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No Wang for 2004 NutcrackerBoston Ballet must find a new venue


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#31 its the mom

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 09:25 AM

Don't mean to add "fuel to the fire" here, but the highest price Nutcracker tickets are $77.00. They range in price fro $19 to $77. Also, I believe BB reduced the number of shows they are doing this year considerably.

#32 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 09:55 AM

No fire, mom, just pithy conversation! :wink:

I had heard Boston Ballet were reducing the numbers of shows, it had gone way past 50 last I knew, and I had always wondered when the law of diminishing returns would kick in. I checked the NYCB site and their ticket prices vary; weekdays I think the high price was 82 dollars, weekends I think it was 93. I also seem to remember that Chicago Tribune Charities had always tried to keep Nutcracker prices down, though now that I've checked the site, their tickets range from 15 to 90 dollars too, and they are doing it now at the Auditorium Theatre, which has 4300 seats. According to their web site, the Wang Center has 3600+ (their usage) seats.

Interesting to compare:
New York State Theater @ 2737 seats
Arie Crown Theater Chicago @ 4500 seats
Wang Center @ 3600 seats
Metropolitan Opera @ 3800 seats
War Memorial Opera House @ 3200 seats.

San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker has a top price for what is called Center Box seats of 130.00, 96.00 for Grand Tier and 86.00 for Orchestra Center.

#33 Blondie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 02:46 PM

I'm wondering what, if anything, any of the local Boston Ballet fans have done to register their indignation with the Wang Center Board of Trustees over their decision to evict the Nutcracker? I've written a letter to the Board, which I am also sending to Mayor Menino's Office and to the Boston Globe and Herald. I've also been telephoning friends of mine on the Wang Center Board and registering my opinion. I know it's not going to do much more than give me an opportunity to vent, but it can't hurt to express an opinion. I was appalled to read in Sunday's Globe that the touring company of the Rockettes has caused a severe downturn in Nutcracker sales to regional ballet companies throughout the United States. In turn, the regional directors have downplayed the "high culture" aspect of the Nutcracker, which I think is a grave mistake.

One friend on mine on the Wang Board suggested that the Ballet should alternate years in Boston and go to Providence and Worcester in between times to build audiences. There has been a lot of talk about the expense of taking a production on the road, but does anyone have a clear sense of how much it actually would cost to take a large scale production such as Boston Ballet's Nutcracker on the road? I need to marshall my facts in order to respond!

#34 citibob

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 03:00 PM

Festival Ballet Providence already puts up the Nutcracker in Providence. Not only would they be likely displeased to see the Boston Ballet nextdoor, it's also unlikely that BB would find enough ticket sales in a small market like Providence to meet their needs --- Festival Ballet has only 5 performances of Nutcracker 2003.

I think any talk of taking BB's Nutcracker on the road --- or putting it up in a significantly smaller space --- would entail a different production.

#35 Hilarion

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:27 PM

Someone mentioned the new convention center... The Democratic National Convention will be held there next summer, so the convention center will be as done as it's going to get by then. Whether the building has suitable space for ballet or can be readily converted is another matter.

On the other hand, by the time Nutcracker season rolls around in 2004 we may all be so engrossed in the recount of the votes in the presidential election that no one will care about the Nut.

:wink:

#36 LMCtech

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 02:00 PM

In term of touring costs, depending on the venue and the number of dancers and whether the orchestra is going, the cost to tour (even just to Worchester) would probably be at least $100,00-$250,000. That hardly seems worth it to a company that is struggling financially already.

#37 MJ

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 02:17 PM

Why doesn't Boston have a Licnoln Center/ Kennedy Center/ Place Des Artes (Montreal)?

There will be plenty of empty space after they take down all those cranes at the big dig.

A logical location would be next to the new convention center, there seems to be plenty of space there.

MJ

#38 LMCtech

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 04:41 PM

Why doesn't Boston have a Lincoln Center? Why doesn't San Francisco?

The simple answer is that no one thoguht it was important enough to build one. Or maybe that's the short answer, not the simple answer.

#39 salzberg

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 07:29 PM

I'd guess that NYC and Mexico Citiy are the only North American cities big enough to support a Lincoln Center, with its many (at least 6 that I can think of) theatres and 12 resident companies.

Now, as to why more cities don't have an equivalent to DC's Kennedy Center or Houston's Wortham Center, I suspect that LMC's right; it's a lack of vision.

#40 LMCtech

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 06:23 PM

Or Denver Center in Denver or the Music Center in LA...

San Francisco has actually pulled itself together in the last 20 years and built a rather nice facility in the Yerba Buena Center, but the theater is small and parking is expensive. And it took them a long time to get the funding in place.

#41 Amy Reusch

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 09:20 PM

Speaking of BB doing their Nut in a convention center... may I say that I thought the Arie Crowne was a god awful space in which to see one's first ballet? What a cavern... how it dwarfed the energy of the dancers... spaces that big are perphaps better suited to Rockette type shows... or maybe marching bands would be even better...

Why doesn't Chicago have a Lincoln Center either? It was once a centralized city, wasn't it? In the 90s when I lived in Chicago, the Loop was pretty dead... everyone was in the suburbs and getting anywhere involved long boring drives... very annoying to a NYer. At least LSD had a view. But there wasn't even a decent restaurant scene to support the theaters in the loop... it was like Wall Street, mostly closed down after the business day ended... no one hung out at bars or sidewalk cafes after a performance, or promenaded down the avenue... just long traffic jams of cars.

#42 LMCtech

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:33 PM

Another good example.

At least in SF we don't have to worry about a lack of restaurants. We have more than our share in EVERY neighborhood. I read somewhere that it would take 7 years to eat at every restaurant in SF if you ate 3 meals a day out and then you would have to start over because there would be all these noew restaurants because turnover is so quick.

#43 jbtlse

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 04:13 PM

There was a meeting for parents regarding Nutcracker 2004 tonight at BBS:

there will be a Nutcracker next season--by February BB will announce where.

the Wang contract with the Rockettes is not yet signed (according to the BB)--so the Wang is still a possibility.

additionally the Rockette contract is for alternate years--so maybe the Nutcracker could be at the Wang every other year.

Mayor Menino is on board to keep the Nutcracker in Boston.

perhaps the Wang is not the best place for BB--is very expensive even with "discount" (some figures thrown around: Wang gets $3 per ticket in addition to rent--$25,000/week was mentioned-- and all concessions and BB pays for time it does not use)

This was directly from the ballet--but I am not a reporter so...
As far as the financial relationship between the Wang and the BB--that may be fairly standard, I do not know--perhaps the Wang is just too costly for the BB.

#44 LMCtech

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 12:56 PM

It certainly seems that way.

I'm sure someting will come together. Especially if they have the mayor on board.

#45 Georgia

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Posted 18 November 2003 - 03:15 PM

I'm glad Mayor Menino is committed to helping the Nutcracker stay in Boston but I was disappointed to see an interview with him and a news reporter saying that we should be "honored" that a New York production such as the Rockettes should come to Boston. I don't think he would say that if the Yankees wanted to play their games at Fenway Park instead of the Red Sox.


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