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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
We can number crunch the fairness of the NBoC’s new ticket prices anyway you want and still not come to an agreement. It doesn’t matter what the NBoC charges. All that matters is what price you’re willing to pay in comparison to other forms of entertainment. The National has not released single ticket prices, so I’ll have to guestimate their prices. It is reasonable to assume they will increase at the same rate of subscription seating.

Entertainment-- Top Seat-- Lowest Seat

National Ballet of Canada $212 $61

Toronto Blue Jays $205 $ 9

Toronto Maple Leafs $173 $35

Stratford Festival Musical $117.50 $72.45

Mirvish Musical $94 $30


What makes the above figures very interesting is the fact the National is barely getting by yet they charge the most. They’ve also priced themselves out of the reach of the common man and woman. Personally, I believe they’ve way overplayed their hand and very few will call. They can’t compete versus the Leafs or Blue Jays. With the current price structure a trip to Stratford or seeing a Mirvish Musical becomes a very attractive alternative.

Despite the appointment of Karen Kain as AD the National still has to fight to get free press in Toronto. They need new fans. It doesn’t make $en$e to believe higher prices will attract new fans. Sadly, it’s the same old National Ballet of Canada. They desperately need some leaders with creativejuice!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:25 am 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I know why the National Ballet of Canada can’t fill the Hummingbird Centre! They offer ticket purchasing on line but it doesn’t work! I gave up after 10 minutes. Click HERE and give it a go yourself! I received a page not available message after several frustrating attempts. I recollect trying this feature just because I was curious about a year ago and was disappointed I was not given the exact location of my seat.

I purchased a ticket for a Mirvish musical (The Boyfriend) this morning over the phone. I tried their website and saw the best seat available for my section in under a minute with a 56k modem. I was a little leery as to how accurate their website was, so I gave them a call. Low and behold, the seat provided on their website was the same provided to me by a very professional and courteous Customer Service Representative.

The NBoC desperately needs to upgrade their website and marketing department. It’s so sad that they have so much talent behind the scenes coaching and world class dancers but their back office obviously is not world class. I was very disappointed in their Four Seasons Subscription package in regards to out of this world price$, no tour of the new theatre before finalizing my seat selection, and quite frankly an amateurish pamphlet. I expect more and deserve more :!:

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Last edited by Michael Goldbarth on Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:23 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I decided to give the National a call and they’re off for the holidays. I don’t expect them to be open regular hours but I do expect them open for a few hours to take ticket orders for the remaining Nutcracker performances. Mirvish Productions was open for business.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:53 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
It’s a miracle! I tried ordering tickets for Jewels on the NBoC’s website and the feature actually worked! I guess something went kablooey with the Nutcracker ordering or perhaps they SRO? If so, why wouldn’t I be given a message there are no more tickets available? I doubt they sold out because the seats at the back are really bad.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
If anybody is interested, tickets are still available for the Nutcracker. I called the National and they confirmed trouble with their web looping for Nutcracker buys on line. So, if you want to buy tickets you can visit their box office or call them at 416-345-9595.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: USA (Midwest)
Logging in this evening from Toronto where we saw the 1 pm performance today of the Nutcracker (Hirano as Peter/Nutcracker, Minagawa subbing as SPF, Ogden as Snow Queen, and did anyone who might have been there catch who the Bee was?). The production itself was lovely and very enjoyable (aside from the whining, kicking 2-year-old behind me who had no business whatsoever being at a ballet performance! :evil: ) The storyline could be a tad more cohesive, particularly the ending, and I'm not sure I agree with the choreographic choices made on the SPF and Nutcracker pas/variations, but, coming from a medium-sized American city, I very much appreciated the big city production values and quality of the dancing.

I must second, though, that NBoC does have a ways to go on the ticket purchase experience. I didn't even attempt an online order for this one. I called the box office at the end of November and asked for the tickets to be mailed to a local Toronto address (of our hosts for the visit). They never arrived. By the time we realized this, late last week, the box office was closed for the holidays and did not reopen til Dec. 27 at 10 am. I called at 10:02, and spend 15 minutes on hold, waiting for a sales rep. When I did get one, she was very nice, but could not tell me where our tickets had gone to. They were reprinted, for pickup today, but that meant we had to go there earlier than planned to fetch them. But even that worked out fine, because the kids got to see the preshow Storytime which was VERY entertaining and well done.

