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Critic raves about Little Shop of Horror

Jack42
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Critic raves about Little Shop of Horror#0
Posted: 10/3/03 at 3:52pm
Just back from a late lunch and came across a review of Little Shop that was in the Wall Street Journal.

And since some are having fun mudslinging the tepid reviews, I thought I would post an alternative version.

Not discounting the weight of the NYT, USA Today, etc.. but a rave in the WSJ is definitely a plus, as it is read widely by business people around the world...

here's a quote from the review


"I liked it so much, in fact, that I don't mind admitting that I came to the theater with malice aforethought. Broadway, after all, plays it so safe these days that I wouldn't have been entirely disappointed had this safer-than-safe cash cow gone belly-up. Instead, it turned out to be a zippy romp, staged and sung to the hilt. Hunter Foster and Kerry Butler are completely charming as Seymour and Audrey, two Skid Row florists brought together by Audrey II, a jumbo Venus flytrap that dines on human blood. Douglas Sills is suitably slimy as Orin, the pain-loving dentist who snorts a little too much laughing gas and ends up as plant food. Audrey II is winsomely monstrous, Scott Pask's comic-book sets are just right, and even if you don't especially care for '50s rock (which I don't), the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken songs are genial enough. So what's not to like? Nothing, really, except that the music is TOO DAMN LOUD.
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
Updated On: 10/3/03 at 03:52 PM
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PennyLou
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THANK YOU!!
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sheekala
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Just think!, you can keep reading and re-reading this review all weekend!
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum Bring gloom down to the minimum Have faith or pandemonium's Liable to walk upon the scene
FindingNamo
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Actually, a WSJ review only means something on those occasions when the WSJ critic likes something that the majority of critics and reviewers do not. It's the grasping at straws phenomenon. Otherwise, its reviews are not taken very seriously.
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thebigkrakowski
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Not exactly the paper theatergoers turn to first.
Jack42
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Namo,

Regardless, most of the reviews aren't slams. They aren't raves and they wouldn't be classified as even warm or maybe even lukewarm fuzzies, but they aren't the "beat the show down" type.

And Sheekala, what review WOULD you have to read over and over, good OR bad?

The poll topic this week is interesting. Personally, when it comes to anything (book, movie, theater, etc) I go see what I want or am interested in, despite anyone's opinion. That means critic, best friend, family member or whatnot.

I know I am probably not in the majority (average person the US) but I'm guessing it is the same for most people that have a passion for the arts, no?
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
Jack42
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The Big Krakowski

No.. you are right. The WSJ is NOT what "theatergoers" turn to most. Business people that are looking to entertain clients, or see a show because their spouse wants to tho ARE the audience.

A show doesn't JUST survive on what typical "theatergoer" respond to. The "business" end of producing means reaching any and everyone, ebcause anyone can be a patron.

People in the "know" are in the "know" already and that always helps a production. But sometimes you want to tap into the rest of the world...
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
sheekala
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Thanks for asking Jack42, well my favorite review to read and re-read is for the original production of My Fair Lady, even if my copy is a bit yellowed, it makes me feel cozy on a cold night.
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum Bring gloom down to the minimum Have faith or pandemonium's Liable to walk upon the scene
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thebigkrakowski
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Actually, anyone even remotely interested in theater wouldn't turn to the WSJ. And most WSJ readers don't bother with the arts articles. A fact. Maybe a sad fact. But a fact. It's not a paper that sells tickets to shows, or you'd find a LOT more ads in it.
FindingNamo
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No, I heard somewhere that a rave in WSJ is definitely a plus. ("A plus" is really going out on a limb.)
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Jack42
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TBK

If you only knew how wrong you are. There's a good reason that the WSJ has continually INCREASED the arts aspects of their weekend section. Specifically because it's a widely read section, since many business people subscribe to that and nothing else. And it's watercooler talk as well.

I don't know where you were led to believe what you believe (was it just your opinion?) but the demographics speak for themselves.

As for a lot more ads, that negates your opinion on some levels. Papers with a lot of ads SELL ads because that's where the revenue comes from. Publishers make very little to nothing on actual circulation. So if a paper such as WSJ is giving a lot of "play" to the arts without the financial backing of advertisers in that section, it only reinforces that they know the articles are being read.
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
FindingNamo
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Jack, do you ever defend anyone or anything that is not somehow connected to a website of Craig's?
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thebigkrakowski
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Jack--

Huh? Producers place ads where there are potential ticket buyers. And are you really saying that the WSJ is known for its arts coverage?

Getting a good review in the WSJ is a lovely thing, but it ain't like the NYT, Post, or Daily News. Gimme a break!

