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Posts posted by sidwich

  1. 7 hours ago, cobweb said:

    Thanks for the reminder about this program, canbelto. I forgot they were doing some as matinees. I thought Megan Fairchild was the best program host we've yet seen.  She is charming and at ease. And strangely, she looks more mature and elegant than she often does on the stage. As many times as I've seen her perform, I had no idea her eyes were so enormous and liquid! I remember when she came out onstage for her brother's farewell, very pregnant, in very high heels and a simple but sophisticated dress, and I was surprised by her mature persona. Onstage she often comes across as young and cutesy, with a small smile (although of course, extremely accomplished and professional). I hope she can work some of that sophistication and beauty into her performing, and meanwhile, please let's see her in more "digital hosting" duties!

    I thought Megan Fairchild did a wonderful job hosting as well, both educational and fun.  Based on her eye movements during the intros, I think she was using a teleprompter, probably on a tablet.  I noticed because I use a teleprompter app when I make speaking videos as well, and I've had to learn to make the eye movement not too obvious and distracting. 

    I know for myself, I'm much more relaxed having that little "help" when I'm recording myself (as well as much less likely to forget something I wanted to say, LOL!), so perhaps that's something that more of the hosts may want to consider in the future.

  2. On 1/17/2020 at 10:33 AM, Mashinka said:

    History tells us it was Mary who relied on a series of dissipated/inept men.  The whole point of Elizabeth's spinster status was to make her own decisions and not be reliant on any man.  She chose her male advisors and they were always the most astute.

    Elizabeth was also exceptionally savvy in using her unmarried status as a tease (Was she finally going to marry this time?  Who was it going to be?).  She would play one royal/nobleman against another constantly with hints about possible intentions about who she would finally marry while maintaining her independence all the while.

  3. On 1/17/2020 at 10:01 AM, dirac said:

    (We’re going from Katharine Hepburn and Florence Eldridge and Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson to Ronan and Robbie, which suggests that Hollywood evolution is headed in the wrong direction.)

    Well, It's hard for me to imagine anyone currently working who could attain the stature of John Ford, but I think it's well within Saoirse Ronan's potential to reach the stratosphere of Hepburn and Redgrave.  I'm not entirely sure of Margot Robbie yet, but she makes interesting career choices as well.  I think Ronan is definitely one of the most talented and interesting young, white, English-speaking actresses working in film today, though.

  4. 14 hours ago, On Pointe said:

    Because four out of five Broadway productions do not succeed. 


    I'm speaking from a business point of view.  Like many a show before it,  the critics and a large segment of the public may consider it an artistic triumph,  but with its large cast,  it may be unsustainable over the long run.

    WSS is hard to do justice to AND make the economics work for a long for-profit run.  Besides the large cast, the score is complex and require a real orchestra.  I think the original orchestrations are for more than 30 musicians and anything like that that's hard to make work with the economics of a Broadway house now.  Please note: I have no idea what orchestrations they're going to use for this production, although if they use one of those cut-rate synthesizer things like in the last "Sunday in the Park with George" revival, I will probably be a great deal of pain...

  5. 15 hours ago, Roberta said:

    Not a surprise. Still, very sad, on so many levels.


    The $64k question for me: How did (does) his wife of 50+ years, Marta, put up with this?  (Not an easy q to answer, I realise.)  I remember Marta as a very good production-director of some of our operas, during the mid-90s. We all felt sorry for her, in a way.


    Spain was a very conservative country under Franco, and divorce didn't even become legal until the early 1980s, at which point the Domingos would already have been married for 20 years or so.  It's not hard to imagine that that could be a difficult decision to make culturally and socioeconomically.  And yes, I'm sure there were certain perks to being Mrs. Placido Domingo as well.

  6. I don't think that this section looks all that similar to the original Gennaro/Robbins choreography.  You can see recreations of the original in these videos of Debbie Allen (in the 1980 Revival) and Charlotte d'Amboise (Jerome Robbins' Broadway).  I think the section in the video would be the eights with the big sissone toward the end of the music:




    I'm actually more curious about what Peck is going to do about the Dance at the Gym.  I don't think I've seen a major revival get very far away from the segue from the Mambo the "Maria" choreography with the back-to-back finger snaps.

