BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When you talk about the Baton Rouge Ballet, people scalping tickets is not usually part of the conversation.
Scalpers are gouging people, selling tickets to the beloved Nutcracker Holiday Extravaganza, and it could hurt the ballet's reputation and their bottom line.
It is known as one of the most magical experience of the holiday season; the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker "A Tale from the Bayou." It includes a full ballet, a live symphony and international guest artists.
Artistic Director Molly Buchman boasts the annual event puts a special Cajun twist on the traditional ballet at a price many only dream of.
"Generally we keep prices to Nutcracker relatively low so our community can see it. We consider this a holiday treat for the city," said Buchman.
Tickets are priced anywhere from $20 to $50, but Buchman says recently, she's noticed scalpers are taking advantage of the company; buying the tickets at the reasonable rate and reselling them, in some cases, for more than quadruple the amount.
Ticket Centers Baton Rouge lists the tickets between $38 to $275. On the Baton Rouge Box Office website, you'll see them anywhere in the $70 and $80 range to $285 per ticket.
"The first thing I think is, isn't it amazing that people pay that much for our show," said Buchman.
Buchman says while it's flattering, it hurts Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. The production makes up the majority of the non-profits annual funds. She fears the inflated prices set by scalpers will discourage people from attending the ballet.
"We keep these prices down especially so that they can bring their whole families to this performance, and they're making it out of reach for a lot of people in the city," Buchman said.
"I wouldn't say its common for Nutcracker events but other events yes," said The River Center General Manager Todd Mitchell.
Mitchell says scalpers usually hit big-named musical artists. He says the internet has made it easier for them to do business and a lot of times, get away with it.
"We'll go through and try to get different accounts and see if there's multiple accounts on one address and we'll try to cancel out tickets that should go to those folks," said Mitchell.
As a general rule he says, buy them directly from the venue or reputable sites, like www.ticketmaster.com.
"If you're seeing something that generally isn't Ticketmaster in Baton Rouge, you want to stay away from it because I can't always guarantee the authenticity of the tickets themselves," said Mitchell.
He says it's the only way to make certain you'll get to enjoy the top seats in the house for this, or any event at the best, legitimate rate.
There are four shows left to see the Nutcracker at the River Center
Click here to purchase tickets to see The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou: http://www.ticketmaster.com/search?tm_link=tm_header_search&user_input=nutcracker+tale+from+the+bayou&q=nutcracker+tale+from+the+bayou