Tickets sales are brisk for A Christmas Story, the Musical, running Nov. 15 through Dec. 8, so here’s a refresher on Near West Theatre’s ticketing system: how to get a seat, what happens if there’s a sellout, what to do if you buy a ticket and then can’t come, and other helpful tidbits.
There are 220 seats for each of the 13 performances. As of the end of the business day on Thursday, Nov. 14, a day before opening weekend, it was clear that you shouldn’t wait till the last minute. For more than half the shows, at least two-thirds of the seats were already gone. Our leading sellers at that moment, in order, were Fri., Nov. 29 (180 tickets sold); Sun., Dec. 8 (161), Sun., Nov. 17 (157); Sat., Nov. 23 (155); Sat., Dec. 7 (150); Sat., Nov. 30 (147) and Fri., Nov. 15 (142), with several other dates close behind. [UPDATE, Nov. 24, 2013 -- All performances are now sold out.]
Advance sales and walk-ins will only heat up further with the show now being listed in every “Friday!” section of The Plain Dealer and news coverage increasing. So far we’ve seen stories in the The Plain Dealer, Cleveland.com and FreshWaterCleveland.com. A “Sound of Applause” segment is due Nov. 21 on 90.3 FM, and a “Reel Cleveland” feature is coming in a couple of weeks on Time Warner TV20.
And now, the tips:
Basic ticket info. You can buy: (1) online anytime; (2) by phone, 216-961-6391, weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; (3) in person during those same hours at our business office in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District, 6516 Detroit Ave., Suite 9; or (4) – if you want to take your chances — at the theater ticket table, 3606 Bridge Ave. in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, starting one hour before show time. Prices are $20 for a reserved Star Seat (described below), $10 for adult general admission, and $8 for child general admission (12 years of age and younger). Tickets purchased in advance will be waiting for you at the theater ticket table. You can arrive up to one hour before show time, and please arrive no later than 10 minutes before show time so that everyone can get situated for an on-time start. If you arrive 30 minutes or more before the show starts, you’ll line up with all other ticket holders in order of your arrival at the theater. When the house opens, 30 minutes before show time, general-admission ticket holders are free to choose any seat that is not marked as reserved. For forms of payment and other information, click here.
How to find out if tickets are still available. [UPDATE, Nov. 24, 2013 -- All performances are now sold out.] Calling 216-961-6391 during the designated hours above, or going online and trying to buy tickets, are two ways to know if seats are still available for the show you want to see. Whenever possible, we also use Facebook and Twitter (@NearWestTheatre) to let the world know when there’s a sellout.
What happens if there’s a sellout. If a show is sold out (see above about how to find out), you can come to the theater, 3606 Bridge Ave., as early as one hour before show time, speak to the people at the ticket table and get on a waiting list to see if any tickets become available. The only way we can release seats that have already been reserved is if the people who bought them tell us they aren’t coming and give us permission to re-sell their tickets. So…
If you can’t come, please tell us! We can’t offer you a refund, but with you’re permission we’ll free up the seats you won’t be using and sell them to patrons who can come to the show. You can let us know by calling 216-961-6391 weekdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; sending an e-mail to Kelcie Dugger (kdugger at nearwesttheatre.org); telling us in person at the theater as early as one hour before any show; or calling 440-665-1796 after 4 p.m. weekdays or anytime on the weekend.
What’s a Star Seat? Your $20 ticket is first and foremost a wonderful way to support Near West Theatre’s art and mission and help keep our general prices affordable. Thank you! It also gets you a reserved seat of your choice, a free item at our gift shop (window cling, button, or wrist band), a gift shop discount and a free soft drink at our concession stand. To choose your seating location, just call 216-961-6391 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any weekday before the performance you’re attending and tell us whether you want to sit in a front, middle or back row, and to the left, center or right as you face the stage. On the night of the show, you’ll find your chair marked with your name (or the name of the party you’re with).
See you at the theater! – Hans Holznagel
Supporters of this production of A Christmas Story, the Musical, include the City of Cleveland, Department of Community Development, and a presenting sponsor, Hinkley Lighting. Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.
A Christmas Story, the Musical
Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,
based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.
A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.