The producer for the new Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway claims its eye-watering prices are necessary to close the gap with the secondary market.

The theatre production is selling premium tickets for as much as $499, making it the second most expensive Broadway production behind Hamilton, which charges $850 for a top-tier pass.

Carmen Pavlovic, whose company live entertainment firm Global Creatures serves as the show’s lead producer, told the Wall Street Journal that the Moulin Rouge pricing strategy is aiming to close the gap between what it charges and what ticket resellers are asking.

On the secondary market, a Moulin Rouge ticket can fly off the shelf for as much as $1,000 – more than double the cost of the most expensive premium ticket available through official channels.

With more money ending up in the hands of touts, shows that have invested heavily in production costs may find the resale market especially troubling. Moulin Rouge has been capitalised for up to $28m, which makes it one of the more expensive productions on Broadway in recent seasons, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pavlovic noted that Moulin Rouge has regular seats from $99, as well as a digital lottery for each performance with $29 tickets available to winners. She added that the show is developing a programme to provide college students and up-and-coming artists with lower-priced seats.

Image: David Joyce