Arts & Culture News

Want To See The Book Of Mormon? Better Up Your Arts Commitment.

It's the biggest show to hit Broadway since...who knows? It's tough remembering theater before Mormon came knocking. The South Park/Avenue Q love child tells the story of two eager young missionaries who just can't wait to save souls. The only problem? They're sent to an AIDS-soaked African country where people rape babies and sing/shout expletives at God. It's won nine Tony awards and still sells out nightly in New York.

Few shows have made this great of an impact, so when it was announce that the first National tour would come to Denver in August, nobody knew what to expect. The public response was overwhelming, literally. When tickets went on sale last January, so many people tried to buy them that the venue's online program buckled. It bowed under the weight of traffic, kicking people off and leaving others stranded unable to conclude their purchases. People gave up and went on foot, forming lines that stretched for city blocks, determined to buy tickets the old fashioned way. Others dialed the main line over and over and over. 25,000 tickets sold in four hours.

But AT&T Center is pretty sure it's got this.

"We are looking at a number of options to expand the bandwidth for our ticketing system to accommodate the anticipated demand for tickets." Said Chris Heinbaugh, spokesman for the Center. But that aside, they've also devised a ticket availability program that will only allow select groups of people to purchase them in waves. It's structured like class registration at a college, with the first round of tickets being released to those who have existing subscriptions for the 2012/13 year and then also renew them into the 2013/14 season. Those are the Seniors, and they'll get first dibs.

Next are the Juniors -- or the folks who purchase a 2013/2014 subscription but who weren't members prior. They'll be invited to buy tickets to Mormon in the second wave of releases. Sophomore ranking goes to group sales, and finally the general public will be the lowly Freshman, left to wrestle over the remaining ticket scraps.

It's a good method for the Center, which will have an exponential uptick in subscriptions while simultaneously rewarding long-time donors. Also, it keeps the ticket ordering leveed so the system isn't crushed by demand.

But for the great unwashed, the general public, getting seats through the Center proper will be tough. And Mormon's got a lot of other visits to make, so it can't stick around for long, says Heinbaugh. "We're not at liberty to say exactly how long the show is running, but it will be an extremely limited engagement and tickets will go fast."

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Jamie Laughlin
Contact: Jamie Laughlin