Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Barefoot in the stale sushi...
Wow. So the review for Barefoot in the Park came out in the Sun today and...well...I am disappointed to say the least. But also a bit bemused. For several reasons to follow.
I guess I will start with the good stuff. The one paragraph of good stuff that there was. He said our production offered "a competent cast, creative sets, period-perfect costumes and bluesy 60's music." So far so good, right?

But then he goes on to say that the play is "a stale relic of pre-lib womanhood." Ok, that is kind of true - it was written in 1963 about an upper middle class couple. Corie was certainly a virgin on their wedding night and she looks to Paul to see how much she can spend and so on. However, I doubt our patrons - most of whom live in Sun City - would call this kind of plotline 'stale'. I suspect, and correct me if I am wrong here, I suspect that such theatergoers consider this kind of showto be nostalgic. There is a difference. Especially in Bible-Belt Georgetown Texas.

Now, the reviewer is not the Sun's normal arts guy, but someone filling in while the regular arts guy recuperates from some surgery. I am not sure whether this is someone more qualified or less qualified than the regular guy, but I have my suspicions. Because in the midst of his review he quoted another review. He wrote that 'Barefoot' is currently in revival off Broadway and is receiving less than stellar reviews there. Then he said these words that even now make me smile and laugh in an odd combination of pain and glee. He wrote, "If it's any comfort to the Palace cast, (New York Times reporter) Brantley says that 'Barefoot in the Park retains its original freshness about as well as sushi."


Here is my question. Did this reviewer Google other reviews before writing his review or did he google before seeing the show? Did he GIS the New York Times current opinion of the show and bias himself against it before he even came in the door? Because, honestly, he is allowed to not like the show, but to completely discount the target audience of both our shows and his newspaper is silly. And it seems a little big-city pretentious to me, as if he is one of those people that couldn't possible like something that wasn't embraced by the NYC critics.

But it could be worse, he could have said I sucked and should never be allowed on stage again. No mention is better than a bad mention any day. And there is a great picture of Eric and me on the front of the Arts section. And it is a pretty darn good pic too.

I just can't get over how we must have tortured that poor reviewer.

Sushi indeed.

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