The good news is that memberships in the 4th Ring Society aka Society NYCB will be renewed again this year. Our members, mostly old geezers and geezerettes on fixed incomes who have been hobbling in to see NYCB for decades, have become fewer and fewer as one by one we've moved on to that great New York State Theater in the sky. But we’re hanging in there as best we can – like rent stabilization, Pete’s Tavern, and pay phone booths. So it is good news to hear that Society members will be able to get discounted tickets again this year (at the only venue in Lincoln Center that doesn’t have senior citizen discount tickets) although the ticket prices have increased by 20% while Social Security benefits only increased by 1.5% this year. That qualifies as NYCB grabbing at the wallets of its most faithful and vulnerable supporters.
The other bad news is that in keeping with the new Upper West Side social mentality, Society members will have to enter the theater through a newly constructed Poor Door around back by the loading dock and their tickets will be bright red so that regular patrons can be "spared the terrible awkwardness" of encountering people who are less affluent blah blah blah blah. Of course, we’re fooling with you here. But honestly, what is going on with the UWS community that they would allow a hideous separate-but-equal practice to seep back into housing? Where are the neighborhood's experienced picketers and protesters? Has the UWS social conscience grown numb? Come on, people, shame-down the market values in that new building until the Poor Door is sealed shut.
Pennsylvania Ballet opens its first season under Artistic Director Angel Corella on October 16 with a huge program. The company will premiere former director Robert Weiss' choreography to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 complete with a live chorus singing Ode to Joy. Weiss made this piece for his Carolina Ballet a few years ago. It is hard to imagine a piece of music that is more capable of making a dancer dance like a crazy person. Then throw Corella's energy into the mix. It's going to be Ding Dong Crazy Phrogs in Philly. You don't want to miss this.
The program also includes Alexei Ratmansky's Jeu de Cartes to the Stravinsky score. An abstract piece where the gamble pertains not to card playing but to the risk of maneuvering through the Stravinsky score, it was first premiered by Pennsylvania Ballet in 2011.
FYI, most nights there is an Amtrak train that leaves Philly at 11:04pm and gets back to NYC at 12:30am.
It is time to get excited.