there’s no business like show business

Did you know?

In the theatre business to break even with your finances often is referred to as “making your nut.” Does anyone know where the term “making your nut” comes from?

Leave your answer in the comments! We’ll pick a winner from the correct responses (that fancy random number generator again) and he or she will receive two tickets for the closing of XANADU this Sunday night (March 29 @ 7:30 pm!). You have until THIS WEDNESDAY at 5 pm to enter.

Closing performances are always fun…and I will be sorry to see XANADU go as it is really a very funny show and the audiences had a great time every night. But every show closing means another is opening – and we have a lot of those.
-Eileen
UPDATE: We have a winner! David Shum, we’ll be in touch on how to get your tickets for Sunday night!
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25 Comments

Filed under Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place, Xanadu

25 responses to “there’s no business like show business

  1. Caitlin Wickham

    it means to make back your investment on the production.

  2. Stacey

    This is the most difficult question you have ever asked. Even Google can’t help me!

  3. Marty Finn

    It is from the old carnival days. When people would rent space from the carnival operator, he would take a nut off every wheel of the renter’s attraction’s wagon so the renter could not leave without paying their rent. When they paid their rent, their nut was returned.

  4. John

    I was told it was from when carnivals rented out their spaces to attractions, they would take a nut from the wheels so the wheels so they would leave before paying their rent to the operator.

    Personally, I first thought it meant to earn food, thinking about the nuts squirrels eat. lol

  5. Beau

    Back int he day when people would rent space from the carnival, they would take a nut off every wheel of the renter’s wagon so the renter could not leave without paying their rent. When they paid their rent, their nut was returned.

  6. Karen

    Same answer as Marty. I am going to really miss Xanadu, my favorite movie turned into an awesome show.

  7. Brooke

    It’s a carnival term I know. I think it’s when the person running the carnival will take a nut from the wagon (or a few nuts) until they break even to keep them from running out.

  8. David Shum

    The term “making your nut” comes from the western days when peddlers needed a room in a hotel but did not have any money. The hotel owner would take off their hub or “nut” from the peddler’s wagon as a deposit. If the peddler sold enough, the nut was covered.

  9. Mike Nocek

    Back in the Carnival Days

  10. Karen Nocek

    The owner of the land a carnival rents would take the nuts off their wagon wheels only to be returned once they paid their rent.

  11. Dan Nocek

    The landlord for where the carnival was staying would take the nuts off their wagon carts until they paid the fee for the land

  12. Krista K. Harris

    It comes from the carnival. Many games, food vendors, and sideshows rented their space from the main carnival operator who supplied the rides and other parts of the show.
    In the old days, the carnival boss or Lot Man would remove a nut from every wheel on an attraction’s wagon so a grifter could not skip out on paying their rent. When the rent was paid, the nuts were returned.

    I hope I win as Xanadu is my favorite movie of all time. When I was in labor in 1996 with my one and only child, my brother found a copy of Xanadu at a garage sale on VHS and bought it to the hospital. We actually played it while I was in labor….good memories:) I was hoping to see this show before it left the stage in Chicago; I didn’t realize it would be so soon…..

  13. David

    It comes from Carnival times–one of the oldest forms of show business. Instead of paying rent up front or a sort of down payment, the owner would take the nuts off of the wagon wheels until the rent was paid.

  14. Mike Nocek Sr.

    The guy leasing land to carnivals took the nuts off the wagon wheels that belonged to performers so that they coulnd’t leave until they had paid him and gotton their nuts back

  15. Dina

    When people would rent space from the carnival operator, he would take a nut off every wheel of the renter’s attraction’s wagon so the renter could not leave without paying their rent. Once paid, he returned their nut

  16. The person leasing the land out to the carnival would steal the nuts off the wagons to make sure they couldn’t leave until he was paid.

  17. Steven Cook

    Back when there was traveling carnivals, the carnival master would have to rent land where they would park their show for performances. To make sure that the person leasing them land got paid, he/she would take the nuts off of their wagons to make sure they couldn’t sneak off without paying their rent

  18. Stephanie Shum

    The term “making the nut” comes from the carnival days when the owner of the land where a carnival would take place would take a nut off of the wheels of an attraction’s wagon until they could pay their rent back.

  19. Shirley S

    “Making the nut” comes from the days when carnivals were very popular when the renter of the carnival land would take a nut off of the wheels of an attraction’s wagon until the carnival could pay their rent back.

  20. Kit S

    It comes from the old carnival days when the owner of the carnival land would take a nut off of the wheels of an attraction’s wagon until they could pay their rent back. When the owner of the land would get their money back, their nut was returned.

  21. Steve Phillips

    When people would rent space from the carnival operator, he would take a nut off every wheel of the renter’s attraction’s wagon so the renter could not leave without paying their rent. When they paid their rent, their nut was returned.

  22. Therese Phillips

    When people would rent space from the carnival operator, he would take a nut off every wheel of the renter’s attraction’s wagon so the renter could not leave without paying their rent. When they paid their rent, their nut was returned.

  23. Jim Lankford

    When people would rent space from the carnival operator, he would take a nut off every wheel of the renter’s attraction’s wagon so the renter could not leave without paying their rent. Once paid, he returned their nut

  24. Jonathan Shum

    The term comes from when carnival people would rent land and the landlord would collect a nut off of every wheel of the attractions until the rent was paid. Once the debt was all collected, the nut(s) were returned.

  25. Brent

    Carnival operators used to remove a nut off every wheel of their renter’s wagon so that the renters could not leave, until their rent was paid. The nuts were returned once the rent was paid in full.

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