Breonna Taylor's Mother, Sister, And Boyfriend Appeared On “Red Table Talk” – BuzzFeed News

By |2022-10-13T01:31:52-04:00October 13th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Tamika said she left the hospital because she knew something was wrong. When she arrived back at the apartment complex, she said, police officers wouldn't let her in. A detective finally told her that Taylor was still in the apartment."I knew what that meant," Tamika said. "He never said it, but I knew."It wasn't until 10 hours after she began looking that Tamika found out Taylor was dead.On March 13, 2020, seven police officers forced their way into Taylor's apartment in Louisville as part of a narcotics raid. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said the officers didn't announce themselves, causing him to fire a warning shot in self-defense. The seven officers then fired 32 shots in return. Taylor was hit multiple times.Tamika, Walker, and Taylor's sister, Ju'Niyah Palmer, sat down for an episode of Red Table Talk, a Facebook series starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. Walker, who was arrested that night and spent a year in jail on charges of assault and attempted murder of a police officer, which were later dropped, described the deadly raid and how it's affected his life."Before all this, I would have never thought I would go see a therapist," Walker said. "I ran out of options. I didn't know what else to do. I was hurting all day, every day. I cried a lot. I still cry to this day. But I definitely had to start seeing a therapist."He's since moved into a place on his own for the first time and sleeps with a gun by his bed."I'm definitely paranoid," he said. "Nobody knows where I live. I'm real fearful of a lot of things."Ju'Niyah said she still goes to Taylor's old apartment and sits in the parking lot."It just gives a sense of relief sometimes," she said.In 2020, Louisville city officials announced a $12 million settlement with Taylor's family and an agreement to several policy reforms. Four current and former Louisville police officers have also been charged with federal crimes in Taylor's killing.

After a Long, Starring Run, Will Racism at Last Get the Hook?

By |2022-09-04T06:25:09-04:00August 31st, 2022|Uncategorized|

Severed from the rest of New Haven by Metro-North tracks on one side and I-95 on the other, the Long Wharf Theater shares a patch of industrial bleakness with a busy food terminal and a chicken processing plant. The only convenient way to get there is by car, which is one reason the Tony Award-winning company, despite decades of excellent work, has had no trouble attracting visitors from the suburbs and exurbs. For many Black and Latino New Haveners, that seemed to be the point; according to a local joke, the initials L.W.T. stood for “lily-white theater.”To be fair, the epithet could apply to most theater in most of the United States for most of its history. Regardless of demographics — white residents have long been a minority in New Haven — producers of commercial and nonprofit work have overwhelmingly selected repertory and instituted policies that in essence ensured a monoculture.Even the improvements that started surfacing more recently have come with caveats. On Broadway, most musicals now offer some degree of diversity in their ensembles, if less so in leading roles. In the 2018-19 season, the last for which there are published results, the percentage of “non-Caucasian” ticket buyers grew to about a quarter of the audience — nice, but still vastly underrepresenting their actual proportion in New York.It took the double punch of Covid-19 and the racial reawakening of 2020 to fully expose the unfairness and disrupt the status quo. First, the pandemic, stopping theater cold that March, gave people time to reflect on the work they do and the values inherent in it. Then, that May, the killing of George Floyd — and the publication a few weeks later of “We See You, White American Theater,” a crowdsourced manifesto featuring 29 pages of demands for a more equitable industry — threw grief and outrage into the mix. As theater companies rushed to put diversity training on their agendas, and anodyne expressions of support on their websites, it seemed real change might be coming at last.This summer I’ve been thinking about what that change will look like. In earlier parts of this series I’ve argued for ridding the art form of its “great man” inheritance, weighed the costs of fair pay and explored the physical and emotional dangers theater workers face as part of their jobs. And though these are all important, they are really just aspects of the bigger picture of inequity that begins, in the American theater as in the country at large, with racism. Previously swept under the rug of supposedly immutable traditions and rules, it is now revealed everywhere, in casting, funding, leadership, programming.Yet many of the people I’ve spoken to about it feel hopeful. They are not deluded; they know it will not be a smooth ride. Though the running of some regional companies has, for the first time, been taken out of white hands, their inheritors immediately faced a public health disaster. Efforts to improve diversity onstage and backstage have too often come without the support necessary to help new hires succeed. Culturally specific theaters may face an existential crisis if their function gets co-opted by change. And as new ways of thinking about the purpose of theater have led to new ways of producing it, traditional audiences, feeling disoriented, sometimes resist.I understand