« Children's Aid societies partner up with G20 security | Main | Police visiting activists in lead up to G20, report says »

06/04/2010

Mirvish cancels Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia! shows during G20

Rock of ages - rene johnston
Rock of Ages at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Photo: Rene Johnston

Mirvish Productions is cancelling its performances of the popular musicals Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia! during the week of the G20 summit.

The Royal Alexandra (Rock of Ages) and Princess of Wales (Mama Mia) theatres on King St. W. sit on the edge of summit’s “traffic zone” — a security area where there will be police at every major section, though no fences.

There will be no performances June 21 to 27.

“Mirvish had every intention of carrying on performances during the week in question, assured by the various levels of authority that the G20 would not impact the theatres. More recently, as more information has been released about the G20 preparations and as some of this information appears to be inconclusive or contradictory, especially with regard to traffic on King Street West, Mirvish has decided it would be best and safest to suspend performances,” Mirvish said in an press release.

The decision means Mamma Mia’s final shows the city will be cancelled. The touring production was supposed to end its Toronto leg on June 27, but the finale will now be June 20.

Ticket holders of the cancelled shows will be contacted and offered an exchange for other performances, the company said.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make,” said producer David Mirvish. “The theatrical adage we have always lived by is ‘the show must go on.’ But in this instance – an unprecedented instance for us as we’ve always performed our shows – we have concluded that our audiences are best served by the shows not going on.”

First we lose Doc Halladay's return to the Dome. Then we lose bus shelters and bike rings across the downtown core. Now you're shutting down our theatres (the Factory Theatre announced it will be truncating its run of Featuring Loretta a few days ago)?

Tell me again, why didn't we hold the summit at the CNE grounds?

Are you affected by the Mirvish cancellations? Contact the Star at jmclean@thestar.ca.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

An exchange for a future performance? Is that a joke? How about a refund.

The Blue Jays got it right by offering a full refund and a free pair of tickets to any game for any seat available in the Dome.

And Mirvish productions is making you trade your ticket in to see another one of their shows.

Come on Mirvish...figure it out cheapskate.

Why, Why, Why, do they hold these G meetings in the middle of large cities ? Stupid, Stupid, Stupid ! How many of the citizens living & working in the meeting area have to be disrupted for a week for a meeting that should have never been held in the middle of the city in the first place ?

I still think that the best place for the G8 & G20 summits to be held is on an Armed Forces base somewhere. Great security and all these so-called important people don't have to harass the rest of us.

Hotel workers possible strike, Via trains rerouted, and now this. I'm hoping for the longshot city shutdown, a general strike. Why should subways run through Union, Let the big shots come here, and no one to serve them -

Because Harper hates Toronto.

It's really too bad that all these things are having to close because of the G20. People usually buy tickets to a show because they want to see *that* show. For someone who wanted to see Mamma Mia, they might not be fully satisfied with tickets to another show. I know it's all for the sake of safety, but just how much more of our lives are going to be shutdown or rescheduled so Harper can all his friends over to play?

More people out of work for a week, people who NEED the money (ushers, maintenance crew, actors). How is this meeting going to help improve our economic conditions exactly?

I see no one is effected by this. Probably because Mamma Mia is running at less that 1/2 capacity and ROA even less that that during the week. This is just a good excuse for Mirvish to cancel Mamma Mia's last week and not loose more money. I'll be going to see Jersey Boys again that week in the safety of the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

It would be funny if nobody protested, we all just ignore the g20......it would send a msg...we don't give a '&^%$#' about them.

It's the wrong decision. So, they can't hold a show because cars can't drive by? King street is in the no-traffic zone, not the no-go zone. I hope the stage company sues Mirvish for this cowardly act.

I guess you can only have so much theatre in town at one time.

the reason why they are haveing the G20 in the middle of the city and not an army base is probely because its much more confortable in the city n closer to thier fancy hotels, they get top notch security either way so why would they go in the middle of nowere. (think of it from a fat cat's perspective)

RE: Posted by: Sally | 06/04/2010 at 12:17 PM

I see no one is effected by this. Probably because Mamma Mia is running at less that 1/2 capacity

=======

Actually, Mamma Mia was close to sold out that weekend. I couldn't even get 2 tickets together in the lower price range, and the top price just got me the very back. So I didn't purchase tickets...lucky. PS - it's "affected".

For the record, I had Rock of Ages tickets for that week. Ticketholders are offered to exchange for a different performance, receive a gift certificate to any Mirvish theatre, or get a full refund. So it's not ONLY exchanging tickets..

Mr Mirvish made the right decision but this is not right. This is the first time, I think that I have seen a main stream newspaper say that they agree it should have been held at the CNE grounds.
They have full containment there and would bother no-one.
But it would not create all this hoopla about the whole thing and I believe they just love this, the city and the politicians.
Sadly we have what we have.

Daniel .. Toronto
http://bit.ly/Daniel2010

Canceling a week of both shows and blaming G20 (which I agree is a nightmare for residents and tourists alike and should not have been held downtown) is a hell of a coincidence given the fact that both Mirvish shows have been losing a lot of money for the last couple of weeks. Audiences have stayed away from both runs of these recycled shows long before G20.

