New Heights for MC, New Market for Boise 

Crowd pleasers

Laurel Harris.

Joan Marcus

Laurel Harris.

Thousands of Boiseans leapt to their feet in ovations for no fewer than 24 performances of Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz (an unprecedented number for Boise) at the Morrison Center in April and May. Those performances helped push the Morrison Center to 69,248 ticket sales for the period of Jan. 1-June 30, which nudged the theater into one of the top 50 theater venues in the world for ticket sales. Pollstar magazine, which has tracked global theatrical productions for 25 years, listed the Morrison Center as No. 44 in its mid-year report of worldwide ticket sales for theater venues.

Looking at next season's Fred Meyer Broadway in Boise offerings, the addition of Jersey Boys is intriguing; old chestnuts Flashdance (which has never made it to Broadway) and Camelot are less so. We will definitely answer when The Book of Mormon rings the doorbell next summer. The Tony Award winner, which opened in 2011 and is still playing to sold-out houses on Broadway, comes to the Morrison Center July 21-26, 2015.

To the Morrison Center's decision makers: Congratulations on your success with Wicked. Here's hoping it inspires you to reach for the rafters with future bookings. We would gladly head into the jungle for The Lion King and come out of the shadows for Phantom of the Opera.

In another first, after a fire destroyed much of a building at the corner of Curtis and Franklin roads, what most people who drove past it saw was wreckage. What Miguel Gaddi and Lori Porreca saw was an opportunity--not only for themselves, transplants who missed some of the amenities the larger cities they moved from had to offer, but also for Boise's refugee community. What the rest of the Boise metropolitan area will soon see is Boise International Market (5823 W. Franklin Road), an indoor market with around 25 shops, open seven days per week, where locals can see the world without stepping outside of the city.

"They are more than vendors," Gaddi and Porreca said about the people who will share their cultures through food, clothing, music and more at BIM. "They are business owners."

And what those business owners will bring to the market comes, like them, from around the globe and around the United States, including: Taste of Africa (Somali food); Loba African Fashion and Fresh Produce (imported Kenyan fashions/fabrics and Boise-grown produce); Thana Fashion (accessories using fabrics and designs from the Congo); and Joyful Tea. For more on BIM, check out the video at http://bit.ly/1mZbLi7.

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