Now it's a month's wait to see NBoC when they come to Cleveland, Ohio (not our home city, by the way). Those tickets I recently ordered online through the Cleveland theater, so we'll see what happens! It's a Firebird and Four Seasons double bill. Can't wait to see it. Just hope the 2-year-old isn't there again!!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:02 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for sharing the above Jane! As self-appointed NBoC ambassador and on behalf of the dance community in Canada, please accept my apologies for the crying 2 year old. Was he/she really 2 years old? If so, the little tyke obviously should have been at home with babysitter. I would guestimate 5 years of age as appropriate to view the Nutcracker. Of course, that does depend on the maturity of the child. Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed our big city production values. You may also enjoy my review of the Nutcracker. Click HERE. Unfortunately, Toronto also has big city gun problems just like you folks in the States. This is off topic, but unfortunately, someone has to die before governments change laws and spend money to prevent crime and enforce the law of the land. Something must be done with people who have no value of human life. Back to the ballet…

I enjoyed an LOL at your expense reading about your ticket buying experience! I thought the National only had a problem with the web. Egad! I believe some of the Client Service Representatives had obviously slept in. You called when they open up for business. Obviously, they did not have enough people to field calls-Not very professional. So where did you sit and what did you think of the Hummingbird Centre? I hope you enjoyed the performance of Heather Ogden. She is my favorite and I see a very bright future for her.

You may preview the Four Seasons/Firebird doubleheader for FREE HERE.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
I can't offer an excuse for the box office being so slow to respond here in Toronto, but I have experienced difficulty ordering tickets and things cross border - of course in my case I am in Canada ordering things in the US. It used to be a piece of cake - no more.

Last year I ordered tickets through ticketmaster for a performance in Atlanta (beautiful theatre by the way) - they wouldn't accept a Canadian-based credit card online so I had to phone them and it was quite a procedure. I picked up the tickets at the box office, though, so that part was ok (I'm assuming though that Ticketmaster handles a few more transactions in north america than the NBOC box office). Lately I've noticed ticketmaster CANADA saying that they won't accept US-based cards.

As for the mailing of the tickets, I've had my own problems with that too. One year I sent some tickets via overnight courier (not cheap!) to a friend who was staying in Toronto - I was going out of town and couldn't attend the ballet on the day I had tickets. Well - the tickets didn't get to her!! Thankfully my husband hadn't gone out of town as well, and was around to hear that the tickets didn't arrive and pester the courier company. FINALLY they made it to the destination in time for the show. :shock:

I'm glad you enjoyed the show, Jane, and my apologies as well for the 2-year old. I've had a similar experience - and it's really too bad as you know the family has paid considerably for the tickets and really wants the child to experience the ballet - we certainly can't fault them for that! It's just a bit too soon, perhaps for some kiddies.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I ordered my ticket for the frothy musical ‘The Boyfriend’ Saturday and it arrived in the mail today! Mirvish Productions delivers the goods! As for Mom2’s delivery problem, courier companies only care about you if you’re a big corporate customer. That is the sad truth. You go to the bottom of the pile and corporate citizen rises to the top. It’s too bad the National does not allow customers to print off tickets on line like Mirvish does!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:43 am 
Thank you for the links, Michael. I always enjoy others' perspectives on the same production.

To answer your questions, yes, that really was no more than a two-year-old behind me. I've raised a couple of them myself and I know the speech patterns (and the whine patterns, and the kicking patterns). My two-year-olds stayed home with babysitters. Grrrr!

an Ogden's dancing was lovely, but I have to be honest, the upside-down entrances and exit did not thrill me. I found them kind of unattractive, as I also did that one "tap dance style" step that Kudelka had the Snowflakes do several times (and Ogden once) -- the one where they swung the back leg from one side to the other behind the supporting leg. As much as I do, overall, enjoy the speed and imagination of much of his choreography, I found that he sometimes reaches (or rather, makes his dancers reach) for more athletic, slightly ungainly postures which disrupt the flow a wee bit. Perhaps that is his intention!

I think for me the one dancer who achieved a really stirring bit of emotional depth was Keiichi Hirano as Peter/Nutcracker. His lovelorn Nut was quite believable and engaging. Everything (and everyone) else struck me as eye candy (though eye candy of the best sort, to be sure).

Oh, the "horse" fooled me the first time it appeared. That is one seriously good costume design.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: USA (Midwest)
and that was my post preceding. something's screwy with the board here. I've had a couple days where I couldn't log in at all, and now it just shook off my Logged In status, but only as I posted a message. Let's hope this one stays Logged In!

--JaneH


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I was very surprised to read that it was indeed a 2 year old that was making all that racket during the ballet. His/her parents should re-evaluate any future trips to the Hummingbird Centre. That is obviously far too young an age to go to the theatre. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself otherwise.

I think the problem with your 1st post was not logging in. If you don’t log in you will show up as ‘Guest.’

* I was downtown last week and noticed the National finally put up a poster in front of the Four Seasons. :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: USA (Midwest)
Nope, I was definitely logged in when I started composing an answer, but I've seen these log-outs happen twice to me now in the last week where I write a longish reply, and the system either logs me out while I'm composing or boots me out of the forum altogether. I'm trying something different right now by checking the "automatic log-in" box when I logged in this time. Hopefully that'll keep me logged in! And, as I said in a previous reply, there were a couple days (Dec. 30-31) when I couldn't log in at all.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Ontario, Canada
Jane - you should contact one of the moderators. A similar thing happened to me once, ok I admit I had forgotten my password too....anyway, it was dealt with very quickly.


m1


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I implore the moderators of CD to dispatch a Swat Team to fix Jane H’s log in problem forthwith!

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