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Seating at Broward Center?Au- Rene Theater


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#1 nysusan

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 08:35 AM

Hello MCB fans! I'm thinking about putting together a long weekend to see my family AND catch MCB's Program 1 at Broward. I was there once before but it looks like my favorite seating area is sold out (front mezz). How is the view from the front balcony? I recall thinking the theater wasn't too big, but that was from my front mezzanine seat! I also noticed that the extreme sides of the front row (balcony) were sold out, but most of the center front row balcony seats were still available. Is there some kind of problem with those front balcony seats?

Lastly, I remember hearing that MCB now has live music at all performances. Is that true? If not I may skip it, I really felt that recorded music took away from my enjoyment of the performance last time. I know that In the Upper Room is always performed to recorded music but I'm thinking of 4Ts and Swan Lake.

Thanks for your help
Susan

#2 nysusan

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 10:03 AM

Well, I managed to answer one of my own questions - it says right on their website that there will be an orchestra at all performances of programs 1-4. Duh, guess it would have helped if I read that first! :)

Would still appreciate any advice on the best place to sit, and if the balcony seats are really far from the stage. I love the 4th ring at the State Theater but since I rarely get to see MCB I'd rather not have to peer through binoculars and am now leaning towards seats in the first row of the rear orchestra instead of first row balcony.

Thanks
Susan

#3 bart

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 11:01 AM

Nysusan, I'm delighted that you will catch this program. I attend MCB at the Kravis Center in West Palm and am not very familiar with the Broward. My memory is that its a more modern, open plan seating arrangement than the traditional opera house style of the Kravis and the NYSTheater. I THINK that the rear of what we would call the orchestra is actual raised up, arena style. All sightlines seemed good when I was there for a couple of opera performances, but there is the matter of distance.

Did you check with MCB or the Broward box offices? For some reason, the Kravis tends to show as "sold out" lots of seats that MCB still has available. I suspect that the company has a deal with its venues, giving them blocks of seats in lieu of part of the their rent. This means that the Kravis box office offers seats mostly to the rear and sides when it's renting the hall rather than self-producing.

There will be an orchestra for the entire year. This is a major item on Villella's agenda. It should be fine for 4Ts and even Swan Lake. Aurora's Wedding, last season, was seriously underpowered and low energy, and I would actually have preferred a recording. (Never thought I'd say that!)

#4 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 01:15 PM

Hey there!..
Not familiar myself with the Broward theater either Susan. About the seating, honestly, i rarely seat where originally assigned. Always wait after they officially close the doors, and quickly move to the orchestra area, where I've NEVER failed to find an empty seat. Habits from old Havana days... :clapping: About the music, what's the need for a bad expensive orchestra when you can have a beautiful and cheap recorded Fedotov...? Nonsense. Aurora's Wedding's orchestration was a full blast abomination. (Ha, i got it in verse! :) )

#5 nysusan

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 05:02 AM

Thank you for the replies Bart & Crisitian - I guess we don't have many Ft Lauderdale residents on this board! Turns out my brother and his girlfriend (who both live in the area) are going to join us and they preferred the balcony. I'm betting it's no further than the 2nd ring of the State, which would be fine.

I'm glad to get to see the company and this program is perfect. I've been wishing for the Balanchine Swan Lake from NYCB, and I can never see 4Ts or Upper Room too often.

About the music - the thought of an underpowered orchestra is disturbing but I saw MCB do Western Symphony & La Source to a recording a few years ago and I felt that the recorded music kind of sucked the life out of them. For me, some things just need live accompaniment to maintain their power and spontaneity (or delicacy in the case of La Source).

#6 bart

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 06:59 AM

I'm glad to get to see the company and this program is perfect. I've been wishing for the Balanchine Swan Lake from NYCB, and I can never see 4Ts or Upper Room too often.

I'm in complete agreement.

