Friday, April 10, 2015

When It Rains, It Pours

No sooner do I make like Elliot Ness and destroy a lethal underground crime syndicate....well, no, not exactly. All I did was use information a friend collected and connected a few dots and exposed a dopey private Facebook group selling comped trade tickets. Nothing earth shattering, by any means, but definitely an economic drain on Broadway shows. Then again, except for the mega hits, what isn't a drain on shows struggling for a few crumbs that fall off the plates of Disney or the Mormons?

Before I even get a chance to stop patting myself on the back, even more evidence regarding the resale of comped trade tickets for Broadway shows literally falls into my lap! As I'm wont to say, "The soup thickens!"

While continuing my private Facebook group inquiry this evening, three ladies come up to the window with a very common request. One of the three has lost her ticket, and needs to get it replaced. It's the middle seat of a three, so it's easy to know exactly which seat must be replaced. What catches my attention is the fact that their tickets are comps. Hmmm.

Checking my records, I see that their locations are not what I'm looking for tonight, I'm focusing on the source of the Facebook tickets, and these are not them. I do notice, however, that their tickets were also trade comps, but they were issued to a different entity, one that had not, to this point, seemed suspicious.

After reprinting their missing ticket, I asked them where they got the tickets from. They said a major local hospital. I asked if if they paid for them, they said, "Why, yes!". "How much?", I asked, my heart pumping fast, and a bead of sweat dripping down my forehead (not really.) "$55.00", she told me.

Aha! Yet more comped trade tickets being sold! These from a major hospital! "This is getting more absurd by the minute," I thought to myself.

On my way home, I Googled the hospital and found they have quite an extensive website devoted to supplying their employees with cut rate theater tickets and other amenities. It all looks quite above board, but it doesn't seem right that comped trade tickets for Broadway shows should be funneled to this hospital program. What of the money collected from these ticket sales? None goes to the shows themselves. Who made the decision that fundraising for a hospital (if this is indeed what this is) is an appropriate use of comped trade tickets?

There is a distinct smell of rotten eggs in this situation, and I hate to see eggs go rotten. More to investigate.

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