Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Tragic Opera About an Opera

In my local area.....we have this musical theater operation which was built in the early 1990s, and from 1995 to 1998....they ran the musical Sunset Boulevard.  This was a 1,500 seat musical hall.....ultra modern by 1990s standards....connected a newly-built hotel, which was a minute off the autobahn.  It lays outside of the Frankfurt urban zone, and is just minutes away from Wiesbaden itself.

Somehow in the planning process, they even convinced the local town of Niedernhausen and the Bahn put in a special stop behind the theater....where the train from Frankfurt could stop and let audience members off and on the rapid-railway system.

Once Sunset Boulevard shut's been mostly 'cats-and-dogs' occupying the musical occasional band night, a comedy night, or some two or three night showing of some traveling musical.

It sits underused.

Last year, folks got all hyped up and enthusiastic because some big-name production of a musical Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) was going to come in and run for at least a year.  Everything was lined up....singers signed to contracts....guaranteed financial being sold.

Couple of days collapse.  The show is cancelled.  From the FAZ (the Frankfurt newspaper)....they kinda hint that the payment deadines weren't met, and the producer finally said that they didn't have the cash reserves to continue this planned musical.

Locals are shocked.....various business operations in Niedernhausen were lined up to rake off some of the visitor/guest tourism (food, beverage, hotels)....politicians are peeved....and musical lovers dismayed.

Somewhere in the midst of the FAZ article....they note that with the 1,500-odd seats....with pricing between 39 and 99 Euro a seat.....all you had to do was make roughly 40-percent occupancy, and the cost of the building rental was covered.  My guess is that the production folks took the cost of the musical crew (figure four nights a week minimum) and it just wasn't going to make a real profit.

 Joan of a a five-star piece.  As a musical?  It's hard to say how this would play out in terms of music, words, and drama on a stage.

And so the musical theater will be lightly used for a line-up of comedians and heart-breaker singers.  In this case....the opera never opened, so there's no fat lady to sing and end the show.

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