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NY Times Article Re Koch Theater

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Hi Bobbi,

The second ring ladies' room wasn't out of order on opening night --it was being used for a "coat check/waiter room."

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

That's even worse, no matter how many additional stalls they put in. Exactly where were they putting the coats? Or the waiters?

Helene,

Let me clarify. The second ring ladies' room was being used as a waiter's dressing and changing room/coat check (they need to put their things somewhere). This happens at every opening night gala; I don't see this as anything unusual. There's not a lot of extra space at the theatre for stowing belongings, and there is a large wait staff for opening nights.

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I couldn't find the original article we discussed when the theater's renaming was first announced (are some of the old and even not-so-old threads discarded more quickly in the upgrade?), so I just put this here. We're not political-discussion-oriented here, so I'll quote this excerpt which is most germane (at least to us) from today Op-Ed by Frank Rich, without linking it. You can then just go and read the rest if you want. Also, if any mod knows where the old original thread is, this might go there. I was very interested to know these specifics about the Kochs, though. Had no idea. Wow.

"Last week the Kochs were shoved unwillingly into the spotlight by the most comprehensive journalistic portrait of them yet, written by Jane Mayer of The New Yorker. Her article caused a stir among those in Manhattan’s liberal elite who didn’t know that David Koch, widely celebrated for his cultural philanthropy, is not merely another rich conservative Republican but the founder of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which, as Mayer writes with some understatement, “has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement’s inception.” To New Yorkers who associate the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet, it’s startling to learn that the Texas branch of that foundation’s political arm, known simply as Americans for Prosperity, gave its Blogger of the Year Award to an activist who had called President Obama “cokehead in chief.” "

Rich's paragraph also interested and amused me because it characterizes us New Yorkers as somewhat provincial, in thinking we'd associate the Kochs primarily with NYCB, but I don't know how many would really be different from anyone else. He's not always perfectly accurate anyway (last week, for example, there was a lot of emphasis on how 'no buildings had been completed at Ground Zero', when that's flatly false anyway, but also because the 1 World Trade Center is growing up very fast. But 7 World Trade has been there since 2006, escaping the tribulations of the developers that none of the others did.) Even so, I didn't know the Koch Bros. were the Tea Party originators.

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There is a long profile of the Koch Brothers in this week's New Yorker.

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I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that David chose self-promotion over product placement. Northern Quilted Toilet Paper Theater, anyone?

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We have an active thread on the topic of arts funding and the New Yorker article here.

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Every dollar that goes to the arts doesn't go to something else. The Koch name - some people will continue to call it State - others will mispronounce it - others will have no idea who the person is. The vanity naming seems pointless.

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It's an ugly reality of arts fundraising that the people who are donating large sums of money are strange bedfellows. Let's not forget that Alberto Vilar was a major contributor to Met Opera, the Royal Opera and the Kirov. It later turned out that his wealth was gained, at least in part, through securities fraud. He is now in federal prison. Similarly, I seem to remember that Countrywide Financial - a notorious player in the subprime lending game- was a big ABT contributor before the bubble burst. Unfortunately, you take your rich donors as you find them, warts and all. What I find more troubling is that ABT uses a system of "sponsors" where each principal dancer (and quite a few soloists) are "sponsored" by a rich donor. I often think that these donors have undue influence over some casting decisions at ABT.

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Thanks for posting that, Quiggin. A shout out to George Shultz, who is married to San Francisco Ballet board of trustees member Charlotte Mailliard Shultz:

“It would have big implications,” said George P. Shultz, the former secretary of state, who is a chairman of a campaign to defeat the ballot initiative. “That is one reason why these outside companies are pouring money in to try to derail the same thing. At the same time, the reverse is true: they put this fat in the fire and if we win, that also sends a message.”

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There is an editorial in the NY Times regarding the Koch Brothers' financing of a campaign to undo California's AB32 clean energy legislation. The upshot of the opinion is that the only winners if the legislation is repudiated are the Koch brothers and the Chinese, who "are already moving briskly ahead in the clean technology race." The article notes that the biggest losers will be California and the planet.

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There is an editorial in the NY Times regarding the Koch Brothers' financing of a campaign to undo California's AB32 clean energy legislation. The upshot of the opinion is that the only winners if the legislation is repudiated are the Koch brothers and the Chinese, who "are already moving briskly ahead in the clean technology race." The article notes that the biggest losers will be California and the planet.

Lady Macbeth might be able to offer some helpful (or not) tips on how to sanitize the name that is currently used to refer to the "Building Formally Known as the New York State Theater"

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Lady Macbeth might be able to offer some helpful (or not) tips on how to sanitize the name that is currently used to refer to the "Building Formally Known as the New York State Theater"

LOL! I think the only name that would be more reviled than Koch right now would be the British Petroleum Theater.

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There is an editorial in the NY Times regarding the Koch Brothers' financing of a campaign to undo California's AB32 clean energy legislation. The upshot of the opinion is that the only winners if the legislation is repudiated are the Koch brothers and the Chinese, who "are already moving briskly ahead in the clean technology race." The article notes that the biggest losers will be California and the planet.

Lady Macbeth might be able to offer some helpful (or not) tips on how to sanitize the name that is currently used to refer to the "Building Formally Known as the New York State Theater"

I choose to call it "The Theater Formerly Known as The New York State Theater."

