Known for revolutionizing the comedy business by circumventing traditional power structures, the comic bypassed Ticketmaster and other similar brokers that charge “convenience” fees.
“Louis, in the interest of his fans, wanted to make sure they weren’t subject to exorbitant fees or surcharges,” explained Ben from Etix.com, an online ticketing system the comic used to sell tickets himself.
“It also helps him control his inventory, so scalpers aren’t able to gobble it all up.”
Every ticket in the house sold for $45, no matter where the patron sat in the 1,800-seat theatre. The tickets were only available through Louis C.K.’s personal website, and not through the theatre’s box office.
“The State Theatre was proud to have Louis C.K. perform live in New Brunswick,” says Jessica Trechak, House Manager of the State Theatre.
The Emmy-award winning writer, director, and producer of FX’s “Louie” joked that the 92-year-old theatre was “easily the nicest building for several miles in any direction.”
The shows came as a pleasant surprise to locals when they were announced just a week in advance.
“Louis C.K. never ceases to amaze,” said Larry Dember, Director of Production at the State Theatre.
“Within 6 days of announcing two shows at the State Theatre, he sold out the venue.”
Each show lasted around 90 minutes, with fifteen minutes of opening comic Todd Barry.
His seemingly effortless performances were a continuous stream of his consciousness as he approached topics like growing up in 1970’s Mexico, his divorce and children, fountain sculptures, putting on socks, and being a living creature on Earth.
The State Theatre was built in 1921 and operated as a vaudeville and movie theatre that eventually fell on hard times as multi-screen cinemas grew in popularity.
The New Brunswick Development Corporation and Middlesex County government collaborated to take over the building and launch a revitalization effort geared towards fostering the development of a theatre district.
The Theatre reopened in 1988 and was renovated in 2004. Renovations included the installation of new lights and sound and the restoration of the building’s original decor, such as the little blue angels on the balcony wall.
Since re-opening, the theatre has been bringing big name performers to New Brunswick such as Bill Cosby, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, Dave Brubeck, Lewis Black, and more.
Liza Minelli will be performing at an upcoming gala on May 11, according to their website. Also on the calendar this year are performances by musicians Gladys Knight (April 5) and Boyz II Men (April 24), as well as comedians Lewis Black (April 25) and Joe Rogan (April 26).