that; it’s hard to let go of what you grew up loving enough to make room for what others might love. But sometimes the first step in fixing a bad foundation is to get out of the house.That at any rate is the Long Wharf’s plan. In December, when the lease on its longtime home expires, the company will say goodbye to I-95 and the poultry plant as it embarks on an “itinerant production model” — which Jacob G. Padrón, who became the theater’s artistic director in 2019, recently described as “placing ourselves fully in the community.” As a taste of that undertaking, “Jelly Roll’s Jam,” a jazz concert in connection with an upcoming reading of the 1992 musical “Jelly’s Last Jam,” was presented Aug. 16 at a public library in Dixwell, a predominantly Black neighborhood. It was packed.But it’s not just the venues that will change. To see how thoroughly the Long Wharf has reimagined its agenda you have to look at before-and-after snapshots of the work itself. Emerging from the pandemic, the 2021-22 season seemed relatively familiar, at least in format, with four plays running in fully mounted productions of about three weeks each. Even so, not one was the work of a white playwright, and only “The Chinese Lady” was by a man.Shannon Tyo as the title character in Lloyd Suh’s “The Chinese Lady,” a play that tells the story of a young woman brought to the West and forced to perform a distorted version of her identity.T. Charles EricksonThe 2022-23 season, which began Aug. 3, is a new creature entirely. Among eight events, there’s only one conventional run, if convention can be said to encompass a work by the multidisciplinary ensemble Universes at a site suggested by the artists. The other seven, most lasting for just a few performances, include that jazz concert, a festival of short plays by and about Black trans women, a “work-in-process sharing,” a “community parade,” a Muslim American virtual play project, a monologue competition and, in a nod to the Long Wharf’s inaugural production, in 1965, a benefit reading of “The Crucible.”“Our legacy should not be one of bricks and mortar but of people,” Padrón said during a Zoom call that also included Kit Ingui, the theater’s managing director. “And if we want to belong to all people in the city, we had to move into a space where they could discover us.”Ingui pointed out that the rigid way regional theaters function is very different from the fluid way theater is created — “and that’s part of the base problem,” she said. “After 50 years without change, their mission has become keeping the company alive as opposed to making the plays. We haven’t allowed ourselves to ebb and flow with the times.”The ReformationThe world is changing, and so is the theater. Our chief critic looks at how.Sacred Monsters: Is it time to cut loose the “great men” who helped America create its classics and its institutions?Paying Dues: Poverty is part of the identity, even the glamour, of the theater. It’s not sustainable.The Hard-Knock Life: The physical risks of the theater have many demanding their basic needs as humans.A New World: We can no longer ignore the theater’s systemic inequities. Leaving them behind may remake the industry in unexpected ways.The Long Wharf’s new flow, Padrón admitted, has elicited “a lot of fear of change.” But he quickly added that “the hope is that we can decenter fear and recenter possibility and imagination.”Still, the problem of racial inequity was never far from the surface of our conversation. The theater’s board of directors, for instance, did not “reflect the composition of the community” when he arrived; of its 26 members only two were people of color. (Now there are 28 members, 15 of them people of color.) To achieve that balance, Ingui added, the theater explicitly removed the requirement that members “give or get” a certain amount of money — a typical condition of board membership that often discourages diversity.Though this is the kind of structural change that can begin to undo institutional racism, it comes at a cost; money not donated or raised by the board has to come from somewhere else. One source, Ingui pointed out, is the new production model itself, which will save the Long Wharf $250,000 this year, and $500,000 next year, on an annual operating budget that as of 2019 was $6.4 million. The savings will be reinvested in the model.“Show me your budget,” Padrón said, “and I’ll show you your values.”Padrón, who is Latino, is one of a new generation of artistic directors hired over the last few years at regional theaters whose prior leadership was almost entirely white. The circumstances of their hiring vary widely. Maria Manuela Goyanes of Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, D.C., and Robert Barry Fleming of Actors Theater of Louisville are both taking over from retiring artistic directors associated with their theaters almost from the start; Padrón replaced Gordon Edelstein, who was fired in 2018 after he was accused of sexual misconduct.However they came to their jobs, they found institutions that had hardened into fortresses, doing essentially what they had always done in the way they had always done it. The idea of theater as collaborative and evanescent had long since given way to a rather different image: an expensive building enshrining the taste of a single, immovable and usually white male visionary.If too little turnover can be sclerotic — the artistic directors of several of New York’s most successful institutional theaters have been in place for three, four or even five decades — too much can be chaotic. Some companies are