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Lady Macbeth might be able to offer some helpful (or not) tips on how to sanitize the name that is currently used to refer to the "Building Formally Known as the New York State Theater"

Have faith!---in 1945 Mayor LaGuardia changed the name of Sixth Avenue to 'Avenue of the Americas'---and New Yorkers know how far that went. :thumbsup:

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Have faith!---in 1945 Mayor LaGuardia changed the name of Sixth Avenue to 'Avenue of the Americas'---and New Yorkers know how far that went. :thumbsup:

Americans have a long history of stubborn resistance to these imposed names. JFK airport took hold, but Reagan? It will always be National Airport to me. John Wayne? No, Orange County airport. And last time I was at Lincoln Center, everybody knew what I meant when I referred to "State Theatre." Avery Fischer Hall took hold. (Was that the original name?) It will be interesting to see what people call the State Theatre five years down the road.

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Avery Fischer Hall took hold. (Was that the original name?) It will be interesting to see what people call the State Theatre five years down the road.

No, Philharmonic Hall was renamed Avery Fischer Hall in 1973. But the hall had only been opened for 11 years at that point so the original name wasn't terribly deeply ingrained in people's minds.

The name change followed a very large(for the time) donation of over 10 million dollars. While it's possible there are some skeletons in Mr Fischer's closet, he was a life long music lover and inventor of electronics equipment, which made him his fortune. He also sat on the board of directors for the NY Philharmonic.

In the later part of his life he seemed to be considered first and foremost a philanthropist.

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Given the nature and spirit of most Manhattanites, I think that the "Koch" name -- with all the recent revelations about the family's ties to various extreme right-wing causes and to the more retrograde forms of petroleum dependency -- will have an especially hard time.

I will not use it as a matter of principle, and I know others who feel the same.

P.S. There are also all those ambiguities of how to pronounce it.

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P.S. There are also all those ambiguities of how to pronounce it.

We can always pronounce it "Kotch" theater and pretend it's named after Mayor Koch. I think the "How Am I Doing, New York! Promenade" has a nice ring to it ... :wink:

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We can always pronounce it "Kotch" theater and pretend it's named after Mayor Koch. I think the "How Am I Doing, New York! Promenade" has a nice ring to it ... :wink:

There you go! That's a nifty solution to the problem. I guess history will eventually tell us who is more remembered (at least in NYC), Ed or the "other one"

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Kathleen, Richard: you've solved my problem. Thank you. First choice will be State Theater.

But as a second choice: the Ed Koch -- as in "The New York City Ballet performs in the Ed Koch Theater."

And when I am corrected by a literal-minded, short-term thinker, I'll just give them a sly and faux-innocent stare.

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I shall refer to it asThe Balanchine Theatre during NYCB's seasons, and The State Theatre during the opera season. I will never call it the Koch ( pronounced coke ), although the Koch as in Ed is certainly preferable to the Koch as in coke.

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... a literal-minded, short-term thinker ...

Did somebody call my name? But my literal-minded quibble this time concerns Avery Fisher. For the sake of BT's accuracy, notice the spelling of his last name, which was convenient for the trademark his company, Fisher Radio, adopted for its line of audio products, a bird in flight carrying a musical note in its beak, like a twig, but considerably more inspiring to us music-lovers at the time. Fisher himself, a professional musician or at least a devoted music lover, sold the business in 1969 for $31 million, or something like that, according to the Wikipedia (not the best source - I doubt that Fisher or his engineers invented the transistor amplifier, for instance), and the rest of that story is sufficiently well known to make an interesting and even heartening contrast to the Koch story. "Music Lover Helps Philharmonic Fix Concert Hall"? If you're another music lover yourself, you have to love it!

But seriously, I'm glad to find more support here for my own preference for "State Theatre," rather than Koch Theatre, beyond my own tendency sometimes to "wander aimlessly in the irretrievable past or in distant Utopias; ... the fleeting moment we cannot grasp,” in Ernst Junger's lugubrious formulation. I certainly couldn't grasp "the fleeting moment" watching the program on the evening of 9th June in the, uh, New York State Theatre, when as usual in my recent experience, New York City Ballet paid respect to Balanchine as much or more in the breach than in the observance, the breach being between the way ballet was danced there in his day - a way he was very concerned to achieve, a way which he apparently, and some of us as well, considered about as important as the steps and movements themselves - the breach between that way and the way it's danced there today, and so - sorry if this seems disagreeable - the idea of "Balanchine Theatre" makes me wince, personally.

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Bedbugs! The little critters have been found in the Koch Theatre, and the Met, apparently only in the backstage areas according to a news cast on ABC TV. The poor dancers, and singers. :smilie_mondieu:

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Bedbugs! The little critters have been found in the Koch Theatre, and the Met, apparently only in the backstage areas according to a news cast on ABC TV. The poor dancers, and singers. :smilie_mondieu:

The bedbug plague is absolutely dead-serious. They are everywhere in New York. My building was infested from late 2008 to about August, 2009, my own apt. was treated some 8 times. But the problem wasn't solved till the whole building was treated. Yesterday, at the Richard Rodgers Theater, a lady I was talking to enjoying the show, dropped her playbill on the floor, and went to get another one, because she was afraid it would have bedbugs on it! I think that's a bit absurd, because if they were on the floor, they would easily be infesting our upholstered seats, but your information actually proves that the problem is even more serious than the NYTimes has been telling us, and I can tell you, that there is nothing worse than going through this ordeal. If the bugs are in the backstage area, they are potentially in the entire theater, but I'm sure they're getting the best professionals in to treat for this.

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I have friends who no longer will go to the movies because of the bedbug problem. It is a very serious problem here in NYC now.

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