the itinerary for the first few months of 2006 is now posted, so here are a few minutes’ thoughts on the superstars as they kick off 2006…
the first thing i need to say is that this tour is a lot less rock-and-roll and a lot more dancer-compatible. the average leg is a little more than 200 miles, which is actually a bit longer than the fall 2005 schedule (before it was cancelled), but more importantly, the long legs are matched to dark days more consistently than anything the superstars have done in the past. the short version is that this means a better show, for many inter-related reasons.
the other general note is that the venues seem to be up a notch or two – bigger and more formal presentation space. this also means a better show.
here’s the information i have. many venues are not announced yet, so there’s not much i can do with that. venues i’m familiar with in some manner have capacity in parens. total, with this plan is 67 days covering 14652 miles, which works out to 219 miles/day.
01/17/06 START Sacramento, CA Crest Theatre (975)
01/18/06 295 Ashland, OR The Historic Ashland Armory (300)
01/19/06 286 Portland, OR Aladdin Theatre (620)
01/20/06 313 Vancourver, BC River Rock Casino (1000)
01/21/06 000 Vancourver, BC River Rock Casino (1000)
01/22/06 140 Seattle, WA Benaroya Hall (500)
01/23/06 279 Spokane, WA Metropolitan PAC/”The Met” (750)
01/26/06 1409 Los Angeles, CA El Portal Theatre (354)
01/27/06 000 Los Angeles, CA El Portal Theatre (354)
01/28/06 000 Los Angeles, CA El Portal Theatre (354)
01/29/06 000 Los Angeles, CA El Portal Theatre (354)
02/01/06 121 San Diego, CA Joan B. Kroc Theatre (600)
02/02/06 340 Fresno, CA
02/03/06 197 San Rafael, CA Marin County Civic Center
02/04/06 352 Santa Barbara, CA Marjorie Luke Theatre (814)
02/07/06 468 Phoenix, AZ
02/08/06 466 Albuquerque, NM South Broadway Cultural Center (309)
02/09/06 322 Lubbock, TX Cactus Theatre (426)
02/10/06 379 Oklahoma City, OK
02/11/06 253 Eureka Springs, AR The Auditorium
02/12/06 380 Dallas, TX Colleyville Center (500)
02/13/06 275 San Antonio, TX
02/14/06 197 Houston, TX
02/16/06 270 Baton Rouge, LA Independence Theatre
02/17/06 400 Birmingham, AL Virginia Samford Theatre
02/18/06 192 Nashville, TN Belcourt Theatre
02/19/06 248 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
02/21/06 346 Jacksonville, FL
02/22/06 225 Tampa, FL The Royalty Theatre
02/23/06 280 Miami, FL
02/24/06 237 Orlando, FL
02/25/06 401 Savannah, GA
02/26/06 166 Charlotte, NC
02/28/06 326 Norfolk, VA
03/01/06 190 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere (500)
03/02/06 000 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere (500)
03/03/06 244 New York City, NY
03/04/06 215 Boston, MA
03/06/06 310 Montreal, QC
03/07/06 123 Ottawa, ON
03/08/06 280 Toronto, ON
03/09/06 229 Windsor/London, ON
03/10/06 002 Detroit, MI
03/11/06 169 Cleveland, OH
03/12/06 142 Columbus, OH
03/15/06 355 Chicago, IL
03/17/06 410 Minneapolis, MN
03/18/06 276 Cedar Rapids, IA
03/19/06 349 St. Louis, MO
03/21/06 243 Kansas City, KS
03/23/06 601 Denver, CO
03/24/06 534 Salt Lake City, UT
03/25/06 420 Las Vegas, NV
and now for some more specific thoughts…
downtime is (for now) 15 days out of 67 (22.4%), which is comperable to the oojami tour, and probably more economically feasible given the history of the superstars tour (oojami was new to the us, so information on their draw here was non-existant), and the fact that they’re now in bigger venues. even so, i expect some additions to the schedule, particularly in the midwest and california. there’s no time in the schedule to pick up much more in new england and the mid atlantic, so there will be many unhappy campers there.
several cities get multiple days – vancouver (friday/saturday), los angeles (thursday through sunday) and alexandria (wednesday/thursday). in the local space, the birchmere picks up the second date, which was the fall 2005 plan as well. dc metro supports in the neighborhood of 1000 dancers of various levels, so filling a 500-seat venue in this area has been no problem at all, without even expanding outside the “dancers+friends and family” level of the market. i can’t speak to vancouver from any personal experience, but it’s worth noting that they’re booking into casinos – i expect that to be the trend (and this tour ends in vegas…).
on the subject of hard travel, this is a huge improvement. as it stands now, the longest leg is from spokane to los angeles (at 1400+ miles), but that includes two dark days to make the trip. that may provide an opportunity to pick up a date on one or the other end of that trip. the rest of the brutal legs (~8 hours travel): santa barbara to phoenix (468), phoenix to albuquerque (466), kansas city to denver (601), and denver to salt lake city (534) are generally matched to dark days. only phoenix to albuquerque and denver to salt lake city are locked in – and both of those are pretty hard to avoid, there just aren’t a lot of options in mountains and deserts.
the los angeles area gets a lot of time – so expect something to happen around there to keep things busy. it may not be shows, but with a dozen dancers in the basin, something has to happen.
new cities (i hope this is right) getting visits this time around include fresno (ca), spokane (wa), ashland (or), san rafael (ca), lubbock (tx), eureka springs (ar), ottawa (on), windsor/london (on), and cedar rapids (ia) with all but eureka springs and pieces of canada “scouted” by the american bellydancer film “tour” or other non-show events.