SICKOS, WACKOS, MISANTHROPES

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Horsey
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SICKOS, WACKOS, MISANTHROPES#0
Posted: 11/6/03 at 2:48am
Who CARES what MOST of these "Critics" think?
Think about it...What TYPE of person would want a job of judging and criticizing someone's art and livelihood?
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JohnPopa
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re: SICKOS, WACKOS, MISANTHROPES#1
Posted: 11/6/03 at 8:38am
If you can't grasp the need and value of theatrical critique then I feel bad for your lack of understanding and interest in theater. Critique is as valuable a resource as any other analysis of theater. Anyone saying all critics do is rip on shows have not the slightest idea of what they're speaking about and have probably just read negative reviews of shows they liked and reacted accordingly. Ignorance being bliss and all.
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re: re: SICKOS, WACKOS, MISANTHROPES#2
Posted: 11/6/03 at 8:43am
You are so right, John. You articulated it all in one paragraph. I touch your monkey.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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re: re: re: SICKOS, WACKOS, MISANTHROPES#3
Posted: 11/6/03 at 9:50am
I would LOVE to be a thater critic. I think it would be neat. Or at least paid to go see all the shows they go to see and then talk about it.

THAT would be awesome. ANd since I have the gift of gab!
...this is wrong on so many levels... Diane Lane in "Must Love Dogs" "If you have poo, now is the time to fling it" -- The Monkey's from Madagascar
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lc1965
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Oh, I dunno, you'd have to sit through so many clunkers -- imagine HAVING to sit through all 3 versions of Pimpernel. I did it for fun, but I had the choice. Just things like that, the good w/ the bad sorta thing. Articulate, no? I need more coffee.
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In terms of quality I feel worse for movie critics who have to sit through every wretched movie that Hollywood vomits forth, knowing that most of the quality movies are going to come out at Christmas and that the other 11 months are going to be unbridled crap that they too 'have to try and find something nice to say about' or be the objects of everyone's scorn.

As someone who sees most every movie released that I can even fathom being interested in I can honestly say I don't know how they do it.

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re: SICKOS, WACKOS, MISANTHROPES#6
Posted: 11/6/03 at 11:28am
Me. I want the job. I'm at work right now and what I'm doin' ain't pretty. I cannot begin to tell you how appealing the job of being a critic sounds at the moment.
Sueleen Gay: "Here you go, Bitch, now go make some fukcing lemonade." 10/28/10
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Horsey
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JohnPopa honey, I "grasp" it just fine.
You missed my point. I never said that "critique" wasn't necessary.
But, I am saying that, unfortunately many theatre critics are ill qualified, uninformed, and hold far too much "sway" over public opinion. Sadly, many are also very poor writers. The major fault of the power of a critic's word as the primary (only) authoritative voice on the quality of a particular production, is that it is the opinion of ONE person (one, usually unknown, never met, possibly wouldn't even share the same opinion's with this "one person" regarding day-to-day minutia if one did ever happen to meet him/her) shepherding a flock of "theatre-going-sheep" ready to jump of the edge of the high-and-mighty-printed-cliff helmed by a hack who could never even recite "Dinner is served" convincingly. I personally miss Frank Rich. Not because of the ineffable power he held over the fate of a production, but because he was a brilliant and beautiful writer. Should anyone dispute this fact; I suggest that you read his stunningly beautiful NY Times review of the Broadway production, "Six Degrees Of Separation."
Updated On: 11/6/03 at 11:49 AM
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Not all eye-talians are in the maffia! I prefere "reviewer". It comes accross less negative than a "critic". As long as there's been theater, there's been people asked to judge them.

Horsey~ Your opinion is a bit extreme. Poppa is right on the money...again, imho.
www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
FindingNamo
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Horsey, exactly how do you know your standards of critics' qualifications are not being met? Is it just a hunch?
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Funny, I thought you said:

"Who CARES what MOST of these "Critics" think?
Think about it...What TYPE of person would want a job of judging and criticizing someone's art and livelihood?"

