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Ticketing System Implementation Leads to a Riot

I often say that one of the wonderful things about working in live entertainment is that it’s not a matter of life and death. And while people who work in making sure venues are safe have a reasonable beef with that statement, even they would probably get what I meant.Ticketing is typically an even safer occupation. Nobody expects danger from the roll-out of a new system. Annoyed season ticket holders having to adjust to a new website perhaps, but...

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Inspiring Story of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

In 2010, the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls was running out of cash and out of time. But recently Jodi Schwan of the Argus Leader shared the miraculous story of how they managed to keep operating and are now almost back to normal. Their methods may not work for everyone but it's always great to see live entertainment and culture triumph.A standout quote from the piece: “The lesson I’ve learned is … don’t avoid making the tough...

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A Fond Farewell to Mickey Rooney

Stage and screen star Mickey Rooney passed away this weekend at age 93. Variety put together a superb obituary for the actor that details his life in the spotlight. We also wanted to share this video of Rooney playing Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as this quote from the man himself:“You've got to recognize, there will never be another you. It has nothing to do with ego; it happens to be the truth. There will never...

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Don’t Play That Funky Muzak

You hear it everywhere -- the grocery store, subway stations, the doctor's office -- smooth jazz or classical music, derisively referred to as "muzak." You probably just tune it out most of the time, but apparently there's a very real reason it's playing, at least in certain places.Some experts believe playing classical music not only creates a soothing ambiance, but also drives away vagrants and vandals. A recent story on WQXR shed some light on the practice, and writes...

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Is Opera Failing to Do the Math?

Following in the footsteps of the New York City Opera and Opera Pacific in Orange County, the San Diego Opera will be calling it quits at the end of the 2014 season.Ian Campbell, the company's general director, told the Los Angeles Times that ticket sales had been declining as well as donations, primarily because of death and the economic downturn.A follow-up piece by the Los Angeles Times expressed surprise (and a little outrage) at the closing, using San Diego's...

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About the “Fear of Math”

Apparently, I didn’t just make up the idea that some people, including perhaps some of you, are afraid of math.In fact, not only is it true that some people are afraid of math, but we have some evidence to demonstrate why they’re afraid of math.It turns out, according to this study, that about 40% of math anxiety comes from genetics. Hey, you can partly blame your parents! Or at least their genes.The other 60% comes from your experiences with...

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Takeaways From TEDxBroadway 2014

We've been saying it all week -- TEDxBroadway 2014 was a blast. The conference received some nice press, including Patrick Pacheco's article, "How to Save Broadway's Sinking Attendance," where Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy talks about Broadway's failing attendance rate and the other factors, besides the rising price of the tickets, which might be the cause.Jonathan Mandell's "10 Lessons for Theater, from TEDxBroadway 2014" offers up some wisdom and takeaways from the event itself and a diverse sampling of its...

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Obscurity Is the Enemy

Not availability.The New London Theatre in London’s West End holds a little over 1,000 people. On February 27, War Horse was performed in the New London. Therefore, a little over 1,000 people (at most) saw the show, right? Logical, isn’t it?Except that in reality, more than 150,000 saw it in real time via broadcast as it was being performed. The biggest hit so far for the National Theatre through its NT Live initiative, this performance got seen 150 times...

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“Let It Go” Scores Tony, Bobby Lopez Gets EGOT

Last night at the Oscars, Bobby Lopez's "Let It Go" from Frozen was up against some stiff competition in the category of Best Original Song: U2 singing "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Pharrell Williams' "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 and Karen O's "The Moon Song" from Spike Jonze's Her.Not only did Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, take home the honor, but Lopez, 39, is the first Filipino American to win an Academy Award and the youngest...

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The Importance of Ecosystem

Last week, as the host, curator and co-organizer of TEDxBroadway, I talked about the Broadway Ecosystem. I say this all the time and every year on stage at TEDxBroadway, but every year people think it’s a new idea.It’s not a new idea, but it is a VERY important one. Theaters, restaurants, homes, academic institutions, hotels, tourist destinations, stores, public spaces, social services and everything else that people need and want exist together and affect each other. It sounds obvious,...

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