  7. 6 hours ago, abatt said:

    I'm surprised how quickly this show is closing.  It must cost a lot of money to run, but the show somehow never attracted a huge audience. 


    As I said before, Carousel is very hard to do well, and the subject is problematic, especially to modern audiences.  But even in its original run, it only did about half the run of the other "big" R&H musicals.

    More generally, musicals are expensive to run, and it's hard to make profit on Broadway.  A big reason why "Chicago's" been able to run so long is that it's orchestrated for a handful of musicians, and sets and costumes are so minimal.  (Also, the Weisslers are notoriously cheap, but that's a whole other thing).

    I took a quick peek at the Broadway grosses, and Carousel's only running at a little over 40% of potential gross and trending down.  It makes total sense that they close after summer tourist season, and get the show on the road in a tour as quickly as possible to try to recoup their losses on tour.  I'm sure they want to open the house to another show that has potential to do better.  (40%? Yeesh!)

  8. 4 hours ago, dirac said:

    Yes, Ambrose has pipes - some time ago she was bruited for a Funny Girl revival that never came off. She didn't quite manage "I Could Have Danced All Night" for the medley but I don't have to see her to believe she's a good Eliza, just as I don't have to see Nathan Lane to know he's wrong for Roy Cohn. : Also, he was rude to that sweet little goat. :)

    I agree with Peg that the My Fair Lady medley did not come off. I don't even see the need for a medley - when "The Rain in Spain" or "Get Me to the Church on Time" are performed with panache, either one is going to get the job done.

    I was glad to finally get to hear Lauren Ambrose sing some of the score.  I'd heard some mixed things about her singing in MFL, mostly about how well her voice was really carrying live.  The production was really keeping clips of her singing under wraps.

    I think the issue has turned out to be not so much whether Ambrose can sing the part competently, but whether her voice is really in shape to sing 8 times a week.    Eliza is no joke vocally, and Kerstin Anderson has already gone on for Ambrose quite a bit.  Hopefully, it's not going to turn into another Martine McCutcheon situation where an unseasoned musical theatre performer turns in a beautiful dramatic performance, but can't keep up with the vocal demands of Eliza.

  9. On 5/11/2018 at 7:19 AM, FauxPas said:

    Another thing:  the old-fashioned light operatic "legit" vocalism of Broadway in the early and mid-20th century seems to be a thing of the past.  Carrie Pipperidge was a high belter and Julie Jordan a folky soprano - neither the lyric soprano of Jan Clayton, Jean Darling, Barbara Cook, Shirley Jones or Florence Henderson.  Similarly, Joshua Henry had a gritty high pop baritone that could handle the wide range of the "Soliloquy" but wasn't an operetta baritone like John Raitt, Alfred Drake or Howard Keel.  

    That's a shame.  Jessie Mueller is actually a quite good legit soprano, and has played quite a few of the classic legit soprano roles in the past very well: Amalia in "She Loves Me," Cinderella in "Into the Woods," and of course, Carrie in "Carousel."  I think she still does "Ice Cream" in concert, and sings the high B very capably.

  10. I concur.  I've done standing room in the orchestra a number of times and it's actually quite good view-wise (the orchestra has a nice downward slope, so standing room is a bit elevated).  But if you're short (I'm ... uh  ... Sarah Lane size), you need to be in the first row.  

    I think I did Dress Circle standing room for one of Nina's Swan Lakes, and it was still pretty good.

  11. 13 hours ago, vipa said:

    Thank you NinaFan for that review. I'm looking forward to seeing the show. In respect to the show and the #metoo movement, I think the bigger issue to grapple with is not Billy's behavior (he is a character who engages in violent behavior towards his wife), the trickier part is her reaction to it. In the original, when Louise asks her mother if it's possible to be hit and it not hurt at all (paraphrasing), Julie replies it is possible. That line has been removed from this production. Julie seems accepting of the abuse. IMO portraying that is a tricky thing in any time period, but more so now.

    This is the scene:  (Yes, for some reason, Tiler Peck's book scene is on Youtube, but the ballet is not.)