staking a compromise position, one that aims to maintain the stability of the single-leader model without relying on a single leader. Taibi Magar, who is Egyptian American, and Tyler Dobrowsky, who is white, have just been named the joint artistic directors of Philadelphia Theater Company — a two-for-one deal, as they are married. Soho Rep in New York City has three co-leaders; Steppenwolf Theater Company, in Chicago, has two.But another Philadelphia theater, the Wilma, recently established what may be the most unusual setup, a rotating triumvirate in which Yury Urnov, James Ijames and Morgan Green are taking one-year turns as “lead” artistic director, in the off years serving as advisers in what Ijames described as “heavy, heavy consultation.”Ijames, who was recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his play “Fat Ham,” told me that the Wilma’s arrangement, which began in 2020 and was immediately stressed by the advent of the pandemic, still has kinks that need to be worked out.“The tricky thing about the shared leadership model,” he said, “is that it’s still leadership. It’s still about decisions coming from the top. One of the lessons out of this great time of reckoning is that we have to, have to, have to listen to people and create systems in which they feel heard. But because we don’t always agree, decisions take longer too, which is a weird drawback.”Brennen S. Malone, right, as a Hamlet figure, with Jennifer Kidwell, left, and Kimberly S. Fairbanks, in a filmed production of James Ijames’s “Fat Ham” for the Wilma Theater.via The Wilma TheaterCertainly it was weird for the Stratford Festival, in Ontario, where a three-headed directorship failed almost immediately in 2008, victim of a leadership style best summed up as “the buck stops nowhere.” Still, Ijames isn’t sure disagreement is always the enemy (“it encourages deeper thinking”) or certitude a supreme value. “Theater prepandemic was very much obsessed with trying to get things perfect, and not very interested in making the industry a good place to work. Something that looks great can be rotten underneath.“And anyway,” he continued, “what’s the virtue of the singular vision? When we think of great movements, like the civil rights movement, we may think of Martin Luther King, but the number of lay folks, women and young people who were actively involved in petitioning, marching and driving people to the polls is how the world got changed.”Ah, but one still wants a King. I am sentimental enough to enjoy my memories of great directors and their signatures, great companies and their sweet spots. One result of these leadership shifts is that theaters will develop unfamiliar house styles, or multiple house styles, as decision-making becomes more distributed and diverse. That’s an obvious plus for those who will now get a seat at the table, and for the health of the system overall, even if it may be disorienting to those who expect, every time out, to see and love what they’ve seen and loved before. Yet how can change happen without letting go of the past?For me, meeting new people and new worlds through plays has always been the point. In a way, the further from my experience they were, the more meaningful the exercise; to find something familiar in violent Jud Fry or reckless Walter Lee Younger or donkey-struck Titania was to triangulate my own geography by distant stars.More recently there have been more stars to go by. Even with a 15-month hiatus, I have seen more work by Black authors on Broadway since 2019 than in the 10 years preceding it. But Broadway is fickle, and that burst of diversity will end if the plays don’t start turning a profit — which they probably won’t, if the industry doesn’t learn how to make theatergoing more inviting to diverse audiences.In any case, the real work of serving communities often marginalized by the mainstream falls to what Ralph B. Peña calls “culturally specific” theaters. Peña is the artistic director of Ma-Yi Theater, whose mission is to develop and produce new plays by Asian American writers. In the last few years I’ve seen many excellent results of that mission, including “Vancouver,” Peña’s gorgeous puppet play about cultural displacement, and “The Chinese Lady,” by Lloyd Suh, which is now being staged around the country.Ralph B. Peña’s “Vancouver,” a puppet drama about the unhappiness of displacement, was produced by Ma-Yi Theater and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival in the spring of 2021.via Ma-Yi Theater“There’s a focus on Asian American works I have never seen before,” Peña told me. “But we still don’t receive the kind of support the mainstream theaters do. Our annual budget is about $1.5 million. We should be between $3 and $5 million to carry out our mission. We have a lot of writers we’ve cultivated over the years whose plays we can’t produce because we don’t have the money.