Worst Insults?

Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:00pm
What are the worst insults you remember from a critic for a show they didn't like?

For example: I was going to leave at the interval, but forced myself to stay to the very end on your behalf, so you don't have to. Ghetto Klown, Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph.
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Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:04pm
My all time favorite: John Simon said "Liza Minnelli looks like a rodent en route to a costume ball."

"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:07pm
Was that from her Palace show?
Far From Home
Understudy
joined:4/8/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:21pm
LOL. John Simon hated everyone.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:25pm
John Simon was/is the worst. He didn't just criticize people's work, he went after them personally, often for traits over which they had no control.

E.g., "Dianne Wiest's eyes look like two coin slots waiting for someone to drop pennies into them."

WTF?! (I saw the play in question, BTW; Wiest was brilliant.)
Far From Home
Understudy
joined:4/8/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:26pm
Clive Barnes in the Post for Moose Murders. The "review" was one paragraph on the first page of the entertainment section. He said something like, "This show is so bad I'm not going to waste anyones time writing a review."

Updated On: 11/2/12 at 08:26 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:30pm
Too bad. Because there were parts of MOOSE MURDERS that were funny enough I'd like to read a cogent explanation for the play's failure as a whole. Not that such an analysis would be in Barnes' skill set, but I'd like to hear it from somebody.
Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:44pm
It might have been The Palace performance I don't remember. It was one of his reviews collection books.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:48pm
Just to be clear, Minnelli was an icon when Simon called her a rat; his quote re Dianne Wiest was from a review of "Bonjour La Bonjour", which I believe was her first New York play.
Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 08:50pm
GPS, you are correct. He was needlessly hurtful just to be so. Unfortunately, he was an effective wordsmith.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 10:10pm
I agree, playbilly, but that made his cruelty even less forgivable. Simon was actually smart enough to have made a contribution to the art form, but that wasn't his aim, apparently.

(In fact, the Diane Wiest crack stuck in my mind for 40 years precisely because, by Simon's standards, it was so poorly worded. If you want to say she looks like a slot machine, just say so. Or better yet, don't.)



Updated On: 11/2/12 at 10:10 PM
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 10:29pm
Frank Rich's entire review of MOOSE MURDERS was both kind (because he never mentioned anyone involved by name) and insulting (because it was just a hysterical pan, deservedly so).

morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/2/12 at 10:50pm
The sexless casting of the principal roles by the director, Trevor Nunn, only adds to the musical's icy emotional infantilism. From her very first line - a line from 'The Master Builder,' no less - Ms. [Ann] Crumb's Rose is a tough cookie, unconvincing as a tempestuous star known for her performances of the classics or as a femme fatale who, in her words, 'could have a thousand lovers.' With her piercing singing voice and loud, fake laughter, this actress could shatter glass more easily than hearts.
-Frank Rich on ASPECTS OF LOVE
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/3/12 at 10:37am
People forget that John Simon also wrote some very lovely reviews. His review of WIT ends, "For this play alone, she [Edson] should be handed the Harvard English department."
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/3/12 at 10:38am
Oh, and George S. Kaufman, as always, is brilliant: "There was laughter at the back of the theatre, leading to the belief that someone was telling jokes back there."
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/3/12 at 12:21pm
I recall Simon referring to "the aptly named Ann Crumb" in his review of ASPECTS OF LOVE.
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Worst Insults?
Posted: 11/3/12 at 09:38pm
It's not the worst, but so the thread has some more activity :P - Variety's evaluation of Bernadette Peters in the recent FOLLIES revival was quite harsh.

"When those big ballads come along, we can't tell whether Sally is struggling with her emotions or Peters is just struggling with the notes." (lol).

"Victoria Clark replaces the miscast and vocally compromised Bernadette Peters" (ouch).