A group of young ballerinas rehearsing for “The Nutcracker” was kicked out of American University’s theatre so MSNBC host Chris Matthews could interview President Obama on Thursday.
American University admitted they dumped Ballet Petite’s two final dress rehearsals so they could host MSNBC’s “Hardball College Tour.” Matthews will be presiding over a one-hour conversation with the man he’s likened to President Kennedy’s last brother, President Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ.
The ballet company had been scheduled to rehearse on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for their opening performance on Sunday.
Instead, the girls will be forced to hold their final dress rehearsals on the same day as their opening performance.
Melissa Carney, the ballet company’s artistic director told The Washington Post they had signed a contract to rent the theatre in January. They were told they were being shoved out so Matthews could interview Obama on Tuesday.
“They did not ask,” she told the Post. “They told us.”
American University issued a statement to local media which did not include an apology for tossing a bunch of six and seven year old dancers out of the theatre.
“We regret the short notice, and do recognize the impact of the compacted time frame for preparations on the dancers and the company,” the statement read. “As a result, the university is offering substantial concessions to the dance company for rental and labor and are working to accommodate the interests of all parties while ensuring that the show goes on for Ballet Petite.”
Parent Michael Robinson tells me that’s not much concession to his seven year old daughter and her fellow ballerinas.
“They are just crest-fallen,” Robinson said. “It’s the holiday season. They were so excited about practicing. It’s as if the Grinch came a little early.”
Robinson said there are lots of sad faces among the youngsters.
“The ballet people are in a tough spot,” he said. ‘They had an agreement from American University from nearly a year ago to host this and then they had the rug pulled out from underneath them. The ballet company is the victim here – along with the girls.”
You know – for a group of politicians so well versed in optics, the Obama administration seems to be legally blind. Are you telling me there was no other place to host Matthews and the man who makes his leg all tingly?
“Washington is nothing if not replete with auditoriums and ballrooms,” Robinson said.
MSNBC did not return calls seeking comment.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.