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Natalia

NYCB @ KenCen DC, June 6-11, 2017

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16 hours ago, YouOverThere said:

Wednesday's performance contained a surprisingly shaky (for the NYCB) rendition of Square Dance, with several missteps and a ballerina making an unchoreographed visit to the floor. It didn't help that the was a REALLY annoying man in the row in front of me, who was in almost constant motion and shifted from leaning way over to one to leaning way over to the other side every few seconds (I re-located to the end of the aisle for the rest of the program). They settled down for the rest of the program. I found Odessa to be by far the most interesting. Overall, the show seemed to lack passion (but I'll probably change my mind when I see it again - on a weekend).

 

Leaving, we found ourselves walking behind WB ballerina EunWon Lee. I was surprised how tall she is - probably in the 5'7" to 5'9" range.

 

Thanks. Finally a report of Wed night....rather than more online vids!!!! Anybody go to Program B opener last night? Am. rhapsody/ Fout Ts/ Times Are Racing ("Sneakers")

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I attended last night. It was first impressions for all three ballets on the program.

 

American Rhapsody: They ditched the costumes the ballet premiered in, (probably for the best) but the alternative bordered on ice-skating costumes. You can definitely see Wheeldon's Broadway showiness, truthfully some of the choreography would have translated pretty well to figure staking too. I was surprised this was Stanley's debut. He looked like he's been dancing the role for years. The corps was incredible though and I thought the set and lighting was smartly used. The moment I really thought had some punch was during those big moments of the full orchestra playing the RIB theme, especially in the end. The corps, in a line downstage, quickly formed into still architectural formation. I wish more had been done with that motif- it seemed out of place, but it said something.

 

4Ts: This was, I assume, a pretty standard performance of this ballet. Gonzo Garcia in Melancholic, Mearns and J. Angle in Sanguinic, La Cour in Phlematic, and Reichlen in Choleric. I really loved the phlematic variation, though there were points where la Cour looked like he was just marking, and others where he was living the role. It seemed wrong and right-- suppose that fits in with the undecided nature of phlematic, but I didn't feel it was intended to be inconsistent. Reichlen was a little shaky at points in Choleric, but power power all the way through. The ensemble was strong, especially enjoyed Ashley Laracey in the themes section. 

 

Times are Racing: All the energy that 4Ts lacked was made up for ten fold here. It showed and the ballet was magnificent. I was disappointed when I opened by program and found that Ashly Isaacs would not be performing the Robbie Fairchild role as planned. Instead Justin Peck filled in. I find it a bit ironic when J. Peck is not able to fully articulate the steps that he, himself, created. Something I also noticed in Rodeo on Tuesday night.  That's not to disparage his dancing-- seeing him perform the part enriched my understanding of the aesthetic and point of view. (What would we have learned from watching Mr. B?) The big standout here was Claire Kretzchmar- she was absolutely wild with energy and seemed to dance apart from her costume. (Which was difficult, her outfit was extremely billowy and distracting.) Tiler Peck dazzled as well. I know many BAers have said that this piece was just noise. I have never been one for this kind of music, but I try and spend time with the music ahead of time (helps me "hear the dance" much better). When I started listening ahead of the January premiere, the score started out as "noise" became a much more complex landscape that I really appreciate today. Highly suggest spending some time with the music. 

Overall, I found the sense of community (standard Peck) a huge comfort. I left feeling that there is hope-- maybe for ballet, maybe for my community, society, life, etc. But it was exhilarating. 

 

As an aside, Indiana Woodward was in all three of these ballets and my eyes would naturally zero in on her, even if she was back row of the corps. Looking forward to seeing more and hearing about her Tarantella debut this weekend. 

