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Calliope

Early curtain times for Broadway

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There's an article in today's NY Post that in October it's expected several Broadway shows will begin an hour earlier than the traditional 8:00 start on Tuesdays. Hoping to get a box office boost. Seems NYCB was ahead of the game on that one!

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I wonder if NYCB has had increased attendance on Tuesday nights because of the early curtain. Personally, I hate the early curtain and was relieved that NYCB hasn't extended it to other nights. On my Tuesday night subscription, the people to my right who always left early in the past, still left early despite the early curtain. If I had my way, I'd push the Broadway curtaintime back to 8:40, the way it was when I was a lad. :)

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It is rather uncivilized, especially if you have dinner before and not after. To have a nice leisurely dinner and get to the theatre in time, you could find yourself dining as early as 5:00 or 5:30, as my grandparents used to do. :)

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I like the early curtain.

I wish they'd do a matinee performance during the week like ABT does. It would be a nice excuse to have to leave early from work!

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I like the early curtain, too.

Given the size of most of the American public, having a light meal will not hurt, one night a week.

Given the changes in family dynamics in the last half century, I would think that an earlier curtain would be easier for most women--we still have things to do at home after we finish attending ballet performances, not to mention jobs to get ready for the next day.

This is not intended to provoke discussion, just an opinion.

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Boston Ballet has had 7 p.m. curtains weekdays for the past several years.

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Farrell Fan, I know we talked about this at intermissions. As you know, I am firmly in the early curtain camp. When performances get out at 10:45 or later, it means that, by the time I get down there, the 57th Street crosstown bus becomes more and more of a phantom. On cold, windy winter nights, waiting an extra 15 minutes for a bus definitely takes the glow off a nice evening at the ballet!! New York City Opera has 7:30 mid-week curtains, and they are well attended. (My Met opera subscriptions are matinees because of the too-late curtains.)

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Right back at you, Farrell Fan. Hope to see you -- and lots of other Ballet Alertnicks in October.

Alexandra, is there any way of identifying other Ballet Alertnicks, i.e., a lapel pin or something like that? I know Opera-L has them, and they have designated a sort of informal, yet specific meeting place at the Met, which is called "the Millo Pole." It would be nice to have a place where Alertnicks could gather at City Center during the San Francisco and ABT seasons -- maybe the head of the stairs on the mezzanine level? other suggestions?

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That's the headline on a NY Times article today about the TV monitors that have been installed in the Brown Theater's balcony by the Houston Grand Opera.

"Lee Wheatley, director of sales at the opera company, said it was difficult to measure OperaVision's impact on ticket sales, but he said more people were requesting seats upstairs to watch it. 'I think it makes the opera a little more accessible,' he said. 'It enhances your vision.'"

This development holds the promise of further progress. Perhaps NYCB, say, could follow the lead of Letterman and Leno and tape its performances at five or six o'clock. This would please the early-curtain fans. The rest of us would go to the theater later and see the performances on television. ;)

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I'd just like to second what Juliet said about women getting home earlier.

I, for one, pretty much have to go straight to the theater from the office, so I like the early curtain since that means I get to my post-performance dinner (not to mention bed!) that much sooner.

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A variety of curtain times (as has always been the case in London, for example) can benefit everyone by reducing the traffic and pedestrian crush when everyone not only needs to get to the theatre for 8, but also has to wait to:

a) get the attention of their waiter... twice, to get the check & pay

B) stop in the restroom

c) get the coat from checkroom

By the way, how do my Ballet Talk mates feel about the recent increase in women using men's restrooms? I see this especially in older facilities, but also at performances where women (and little girls) predominate.

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It may depend quite literally on where you're coming from. Since I don't live in the city but must make a commute-length journey thither to see the ballet, I like the feeling of having extra time to reach my destination in case there is traffic, last minute to-do items at the office, and so forth, and I just eat when I get home or grab something whenever if there's no time for dinner. A 7:00 time would really tighten things up.

As for ladies' rooms -- a delicate subject. I don't think there's a trend, however. The lines have traditionally been longer at ladies' rooms for a variety of reasons, not all of which are suitable for discussion on these boards. However, I will say that I notice both men and women taking advantage of empty booths intended for the opposite sex at locations where the restrooms are constructed in such a way as to allow this to take place with relative discretion.

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All of the Joffrey's evening performances begin at 7:30, weekdays and weekends alike.

I like this. The kids can manage a 7:30 curtain and still get to bed reasonably on time. Me too.

I'm a confirmed East Coaster at heart, but one of the things I like about the Midwest is the shifted entertainment schedule. All the good TV shows are on at 9 pm, and the news is over by 10:30.

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Wow. You are all so diurnal :)

I loathe early curtains passionately, but then again, I feel like I'm at my best at about 1 am.

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Moi aussi. Left entirely to myself, I'd probably keep vampire's hours. :)

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Well, as Ballet Dad wrote, perhaps having several different curtain hours would be a good compromise? For example there is a theater in Marseille whose curtain time is around 7:30 PM on some days and around 9 PM on other days, so people can choose what suits them best. I'm not that much diurnal, but for example when attending performances in some suburbs of Paris relatively far away from my home, like Saint-Quentin en Yvelines or Saint-Germain en Laye, I really appreciate early curtain times because it enables to to take the RER and metro to come back home (else I wouldn't attend the performances). On the other hand, sometimes I find the 7:30 curtain time at the Paris Opera a bit too early, as dining before is nearly impossible (most restaurants open at 7) and dining too late isn't very convenient when attending it with a close relative having juvenile diabetes- but anyway it's hard to find an hour suiting anybody!

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