Hennepin Theatre Trust's ad blitz for " The Book of Mormon" at the Orpheum Theatre has been buzzing for months, but the $25 ticket option is a more subtle nod. Tickets are regularly $65 to $173 with fees unless you are one of the lucky persons whose name is drawn in a lottery two hours before curtain time. They can purchase 1 or 2 tickets for $25 each (cash only).
You will need a little luck on your side. About 50 to 100 people typically show up to claim 10 or 20 pairs of tickets, based on availability. People bring their significant other or friend to the drawing to increase the chances that one of their names will be drawn.
Here's how it works: Two and one-half hours before show time, people can obtain a drawing ticket to print their name and the number of tickets desired on it. The drawing is held two hours before the show starts. Winners must be present at the time of drawing to claim the tickets. They must show ID, which will be checked when the tickets are redeemed, to discourage winners from scalping the $25 ticket, said Karen Nelson, HTT's communication director.
If your name is drawn, you are not required to purchase the tickets if you're unhappy with the seat location, Nelson said, but you can't choose another seat. The seat assignments given to each winner are random, so the first person's name to be drawn doesn't necessarily get the best available seats.
The lottery/drawing system is rarely used with HTT's Broadway shows. Only "Wicked" and "Book of Mormon" have done so. Other shows may be subject to a student rush, but Nelson does not expect that a student rush will be added during the show. That is up to the show's promoters, not Hennepin Theatre Trust.
However, those who don't win tickets in the drawing may want to check with the box office to see if unsold seats may be discounted.
The shows runs Tuesdays through Sundays until Sept. 14. It won 9 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and features book, music and lyrics by "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.