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I sat in the 1st tier for the Thursday evening performance, and I would recommend this vantage point to anyone else whose planning to attend either program. Since most of the works are basically abstract dances with no real characters to become emotionally involved with, not being on approximately the same level as the dancers isn't as important as being better able to appreciate the patterns. IMHO, of course.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the performance more than the Wednesday performance. I had no problems with anything in the first 2 pieces. I didn't figure out what Times are Racing was about - maybe I just need to see it again (and with 2 more opportunities...). I loved Hindemith's music for The Four Temperaments - at times I became so engrossed in the music that I stopped watching the dancing.

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$25 ticket offer now includes the weekend performances!!!  And I'm out of town.:wallbash:

 

Dates Added!


The Kennedy Center is offering tickets at the special price of $25.00 for orchestra seats for the performances of the New York City Ballet in the Opera House Theater on Friday, June 9  at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are regularly as high as $79 in the orchestra.


You can click the link below and your discount will appear automatically. If you call or stop by the Box Office for the discount, be sure to mention Offer Number "263834." See you at the Kennedy Center!

New York City Ballet

 

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In The Times Are Racing I thought Justin Peck's dancing was a highlight and more! 

Edited by Drew

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I was at Program B Thursday/Sat.  Midsummer tutus in the lobby display case?   
 
Rhapsody is wonderful music. The waist height skirt, high neckline, and peblum were not flattering on all dancers. Four Temperments was Balanchine, Hindemuth, Sanguinic- Mearns and  Scheller-both with solid partnering.  Experience overshadowed by what should have been 5 minutes of throwaway...
 
Times Are Racing -Thurs was fun but too long-again Peck needs an edit button. The metro escalator was making particularly loud electronic noises and sounded like part of the score.  Too much was simply static but the later portion had better, more distinctive segments like the hollow percussion.   http://www.nycballet.com/ballets/t/the-times-are-racing.aspx  "... matching Dan Deacon’s electronic score with youthful impulse and vigor."   Where/why were they exhibiting youthful impulse and vigor?  Reviewers seem to enter the realm of politics and angst.  What? They congregate to party and all are happy through out.  J Peck replaced Ashley Isaacs so I assume he was the  large guy [brown underarmour type shirt with dark jeans] in dance offs with Stanley [white tank-teens call a wife beater- with jeans].  Others also wore standard teen clothes: tall guy BBall shirt & athletic shorts, girls cut off jean shorts, JV overhall guy [enjoyed his dancing], Suozzi purple cut off arm t shirt /w/ shorts, etc.
  
What was the costume budget?  
 
Edited by maps

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17 hours ago, lmspear said:

$25 ticket offer now includes the weekend performances!!!  And I'm out of town.:wallbash:

 

Dates Added!


The Kennedy Center is offering tickets at the special price of $25.00 for orchestra seats for the performances of the New York City Ballet in the Opera House Theater on Friday, June 9  at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are regularly as high as $79 in the orchestra.


You can click the link below and your discount will appear automatically. If you call or stop by the Box Office for the discount, be sure to mention Offer Number "263834." See you at the Kennedy Center!

New York City Ballet

 

 

I've always wondered how one gets on the email list for these discounts. I wasn't on when I had a KC membership and I'm not on now that I've let my membership expire (any organization that can afford to pay $2.7 million/year to a below average orchestra conductor is clearly not in need of donations).

Edited by YouOverThere

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1 hour ago, maps said:
Times Are Racing was fun but too long-again Peck needs an edit button. The metro escalator was making particularly loud electronic noises and sounded like part of the score.  Too much was simply static but the later portion had better, more distinctive segments like the hollow percussion.   http://www.nycballet.com/ballets/t/the-times-are-racing.aspx  "... matching Dan Deacon’s electronic score with youthful impulse and vigor."   Where/why were they exhibiting youthful impulse and vigor?  Reviewers seem to enter the realm of politics and angst.  What? They congregate to party and all are happy through out.  J Peck replaced Ashley Isaacs so I assume he was the  large guy [brown underarmour type shirt with dark jeans] in dance offs with Stanley [white tank-teens call a wife beater- with jeans].  Others also wore standard teen clothes: tall guy BBall shirt & athletic shorts, girls cut off jean shorts, JV overhall guy [enjoyed his dancing-Suozzi?], etc.
 
