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ArtsPage

A way to keep up with Seattle theaters, concert halls, galleries, museums and other fine-arts events.

November 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Holiday theater season: Beware of ticket brokers

A timely reminder, as the holiday theater season begins: Beware of high-priced ticket brokers. It’s perfectly legal in this state for a third-party ticket broker to buy blocks of tickets to, say, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” or the 5th Avenue Theater’s “A Christmas Story,” or any of a number of other high-profile holiday shows, and re-sell them at a much higher price. Often, these brokers will pay for top placement in search engines, so they’re easy to find. Try this experiment: Do a web search on, oh,  “Seattle Nutcracker tickets.” Click on the perfectly reasonable-sounding seattle-theatre.com (which is higher on the page than pnb.org), click on “Nutcracker,” select a date — and note that orchestra seats are $143 each, as opposed to $98 (same section, same performance) if bought directly from PNB. A random check of 5th Avenue’s “Christmas Story” showed ticket prices as high as $327, while seats at the 5th Ave website topped out at $129.25. That’s just from checking one of many broker sites.

The moral of this story: If you don’t want to pay extra, buy your tickets directly through the local arts organization presenting the show. When buying online, check to be sure that the website you’re using identifies itself as the “official site” of the arts organization (read the “about us” section carefully). Here are official websites for some of this area’s most popular holiday shows:

The 5th Avenue Theatre:  5thavenue.org
A Christmas Story, The Musical, November 25-December 30, 2014

ACT – A Contemporary Theatre: acttheatre.org/
A Christmas Carol, November 28-December 28, 2014

Pacific Northwest Ballet: pnb.org           
Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker, November 28-December 28, 2014

Seattle Men’s Chorus: flyinghouse.org/
Our Gay Apparel, November 29-December 22, 2014

Seattle Repertory Theatre: www.seattlerep.org/
All the Way, November 14, 2014-January 4, 2015

Seattle Symphony: seattlesymphony.org/symphony/
Holiday Pops with Cirque Musica, December 5-7, 2014
Handel’s Messiah, December 19-21, 2014

Seattle Theater Group (STG Presents) ~The Paramount Theatre: stgpresents.org
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, December 2-7, 2014

Village Theatre: villagetheatre.org/
Disney & Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, November 13, 2014-January 4, 2015 (Issaquah), January 9-February 8, 2015 (Everett)

Book-It Repertory Theater: book-it.org/box-office/
Pride & Prejudice, November 26 – December 28

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