1.) I get a strong feeling that YOU have decided to stand on the outside while making judgements of those inside. I don't mean that because you literally are outside. I mean You use terms like elite very easily as a way to seperate yourself from others. Look a little deeper and you'll find that many in the %99 also go to these shows, get dressed up and for a few hours here and there like to be taken away from other parts of our lives. Our dollars although not as many as Bloombergs also help companies like the MEt function. In fact when it comes down to it when we don't show up it matters. We have a voice too. Don't belittle it just because its not what you understand.
2.) I am part of the %99 and I have sat in the prime seats at the ballet, musicals, symphonys and plays. For most of that I never paid more than $20. IF I did it was a choice. I have also sat in the side or upper level seats. Eithier way I am happy. A true fan will sit in nose bleeds. I have gotten to hear some of the most beautiful music, see the greatest of dancers and talk about some amzing plays the morning after. My soul and mind are fed by these experiences. It also has allowed me to connect with a wide vaerity of people in a variety ways.
3.) When I visted New York I was put on an email list which still sends me info on FREE(that's right) and very cheap shows in non typical venues. These include smaller companies and groups that might not get the attention the met does. It also has performers who are connected with larger companies. This is how a single mother(or single father.) might introduce themselves and thier children to the arts. One can go to any library and find CDS and Dvds of operas, dance, and theatre. Even ones with works on par with MET. I've seen Faust, Porgy and BEss and Candide among others. Art comes in many packages. we can decide which one we accept. The Met is one example, but dig and you'll easily find many others.
4.) I guess when it comes down to it if you one has made thier mind up that they can't be a part of something then they never will. I have friends who refuse to go to shows with me. I offer free tickets whenever I can. I tell them to come as they are. I try to put them at ease when the fear they wont understand. They aren't comfortable with they don't know. They make it about everyone and everyting else, but ultimately its about them. That's one thing and I'm okay with that. I'm not okay with someone who hasn't really looked deciding for the rest of us what's inside.