O&M's Miramontez Says WSJ's 'Broadway Bolter' Will Never Be Invited to an O&M Show Again
As BroadwayWorld previously reported, actors and creative team members have lately been voicing their opinions about a recent Wall Street Journal article by Joanne Kaufman who writes about how often she leaves in the middle of Broadway shows. The latest reaction has come from Rick Miramontez, of Broadway public relations firm, O&M Co.
Miramontez wrote a letter to the WSJ editor that was never published, so instead, O&M published it to their blog.
"I have been representing plays and musicals for more than three decades, and in my role as press agent I have handed out tens-of-thousands of free tickets to members of the media. While the general public plunks down hard-earned money for the pleasure and privilege of witnessing the world's greatest stage talents flaunt their craft on Broadway, members of the press corps are traditionally given pairs of "press tickets," gratis... The hope, of course, is that those free tickets will yield coverage, and that coverage will convince the general public to plunk down said hard-earned money."
"So when your columnist, Joanne Kaufman, penned her piece entitled "Confessions of a Broadway Bolter," in which she boasts about the sheer number of times she skips out of the theater at intermission (trying, she tells us, not to get "spotted and caught out by the press agent who provided me with the tickets in the first place") I couldn't help but feel a bit like a chump for having accommodated the woman so many times over the years."
""Joltin' Joanne" Kaufman makes it sound like an unbearable hardship to have to sit through the entirety of a Broadway show. As the overwhelming majority of her colleagues manage to sit through (and often rave about) the very shows she bolts from, I have to think that this is less a reflection of the quality of the works and simply indicative of a woman who loathes the art form. It seems to me that a theater reporter who hates theater would be well served to find another beat."
"Well, let me be the first of what I hope will be many press agents to unburden Joltin' Joanne from her hardship. She will never be invited to another show by my office. If she deems a show of ours worthy enough for her (fleeting) attention, she is more than welcome to call us to arrange tickets -- but she had better have a credit card handy."
Read the full letter here.
In the article, "Confessions of a Broadway Bolter," Kaufman says, "I recently saw three Broadway shows in a single week. Actually, as is my unfortunate tendency, I'm overstating things a bit. To be scrupulously honest, I saw half of three Broadway shows. Intermissions came and I went." She also says she is "embarrassed by how unembarrassed" she is to admit to leaving at least eight recent Broadway productions during intermission, including "The Last Ship," "It's Only A Play," "Matilda," "Pippin," "Kinky Boots," "Billy Elliot," and more.
Many Twitter users felt that, as an arts writer, it is Kaufman's duty to stay for the entire performance, especially as she receives complementary press tickets.
Matt Bailey (@justMattBailey) "If Joanne Kaufman cant sit thru FREE performances of some of the best shows of the decade perhaps she needs a new job"
Darren Johnston (@DarrenEdward) "As an industry, can we agree to stop comp'ing someone so disrespectful of theater artists as @WSJ 's Joanne Kaufman?"
Duke Anderson (@DukeMonroe87) "The @WSJ Joanne Kaufman ought to be ashamed. An arts writer who can't sit thru a play is like an accountant who can't finish an equation."
Others were inspired by Kaufman's article to make confessions of their own.
Btomchik (@Bentomchik) "If #Broadway tix were cheaper, I'd bolt more often. MT Confessions of a Broadway Bolter http://on.wsj.com/15NELsp by Joanne Kaufman"
Erick L. Dicken (@eldicken) "Unlike this author, I would/did leave during act one when the situation warrants: Confessions of a Broadway Bolter http://online.wsj.com/articles/confessions-of-a-broadway-bolter-1417474916"
Read Kaufman's full article here.