What was the costume budget?  

 

At least the costumes were better than the costumes for Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. RFDE was yet another ballet that was hindered by bad costumes. The costumes totally clashed with the music. The Rodeo score rather obviously screams "rural" and "western", but the costumes were more like an exaggeration of what east coast inner city kids might wear.

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1 hour ago, YouOverThere said:

 

I've always wondered how one gets on the email list for these discounts. I wasn't on when I had a KC membership and I'm not on now that I've let my membership expire (any organization that can afford to pay $2.7 million/year to a below average orchestra conductor is clearly not in need of donations).

 

Here's the info for this particular list.

 

There's an open Yahoo group called kc-scotty. It's run by one of the managers in the subscriptions deparment. Knowledge about it is spread by word of mouth. All you need to join is a Yahoo account.

 

They never know when they'll have something available and the offers are usually made the day of or the day before via email. Very rarely they will offer comp tickets (usually for the symphony).

 

Here's the URL for the Yahoo group

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/kc-scotty/info

 

I apologize for not sharing sooner. You can never be sure how "open" you can be about someone else's "open" secret. ;-)

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Scheller lovely...danced up a storm in "4 Ts - Sanguinic" this afternoon. Received two bouquets. Many in the audience stood up and cheered for her.

 

I absolutely adored Wheeldon's AMERICAN RHAPSODY. All four soloists phenomenal & the corps delightful. The NYCB orch and solo pianist were heavenly....except for the big blooper at the start with the "ascending" clarinet going loopy with a discordant note at the top of its big moment...oops!

 

Which brings us to...THE TIMES ARE WHINING...err...RACING. Ugliest ballet I've ever seen by a top ballet troupe. This despite some nice "the old soft sneaker" footwork by Taylor Stanley & the choreographer.

 

The loud music actually hurts...physically made me ill (headache, plus upset stomach). Gave me and two ladies sitting next to me headaches..and we sat way up in 2nd tier! They should hand-out ear plugs or warn people of the noise.  

 

Maps, you're right about the streetwear costumes. It's hard to believe that they paid (credited) *both* a designer AND a "wardrobe supervisor" for this crap!!! I guess that they thought they'd get "extra brownie points" with Kennedy Center leadership by dressing one of the leading guys in a top emblazoned with the word "DEFY!" 

 

Or...Maybe NYCB is auditioning for a spot on one of those TV competitions that favor hip-hop values, over the clean-cut way?

 

Happily, I know that tonight''s Program A is a winner...so onwards and upwards! 

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On 6/9/2017 at 7:13 PM, lmspear said:

$25 ticket offer now includes the weekend performances!!!  And I'm out of town.:wallbash:

 

Dates Added!


The Kennedy Center is offering tickets at the special price of $25.00 for orchestra seats for the performances of the New York City Ballet in the Opera House Theater on Friday, June 9  at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are regularly as high as $79 in the orchestra.


You can click the link below and your discount will appear automatically. If you call or stop by the Box Office for the discount, be sure to mention Offer Number "263834." See you at the Kennedy Center!

New York City Ballet

 

 

Thanks a lot, Imspear. I was planning on skipping the company's visit this year because there was so little Balanchine, but we had to be in Herndon in the morning anyhow, so I picked up discount seats for the matinee. Wheeldon's piece left me cold, Rhapsody in Blue notwithstanding, but then Broadway's not my thing. The Four Temperaments received a mostly strong performance, I thought, and it's a big favorite, but I've sometimes been disappointed. I had no/low expectations for the Peck but though it was great fun, especially with that thunderous score. I do feel sorry for the two elderly couples in the orchestra we saw leaving - and we were halfway down the floor so there may have been more. They must have hated the loud contemporary music, and there was nothing in the program or in the marketing, at least that I saw, to prepare them for it. The Hindemith score can't be everyone's cup of tea either, as great as it is. There was no typically lovely classical music to be heard this afternoon, but that was fine with me.