    And yes, I would agree that the challenge now with interpreting Carousel is not the portrayal of the flawed Billy.  It's the interpretation of Julie.  How do you interpret "What's the Use of Wondrin'?"  Do you still underscore the "he hit me, but it felt like a kiss" scene (above) with "If I Loved You" and what does that say?  

    It's like the Shylock question.  The original writer clearly viewed the situation one way ("Yes, of course the best resolution is to force Shylock to convert!"), and that's very uncomfortable for contemporary audiences.  Our local Shakespeare company did a beautiful production of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" last year.  I don't think there is any way that they would do it this year for the same reasons.

  12. On 4/4/2018 at 4:46 PM, vipa said:

    Carousel has always been challenging in Billy's character, his relationship with Julie and her reactions to him. More so today than ever. There is a place in the show when Billy says (paraphrasing) She'd say, I'd say, she'd say, she'd be right so I hit her.  There's another place in which Louise asks Julie if a person can be hit but it not hurt. Pollack, in an interview, said they changed Julie's response. Instead of answering they walk off together.  

    I'm interested in seeing how these things are dealt with and how audiences react. As a side note - many, many years ago my husband was in a production of Carousel that was choreographed by Peter Martins. I find some irony in that at the moment.

    When Billy tries to give Louise the star he's stolen, he frightens her and when she tries to get away, he hits her.  Louise tells her mother that a man hit her, hit her really hard, but it felt like he kissed her.  She then asks her mother if it was possible for someone to hit you, but for it not to hurt.  Julie says, yes, it's possible for someone to hit you and for it not to hurt. 

    As you can imagine, this is more than little problematic post #metoo.  Actually, it was problematic even pre-#metoo.  There was quite a bit of writing about this scene when the Lyric Opera of Chicago did Carousel last year.  (Yes, in the current Broadway production, Julie's response has been cut.) 

    As I get older, I understand more Nicholas Hytner's decision to cast Billy and Julie in what would become the acclaimed National Theatre production from the early 1990's first for acting, and second for singing.  I saw the production at both the National in London and then on Broadway, and at the time I was disappointed with Michael Hayden's voice which was relatively weak by the standards of previous Billys.  (I thought Sally Murphy's singing was fine, although she's much better known for her straight dramatic work). 

    But I've revised my opinion, and now I think that it's the right call with the challenges of this material.

    There's actually some video of Hayden and Murphy doing "If I Loved You" (hidden as "a couple of really talented kids", LOL):

    Interestingly, the revival of My Fair Lady that's about to open is dealing with some of the same issues, and has chosen to ... well, let's say, Bart Scher is re-interpreting the final scene of the musical to be more in line with George Bernard Shaw's ending of Pygmalion.

  13. 18 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Well it's made over 1mil for three weeks now. I think it will have a respectable run.

    It's still in previews, and doesn't open until next Thursday.  Hopefully, some of the issues that I've been hearing about will be fixed.  But it's already posting 50% tickets for all performances at the TKTS booth which doesn't bode well.  (For comparison, Phantom which has been running for 30ish years has tickets in a range of discounts throughout the week).

    Let's see what the reviews look like.  We'll probably have a better idea then.

  14. I actually haven't heard very good things about this production, other than for Lindsay Mendez as Carrie and the choreography/dancing.  I honestly think that it's challenging to interpret Carousel in a post-#metoo environment, and from what I've heard, Jack O'Brien was not up to the task.  I don't know how long this production will be staying on Broadway.

    For what it's worth, my parents saw it while they were in NYC recently, and loved it though.  They loved the singing and dancing and ignored everything else.  :thumbsup:

  15. 6 minutes ago, Helene said:

    That is the current trend: laptops and desktops are skewing towards work and graphics and when you need processing oomph, while lighter applications, which includes most websites, are being optimized for mobile devices.

    Yes, the current marketing standard is to optimize for mobile vs. desktop.  Hits from mobile outweigh hits from desktop in almost all cases.  So when I ask my friends  who are marketing execs to take a look at my websites, advertising, etc., across the board they will take a look on their phones first (even if they are sitting at their desks in front of their computers).

  16. On 3/17/2018 at 10:11 AM, PeggyR said:

    A couple of weeks ago on another thread (which I can’t find at the moment), there was a discussion about promotional clips of various ballets set to a single piece of music, regardless of how appropriate it is to the video clips.