Which is clearly different from:

"I never said that "critique" wasn't necessary.
But, I am saying that, unfortunately many theatre critics are ill qualified, uninformed, and hold far too much "sway" over public opinion. Sadly, many are also very poor writers. The major fault of the power of a critic's word as the primary (only) authoritative voice on the quality of a particular production, is that it is the opinion of ONE person (one, usually unknown, never met, possibly wouldn't even share the same opinion's with this "one person" regarding day-to-day minutia if one did ever happen to meet him/her) shepherding a flock of "theatre-going-sheep" ready to jump of the edge of the high-and-mighty-printed-cliff helmed by a hack who could never even recite "Dinner is served" convincingly. I personally miss Frank Rich. Not because of the ineffable power he held over the fate of a production, but because he was a brilliant and beautiful writer. Should anyone dispute this fact; I suggest that you read his stunningly beautiful NY Times review of the Broadway production, "Six Degrees Of Separation.""

Nothing in your second statement seems consistent with anything made in your first statement. Your first statement is calling into question the very idea of being a critic (especially the statement 'What TYPE of person would want a job of judging and criticizing someone's art and livelihood.')

Your second post seems to be saying you wish critics were better writers which has very little to do with the implication of 'What TYPE of person would want a job judging ... ' This also contradicts your later assertion that 'The major fault of the power of a critic's word as the primary (only) authoritative voice on the quality of a particular production, is that it is the opinion of ONE person ...' in that, even a well-written and thoughtful critique is still just the opinion of one person that you have probably never met.

At least that's what I thought you said. I'm sure you'll have another post entirely again stating something completely different than what you just said you said.
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Darn, I thought this post was going to be another Taboo review....
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TxTwoStep
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Namo and JohnPopa,

do ju have a la-sans for zat min-key?
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No, No Tx Two, but I believe his dog DOES bite.
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DofB5
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Critics#14
Posted: 11/6/03 at 6:45pm
I do have to say that I have little use for a critic. Sorry. When all is said and done, it is up to YOU to decide if you like a show or not. From past experience, I've found that if a critic pans a show, I love it, if they rave, I hate it.

Here's some honest questions--what makes a critic? Do you go to school for it? What exactly makes you qualified to pass judgement on a show? Here’s your chance–explain to me why should I respect what you say (except as a courtesy)?

D
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re: Critics#15
Posted: 11/6/03 at 9:38pm
Here's a thought.. No critics at all! So then people would be left on their own to judge what they like in every instance. I guess by word of mouth? Certaintly the promoters or producers are out of the question. OK...A critic-free entertaiment world...tv...movies...theater...books. Everyone's on their own. The media would simply "announce" new projects.

So, there would be NO barometer or standards for what's acceptable, enjoyable, whatever. No "quality check" on a product.
I'm not being a smartass...but how many public commodities are just "out there" without any standards?

There's got to be a middle ground on this "critic" issue. I don't know where or when the boundary was crossed, and it was!
But there has to be a standard by which things are put into perspective for movies, theater, tv, books.

Any suggestions? I'm open!

Dof~ I don't know of a "critics" school or course. This is not unlike journalism, but not all critics have a degree or experience in that either. Every critic has a story of their experience. Even little ole me. Just ask them. Respect is mutual. We're all people.
www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
Updated On: 11/6/03 at 09:38 PM
Peter
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re: Critics#16
Posted: 11/6/03 at 9:53pm
I have to agree with Horsey to a certain extent.

Over the past few years, I've become more and more dissatisfied with Ben Brantley's reviews in particular. Once a good writer, his reviews have become increasingly predictable, unfairly biased, and ultimately annoying.

In fact, I even predicted that Brantley would start his review of Wicked raving about Kristen Chenoweth.There's a select group of performers that Brantley champions...Chenoweth and Audra MacDonald are included here...They could walk out on stage and relieve themselves in a drunken stupor and he'd put a postive spin on it. Yea, Chenoweth is good in Wicked, but this is far from the legendary performance which Brantley makes it sound like.

Let's not forget composers like Sondheim. If any other critic wrote Bounce with the same problematic results, the nasty critical barbs would be flying. Here Brantley is far kinder, because he's one of his favorites.

