Theatre Tickets and the NAC
The NAC phoned to sell me theatre tickets. Normally I hate telephone solicitation, but the lady was nice and I'm convinced that ticket master is corrupt, so I thought I'd give it a try. I told her I'd talk it over with my wife and would call back next week. I'm a busy guy, so it was closer to a month later before I called back. In the mean time, they tried to call me maybe twenty more times (don't do that!), which I just ignored.
The thing is, that we don't appreciate most of the theatre that they put on at the NAC. It's just not our style. But they're partnering with the GCTC for Vimy, and you can trade in theatre tickets at cash value for NAC dance tickets (some of which are amazing).
I went through the online Ticket Master process, and canceled out just before paying. Here's what would have happened.
Vimy (Nov 9 - Dec 5) GCTC (in the main Theatre)
Sat. Dec 4th, (all seats same price), $40.80 x 2 + $5.50 x 2 + $4.00 = $97.60
The Year of Magical Thinking (Jan 11-29) NAC (in the main Theatre)
Tue. Jan 25th, (centre orchestra, 4th row), $60.27 x 2 + $5.50 x 2 + $4.00 = $135.54
Wayne McGregor, Random Dance, Entity (only one day) NAC (in the main Theatre)
Tue. Feb 8th, (balcony, 1st row, orchestra was sold out), $43.17 x 2 + $5.50 x 2 + $4.00 = $101.34
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Orbo Novo (Mar 3-4) NAC (in the main Theatre)
Thu. Mar 3rd, (side orchestra, 3rd row), $46.28 x 2 + $5.50 x 2 + $4.00 = $107.56
NAC Theatre Package
I called back, Tuesday Oct.12th at 10pm and bought a 3pack (6tkts) over the phone with visa. They arrived in the mail on Friday Oct.15th, and I stopped by the NAC Saturday afternoon to swap the 3rd event (which we didn't want) for dance tickets. The tickets from the 3pack that we used for trade-in were Saint Carmen of the Main, $44.98 x 2 + $3.00 x 2 = $95.96. These where accepted for trade as a value of $95.96. Also, since we're now a subscriber, we get a discount on all subscription events of the season (i.e. the dance tickets). This seems to be 10% off most events. The NAC Box Office is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 9pm. The NAC may look closed, but the box office on the far side facing the river is open. Here's what happened.
Vimy (Sat. Dec 4th) GCTC (in the main Theatre, orchestra, D16/17)
$27.77 x 2 + $3.00 x 2 = $61.54 (saved $36.06)
The Year of Magical Thinking (Tue. Jan 25th) NAC (in the main Theatre, orchestra, D18/20)
$49.29 x 2 + $3.00 x 2 = $104.58 (saved $30.96)
Wayne McGregor, Random Dance, Entity (Tue. Feb 8th) NAC (in the main Theatre, balcony, B45/47)
$29.74 x 2 + $2.69 x 2 = $64.86 (saved $36.48)
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Orbo Novo (Thu. Mar 3rd) NAC (in the main Theatre, orchestra, D49/51)
$37.05 x 2 + $2.69 x 2 = $79.48 (saved $28.08)
Result: Saved $131.58
Conclusion: Ticket Master is the enemy.
Another good way to save money that I haven't tried, is to buy Rush Seats. The NAC website says that last-minute 50% discounts on some NAC performances are available from 4:00pm to 6:00pm on the day of the show.
You can exchange your tickets (in person, by fax or by mail) up until the day before the show (with no service charge) for any NAC subscription event during the same season.