Possibly the most important ballet event of the 2017-2018 season in all of North America will be celebrated tonight in storm-ravaged Houston – and, almost unbelievably, Haglund won't be there. It's true, Hurricane Harvey blew Haglund's well-laid plans to attend into the water. But we have some Haglund'eelers there who are likely to report in to H.H. after their emotional recovery from what is sure to be a theatrical hit in the gut like nothing Houston has seen before.
It is Kenneth MacMillan's greatest theatrical masterpiece - his complex, historically based Mayerling. It will thrill you. It will chill you. It will fill you with hair-raising anxiety. It will kill your will not to believe everything you are seeing on stage.
Houston Ballet is the first company in North America to present this masterpiece that has thrilled European audiences and the most respected critics for decades.
For one of the performances Haglund had planned to attend, he had a front row seat on the right side of the house – close enough that he could have felt the deranged Crown Prince Rudolf's breath as he sat at his table toying with a human skull, fingering his gun, and jamming the needle filled with heroin into his arm. Oh. My. God.
Best of luck to Houston Ballet and congratulations on hustling up a theater at the last moment after the beautiful Wortham Center was so terribly damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Bring on the insanity.
Mukhamedov, Durante, and the gun (1994)