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February 10, 2010

Snow's impact on the arts will be felt for a long time

I meant to alert my faithful, dearly treasured blog readers to my Tuesday column, which addressed the snow's unwelcome punch to the local performing arts world, but I've been ever so distracted by that damn snow. 

Anyway, that column came out before the latest blast from the sky, which has already claimed Wednesday's schedule at Everyman Theatre. That company's production of "Two Rooms" has been very hard-hit in terms of cancelled shows. And it's cutting deeply into the bottom line, since you can't really make up for things like that.

If you manage to find seats at subsequent performances for patrons left out in the snow, 

it only means you've cut off the possibility to earn revenue from those unsold seats. And since it's impossible to extend the run of the play (availability of actors, preparations for the next production, etc.), you can't add inventory. It's a loss all the way around.

Same for (I almost wrote "ditto" -- but that's nearly as archaic as a fax) the Baltimore Symphony, which had to call off much-anticipated concerts last weekend, or anyone else who had to cancel ticketed events. And remember, all of the arts have already been limping from the recession. When all is said and melted, many organizations are going to be struggling with the toll from the disrupted season.

This is without question the worst winter of our discontent.

Posted by Tim Smith at 7:28 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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