It’s that time of year again. Rockettes come to the Wang Theater, Boston Pops bring Santa Claus to Symphony Hall and Nutcracker goes to the Opera House. It’s a happy time of year.
The Rockettes show, is stark contrast to the others does not use live musicians for their performances in Boston. Their reasoning is two-fold: 1-expense, 2-It’s harder to get quality musicians on the road than it is in NYC.
Expense: If you hired 20 musicians and paid them $250/performance, that costs $5000 per show.
If the Wang Theater holds approx. 4500 people (that’s a guess) and each ticket costs $25, the house grosses $112,500 per show. Truth is the tickets in Boston cost anywhere between $25 and $130 depending on where you sit. That means my estimate is rather conservative.
In New York City, ticket prices range from $45 to $89 and there’s a live band. Radio City has 5931 seats. At $45/ticket that’s $266,895 per show if it sells out.
Yes. Radio City is a larger venue, and earns more. But the numbers don’t really indicate that that hiring a live band would hurt the bottom line. In fact, I wonder how the high-ticket customers at the Wang feel knowing they’re paying more ($130) than the high-ticket at Radio City ($89) for an inferior show?
2-Local Musicians in Boston:
Come on. Boston has Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, BSO, Boston Lyic Opera, Boston Ballet and a vibrant local music community. For New Yorkers to claim their Boston counterparts are inferior is plain ridiculous. Musicians in Boston and New York all know each other. The two cities are 225 miles apart. Boston and New York musicians exchange gigs in each other’s cities all the time. Everbody knows it.
The difference between New York and Boston is palpable. New Yorkers are likely to say “In your face you hosebag” where Bostonians are more like to go with, “Well, some people like to play music while others are actually able.”
The only reason the Rockettes don’t use live musicians? If it’s not money or talent, what is it? Do I need to state the obvious? If you go to the show, enjoy it for all it’s worth, but please ask them why there isn’t a live band? If they get asked enough, maybe they’ll be forced to give their customers the value they’ve promised.
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