    Aside from about a nano-second of The Red Shoes, this sticks to dance routines from movie musicals (which maybe fits TRS a bit), and it’s pretty well done.


    The clip of Jimmy Cagney coming down the stairs is from the end of "Yankee Doodle Dandy," I think.  But yes, most of the clips are from movie musicals, and especially from Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell movies.  (Someone has good taste!)

    With a lot of post-Jazz Western popular music, the musical phrasing and accents follow certain conventions, so yes, quite a bit of tap, jazz, hip hop, etc. choreography will still "work" with any number of popular music recordings.  Ballet doesn't follow the same musical conventions, so yep, no "American in Paris" ballet in this, unfortunately!

  17. 7 hours ago, KayDenmark said:

    That said, I think it's important to place these serious accusations - because they are accusations right now, not convictions - into context. Peter Martins has worked with hundreds of dancers during his time at the NYCB, and he has worked for tens thousands of hours. His entire body of work should not be judged by some ugly incidents, even if they are found to have taken place. I would not like to be judged solely by the most unseemly and shameful ten-minute periods of my life over the past 30 years. 

    We're not discussing Martins' career as a whole, although that would probably be a very interesting separate thread.  

    The question at hand was whether he should continue to do his job, and from my perspective (and I'm sure anyone else who has ever been in a position of hiring and/or firing anybody), "ugly incidents" no matter how brief can be huge issues, especially in a position as high profile as Mr. Martins'.


  18. 1 hour ago, dirac said:


    Absolutely, sidwich. However, in Martins' thirty years of running the company no such lawsuit ever occurred. We have no evidence at present that Martins was singling out minors for sex, apart from Martins' liaison with Watts and marriage to Kistler, both of which were conducted openly and public knowledge, occurred long ago under Balanchine's approving eye, and were obviously long and significant relationships. IMO abatt's characterization of "sideshow" remains applicable.

    I don't think the relationships Heather Watts or Darci Kistler in and of themselves are issues, but I do think they are relevant in the larger conversation considering his position at SAB.  And yes, most schools would frown on the situation and the teacher would discreetly be asked to leave although perhaps not in Alabama.  Perhaps pre-professional ballet schools fall into the same camp.

  19. Quote
       22 hours ago,  kfw said: 
       On 1/3/2018 at 8:26 AM,  abatt said: 

    Martin's dating of Kistler when she was 16 isn't the issue.  It's an irrelevant side show. So are the DUI's.  The only issue is whether he committed sexual abuse or physical abuse,as defined under the law, against dancers or students during the course of his employment since he was elevated to director in 1983.

    I agree. I don’t think the DUIs should have anything to do with it. While it’s true that most people go through life without even one alcohol-related run in with the law, much less three, it’s also true that his have taken place nineteen years and six years apart from each other, and that this last occurred at a time of undoubtedly great stress. To me, that doesn’t signal that he has a problem that’s out of control. Even if it did, if alcoholism is a disease, he shouldn’t be fired for manifesting that disease off the job.
    The abuse is another issue obviously, but I feel for the younger dancers who see him as a father figure and haven't seen him act badly (possibly because he'd reformed).

    Thirded. Although as mentioned earlier, this most recent DUI probably ended any chance Martins had of returning to the company, relevant or not.

    (Also, comparisons of Martins to Roy Moore are absurd. The most damaging charge against Moore was that of Leigh Corfman, who was 14 years old at the time she claims that Moore approached her, initially with her mother, and then later alone, and then took her to an isolated place near his home to grope her.)

    In my experience, many schools in many parts of the country (although perhaps not Alabama) would consider it highly relevant if it was discovered that a teacher or administrator was dating a 16 year old even in cases where said 16 year old was not a student or a student of the school.  I realize that in the ballet world, many 16 year olds are working professionals but they are still legal minors.  

    Actually, I think that it's much more relevant in the Martins case than in the Roy Moore case (minus the whole Leigh Corfman/molestation issue), since he was actually directly teaching and coaching minors.  (Again, liability issues for the school, and the prospect of a parent or child later saying, "You knew said Teacher has had relationships with 16 year-olds.  We entrusted our child to you, and have now found out that Teacher has been engaging in sexual relations with our child.  Lawsuit.")

