‘Les Mis’ fans strive to track down tickets
SCHENECTADY There are fewer than 80 seats left for the entire “Les Miserables” run at Proctors — but there’s still hope for those who haven’t bought a ticket.
There’s always Craigslist and StubHub, where tickets are sometimes priced at double their face value.
And for a few lucky buyers, there will also be a way to buy last-minute tickets through the Proctors box office.
The “Les Miserables” touring company will release a few seats each day when they are not filled by company guests. Those seats will be released on the day of each production by midmorning, and buyers must call the Proctors box office in the morning to get the tickets, CEO Philip Morris said.
“They get released last minute — that’s very typical,” he said. “There’s a few of those that get released every day.”
There’s also Craigslist, where some tickets are still selling for face value.
Seller Michelle Brooksby said she decided to offer a ticket at face value because it was the right thing to do.
She checked websites first to see how much she might get for it. Answer: Up to $300.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I would feel horrible trying to scam people.”
A few others also sold tickets without trying to make a profit.
Tony Futia found four tickets at face value when he and his wife Donna suddenly realized, last week, that the show was about to open.
“Everything we seem to do is last minute,” he said with a laugh. “Actually, we were pretty good because this was a week before.”
He looked online, where he found some tickets selling for $500 apiece — much higher than box office price. So he wrote an ad, begging for tickets on Craigslist.
To his surprise, someone wrote back.
He paid $67.50 for each ticket.
Not everyone was that lucky.
Luanne Nicholson bought two tickets for $400 from StubHub, paying about twice as much as they were worth at the box office.
She bought them there about three months after the tickets went on sale in December, because the best orchestra seats were sold out for the Saturday night show.
“This was a really tough ticket to get if you didn’t get it in December,” she said. “That was a lot. Too much. There’s only a few shows I’d do this for.”
But tickets were for a special day with her daughter.
“I knew she really wanted to see it. She’s going off to college,” Nicholson said.
And, she added, it wasn’t like she had many alternatives.
“Four hundred versus going down to New York City — and it’s not even in New York City,” she said. “So this was the only way to see it.”
Another local was so desperate for tickets that he was willing to send a check to Poughkeepsie and hope that he would get tickets in return.
Most secondhand ticket sales are done in person, so that the buyer is certain of receiving real tickets. But Chris Noonan didn’t have much choice.
He had intended to buy the tickets when they went on sale. He’d even marked the day on his calendar. And then he forgot. By the time he went online, there were only single seats available.
At first he thought that perhaps it was for the best — maybe the show was too long or too serious for his daughters, ages 11 and 14. But when he showed them the movie, they fell in love with it.
Now he had to find tickets.
He posted an ad on Craigslist, and got a call from a woman who said she was a teacher in Poughkeepsie. She had purchased a block of tickets for her class, but she had a few too many.
If he would send her a check, she’d send him her best tickets — front and center seats.
“It was total trust,” he said.
He sent off the money. The tickets never came.
Finally, the seller called. She’d had a death in the family and hadn’t seen his check. She’d instead sold to someone else the tickets she had promised to him. Then she saw that his check had arrived previously.
So she offered him seats she had intended to save for her students.
“They were even better than the first seats,” he said. “It was a nice experience.”
Not everyone had a happy ending to their search. Daniel Pecan gave up on “Les Mis” when all he could find were sellers looking to make a significant profit.
“I had been trying to find tickets for my fiancee’s birthday,” he said. “It actually ended up easier to purchase a ticket to a Broadway show in New York, so that’s what I did.”