We're all human and noone probably can be completely unbiased, but I think a critic should at least attempt to be. When a critic as powerful as the NY Times plays favorites, it perpetuates snobbery and widens the gap between popular culture and a small group of theatre intelligentsia..I've noticed myself that this sort of favoritism is eaten up by gullible snob wannabes who suddenly become close minded, trashing those who the critics determine is in vogue to hate (even though they may be popular with the general public)..and championing the overpraised stars the particular critics are obsessed with. And then people wonder why we have left behind a "Golden Age" where theatre and popular culture were intertwined.
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re: re: Critics#17
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:03pm
Because of the New York Times critic?

No, it would be the advance of television and rock and roll. Two much bigger cultural changes than the existence of Ben Brantley. The days of the intertwine are long gone, and they will never return.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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re: re: critics#18
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:04pm
how do i get seats to that piss fest?
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re: re: re: critics#19
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:05pm
Broadway Inner Urinal Cake
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re: re: re: re: critics#20
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:18pm
Of course, Brantley is not the only reason why broadway and popular culture are no longer intertwined, but he does have a bias against certain composers and performers who appeal to the public. And the NY Times still has at least a certain amount of influence. Unlike the Golden years, I really can't see Brantley favorites Chenoweth or MacDonald crossing over into the pop world..Menzel would have a better chance IMO.
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re: re: re: re: re: critics#21
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:25pm
Idina's family and I are the only people on the planet who bought "Still I Can't Be Still" the day it came out. And that was her one chance.

You speak of bias in your post. Once you refer to it as "unfair bias" and once you say "everyone is biased." I am not sure liking or not liking a performer or composer actually counts as bias. It's usually opinion based on experience. I am sure if a Lloyd Webber were capable of writing a great score, all of us who hate him would say, "Wow! I didn't think he had that in him." I'm not holding my breath for that to happen either.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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re: re: re: re: re: re: critics#22
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:32pm
The situation is simple, Broadway theater is a dying horse and there's this large group of diehard who are so desperate for theater to 'get the respect it deserves' that suddenly it has become the job of critics to sell Broadway to a disinterested public. All of a sudden people think the 'Power of the Times' is some sort of tangible force that needs to be used for good or something equally heroic. People don't care about theater; it's the stone cold truth, at best it's a novelty and one show every ten years that captures peoples' attention isn't going to change that. Neither is Ben Brantley liking 'Wicked' or Idina Menzel singing a pop single or Michael John Lachiusa writing a sophisticated score that no one wants to hear.

In no other medium do people rely on critics to boost interest in the product. Yet another thing theater is doing wrong.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: critics#23
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:39pm
BINGO!! [whoop-whoop-whoop-HONK-HONK-HONK]

We have a winner!

You've done it again, John. Two nights in a row and you've captured in one paragraph what I have typed veritable pages on and not managed such accuracy.

That's why I keep throwing out Don Dixon's quote from the movie "Camp": "What PLANET are you people from?"

The best thing that could happen to the world of theater is if these multiple-visits-to-the-same-five-shows people branched out and committed to not seeing ANY production they have already seen! Go to the regionals. SAVE THEATER, it's too late for Broadway.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
Updated On: 11/6/03 at 10:39 PM
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re: re: re: re: re: re: critics#24
Posted: 11/6/03 at 10:48pm
Namo..see this is just my point. I think some critics cannot be objective about certain performers/composers. You say you might be impressed if ALW came out with a great score..then you add..that you're not holding your breath. That one statement tells me that you've really closed your mind to anything he does and no doubt, you wouldn't even recognize a great score that he wrote. In fact, in his extensive theatrical resume, is there anything ALW wrote that you liked?

I happened to see Wildhorn's Camille Claudel this past summer. I admit to enjoying much of his music in the past..(even though I'm really not suppose to, to be part of the "in-crowd"). However, the only one of his shows that I thought really worked was the last version of SP. I've always thought his big problem was finding the right collaborators. Even though the show still needs some work, I can see that he found the right collaborators with CC. His music here shows sides to him we've never seen before..it's elegant, restrained and haunting with lyrics that are character specific. In fact, the buzz for this production was quite good. You really think the critics will suddenly embrace him when this arrives on broadway? I have my doubts.