    More generally, I find the parent supervision/care issue irrelevant, though.  Children have legal protection regardless of their parents, and quite frankly what parents may consider good for their children can be ... well, parents have different ideas of what is best.  For many parents, especially old school parents from the Old World, the idea of marrying their daughter off to a successful, well-connected man is one of the greatest prizes possible.  Whether he abuses or cheats on her or not is often not much of an issue.

  20. 53 minutes ago, abatt said:

    Cahill is one of the top law firms in the country, and ABT likely has a continuing relationship with the firm over the years on many matters.   That's how big organizations like ABT operate.  I'm sure Cahill is on McKenzie's speed dial.  ABT learned about this sometime on Saturday, and then confronted Marcelo shortly thereafter. Do we really think that Marcelo was able to arrange any kind of meaningful legal counseling, much less counseling equal to a behemoth like Cahill, in 36 or so hours - during the week before Christmas?  Not a chance.  (Didn't intend to quote Marta)

    I really doubt Cahill is one ABT's speed dial.  Cahill's bread and butter is securities, anti-trust and corporate litigation and they're also known for their first amendment work, hardly the practices that a performing arts organization would need, and definitely not at the billing rates that a non-profit can afford regularly.  I took a look at an old program and Cahill is not the firm listed as their labor & employment counsel.  It may have changed more recently, but it certainly looks like ABT went out of their way to make sure that whatever the allegation may have been was investigated by a team with an impeccable reputation.  

    I'd also say, I don't think that even Cahill can move THAT fast in 36 hours.  Even with a first-class firm like Cahill, you would have to get the partners together to staff the associates and then give them marching orders, all while juggling other client loads.  Cahill probably had barely started the investigation in any meaningful way before Gomes resigned.

    2 hours ago, tutu said:

    Agreed. It’s also worth noting that white-collar internal investigations are fundamentally different from litigation — when a law firm is engaged to perform an internal investigation, it’s about finding the facts on the ground and allowing the client to make a decision, not about getting into an adversarial legal situation. (An example for context: companies often hire law firms when they have reason to suspect there’s insider trading or FCPA violations within their ranks, because handling it internally is better than getting the company getting fined by, for example, the SEC.) The goal is to find out what happened, not to start a fight.

    I totally concur with this statement.  Gomes has been the workhorse of the ABT principal men and a fan favorite.  ABT would not have considered going down this path lightly.


    My point:   people who are close to someone and like someone very much have a VERY hard time admitting something horrible is true about someone they care about.

    I'm not sure people even have to be close, so as to feel a great connection in some way.  There are still plenty of Penn State alums who will defend Joe Paterno, seemingly to the death.  

    My high school went through something like this recently.  I guess you could have termed much of what happened "sexual misconduct," both serious and high-profile enough to make national news. The teacher question ended up in prison, and the long-time, very beloved head of school was forced to resign.   It was highly controversial at the time, and I still struggle with the cognitive dissonance at work, that someone I knew, liked and personally admired had so clearly misjudged and mishandled a genuinely tragic situation.

  21. 49 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

    Oh, I agree with you. "Sexual missconduct" can be applied now in every situation where a sexual advance is met with a negative response.  When the first agressive move is not met with reciprocation, it goes to "sexual missconduct".  If said first, unnanounced move is met with pleasure, then it is a happy story, and Nanushka...let me tell you.  The gay world is, as we might imagine, full of males, and men persue, and if men don't persue, men don't mate. Row..? Maybe. Truth..? DEFINITELY.

    The term "sexual misconduct" can also be applied in cases when the victim is unable to consent.

  22. 4 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Uh not making excuses for the board but it really was a different time back then. When Nicole Simpson was murdered after many years of an abusive relationship/marriage, it came out in the wash that the police were well aware of OJ's violent tendencies and had gotten calls to the house a number of times. I remember my hair curling listening to one of Nicole's 911 calls as you heard OJ screaming in the background. But his lawyers were still able to convince 12 jurors that the domestic violence and pattern of abuse didn't mean he killed her because it was a "private matter." 