Jack42
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Actually I'm not sure if I have or not. I wasn't aware that these were all of Craig's sites?

I also don't read every thread. Who has time? And it does seem that most of the arguing over here has been over a select group of people/shows.

I was intrigued by the whole juliana saga over a simple journal. I happen to enjoy the many incarnations of Little Shop of Horrors.

And as Al Dente (or was it Duane Reade) pointed out, I'm big on psychology. So I guess I have been sucked into these threads for that reason.

The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
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robbiej
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Two things:

Is this the same WSJ reviewer who said Maury Yeston's score for NINE was thin and short on melody?

and #2

Is anyone really surprised about the diversity of opinion in the reviews. The show had the exact same variety of reviews here in (I would be willing to guess) the same proportion. Did that sentence make sense?

At any rate, WHO CARES??? Members of the Bush administration are committing felonies and compromising national security and we're arguing over the quality of reviews???

COME ONE!
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
sheekala
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Thyere is still after all these years only one reviews that matters to both theater producers,performers,a large percentage of theater going public and the world at large and that's The New York Times. And you can't debate that one, and Jackski sweets, the WSJ is one of the last ones read in the theater world and one of the reasons it's looked at as a "right leaning media" and that's also "a fact jack!"
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum Bring gloom down to the minimum Have faith or pandemonium's Liable to walk upon the scene
Jack42
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TBK

As I began this thread, "Not discounting the weight of the NYT, USA Today, etc.. but a rave in the WSJ is definitely a plus, as it is read widely by business people around the world..."

And yes.. producers place ads where there are potential ticket buyers and gross sales from the WSJ doesn't warrant that. I'm not arguing that the WSJ has more weight than any of the above papers. What I am arguing (and not even arguing, but stating) is that a positive review in a paper of a non-typical theatergoer's only source of news is more important to THAT person than negative reviews on papers that person isn't even reading.

I also never said the WSJ was known for it's art coverage, so in case you have some reading comprehension problems, I'll repeat myself.

There's a good reason that the WSJ has continually INCREASED the arts aspects of their weekend section. Specifically because it's a widely read section, since many business people subscribe to that and nothing else...if a paper such as WSJ is giving a lot of "play" to the arts without the financial backing of advertisers in that section, it only reinforces that they know the articles are being read.
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
FindingNamo
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I agree with you Robbie. There is a lot wrong in the world right now that needs all our work to make some corrective action happen and instead we are freaking out about this show and these reviews and that there was a reference to the Chicago soundtrack on Friends.

The Entertainment Industrial Complex is truly the opiate of the masses. Say, has anybody here seen the region two dvd transfer of....?
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robbiej
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I have no problem with escapism...but the theatre used to be one of the first instiutions to answer the call to social challenges. What's happened? We're talking about reviews for LSOH when I wish we were discussing the openings of the new Kushner piece, or a new THREEPENNY or a new Wallace Shawn! Where are out dissenting voices??

Now...who's gonna get the new Bette Davis CD?
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
Jack42
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Personally I am looking forward to seeing Wallace Shawn's "Marie and Bruce" on film. Although, I must admit, turning it into a feature length film must have taken some creative juices and I am skeptical...

The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity -- Harlan Ellison.
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Alex the Cat
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What about Clive Barnes?#20
Posted: 10/4/03 at 12:09pm
I think Barnes' review is one of the more important ones, no? And it sure sounds like a rave to me-

"Jerry Zaks' new staging, helped by the neat choreography of Kathleen Marshall, is flawlessly zippy, making the most of the musical, the characters and the delicious designs...

Best of all are the darkly comic and beautifully sung performances.

Hunter Foster is the epitome of the nebbishy hero as Seymour; Kerry Butler makes an adorable, if doomed, ingenue as Audrey; Rob Bartlett bumbles cunningly as the down-at-the-heels but plump florist Mushnik, while Douglas Sills bewitches as Orin (think Jack Nicholson) and four or five other characters.

Add to those the style and finesse of DeQuina Moore, Trisha Jeffrey and Carla J. Hargrove as the show's ragamuffin Greek Chorus and Michael-Leon Wooley as the doom-struck Voice of Audrey II - together with that same plant's four-member manipulative team - and you have one of the best casts on Broadway."

Sounds pretty good to me...

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Entertainment Weekley#21
Posted: 10/4/03 at 12:35pm
Entertainment Weekley gave the show a B+ They enjoyed it.
And that magazine sells a lot of copies. I know of many a poeple who subscribe. And the airline I work for stocks it on their planes.

That may help.
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