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ANOTHER FIRST ON BROADWAY: THE $60 TICKET (YOU CAN BET IT WON’T BE THE LAST)

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Broadway has come up with another theatrical first: the $60 ticket.

"Jerome Robbins' Broadway" became the first Broadway show to raise the price of an orchestra seat to $60.The $7 million show, a holdover from last season, was the first to break Broadway's $50 price barrier last February, opening with a top ticket price of $55.

Since then, most Broadway musicals have gone to $55 and several that will open in the near future - "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Threepenny Opera," and "Grand Hotel" - also will have a $55 top.

Only one of this year's non-musicals announced so far - "The Merchant of Venice," starring Dustin Hoffman - will come in at the $55 level for orchestra and front mezzanine seats. Most straight plays have a top ticket price of $37.50 to $42.50.

"Once one show charges $60 a ticket, a trend starts," said Arthur Rubin, vice president of the Nederlander theater organization. "There's almost an onus attached to the cheaper price, as if a show that doesn't charge the top dollar is a second-class citizen."