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Harrison Ball & Indiana Woodward both fine, if a bit nervois, in their respective debuts tonight.. Will write more later. A GRAND night! BRAVI tutti!

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2 hours ago, kfw said:

 

Thanks a lot, Imspear. I was planning on skipping the company's visit this year because there was so little Balanchine, but we had to be in Herndon in the morning anyhow, so I picked up discount seats for the matinee. Wheeldon's piece left me cold, Rhapsody in Blue notwithstanding, but then Broadway's not my thing. The Four Temperaments received a mostly strong performance, I thought, and it's a big favorite, but I've sometimes been disappointed. I had no/low expectations for the Peck but though it was great fun, especially with that thunderous score. I do feel sorry for the two elderly couples in the orchestra we saw leaving - and we were halfway down the floor so there may have been more. They must have hated the loud contemporary music, and there was nothing in the program or in the marketing, at least that I saw, to prepare them for it. The Hindemith score can't be everyone's cup of tea either, as great as it is. There was no typically lovely classical music to be heard this afternoon, but that was fine with me.

 

Sorry but not just the "elderly" reacted negatively to that atrocious and loud music. Younger-than-boomers were seen covering their ears up in 2nd Tier, more than a handful departing well before the end. I came close to vomiting. The odd thing is that Justin Peck also created one of the most likeable ballets of the run, RO-DEO, which received an even bigger ovation tonight (w/ Sara Mearns) than at the opening. The choreography, music, performers, orchestra, energy, even a bit of comedy (Peck "revving up the motor" before the Hoedown).

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Scheller danced well as Sanguinic this afternoon (though I thought I saw her take a tumble in the finale--since no-one else has mentioned it, I'm a little puzzled.)  Mearns dancing Sanguinic Friday gave a more powerful and sharply etched performance. Scheller is a 'gentler' dancer but her dancing seems very straightforward and unaffected which I admire. I also remember her as creamy smooth in Who Cares. At curtain calls, she was warmly applauded by the entire cast, received two bouquets, and also took a solo bow--rather to the puzzlement, I believe, of at least a few members of the D.C. audience. 

 

I have been taking recent reports that De Luz is 'ageless' with a grain of salt. Was I ever wrong! He was just sensational in Tarantella this evening which, for me, unexpectedly overshadowed Woodward making her debut in the ballet. I thought she began flat (nerves I assume) and though she got better quickly and danced well and often with real charm she could not match De Luz who was dancing with such tremendous brilliance and GUSTO. 

 

Harrison Ball's debut in Square Dance this evening was very enjoyable. I find the way he uses his hands a little self-concious, though I rather appreciate a young male dancer giving thought to such things.  In general I thought he was maybe a little too self-concious in his (quite excellent) dancing, but this may also have been debut nerves. I would be very happy to see more of him. 

 

I am sorting out Odessa in my head. I did find that the much discussed scene with a couple (I saw Magan Fairchild and Daniel Ulbricht) being shadowed and supported/partnered by a group of men shifted midway from somehing dreamy and full of longing to something violent and disturbing as the men began to toss the ballerina about and her partner faded from the picture. It has been suggested this is the man's dream and, after, when the woman slaps him, she is waking him up, but to me it looked like a slap of anger especially as she turned her face away from him after striking him. I did not feel I had been watching a dream. 

 

But though I did find this scene disturbing--I also found it, on first viewing, serious, not trivializing or pseudo sensational. I was actually more bothered by an earlier pas de deux in which the ballerina (Tiler Peck)  is more or less manhandled by her partner (Taylor Stanley). But what really confused me about this ballet and the way it resolved these episodes was the ending when the entire cast lines up on stage and performs in unison a kind of classroom center excercise--very basic steps--while another couple (Unity Phelan and Tyler Angle) are semi-apotheosized upstage center eventually framed by the two other couples as well. This ending did not seem to me to belong to this ballet --which is full of dark and disturbing moments. At least I didn't know how to make sense of it. Unfortunately I will not have a chance to see the ballet again this run. My feelings about it are not finalized. I should say, too, that I found all of the featured dancers beautiful. 

