OPINION / By Scott Costen
According to an usher, that’s how many tickets were sold for one of the best shows the Astor Theatre has staged in recent years.
Martin Dockery travelled all the way from Brooklyn (the American one) to deliver his riveting one-man show ‘Delirium’ to a captivated, but pathetically small, audience Jan. 26.
If he was from “our” Brooklyn, he probably would have packed the joint, even if his show consisted of reading from the South Shore phone book.
Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident.
Sure, we’ll fill the Astor for an amateur Christmas concert or a children’s music festival or a community theatre production. But when first-rate, professional artists pay us a visit, far too often you’ll see tumbleweed blowing through the theatre.
We may view ourselves as an arts and culture hub, but we sure don’t act like one.
Supporting local talent — which we do very well — is only part of the equation. We also need to embrace the new, the different, the unfamiliar.
Since 1902, the Astor has brought the best in theatre, music and film to Liverpool’s doorstep.
Its reputation was built by hosting leading acts, not local ones.
And its purpose was always to expand our horizons, not just reflect them.