I have yet to investigate how Goldstar interacts with businesses, so this is ONLY from the perspective of an audience member.
When I first went to New York and to London as an adult, I was so happy to find out about the TKTS/ Half Price Ticket Booths. In New York, I had one day, I got there in line an hour before the booth opened. In London, I saw about four to six shows with tickets from the Half Price booth. But by that time I had learned that if I wanted tickets for specific shows, I needed to go directly to the theatres to make sure I’d get tickets.
My subsequent trips to New York, I have primarily bought online because I didn’t want to take the chance that I would not get to see the shows that I wanted to see (again see previous posts for what it cost me to go out to New York). While the TKTS booth has a much wider selection now, I’m not going to take the chance. If I want to see Jeremy Kushnier in Jersey Boys, I’m going to get a ticket ahead of time.
Fortunately, sites like Theatermania and programs like the Playbill Club have lightened the weight of the cost in recent years . And more and more offers are becoming available online and on your phone (I am thankful for TKTS’ phone app that tells what tickets are available at the booth in real time).
Goldstar, a new discount ticket site, has popped up. It’s not that different from the other sites, except for one specific thing: FREE!! Some theatres offer a limited amount of free tickets to their shows. And there are also tickets that are over 60% off (I am thrilled when I can spend less on a theatre ticket than a movie ticket). I’m like a kid in a candy store! I can see shows that I wouldn’t dare to try otherwise. I can see things that I might want to see, but not enough to actually spend money on them. The site seems to have a lot of cities on it, including New York. There’s a $1 per ticket service charge, but really that’s not bad on top of the huge discounts–I’m a person who travels by Megabus and uses Airbnb–I will take all of the discounts I can get.
A business manager I know said it’s better to have the theatre filled up than have all tickets sold at full price. And that should be true. As I’ve said before, theatre is a communal performance; It’s about give and take between the actors and the audience. Your audience is going to determine the tone of the night and people tend to be much more reserved when they are not surrounded by a crowd of people. You’re going to more likely have an engaged audience. You’re more likely going to get more people to see your show if some have had the chance to see it free or discounted and tell their friends. This makes sense to me. Does it to you?