Letters to the Arts Editor

Actor Christopher Plummer voiced his frustration with the high price of theater tickets.
Chad Batka for The New York Times/File 2011
Actor Christopher Plummer voiced his frustration with the high price of theater tickets.

Tickets’ steep cost is
a barrier to audiences

Re: “Plummer voices frustration with theater ticket prices” (g, Jan. 10, Don Aucoin): Loved this man (Christopher Plummer) for more years now than I care to remember. Haven’t seen him on the stage for 40-odd years because he is in the US, and I am in London, where he last appeared in the 1970s. But how right he is about theater tickets. Wherever you are in the world they are an horrendous price, for every age group. No wonder the younger members of the theater-going public think the theater is elitist!! One day the impresarios and producers (Mackintosh, Lloyd Webber, take note) will wake up and realise they have priced themselves out of the market. The theater world is being taken over by third-rate musicals. Where are the young playwrights and the producers brave enough to put on their plays?


Watford, Hertfordshire, England

I applaud Christopher Plummer, but it will go nowhere.


I recently attempted to purchase tickets for “The Nutcracker,” to take my two grandchildren. It would have cost over $600 for three decent seats. Although I could have afforded the purchase, I felt ripped off, and wouldn’t do it.

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Unless we all work to find free and affordable ways to introduce young people to live performance, a generation may never discover an art form that enriches their lives. I was fortunate enough to have been taken to free performances in libraries and parks and through school field trips.

Without that early exposure, I doubt I would have discovered my passion for theater, which I have pursued professionally for my entire adult life.

I now have the great, good fortune to serve as artistic director for City Stage Co., which has been providing free arts education and performances for urban kids and families since 1974. High ticket prices mean that only those who already value theater will attend. Young people deserve access and opportunities to experience everything that might lead to discoveries about themselves and the world around them.



Artistic Director

City Stage Co.


Jazz, overlooked

How do you survey the cultural scene at year-end in a city like Boston without mentioning jazz even once? Astonishingly, that’s what The Boston Globe did (“2012: The Year in Arts,” Arts, Dec. 30).

Boston is the second-largest jazz city in the United States. It is home to the largest jazz school in the world, Berklee College of Music, and a distinguished roster of other schools — including New England Conservatory, Harvard, MIT, and Longy — with jazz programs recognized worldwide. Boston also has a number of world-known jazz clubs, and despite misperceptions to the contrary, smaller jazz venues are proliferating throughout the metro area. The 119 venues participating in Jazz Week last spring broke a record. And if you’re looking for standout jazz performances, Boston had plenty of those in 2012, by both local and visiting artists.

Finally, how could you totally neglect jazz as an important contemporary art form in the same year that UNESCO proclaimed International Jazz Day to remind the world of the American origins of this music and its power to promote peace and democracy? And then named a Boston-based jazz artist, Danilo Pérez, as a UNESCO Artist for Peace in recognition of his superb musicianship as well as his use of jazz to bring about social change.

We’re very disappointed to see this happen in the Globe, the paper that told WGBH last summer that the station had lost its soul when it largely abandoned jazz programming.



Executive Director



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