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No Wang for 2004 NutcrackerBoston Ballet must find a new venue


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#1 fendrock

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 04:24 AM

In 2004, for the first time in 35 years, Boston Ballet will have to find a venue other than the Wang for their Nutcracker.

Quote from today's Globe:

The Wang Center for the Performing Arts confirmed yesterday that it has decided to boot Boston Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker," an annual Christmastime rite that draws 120,000 fans a year. The show will be replaced by another, starting in 2004.

This year's Nutcracker run will take place as scheduled, but next year the Wang hopes to present the touring "Radio City Christmas Spectacular," according to the ballet's directors.


Yet another salvo fired in the ongoing struggle between supporting the arts and having a profitable business...

#2 BW

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 04:32 AM

Oh, fendrock, this is really sad news...and hard to believe!?! What could they be thinking by importing Radio City Music Hall's "extravaganza"? Ugh. It's embarrassing.

Is there no recourse? :P :wub: :angry:

#3 fendrock

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 04:56 AM

According to the article, Boston Ballet gets a discount rate when using the Wang.

So the Wang will make more money by having a more commercial venture in the house.

I'm pretty sure there is no recourse (legally, anyway), and I wonder if this means they will end up with the show outside of Boston??? (Lowell or Foxborough have big auditoriums.)

Parking is horrible for the Wang, which is right in the middle of Boston, so maybe a more accessible (read: suburban) venue would actually have some people attending who wouldn't otherwise.

#4 citibob

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 06:23 AM

Problem with suburban venues is they're very hard to get to for people who live on the OTHER side of Boston.

#5 bbfan

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 06:55 AM

In the world of my dreams, the Boston area has a performing arts center that is easily accessible by car and by public transportation, has ample well designed parking (no 45 minute waits to escape after a performance), several theaters of varying sizes to accommodate various performances and with good sight lines from all the seats, and access to eateries of varying types and price ranges. All with good food and attuned to the need for patrons to make curtain times. Did I leave anything out? Oh yes, a commitment to the organizations that perform there! In the real world, I expect Boston Ballet will find another venue and cope with the impact.

Ironic that this came out in the paper on national Take Back Your Time Day, geared to thinking less about the bottom line and more about quality of life.

#6 bbfan

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 07:41 AM

In case you'd like to express an opinion, The Boston Channel (ch. 5) is doing a poll: What holiday show would you rather see at the Wang Center?

Follow this link to vote in the poll

#7 Hans

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 08:24 AM

So far, it looks like 77% would rather see Nutcracker...hopefully that'll continue.

#8 koshka

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 08:48 AM

bbfan--What you are describing is the Kennedy Center here in Washington.
(I am not completely sure about the parking since I usually just park on the street.)

Where one would put such a place in Boston, though, is a tough question.
Maybe on the site in Somerville (?) where they were talking about an IKEA?

#9 Hans

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 11:53 AM

I always found the parking at the KC very convenient and relatively inexpensive, though the price has gone up lately.

#10 bbfan

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 12:58 PM

Something like Kennedy Center or Lincoln Center would be nice... finding a good space for in could be a challenge. There is an area near the waterfront but that would be expensive and not so easy to get to, even after the Big Dig is done. Somerville could be an interesting choice... I'm leading us off topic though.

#11 Alexandra

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 10:12 AM

The Nutcracker/Radio City Musical Hall problem is going to koeep cropping up, I think. The entertainment industry has discovered there's a Holiday Market and are programming "family friendly" entertainments during the Christmas season. I've heard/read reports ini several cities where an ice show, or Cirque du Soleil, or the Rockettes, or a Christmas play with big name stars has come in and really cut into Nutcracker ticket sales.

#12 Amy Reusch

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 10:19 PM

"No city has ever booted 'The Nutcracker.' Not in San Francisco, Washington, New York, for a commercial thing, " said "The Nutcracker's" artistic director Mikko Nissinen.


Mikko should have a conversation with Raymond Lukens about Miss Saigon and Hartford Ballet at the Bushnell.... or perhaps he doesn't consider Hartford a city.

#13 sandik

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 11:17 PM

The entertainment industry has discovered there's a Holiday Market and are programming "family friendly" entertainments during the Christmas season.

The film industry has understood this for years -- since I've had a child I've been very aware of the upcoming "holiday films," which open just before Thanksgiving to take full advantage of the possibilties.

#14 fendrock

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 10:21 AM

I read in the paper today that Mayor Menino has suggested the Hynes Convention Center as an alternative.

Apparently the Nutcracker was held here one season in the past (maybe 1982?), when what is now the Wang needed roof repairs.

#15 bbfan

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 12:12 PM

We went to the Nutcracker the year it was in the Hynes. It was a relatively last-minute situation, the then-Metropolitan had roof trouble and there was a need to relocate while it was repaired. I don't remember how much in advance of the season that happened; it might even have been after the fall season had started. At the time, the Hynes space was quite sterile, and I recall feeling that it detracted from the performance. However, the Hynes has been refurbished since then, and with sufficient lead time it could be that the space would be more charming. We sat in a balconey area with good sightlines; I don't know what the floor seats were like and don't remember how the orchestra was accommodated.

I think the Hynes location - in Copley Square area - would be a good location for an arts center. Lots of parking around, very good access via public transportation, restaurants etc. The things I mentioned elsewhere I'd like to have.

Another location that has been mentioned for possible Nutcracker is a new theater in the new convention center on the waterfront. The building isn't finished so have no idea what that would be like. The location feels like 'can't get there from here' because of the road construction, one would hope that would improve....

I guess we'll hear in a few weeks. Meanwhile, we can look forward to Nutcracker this year in the Wang.


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