Cirque du Soleil's 'Iris' sets new pricing high for L.A.
Cirque du Soleil is famed for operating at unusual heights, and “Iris,” its new production at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, is doing just that: the $253 tickets in the center section of the first five rows are the most expensive ever announced for an L.A. theatrical production.
There are some complexities to consider here: in addition to your seat, you get a "VIP" package that includes parking, a souvenir book and laminate, and a beverage.
Also, the "Iris" tickets won't be the most expensive ever sold through an L.A. box office.
The Pantages Theatre's general manager, Martin Wiviott, noted that as "Beauty and the Beast" was ending its limited run in March, a few seats went for $300. That's because the Pantages, like the Ahmanson Theatre, uses "dynamic" pricing, in which costs can fluctuate depending on demand for tickets. On the last weekend of "Beauty," inventory was negligable and demand intense, Wiviott said, and some customers anted up $300 for seats that others had bought for as little as $78 early in the run.
For "Iris," no such fluctuations are planned. Cirque officials are hoping it will become a must-see attraction for locals and tourists and last a decade at the 2,500-seat Kodak.
The $253 price doesn't kick in until Sept. 28, when previews end and regular performances begin. For now, $203 gets you front and center. Well, to be exact: $203 plus the $9 fee that applies to tickets sold online or by phone, as opposed to $5 at the box office. For you low-rollers, "Iris" is in reach for $33 now, and $43 starting Sept. 28, not counting fees.
Before "Iris," $250 appears to have been the highest price an L.A. theater had charged from the outset of a show's run. That was the cost of the 12 front row seats to "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants" when it ran in the Geffen Playhouse's 98-seat Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in 2008. Those seats came with extras as well, including a book autographed by the star and a souvenir deck of playing cards.
-- Mike Boehm
Photos: Scene from a June sneak preview of Cirque du Soleil's 'Iris' at the Kodak Theatre. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson/Los Angeles Times.