“So we do co-productions,” Peña continued, “and push other theaters to schedule the work. But oftentimes when they do, they put them in their basements. I’m saying stop: You cannot use works by playwrights and artists of color to check your diversity box, and then blame the work when you don’t sell enough tickets. You put on one Asian American play and expect audiences to come in droves? How is that supposed to work? Think of the plays instead as loss leaders, sunk costs, whose success should be measured in helping to create a relationship with the community.”Part of Ma-Yi’s aim, Peña said, is to “get the work out there” — meaning into the mainstream. Other culturally specific theaters aim also to get the work “in there,” delivering it to their neighborhoods. In Atlanta, True Colors, co-founded by the director Kenny Leon in 2002 “to celebrate the rich tradition of Black storytelling,” has been highly successful at that; at a performance in 2020 of “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play,” a comedy I had seen in New York three years earlier, I was just about the only white person in the sold-out auditorium.From the reactions around me, I recognized the pleasure a shared understanding between actors and audience can engender. I remembered feeling something similar watching work that speaks to my own cultural background, which because I am white means most of the work produced in the American theater. Why shouldn’t everyone have that experience? And why shouldn’t I enjoy being a witness to it?At the same time, I wondered what the improvements in diversity I otherwise support might mean for companies like Ma-Yi and True Colors — and the Penumbra Theater in St. Paul, Minn., Pregones in New York and Two Worlds in Albuquerque, which serve Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. Will they go the way of the gay bookstores of my youth, which disappeared completely as gayness went mainstream?That already seems to be a concern at Penumbra. “When we developed these actors and people began to see these stories being told,” Lou Bellamy, the theater’s founder, told the PBS NewsHour last year, “we became almost a farm team for the larger theaters in town.”Peña isn’t worried though. “If someday the use for us becomes nonexistent,” he said, “then we will become something else.”Nicole Javanna Johnson, a diversity, equity and inclusion director, on opening night of the Broadway revival of “Into the Woods.” She walked the red carpet with young theatergoers who benefited from a ticketing initiative she worked on.Shoshana Medney/bwaySHOThat’s a good lesson for the American theater, which should be flexible and imaginative and openhearted enough to adapt itself to new conditions. But what looked like a willingness to change at the start of the pandemic in many cases bounced right back to business as usual when performances resumed. Nicole Javanna Johnson, a diversity, equity and inclusion director, said she rarely faced resistance when she started working with theaters soon after George Floyd’s death. But when the urgency of actual production returned, “it was more like capitalism, money, can we just do this fast? People didn’t understand that they had the quality of someone’s life in their hands.”Johnson, a “theater kid” from Florida, was already booking professional roles while attending New York University. “With my entree as a Black, female, cisgender musical theater performer I could easily grab one of those Black female spots, even if it was tokenized,” she told me. But while performing in regional productions and national tours of “Hairspray,” “Aladdin,” “The Wizard of Oz” and others, she began to observe differences between the treatment of union and nonunion actors — and also “unfortunate incidences when you’re in Kansas doing a show, living in a community they placed you in, and the community has an opinion of you as a person of color.” Left with a feeling of unendurable “dissonance” with her ethics, she quit performing.It’s no surprise, then, that in her recent D.E.I. work — with “Pass Over,” “Freestyle Love Supreme” and “Into the Woods,” as well as several institutional theaters — she is deeply concerned with how people get hired but also what happens after. Banishing audition tables that feature a monolith of white faces whispering secretively to one another is the first thing, she said, productions must do to make their workplaces more equitable.But it is hardly the last. Now that “everyone’s calling everyone to find a stage manager of color,” it’s imperative, Johnson said, to provide people thrust into leadership positions with the resources they need to thrive in “what has always been an unhealthy industry.” Instead, they are typically asked “to do several additional jobs and then if things don’t work it’s their fault.”Kennedy Kanagawa, left, and Cole Thompson in “Into the Woods.” The production worked with Johnson to develop an accessible tickets initiative. “There’s progress,” she said. “Not a lot, but I err toward hope.”Sara Krulwich/The New York TimesNarratives that Johnson has begun to collect for Harriet Tubman Effect, an institute for justice advocacy research she founded in 2021, demonstrate the result, she said. “Some people are experiencing large-scale pain cloaked in this smile and these great-looking shows. And some” — she paused — “are just breaking.”Perhaps that’s inevitable as the theater “quickly and haphazardly” tries to address decades and even centuries of wrong. Even so, Johnson has found purpose in training the ushers and house management staff of “Pass Over” to deal with racist responses to the confrontational work, and joy in helping the cast of “Into the Woods” build an accessible tickets initiative for young people from “under-resourced communities” who had never seen a Broadway show. “There’s progress,” she said. “Not a lot, but I err toward hope.”A real reformation must do more than “err toward hope,” of course. It must leap toward the future, not fully knowing what hope even looks like. It will certainly include changes in leadership; would it be so wrong if, in the coming generation, most major theaters put a person of color at the helm? (They had white people at their helms forever.) Experiments in content and format should be part of the agenda