 

Edited by Drew

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More thoughts on the ballets that I loved in yesterday's performances (which means all but TIMES).

 

Matinee:

 

American Rhapsody: I loved it. No more "Broadwayish" than Who Cares?, IMO. Pure enjoyable dancing to beautiful music, with beautiful decors. I kept waiting for the "kicks" and "legs" that others above referred to. Huh? All four soloists were terrific. This was my first look at Russell Janzen in a while...what a smooth, ultra-musical dancer he is!

 

Four Ts: A fine rendition of one of Mr B's greatest works. I never grow tired of the beautiful Hindemith score. I've already written about Scheller's touching farewell. (No, Drew, she did not fall...maybe a slight mistep during her brief solo moment after the Sanguinic corps had entered?) I was a bit troubled by slight changes/inflections through the years to the choreography of the three "theme" couples at the start, eg, the 3rd couple's pirouettes (while her legs are bent) didn't keep up with the music...and the final carry into the wings is done with a slightly lower angle of her legs. The finale of Four Ts never fails to move my heart, especially this time, with Angle's final, extra-high toss of Scheller!

 

(Nothing to add to my earlier thoughts on Times Are Racing. So happy that I traveled to NY to see Peck's sublime & classical newest creation, The Decalogue, once I found out that it wasn't being performed in DC!)

 

Evening:

 

Square Dance: fabulous, crisp, sharp corps. Ashley Bouder as magnificent as ever...much more forceful and playful than Fairchild at the opener. Harrison Ball acquitted himself nicely but, even in 2nd tier, I could see profuse sweating around his face & neck...and his countenance was sort of  deer-in-headlights "o mouth" until he cracked his first smile, making all of us at ease! He was mostly controlled and wonderful in the famous slow solo with one tiny exception when he shook (passé towards the end).

 

Tarantella: Wow, Joaquin DeLuz was extraordinarily energetic, wild,  charismatic, impassioned... absolutely THE BEST TARANTELLA GUY SINCE BARYSHNIKOV!!! How could lovely Indiana Woodward do anything BUT triumph in her debut? She was pure delight with her inflections, musical moves...loved how she took those cute plies a la seconde on point...the adorable toss of arms and carefree glances. She only faltered a bit during the first-solo diagonal of extra-slow double pirouettes en attitude...almost coming off pointe on two of them...but all else was grand.

 

Odessa: I love this new ballet  even more on 2nd viewing...although I agree with New Yorkers that the first cast (which I saw at the opener on Tuesday) is the most effective dramatically. Megan Fairchild is so soft & sweet; she pushed herself dramatically here but it's not quite there yet. Tyler Peck was certainly as good as Bouder was earlier as the pirouetting gal. Daniel Ulbricht was fantastic in his brief solo! Unity Phelan danced Mearns' role prettily but without the extraordinary backbend and other "Odette moments" that are key in the final minutes of the ballet. (Yes, the finale is replete will allusions to Swan Lake...the corps ladies collapse to the famous Odette-on-the-ground pose at the very end.)

 

I admire the way that Ratmansky captures the characters that I've known in my own holidays in the Black Sea coast during hot Augusts...normally-nice people drinking far too much vodka and Caucusus cognacs in the nightclubs. In the ballet, the husband of the woman in orange is an a** who, while drunk, invites his buddies to "dance and toss" his woman; big slap ensues. Trust me, this is typical nightclub on the Black Sea in August...the aroma of grilled shish kebab  in the air & occasional sound of ships' horns. (I'm lucky that my husband hates alcohol but we're in the minority in those parts! We just leave when the drinkers get unpleasant & fist fights begin.)

 

Not to excuse it but I find it amusing how westerners who only know their own little world are quick to turn everything into "Defy!" or "I am Woman. Hear me scream!" 

