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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Looking Through The Kaleidoscope #11: What Did You Expect? They're Owned By GM...

Sorry it took so long between this post and the last one. Once again, time got away from me, as it does with many of us.

As I mentioned last time, this blog would be about the Chevrolet Center in CT. First, a little background. So as they say in Lee Falk's The Phantom, "for those who came in late..."

Kaleidoscope has been bringing their summer series to the Chevrolet Center since it was known as Oakdale Theatre. I've only known it as the Chevrolet Center in the three years I've been with the company (you can check out a previous blog about the the Chevrolet Center here).

If you haven't been to the Chevy, it's huge. The theater itself seats somewhere in the realm of 6,000, and in addition there are two room used for our "character lunches", where all of the actors meet with the audience and sign posters as they have lunch. In most cases, it's a bigger than any other performance we do. That is, it was.

This summer, we only did one show at the Chevy. The economy has hit the place hard, as it has other venues, and the theater cancelled the rest of our season. Just like that, we were gone. There are two main reasons for this, which go hand in hand:

Chevy is a union theater, meaning that they have a lot of people they have to make sure get paid no matter what. From an actor's point of view, it means that someone else will put your costumes in place, install the drops, and put the set in place. Spill something and you are likely to hear "DON'T TOUCH THAT!"

Here's where the other hand comes in. Being so huge, Chevy has to fill as much of the theater as they can in order to make a profit. So while 2,000 people in the audience is great for a performer, it's not so great for a venue like Chevy. Because of the economy, it's harder to fill seats. Not to mention that most of Kaleidoscope's audience was comprised of summer camps, which were extremely beneficial for everyone. We got our audience and Chevy got its profit. But there are less camps this year because of (DA-DADA-DA!) the economy.

There is a little more to this that I hesitate to go into...

But I will!

Many people were upset by this. Kaleidoscope had received many calls from people hoping to see our shows at Chevy, none of them good. They have ranged from "we were looking forward to this" to "well, if you cancel there, who is to say you won't cancel with us?" Let me assure you all that we did not cancel the season. We, in fact, were willing to do just about anything to at least save part of the season. Yet people were under the impression that we were the ones that pulled the plug, when in fact it was another party I am not sure I should mention (hint: vroom vroom).

Now, this experience got me wondering: how would the fairy tale worlds that we portray handle such a situation? With that, I present:

Kiss it, Obama!

So what would the fairy tales of this summer's season do in such an economic crisis? Here are my theories (for your consideration, additional references have been added thanks to Wikipedia):

Snow White - This is an easy one: layoffs. That way when I ask if everyone is ready for "Snow White and the Three Dwarfs", I'm not lying.

Cinderella - The Fairy Godmother can only afford to give Cinderella a fiberglass slipper.

Beauty & the Beast - These people are already down on their luck...but things get worse when the Beast cannot let Belle live in luxury and wear fine clothes. All he can offer is a "My Dad Stole a Flower, Made Me Live With This Furball, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" shirt.

The Frog Prince - You think we can afford to give such nobility to a frog?!? Bring on "The Frog Duke".

Aladdin - I know what you are thinking: there's a Genie that can fix it all. Right? WRONG! With everyone cutting corners, there is now a 10 rupee surcharge with every wish.

Goldilocks & the Three Bears - If no one can afford a house lately, bears certainly can't.

"I'm so tired. Oh, what a cute little...cave?"

Little Red Riding Hood - We've already got one sponsor plug ("Oooh, Neiman Marcus"), so let's get in some more.

"Now, go straight to Granny's house to give her the Pepto-Bismol, for her nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea."

"I will, mother. And if I get tired, I can snack on these Honey Nut Cheerios, which can help lower my cholesterol. Honey Nut Cheerios: be happy, be healthy."

And finally...

Sleeping Beauty - Naturally, the spinning wheel will be made by IKEA. And what is this Party of the Year business? You think that we can put together a celebration so great that it will be better than anything else that year? We can't afford such gusto. Music, please!

"The Party of the Month!
The Party of the Month!
The costs are low, I guess we'll go,
to the Party of the Month!
My goodness what will I wear?
My goodness what will we wear?
Dress casual, it's acceptable,
at the Party of the Month!
And bring drinks for you see, it is BYOB,
at the Par-ty, of, the, Month!"

Those shows should do just fine, right?

In the words of Garrison Keillor, "be well, do good work, and keep in touch."


Anonymous said...


Michelle said...

im like so pissed right now. i went to your shows all the time there back like 8 years ago or so. and now they cancelled on you. im so disappointed in that. never thought they would be that way. there was always something great about going to your shows there. this made me cry because its so upsetting that they could do something like that.

What's your favorite fairytale?