Producer Zev Bufman was not surprised to hear that there have been some complaints about the cost of seats for Liza Minelli's "In Concert" series at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Nov. 13 to 18. Top prices are $27.50 for weekend evenings and $25 for other performances.
"What may tick some people off is the expectation that it's the typical Sinatra-with-a-microphone situation," he said last week. "But that's wrong. It is more than a one-woman show. There are two other singers and elaborate sets."
Bufman points out that the top ticket prices are the same as in New York -- where "In Concert" was a hit in Carnegie Hall.
There were seats at Carnegie Hall, however, for $10 and $7.50, while the minimum at the Opera House is $12.50 or $15 for weekend evenings. Bufman said this is because the Opera House is "the smallest house Liza's ever played in. Carnegie has 550 more seats that the Opera House. And the theaters she has played in Chicago and Boston are even larger."
As far as Washington is concerned, Bufman says, "I am not aware of a more expensive rent operation in the country. And that becomes greater when you consider that with a minimum of 30 persons in the company, the cost of hotel rooms is considerable. Meanwhile, the potential gross is the lowest of any theater that Liza's show has played in to date. Frankly, I don't know why the price scale in Washington has stayed so low."