Brave new world of concert start times

Posted on: January 3, 2014

“Empires rose and empires fell, but if there was one thing the world could depend on, it was the 8 p.m. curtain time for theater, opera, and classical music performances,” writes David Patrick Stearns in Friday’s (12/28) Philadelphia Inquirer. But, Stearns writes, “In the 21st century, if you don’t check daily listings, you may be late for Act One.… A weeknight [theater] performance … may start as early as 6:30.… Theories are everywhere. We’re getting older and want to go to bed early. We’re getting younger and want to stay out later after the theater.… Once one of the slower-selling nights of the week, Tuesday is now up there with Saturday.… In October, on only a few hours’ notice, the Philadelphia Orchestra was able to fill Verizon Hall for a free 6:30 pop-up concert, announced via social media after a Carnegie Hall date went south due to a stagehand strike…. Retired bartender Annette Lombardo, who lives a few blocks from the Kimmel Center, says, ‘I was getting my mail downstairs when a neighbor of mine said, “Annette, are you going to the concert? Tickets are free.” It was about 5 p.m. and I ate real fast and got there by 6 to get a nice seat. I was so happy.’ ”

Posted January 3, 2014