From the 12/2 Wall Street Journal:
The Cincinnati Ballet took some unusual steps to raise the more than $2 million it needed for a new, ambitious "Nutcracker" production this year. When the Snow Queen arrives at the end of Act I, the tiara the dancer wears will be readily recognizable to local audiences: It's based on an architectural landmark, the distinctive arch that sits atop the downtown skyscraper where the Great American Insurance Group is headquartered. The insurance company received the subtle bit of advertising, along with other benefits, in exchange for a $150,000 gift.
The new Cincinnati production, the most expensive in the company's history, includes modern touches like characters dressed as poodles and a kooky grandma with pop-and-lock moves
I know The Nutcracker is pretty much crap, but does Cincinnati really need to lower the bar so far that it includes such blatant sponsorship (I mean, within the performance itself?!?) and a robot dancing grandmother? Christ.
What will next year bring? Big Boy as the Mouse King? Paul Brown as the nutcracker (I mean, as a real nutcracker--not just his day-to-day persona)?