"The king's name is a tower of cash"

Over at Iron Tongue of Midnight Lisa Hirsch has been writing about the difficulties she's experienced ordering tickets from the San Francisco Symphony. I'm going to jump on her bandwagon and complain about a different local arts company and how ridiculous their ticket-purchasing set-up is to navigate and how they're totally gouging the public with "fees."

Yes, I'm talking about you, Shorenstein/ SHNSF. Your system stinks.

In trying to buy tickets to the upcoming run of Richard III featuring Kevin Spacey at the Curran next month, Isabella and I found two different sites selling two different sets of tickets at two different price points. All of which were incredibly expensive ($578 for an orchestra seat???). One can buy tickets from either the SHN site or the Curran site. The Curran site folds the fee into the ticket price, which still adds up to a pretty hefty fee even at the back of the balcony. The SHN site adds the fee to the already exorbitant price (orchestra- $400+ fees!). Not only that, but once you select your ticket on the SHN site good luck figuring out how to actually buy it.

The Curran is easier to navigate, but their prices top out at an unbelievable $578 per ticket (yes- I had to write this twice), with the cheapest seats going for $78.

Now I live within walking distance of the box offices for both the Curran and the Orpheum and we wanted to walk over to the box office and buy them there and save some money by avoiding these incredible online fees. We made three phone calls trying to find out the box office hours before we hit the right information- which is that there isn't any. Why?

Because the box office doesn't open until 09/30. There is no other way to buy tickets except online to a run which will likely be sold-out by then. So bend over theater-going public, and pony up at least an extra $30 a ticket in fees if you want to see some Shakespeare- and give yourself at least an hour to figure it all out.

So much for making attending the performing arts easier for the public.

Not all companies, indeed most, aren't this bad- I just find SHN to be a particularly horrible (and greedy?) example of this. Fie!