Relief is coming, at last, for female theatergoers who’ve braved the epic restroom line during intermission at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge.
If you’ve frequented the ART, you know just how dire the situation can get: one ladies room for throngs of visitors. The queue during artistic director Diane Paulus’s (above) sold-out shows rivals communist-era bread lines — and would certainly deter any chance of spending money at the bar.
In a self-mocking e-mail pitch for donations, ART said, “No more fighting for a bathroom stall.” The theater said it needs to raise $230,000 by Dec. 31 for a “critical upgrade,” doubling the current five stalls to 10.
The ART said Wednesday that it is near its goal. Online donations garner a chance to win tickets to the ART’s “Finding Neverland” on Broadway. BETH HEALY
Now that’s crafty!
When Samuel Adams buried a time capsule at the State House in 1795, the then-governor was thinking about the founding fathers’ legacy. Of all the things Adams thought he’d be remembered for, beer probably wasn’t at the top of the list. But that’s what comes to mind these days, thanks to relentless marketing by our friends at Boston Beer Co. After the time capsule was unearthed from a stone block on Beacon Hill Dec. 11, a brewer at the company got a crafty idea.
Boston Beer posted a fake image of an X-ray that reveals a six-pack of Sam Adams Boston Lager socked away for the ages with old coins and parchment. Hundreds of beer fans then shared the “photo” of this fictional time capsule with their Facebook friends.
The comments started pouring in almost immediately as aficionados raced to join in on the joke: “I would not share my beer with the future,” one declared. “I bet it still tastes better than Bud Light!” another opined. But not everyone was a fan — at least not the guy who wrote, “This explains why your beers taste like they’re 220 years old!!” JON CHESTO
Bright lights, big party
We all know the stress of trying to leave work in time to make a holiday party. But the stress usually doesn’t involve keeping all of New England’s lights on.
When members of the New England Power Generators Association packed into Hampshire House in Boston Dec. 4 for their annual shindig, however, the typical industry chitchat was swept aside by an event that hours earlier threatened the integrity of this region’s entire power grid.
That afternoon, two big power lines went down under mysterious circumstances near Montreal. This prompted the energy company Hydro-Quebec to cut the power it had been sending to New England, all 2,000 megawatts of it. That’s the equivalent of three Pilgrim nuclear power plants — enough electricity for up to two million homes — going offline almost in the blink of an eye.
Remarkably, power outages didn’t spread into New England. Grid operator ISO New England called on a number of idle plants to be powered up to cover the shortfall. Wholesale electricity prices shot through the roof, but the lights here didn’t even flicker. By the time everyone had to get to the evening cocktails, they had averted what could have been a crisis.
To some at the celebration, the episode was an example of how the region’s generators can perform in a pinch. To others, it was a stark warning about the risks of staking too much on Canadian hydropower. The big blackout became a bit of a Rorschach test for the industry’s power brokers — and it made for a much more memorable party. JON CHESTO
It’s a small world
These days, John Regan and Bill Belichick have something in common: an enviable coaching tree. Over the last month, two former executives who worked for Regan’s government affairs team at Associated Industries of Massachusetts have landed high-profile jobs.
Eileen McAnneny had been a senior vice president of government affairs at AIM, and last week she was named president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. She will succeed Michael Widmer, who is retiring after two decades.
Kristen Lepore took over for McAnneny after she left for Fidelity Investments and later went to the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. Last month Governor-elect Charlie Baker tapped Lepore for one of the most influential posts in state government: secretary of administration and finance. It’s a job Baker held under governors Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci.
Lepore was Baker’s director of fiscal policy when he headed A&F.
Whoever takes over Lepore’s slot at AIM will have some high heels to fill.
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