    Today I think police are much more pro-active about arresting abusers if they're called to the home, and some states have laws that require charges to be pressed even if the victim declines to cooperate. 

    The O.J. Simpson case was complicated for many reasons, but legally, the fact that Simpson physically abused Nicole Brown Simpson really doesn't have any bearing on the question of whether he killed her.  (As an aside, a lot of criminal defense attorneys feel that as a case, it was going to be very difficult to win given the circumstantial nature, the forensic technology available at the time, and the public's understanding of DNA evidence.  Marcia Clarke also made some profound jury selection mistakes, misunderstanding the racial dynamics at play.)

    But unlike Simpson, Peter Martins is not in any way under criminal investigation. Personally, the way I look at it, this is really a question of whether he can go forward and carry out this duties effectively.  Will he really be able to go out and raise the funds that NYCB/SAB needs? Does the Board really want him to be the face going out and asking potential donors to write checks?  What about maintaining relationships with high-profile creatives?  How many of them are going to want to have photos standing next to him at galas?

    And then of course is the obvious question, what's the liability NYCB/SAB and the Board would face if ANYTHING happened to a minor at SAB that even might hint at abuse at Martins' hands?  There's just no way that the Board could say they don't know the potential danger on a going forward basis.  


  23. On 12/12/2017 at 8:19 AM, FITTB85 said:

    This is my takeaway from all the NYCB issues over the last month… Ballet dancers need media training.  First Robbie Fairchild doesn’t know how Instagram works and now Kathryn Morgan is throwing around dangerous, incriminating language.

    I am SHOCKED Kathryn said the word rape.  Granted she said “I do not believe PM raped anyone.”  But honestly, no one has said that word yet, until her video all statements have been about “sexual abuse”.  These dancers need some actual PR training to know that you keep silent or you give a form statement, ex: “I have only ever had professional and supportive interactions with PM.  I applaud the women who have the strength to publicly discuss their experiences, I hope this comes to a quick and justifiable conclusion, congratulations and good luck to interim team.”  

    As general matter, I agree that dancers could probably benefit from media and social media training, but I think the time is past now.  If I were NYCB/SAB, I would be very wary of doing anything that could be perceived as silencing or suppressing anyone's story or telling them what to say for 2 reasons: 1) I don't want anything out there that could be considered evidence that NYCB/SAB was silencing/suppressing abuse and may have a history of it, and 2) God forbid there is someone out there who may have a legitimate case that they were abused and, even worse, can prove it.  It doesn't take a whole lot to get them emotional and angry and ready to file suit, and something that can be interpreted as "Please don't talk about it," can certainly get a, "Oh, yeah?  Wait till EVERYONE hears what I have to say!!!" response.


    At this point I have so many issues with Kathryn Morgan’s video it goes beyond the language.  My initial point was the need for media training; I keep reflecting on the Kobe Bryant rape case.  Not a single athlete (Laker or otherwise) made an unsolicited statement about the case, before, during or after the trial.  If you don’t have evidence to contribute to the investigation you stay out of it, it’s not about you. 

    While I personally wouldn't have advised Kathryn Morgan to put out that video, I don't think the Lakers situation is really comparable.  The Lakers as a team and Bryant's teammates really didn't have anything to do with that case.  There wasn't a question that the Lakers might have been hiding something, or that teammates were involved/victims.  Certainly each of the Lakers has a team of agents, managers, etc. to protect them and an interest in preserving their personal brand from the ugliness.  Why get involved?  

    In the Martins situation, it's likely that A LOT of dancers and alums may be involved in the case in one way or another and some may be VERY involved and have evidence to contribute to the investigation.  In some cases, it actually may be about them.  So, I think it's a completely different situation.  

    My take is that it's gong to get ugly, and probably really ugly in the short-term, but it's better to get the ugliness out there now, weather the storm, and try to keep NYCB/SAB as healthy as possible for the long-term.  My guess is that Martins will be out, and someone will be installed whose main charge will be to "clean-up" and stabilize the situation and put policies and practices in place, and then gracefully retire after 5 years or so.  Then a longer-term AD will come in.  (One of my Catholic friends calls it the "Pope Benedict" MO).

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