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P&L

No Special Rules Apply to “High Culture”

This article about the closing of the New York City Opera's interesting because it explores several different themes about why the organization failed recently. It compares the death of the New York City Opera itself to the tragic life story of Anna Nicole Smith, who was the subject of the New York City Opera's final performance.It may be intellectually interesting to try to find the broader cause of a failure like this one, but until someone does and shares...

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Experience

The Great Thing About a Live Event Is It Includes You

I had fun reading this article, in which the author complains about her recent trip to an Elton John concert. The problem was that people were singing along to Elton's songs so much that she couldn't even hear Elton sing.I sympathize, kinda.But not really. Because the last thing in the world that we need to drive into other forms of performed live music is a policy that requires that we sit absolutely silent at all times. See how nicely...

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News

Who’s Winning the Nutty So Far?

As of today, the House Theatre of Chicago is in the lead for the seventh annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award.But it’s super close, and anything can change. In fact, this is the big weekend for performances, so a LOT of reviews will come pouring in before we announce the winner a week from today.Keep up to date anytime by coming back to this page.

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News

New President, New Agenda for the Kennedy Center

Deborah Rutter will be the Kennedy Center's third president. This is really interesting because she's coming from a very successful run as the head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; she has an MBA; and according to the article in the Washington Post, she's being hired as much for her management skills as her expertise in the arts.The Kennedy Center is an interesting organization to me because it's separated in so many ways from all of the pressures that most...

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Bright Ideas

Programming Decisions Should Be Reconsidered Every Couple Centuries

A lot of discussions occur about how to save classical music institutions, but I think the one that is so obvious that it almost avoids being discussed at all is content. This article makes the point that there are a handful of "Great Men," as the author calls them, whose music is the only music that orchestral institutions tend to play, at least if they're expecting to be taken seriously.Without even touching the questions of sexism or cultural elitism...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Bowl Game

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I will tell you whether to buy, sell or hold a certain word based on whether that word has a strong future or has seen better days. For example, if you’d bought the word “hybrid” 10 years ago (when it meant a cross between a horse and a donkey, not an eco-friendly car), you’d be rich today. On the other hand, if you’d bought “digital camera,” you’d be...

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Innovation

Aspen Live: Great Minds Spark Ideas in Great Outdoors

This week, I’m sadly missing the Goldstar holiday party, but there’s a pretty good reason.I’m heading off to Aspen for a live music industry conference called Aspen Live. Created and run by Jim Lewi, this show has been going on for a couple of decades. I first went a few years ago, and what a first year at Aspen it was! Most of the conference happened in the lobby of the St. Regis, where the comfy furniture, easy access...

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News

Presenting: Lea DeLaria at TEDxBroadway 2014

One of the presenters we’re excited about catching up with at TEDxBroadway this year is comedian, actress and jazz musician Lea DeLaria. You might have seen her this year playing prison inmate Carrie “Big Boo” Black on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black or heard her version of "All That Jazz" on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance.The Guardian said she “talks like a coffee grinder, and sounds like a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and a Broadway diva.”...

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News

Imagine what Happens to Sales If Ticket Buyers Feel Unsafe

Demand for live entertainment ticket sales have stood the test of time, and that's a good thing. But if there's one thing that can change that demand level fast, it would be the perception that going to a show is unsafe.Live entertainment is already inconvenient and expensive compared to other forms of entertainment. Add "unsafe" and in the long term, that's too many strikes. People will go home for good.Fortunately, as a rule, shows are very safe, but the...

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Innovation

The Hottest Season Ticket in Town is For a Restaurant

Next is a restaurant in Chicago that serves several different meals in the course of a year, each one running for three or four months at a time. It’s molecular gastronomy, which means that it takes an extreme amount of preparation and skill, so the menu is the same for everyone and changes infrequently.Over the course of the year, these different menus are what the restaurant calls a “season,” and if you want to go to each of the...

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