Friday, September 28, 2007

Here's one way to better spend our arts $

Many of this blog's readers were scandalized when I advised against giving money to such major local players as the BSO and MFA. How better could their money be spent?, some wondered. Well, here's one way: by bringing Mozart Dances, by Mark Morris, to Boston. We're just about the only one of his traditional touring spots that isn't seeing it this year. We will be seeing him, yes, in the recast Dido and Aeneas - but why can't we see both?


  1. Can't say I was scandalized with your comments about the MFA or BSO. I agree that the new expansion for the MFA is just more ugly modernism. In the spirit of all things excessive, Maybe they can get the bejeweled Hirst Skull to make a cameo appearance?

    As for things which should come to Boston... How about the Tim Supple Indian Dream (coming to the Shubert in New Haven- but not here) or Fragments, the new touring Peter Brook Beckett production which looks to be making it's only North American stop at Chicago Shakespeare? (Maybe it will make it to BAM, but I doubt it given that he seems to have had a falling out with them.) Speaking of Beckett, what about the Gate festival Tour which is supposed to appear at St. Anne's- wouldn't a city with as much Irish heritage as Boston seem perfect for it? How about Out of Joint, (who made it to MIFA several times but never to Boston) Punchdrunk or Kneehigh? Wouldn't it be great to have someone with some imagination programming for touring stuff coming this way?

  2. Hello again, Dan. Don't panic, but the MFA has announced a curator to oversee temporary installations in their big glass box - Damien Hirst and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull may yet make an appearance!

    As for your wish list of international theatre tours - my, you do get around! I was aware of the Brook, but didn't know it was touring. Out of Joint, Punchdrunk and Kneehigh would be most welcome (although I only know of them by reputation). Perhaps the disastrous Abbey production of "Playboy" has scared off the Gate. At any rate, your point is well taken - why aren't theatre tours seen as a matter of course, as just as viable as dance company tours?

  3. I don't get around as much as I wish of course- (I've yet to make it up to Stratford for example) but I really make an effort to get out and see great productions- so much of what is done in town here just doesn't make the grade. That's the thing about theatre- you only get one shot at seeing a show... so when in doubt, I go. But I really wish there was a venue like BAM or St. Anne's in Boston- it would make life that much better, not to mention easier. And I'd spend less time at Port Authority cursing Greyhound.

    International theatre really is my aesthetic though; the problem is that once you've tasted the good stuff it's hard to settle for second best. Punchdrunk will be in NYC in the spring as will Kneehigh- the Supple Dream will probably make Bam or the Lincoln Center Festival. I saw Out of Joint do their promenade production of Macbeth out in Holyoke two years ago and the only word for it was stunning. Truly amazing pitch perfect theatre and the best Shakespeare I’ve seen hands down. ART was supposed to be trying to bring it here at one point- wish they would. The Wang SHOULD fill some of this hole, but their troubles have been well documented, and let's face it, Joe and company are clearly not interested in fixing things or giving a damn about the state of Boston Theatre or our perceptions to the rest of the world. (Read: Boston not a place where you want to take your show on tour)

    Had I a few spare million lying around (as opposed to the few hundred I've got!) I'd be all for buying the Wilbur and get this kind of stuff coming there. Bring theatre back to the theatre district! Ed Siegel had a very perceptive take on the topic a week or two back in the globe. I'm sure the economics of it all are horribly prohibitive- but lets face it, you don't do this kind of thing if you're trying to get rich...

  4. Not to - ack! - defend Spaulding or anything, but no, the CitiCenter spaces are all far too large to support a visit by Kneehigh or Out of Joint. The Wimberley Theatre might be a more appropriate spot, or perhaps somewhere at Brandeis? Doesn't Emerson have some interesting spaces over there near the Theatre District? And there's always the Suffolk theatre. It really is shocking that we haven't seen any of these troupes.