Subscription service for shows

.@OTLPresents fills seats in SoFlo. See shows for fraction of cost

You know how at award shows when a star has to slip out and an anonymous person pops into their chair so the cameras don't show an empty seat? Well, that concept is also here in South Florida.

Through the On The List (OTL) company, you can sign up for all kinds of shows - theater, comedy, music - and even fundraisers for a $9.95 subscription fee.

"We're not a ticket broker," explains Lu Ann Wall, spokeswoman for OTL. "We don't sell tickets."

What OTL does is partner with the entertainment community in 22 cities in the United States (and soon London) and connect audience members with venues who want a full house.

"I'm always looking for new people to come to the venue to check out all the things we can offers," says Jill Martinez, promotions director for Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach which has used OTL since the organization came into the South Florida market a little over two years ago. "My job is to generate traffic and this allowed me to do that. The first year we did it I offered them a certain number of events just to try it out. And those patrons have been with me for a variety of other things ever since, even without using On The List. I've seen them for years now, which is exactly what you want: repeat business."

David Gordon, co-owner of the Empire Stage black box theater in Fort Lauderdale, uses the service to boost the spirits of the cast for shows that don't sell well.

"It's really more about not having to deal with the embarrassment of having five to 10 people in the audience," he says. "It's nice to know I can reach out to [OTL] and they can get 20 people in here. It just feels better. It's better for the cast to look out there and see people. I'm very insecure in that way."

Generally subscribers get about three or four days lead time. Most events are posted on Tuesday for the weekend. There are various programs to sign up for based on length of subscription (one month, three months) and number of people (two, four). A three-month program for two people is $29. A three-month program for four people (to be seated together) is $49. Vacationers can get two-week guest passes to other cities that OTL serves.

"We do give a discount to military, seniors, police, first responders, teachers and students," says Wall from her office in Las Vegas. "That's $25 for three months. For this summer we have a teacher promotion which is $22 for three months."

To join or for more information, go to OnTheListSouthFlorida.com.

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