4T's was something it took a long time for me to warm up to when I was new to ballet -- despite my delght in the flexed feet, which I don't think I'd ever seen before. I think this is often the case for the un-trained, not-very-knowledgeable fan. It was like reading Pound or Eliot or something, or eating macrobiotic food, something unfamiliar, not immediately accessible, and requiring work. I've recently re-watched the 1970s Dance in America video several times. The first was with the assistance of Nancy Goldner's excellent essay. Then I tried it on my own and began enjoying it viscerally, directly, for the first time. MCB has a number of dancers who are naturals for these roles. They should have no problems casting it. I can't wait.

In the Upper Room is one of those crowd-pleasers which really rewards close attention and remains in the mind after you've left the theater. Miami was great in this a year or so ago.

Balanchine's Swan Lake, which I first saw as a teenager in the alte 50s, was a life-changing experience. I still prefer it, though its various permutations, to the full-length Peipa.

I hope you (and we all) will finally get to see more of Rolando Sarabia. The Balanchine SW deserves (but has rarely gotten) a truly princely prince. I'd love to see him stretch as Melancholic, as well.

#7 cahill

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 08:19 AM

I saw MCB perform In the Upper Room last October in Berkley and loved it! I recommend getting the music before seeing the performance, it is available from itunes. I think sitting in the balcony would be great for this performance. The second performance in Berkley I sat in the balcony and really enjoyed seeing the patterns during In the Upper Room, it was a totally different perspective than from downstairs. The balcony in Lauderdale will be great for that. It should be a great performance!

#8 nysusan

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 05:12 AM

I saw MCB perform In the Upper Room last October in Berkley and loved it! I recommend getting the music before seeing the performance, it is available from itunes. I think sitting in the balcony would be great for this performance. The second performance in Berkley I sat in the balcony and really enjoyed seeing the patterns during In the Upper Room, it was a totally different perspective than from downstairs. The balcony in Lauderdale will be great for that. It should be a great performance!


I agree about balcony seating for In The Upper Room, I also think you miss a lot of the impact when you sit on the extreme sides of the theater. Iíve seen ABT do it 5 or 6 times in the past several years and saw it from close up on the side the first few times (thatís where I usually sit in City Center, and itís fine for most things). Iíve loved In The Upper Room since the first time I saw it, but it was only when I finally got center balcony seating that I had the full impact of the dancers suddenly materializing and then disappearing out of the mist at center stage, as well as seeing actual patterns in Tharpís marathon. Plus you have the extra benefit of not choking on the smoke...

I hope you (and we all) will finally get to see more of Rolando Sarabia. The Balanchine SW deserves (but has rarely gotten) a truly princely prince. I'd love to see him stretch as Melancholic, as well.


Iíve never seen Sarabia, so I hope I get to see him this time. Also Mary Carmen Catoya, whoís been my favorite MCB ballerina. I think I recall that MCB ususally puts on at least 3 different casts during these weekend programs, so itís a crapshoot since Iím only going to one performance. Iíd probably go to 3 out of 4 if they were in NY but I need to leave time to see my family while in Florida.

Do they announce casting in advance? Iím going on Saturday night.

#9 bart

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 07:18 AM

Do they announce casting in advance? Iím going on Saturday night.

I've never noticed this online or in anything published. Perhaps the press office?

I can appreciate your comments on seating for Upper Room. I've seen it from Grand Tier left and right (near stage) and from orchestra center. None were ideal. I remember thinking that it would be great to see it from above, center -- as in the close-up first circle at City Center. Floor patterns are really important in tihs piece.

#10 Jack Reed

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:24 PM

The Au-Rene Theatre -- there is another theatre, or maybe two, in the Broward complex -- is where I have seen MCB for the past several years. It's a big place, but well raked up. My favorite spot is the center of rows N through R or so in the orchestra, although this area is low enough that there's some risk of partial obstruction.

As to casting, I hate to tell you, nysusan, that I think I've noticed some tendency toward the best casts being on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, although superb performances happen any time. IIRC, Catoya gave four performances of Ballet Imperial one weekend, two in one day! (Yeah, I'm such a hopeless addict, I go to all four performances of a weekend.)

I hope this helps.


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