 

This is among Ratmansky's absolute masterpieces, in keeping with his four previous ballets for NYCB. 

Odessa is a finely-crafted "total work of art" - music, costumes, steps, performances - as is...

 

Ro-Deo: Four Dance Episodes: Peck struck gold here, as he did in InCreases and the three Sufjan Stevens works earlier (but not in last year's overstuffed Most Incredible Thing!).

 

I could watch Ro-DEO 1,000 times straight and not be tired. I totally buy the new "theme" of athletes at a meet, rather than cowboys. Kudos not only to Peck & Mearns as the romantic duo, but to Gonzalo Garcia, Andrew Veyette & (again) Daniel Ulbricht as the Three Hot Shots...and to the entire ensemble of guys, forming the gorgeous compositions that Peck creates so well when in "true ballet" mode! Audience went crazy-happy!!!

 

If ever NYCB returns to Russia, they MUST take this. It will be a huge hit. A calling card. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Natalia said:

American Rhapsody: I loved it. No more "Broadwayish" than Who Cares?, IMO.

 

Agreed, with the difference that Wheeldon is no Balanchine (and Who Cares? is far from one of may favorites Balanchines). But if you loved it, more power to you.

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3 minutes ago, kfw said:

 

Agreed, with the difference that Wheeldon is no Balanchine (and Who Cares? is far from one of may favorites Balanchines). But if you loved it, more power to you.

 

Right...and I heard nothing but cheers from the rest of the paying audience. And yes - Balanchine trumps Wheeldon & practically everyone else in the craftsmanship of ballet.

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I attended both performances on Saturday. I'll write more later, but Drew I also saw Scheller fall during the Choleric section. Overall a wonderful day of performances, and count me in as one of the few who enjoyed The Times are Racing for both the music and choreography (although, I agree it needs some edits).

 

More later...

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14 hours ago, kfw said:

 

I do feel sorry for the two elderly couples in the orchestra we saw leaving - and we were halfway down the floor so there may have been more. They must have hated the loud contemporary music, and there was nothing in the program or in the marketing, at least that I saw, to prepare them for it. The Hindemith score can't be everyone's cup of tea either, as great as it is. There was no typically lovely classical music to be heard this afternoon, but that was fine with me.

 

Nobody who has ever been to a rock concert would consider the music for Times are Racing to be loud. In fact, I've been to classical music performances that at least for small sections was louder than that. While I thought that Times are Racing was a lightweight piece (something on the order of Celts), I prefer to not be stuck with the same old, same old all the time, even at the risk that not all of the new stuff will be good.

 

I'm a fan of Hindemith, and don't understand why he isn't more popular. His music is more melodic than most of his contemporaries.

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10 minutes ago, YouOverThere said:

 

Nobody who has ever been to a rock concert would consider the music for Times are Racing to be loud. In fact, I've been to classical music performances that at least for small sections was louder than that. While I thought that Times are Racing was a lightweight piece (something on the order of Celts), I prefer to not be stuck with the same old, same old all the time, even at the risk that not all of the new stuff will be good.

 

I'm a fan of Hindemith, and don't understand why he isn't more popular. His music is more melodic than most of his contemporaries.

 

I agree about Hindemith, but not really about Times, Context matters, and in the context it was loud, although I loved it, especially the first section, and the volume suited the choreography. "Lightweight" might be an apt description, but at least as a one-off I found it winning. I know the company and the Center want to appeal to young adults, as Deacon's score undoubtedly does, but I feel for the patrons who were unpleasantly surprised. 

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Re. The Times Are Racing costumes: I'd love to know how much designer Humberto Leon *and* "costume supervisor" Marc Happel were paid? According to the playbill, funds for the full work (assuming costumes) came from "...a leadership gift from the Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation, with additional support from the New Combinations Fund." Hopefully my tax dollars (via NEA) aren't included in either of these, anybody know?

 

I know that the New Comb Fund covers most new work (including the great ones) but wondering if any Fedl public funds are in the mix.

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