as well; perhaps there will be fewer conventional plays meant for everyone and more rituals, parades and sharings meant for someone. Profound changes in funding are also imperative. If fairer pay for workers, as well as greater respect for their well-being, means less money for leases and leaders, so be it.To be clear: I am not saying we can’t still have “Oklahoma!” — let alone “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Cancellation of imperfect or merely old work is not a healthy part of a vigorous art form. Nor, I add disinterestedly, is the cancellation of imperfect or merely old critics.But sooner or later we must make room for what’s coming next, even giving it a chance to fail. For many people, that may feel like a loss. And yet, can we really look at the rotten edifice supporting what we’ve loved and not be at least a little revolted?This recently hit home for me at, of all places, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., about the whitest place it is possible to imagine. In the corner of an exhibition called “Imprinted,” exploring the role commercial illustrators played in forming the country’s ideas about race, I saw some posters for Hilson’s Famous Minstrels, a troupe that toured widely in the mid-19th century. Nearby were engravings of various minstrel characters, including one called “Zip Coon.” This was of course a white actor painted and dressed to ridicule a Black man. In other images, Black people were made to look like apes.Keep in mind that the popular American theater began with these racist depictions. And since that is where it began, that’s where the reformation must begin as well.

How to Protect Against Monkeypox as School Starts

By |2022-08-17T19:28:01-04:00August 17th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Experts say children are not at a high risk of infection. But they have advice to keep everyone — from toddlers to college kids — safe.As children around the country head back to school for the third time since the Covid-19 pandemic began, a different infectious disease is now spreading globally: monkeypox. Almost every single state and territory in the United States has reported cases of monkeypox, with more than 11,000 confirmed cases nationwide. And news of a day care worker in Illinois testing positive earlier this month prompted some infectious disease specialists to warn there is potential for spread in group settings like schools and day cares.But more than 98 percent of those infected with monkeypox are adult men who acquired the virus through intimate contact with other men — and so far, less than a dozen pediatric cases have been recorded in the U.S.

Why Pop’s Biggest Stars Are Staying Put for Long Residencies

By |2022-08-17T12:27:48-04:00August 17th, 2022|Uncategorized|

Extended runs in one venue, once associated with legacy acts, have become popular with stars including Harry Styles and BTS, lowering bills and building hype as touring costs rise.On Saturday, Harry Styles will take the stage at Madison Square Garden as part of the tour for his chart-topping new album, “Harry’s House.”Then, next Sunday, he will play the Garden again. Next Monday, too. And another 12 times through Sept. 21. At the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Styles will perform another 15 times in October and November. The entire North American leg of the singer’s latest tour, which opened in Toronto this week, consists of 42 shows in just five cities.Styles’s tour is the most prominent example of a bubbling trend of concert residencies: extended runs by artists in a limited number of cities and venues. In a rebounding touring market, with concert-starved audiences buying tickets in record numbers — and at higher prices than ever — these bookings are deliberate choices by prominent artists to reduce their time on the road and set up shop in far fewer places than they could on a traditional tour.Besides Styles’s, high-profile residencies have been completed recently by the K-pop phenom BTS and the Mexican rock band Maná, which has booked 12 dates since March at the Forum, the group’s only performances in the United States all year. In Las Vegas, the place that arguably birthed the residency format, Adele will begin a 32-date weekend engagement at Caesars Palace in November, and Katy Perry and Miranda Lambert also have dates lined up for the fall.“We thought doing a whole tour would be really challenging, maybe impossible, given all the variables,” said Fher Olvera, the lead singer of Maná.Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesAccording to talent agents and industry observers, the reasons include clever branding, the protection of artists and crews in the pandemic and a cold calculation of financial efficiencies. More concerts in fewer cities means fewer trucks on the road and lower bills all around.Those financial advantages are key at a time when gas prices are high and the concert world must deal with the same supply-chain shortages that have hit other businesses, said Ray Waddell, who covered the touring business for decades for Billboard magazine and now runs the media and conferences division of the Oak View Group, which operates sports and entertainment venues around the world.