For his no-news suck up session with President Obama Thursday night, MSNBC host Chris Matthews decided he’d take American University’s Greenberg Theatre, thank you very much.
Only, the theater was already booked by a dance school that was scheduled to do their Nutcracker dress rehearsal there.
No dice. The little ballerinas were booted out on their tiaras.
That prompted an angry email to Matthews from Melissa Carney, the artistic director of the Ballet Petite & Youth Performing Arts School’s Ballet Performance Company. It read in part:
Your interview has forced our young dancers out of a space we scheduled with American University in January. Wednesday night (12/4) was scheduled to be a blocking rehearsal and Thursday (12/5) a full technical and dress rehearsal for the dancers. We were given 28 hours notice of that our rental had been bumped by your show.
We intentionally create a rehearsal and performance schedule that allows for our young dancers to feel challenged but not overwhelmed. Since rescheduling 2 SOLD OUT performances is not an option for our patrons (keeping in mind that many fly in from around the country and world) and canceling the performances would crush the hearts of the young dancers who have worked endlessly since August, we have been forced to create an extremely long, overwhelming, and tiring schedule on opening day in order to bring this production of The Nutcracker to the Greenberg Theatre stage. The dancers now have a 12 hour day in store for them on our opening day (Sunday 12/8).
There’s no serious reason for Matthews to have interviewed Obama at AU, other than it provided an enthusiastic audience for the president, who likes to hang out with adoring students. Perhaps the live audience also sent an additional thrill up Matthews’ leg.
A ballet performance is an incredibly difficult technical feat to pull off. The troupe really couldn’t have done its dress rehearsal at Matthews’ empty MSNBC studio, not could it? I hope their performance is not affected by the selfish behavior of whomever instigated this.