Derek Thompson examines the explosion of ticket prices and the rise of "limited-engagement" shows:
In 2001, "The Producers" taught real-life producers that theater-goers were willing to pay $500 for a two-plus-hour musical. Since then, more shows have started using dynamic pricing to charge the most when they expect demand to be strongest.
Last year, "Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway" (a one-man show, which is as labor-efficient as you can get) made $1,468,189 for eight performances, a record for its theater. The limited-engagement star-studded show, which can push $600 a pop, is a perfect storm for high prices. Covering the celebrity's pay check and the cost of the space requires producers to charge high prices to cover the costs in a short period. The short run itself creates scarcity, concentrating audience interest in a small window where they're less price sensitive. … Throw in the rise of tourism to New York is – up 8% since 2008 – and you're a long way toward understanding why Broadway ticket prices are going to keep going up as long as the rich keep getting rich.