by Dan Gibson
I'm sort of an obsessive game show fan (last night at dinner, I surely bored an audience of my friends discussing my year or so of trying out for and appearing on game shows in LA), so just the mention of a live stage version of Price Is Right coming to Tucson this Sunday night was exciting for me. Talking to Todd Newton, the host of the show, on the phone, however, it seems like anyone who has affection for the classic show or just feels like having a chance to win prizes should probably get tickets.
My big concern, because I am a nerd who needs better hobbies, was that the stage show wouldn't have the same feel as the TV version, like a regional theater version of a Broadway musical, but Newton assured me that the audience will be impressed. "The similarities are endless," Newton said, "since the live show is produced by the same people as the TV show, there are still the same prizes, the cars, the vacations." In seemingly an apt comparison, he described the traveling version like a band playing its greatest hits, since they bring the full-size versions of games like Plinko and Cliffhangers. However, one advantage the live adaption has is ditching the time constraints of TV. "We go at least 90 minutes," Newton said, "sometimes up to two hours, if things are going well with the audience." Also, the show gets more people on stage than TV. Instead of bringing four people to "Contestant's Row" and then those people staying until they get on stage or the show ends, four new contestants are chosen for each pricing game. The contestants will be chosen at random from those who chose to put their names in, so the people in the cheap seats have the same chance as those up front. In this case, wearing a novelty t-shirt doesn't help you get on stage, although Newton noted that "it helps any game show to have people dress up and be loud."
Tickets for Price Is Right Live range from $38 to $64, not including fees, for Sunday, September 15th show at Centennial Hall. Showtime is 7 pm.