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Meet Kent James

  May 31, 2018  
How long have you been a Mirvish Subscriber?

More than 20 years - one of our first groups attended the Mirvish production of the Old Vic's The Master Builder in 1996. My first memory of a Mirvish production is Pirates of Penzance with Barry Bostwick and Andy Gibb, back in 1982.
 
Why do you enjoy being a Subscriber?

I'm a theatre lover, and being a subscriber guarantees that you'll see something that you wouldn't have gotten to otherwise - maybe Kinky Boots, maybe Gaslight, maybe Matilda, maybe Terminus or Clybourne Park or Salt Water Moon.
 
You hold a record number of Subscriptions. How many Subscription seats do you hold?

Next season, between the Mirvish Main and Off Mirvish seasons, we have over 100 subscriptions!  And this year, on top of 73 Subscribers seeing Come From Away, we also have another 100 people seeing it who are either seeing it a second time, or are non-subscribers (or, as we prefer to think of them, future Subscribers)!
 
What do you do with all these seats? How do you coordinate all those people?

With all these seats we get to see theatre with our friends, old and new -  sharing the experience is what live theatre is all about. Having the big group means it's easy to see the show on a night that works, (we book the Main Series for one Tuesday and one Wednesday, the Off-Mirvish series for a Saturday night, and if those don't work our friends in Mirvish Subscriptions help us with exchanges), and, when someone in the group doesn't want to go, or wants to bring a parent or friend, we work it out. We also get together several times a year to have dinner before theatre, and of course at intermission.

As for the how, it's spreadsheets, and e-mails about spreadsheets, and spreadsheets to keep track of e-mails about spreadsheets. Also, it's no exaggeration to say we get fantastic service from the wonderful Subscriptions team at Mirvish.
 
Of all the years you have been Subscribing, what have been your favourite shows?  Is there one that stands out?

There are many favourites, but this year's Come From Away and Fun Home are certainly near the top of the list - great built-from-the-ground-up home grown productions with brilliant Canadian casts.  And in the next two seasons we are very excited to be seeing Dear Evan Hansen, and Hamilton!

Productions stand out for different reasons. Heart of Robin Hood and Metamorphosis and Cuisine and Confessions were surprising, unusual, acrobatic, unexpected. Les MiserableThe Phantom of the OperaThe Sound of MusicThe King and IChicago and Cabaret are there for people who love classic musicals.  OnceIf/ThenMatildaKinky BootsCome From Away, and Fun Home are standouts from the world of new musicals.
 
Why should someone who isn’t a Subscriber, Subscribe?

I answer this question at the beginning of every season when I am chasing people to sign up and renew:

Why Subscribe?

HAMILTON IS COMING! Not this year. But the year after. And Subscribers will be the first people in the room when that happens.

A) Value. At $209 for the Main Season (Rear Balcony - weekday evening), we're looking at $30 bucks a seat, all in. That's not expensive no matter how you look at it. If you only see 4 shows, you'll still be spending less per show for the seats we get than you would pay to buy the tickets à la carte. OR individuàlly, even. Plus, all the free stuff!

B) For some of the shows they don't have the whole theatre open, so we automatically get upgraded a category.
 
C) Mirvish bends over backwards to accommodate changes up to 48 hours before shows, so there's a lot of flexibility.

D) For most of the shows, there are extra tickets available at the last minute for kids, family, sweethearts, spouses/former sweethearts, parents, what have you. Every season we give away dozens, and it often works out great - some people like plays, and some people like Riverdance. (But EVERYBODY likes Lola's Kinky Boots!)

E) If you want to see it from up close, you can upgrade for most shows at the Subscriber rate - for most shows that means around $65 extra per ticket to see the show from the Orchestra for front lower balcony (availability being more or less limited depending on the length of the run).

F) If you want great dealsMirvish always does whatever they can to help us out. Lots of us, for instance, have had the pleasure of seeing Come From Away, Cabaret, Kinky Boots, Once, and The Book of Mormon and War Horse from right down front, and at great prices.

G) Getting to our seats in the balcony!  Although the Royal Alex doesn’t have an elevator — it was built in 1907 and is a listed historical site — the Princess of Wales is a state-of-the-art theatre with lots of elevators. Still, our group would rather get some exercise. We're thinking about t-shirts!

H) Sometimes you don't know you're going to love it until you drag yourself out - Gaslight was the sleeper hit of the 15-16 season! 

I) It's good fun to have a night out and see theatre with friends