|from the 1964 review|
When I lived in New York City, or within a hour or two of it, I greatly enjoyed going to shows. Reading the original review of 'Fiddler', I started to wonder how much it cost back in 1964 when it debuted. As the review was in a .pdf scan of the paper, I went to the next page to check the theatre listings for the price. In 1964, an orchestra seat for that brand new musical cost $9.40 on a Friday or Saturday night when prices were highest.
As cost is relative, I looked up the minimum wage in 1964. The Federally set minimum in those days was $1.25 an hour. Which means, that forgetting taxes, deductions, and etc. someone earning the minimum wage would have to work for 8 hours to afford one ticket.
The top price for an orchestra seat for the current revival, which is far less than the price of a new show, is $167.00 for a Friday or Saturday night. Someone working at the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour would have to work over 23 hours to afford one ticket.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I looked to see how much an average orchestra seat for the current hot ticket, the hip-hop infused musical 'Hamilton' would cost. Finding ticket prices is somewhat difficult if one isn't ordering, and for 'Hamilton', tickets are hard to get. I found someone who complained in a letter written last June that the mid-orchestra seats they had just acquired for that November cost $327.00 each. I decided to check the show's website, which claimed that a few seats were indeed available. The cost for next Friday night was well over $1,000.00. I think it was close to $1,200 something, but my eyes and mind boggled. I had to look away.