“The math is challenging right now,” Waddell said. “It costs way more to tour, more to produce the shows for everybody, more for labor. At the same time, inflation is going to impact discretionary income and force fans to make choices. That’s bad calculus.”For artists like Adele, Harry Styles and BTS, whose vast fan bases seem to have unquenchable demand, asking fans to come to them — and perhaps incur travel expenses of their own — may not be a great risk. But this model does not translate well below the superstar level, agents say.Of course, extended bookings are nothing new. Bruce Springsteen played Giants Stadium 10 times in the summer of in 2003. Prince played 21 shows around Los Angeles in 2011, most at the Forum. But the pandemic may have led to a critical mass.For artists and venues, touring has had a much-needed return to full capacity this year. According to Pollstar, a trade publication that follows the concert industry, gross ticket sales for the top 100 tours in North America reached $1.7 billion for the first six months of 2022, up 9 percent from the same period in 2019. Live Nation, the global concert giant that owns Ticketmaster, recently reported that the company had already sold 100 million tickets for the full year, more than in 2019. Still, the tightening of the wider economy has many in the industry worried about the rest of the year.On the road, and in venues packed with unmasked fans, the threat of Covid-19 still lingers, leading to occasional postponements and cancellations. A residency plan can limit the risk of exposure, and also give an artist a temporary break from the rigors of the road. In one recent Instagram post from a tour stop in Germany, Styles showed himself collapsed in an ice bath. (Styles and his representatives declined to comment for this article.)Adele will begin a 32-date weekend engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in November.Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for AdeleThe complications of touring in the age of Covid-19 were behind Maná’s decision to limit its U.S. shows to the Forum. Last year, as the group began making its plans for 2022, the rise of the Omicron variant, and the tangle of local health regulations across the country, made a nationwide tour seem daunting.So they decided to stick to one spot in the Los Angeles area, the group’s biggest worldwide market. The band has already played eight sold-out shows at the Forum, drawing 110,000 fans, and has four more announced through October.“We just wanted to get out and play, to be with our fans,” said Fher Olvera, Maná’s lead singer. “We thought doing a whole tour would be really challenging, maybe impossible, given all the variables.”“After everything that’s happened over the last few years,” Olvera added, “the residency is more than a series of concerts for us — it’s a celebration of life.”The origins of the contemporary concert residency go back to Celine Dion’s decision to set up in Las Vegas in 2003, a time when that city was still seen as a pasture for fading acts.“It was a very big risk at the time — everybody thought we were fools,” said John Meglen of Concerts West, Dion’s promoter, which is part of the AEG Live empire. “At the time, Vegas was like the end of your career. It was like, ‘Come die with us.’”But Dion’s two residencies sold about $660 million in tickets to more than 1,100 shows, according to Pollstar. Dion’s engagements, as well as two by Elton John, recalibrated the industry’s approach to Las Vegas, and were followed by residencies there with Garth Brooks, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Drake and many others.The crucial artist for expanding the residency outside of Las Vegas, however, was Billy Joel. After being named the Garden’s first “music franchise” in late 2013, Joel began playing there monthly in 2014, and, aside from a hiatus during the pandemic, never stopped; his 86th concert in the series was recently announced for Dec. 19.Through his June show, the Garden residency has sold about $180 million in tickets. If the rest of his concerts there this year sell out — a fair bet, since every other night of the residency has — the cumulative gross will be around $200 million.“It’s basically the Super Bowl of music events,” said Dennis Arfa, Joel’s longtime booking agent. Joel has said he would continue the engagement “as long as the demand continues,” and there is no sign of that letting up.For Arfa, the scale of engagements like Joel’s and Dion’s raises a question of nomenclature. Do 15 shows over a few weeks count as a “residency” compared to 86, or to 1,100? If not, then what is it?“The word residency is kind of undefinable,” Arfa said. “Now everything is a residency. People do four nights and they can call it a residency. It’s a matter of verbiage and perception. I think the accomplishment is more important than the title.”Whatever these are, they are likely to continue. Omar Al-joulani, Live Nation’s president of touring, said he expected around 30 residency-type engagements in 2023. “That’s including a big Vegas year.”But talent agents and music executives say that these kinds of events cannot replace full-scale touring as a way to satisfy demand and cultivate audiences. When Styles announced his tour dates, Nathan Hubbard, a longtime ticketing executive who is the former chief executive of Ticketmaster, on Twitter declared the strategy “the future of live.” But in a recent interview, he took a more nuanced view.“This is not the new touring model,” Hubbard said. “This doesn’t mean nobody’s going to Louisville — indeed, most artists are still going to have to go market to market to hustle it.”And when a major venue announces its next block booking, what do we call it? Is it a residency, or something else? Arfa, Joel’s agent, pointed to Styles’s dates at the Garden.“It’s a run,” he said. “It’s a great run.”

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