A quick call to TicketKing reveals that Mamma Mia! and Rock of Ages despite having been heavily papered and drastically discounted are in fact playing to less than 50% capacity on weekdays (with Rock of Ages closing the upper balcony and moving customers that paid the lowest price down to better seating at no extra charge so that the theatre appears fuller!). Rock of Ages is a "tits and beer" show compiled of aging clichés and long past rock/pop hits that would be more at home in a bar during the Fringe Festival than a grand 1500 seat theatre. I saw it at the Alex and was dismayed at what a bad show it was and how much it was being charged for at the box office. As far as Mamma Mia! goes, Toronto had 5 long years of of it followed by a hit film, exhausting that fan base. Sure, I'd sit through it again for memories sake but at $80 a seat, I'll pop in the DVD instead and save my money for something new and different. Today's cash-strapped audiences just aren't interested enough in either show to support them for more than a few weeks, but Mirvish booked them both for longer runs and is now regretting it.

It's no surprise they are looking for ways to cut their loses and lay the blame elsewhere. It's easy to cancel a show where so few seats were sold and keep the customers money by not allowing a refund.

One less week of Mamma Mia and Rock of Ages? At least the G20 has an upside.

Another example of the Mirvish PR spin machine at work. Articles not reported on by Knelman or Ouzounian regularly misrepresent audience sizes that these two insiders would know are false. Reporters are frequently told shows are selling out when staff are looking over hundreds of empty seats. The G20 is a convenient excuse to move the audiences of almost empty houses into other nights giving them the perception that the show is much fuller.

PS "Sally is Wrong" you might want to re-read the comment by Sally that you slammed, she said "during the week" not the weekend. It is during the week when most of Mirvish's shows suffer. A sold out Friday and Saturday night doesn't make up for the other 6 shows in that week that are empty.

@ Kevin McDonald... Wow, you seem bitter about something almost as if you auditioned and didn't make it. Too bad you didn't like Rock of Ages, maybe it isn't your cup of tea, but I thought it was great. Had a lot of laughs and would go back again!

This isn't about your theatre critique, it's about how the G20 is affecting Toronto, it's citizens and how it is affecting businesses and their employees. They aren't the only one's being affected, so is the Blue Jays, the restaurants, the CN tower, VIA Rail. This has gone far beyond what I could have imagined, think of all the good 1.1 Billion dollars could do for our health care, our economy or our TRANSIT SYSTEM. Hopefully everyone thinks of this during the next election.

Mirvish IS indeed offering a refund as an option. I received this this morning regarding my Rock of Ages tickets.These are the options available for ticket holders:

1. EXCHANGE FOR AN EARLIER PERFORMANCE
Exchange your tickets for a new performance of Rock of Ages
between now and June 20
or
June 29 to September 5

2. RECEIVE A GIFT CERTIFICATE that can be used for a future ticket purchase at any of our four (4) theatres.

3. RECEIVE A FULL REFUND
A refund can be processed to the original form of payment. EMAIL: g20refund@ticketking.com
Include your order # and a refund will be processed to the original credit card.

One less week of Mamma Mia and Rock of Ages? At least the G20 has an upside.

Another example of the Mirvish PR spin machine at work. We are frequently told shows are selling out when staff are looking over hundreds of empty seats. The G20 is a convenient excuse to move the audiences of almost empty houses into other nights giving them the perception that the show is much fuller.

PS "Sally is Wrong" you might want to re-read the comment by Sally that you slammed, she said "during the week" not the weekend. It is during the week when most of Mirvish's shows suffer. A sold out Friday and Saturday night doesn't make up for the other 6 shows in that week that are empty.

@ Kevin MacDonald - Seriously?? Why the unnecessary tirade against Mirvish?
The question isn't so much about Mirvish is doing and why they are doing it...it's about the govt mismanaging tax payers' dollars/time. Get with the program. Oh and grab a beer (with or without the tis) while you're at it - its the weekend ;-)

@tbrain - "it's about the govt mismanaging tax payers' dollars/time"

Well, actually, the article's not about that, it's about the Mirvishes using the G20 as an excuse to cancel/reschedule struggling shows.

I know a number of people who work as ushers and such for Mirvish who say they were being told as recently as Thursday night that the shows would be going on. Then this morning they find out that they're getting a forced week off of work.

As inconvenient as it is to the ticket holders for the shows to be cancelled, at least they're not losing money on it, unlike the theatre staff who were probably relying on an income they were being assured they'd be having.

Sally sounds like she works for Dancecamp Productions promoting Joysey Boys and Kevin sounds like a disgruntled former employee.

Check out Kevin McDonald's profile on linked-in - he's a Dancap employee. But I'm sure that hasn't coloured his tirade in any way.

http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-john-mcdonald/13/209/373

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

G20 — Toronto 2010

  • Your survival guide to the G20/G8 meetings in Toronto and Huntsville June 25-27.

Tweeting the G8/G20

The G20 and You

  • Got a story about how the G20 affects you, or think there's an issue that should be covered? Send an email to G20: Toronto 2010, telling us who you are and what issue you'd like to see us report on.

G8/G20 Resources