to $149, with orchestra seats starting at $99. These can be purchased online through Telecharge or in person at the
, with general rush tickets available for $42.