Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Theatre Week in Review: April 20, 2013

A sampling of theatre news, reviews and humor for the week: on Broadway & beyond

broadway-signActors talk back: Hugh Jackman, Richard Griffiths, Patti LuPone — all break character to reprimand rude theatergoers. But when I can’t get some ice in my $30 vodka tonic because the “clinking bothers the actors” (cough — Al Pacino, Glengarry, Glen Ross — cough), the self-importance is a bit out of hand. You’re not giving a presidential address or a eulogy, guys. Simmer down.

Sunday in the Park with George gets a super-sized production in Paris, replete with a 46-piece orchestra. Apparently, “the American musical theatre is an exotic, unfamiliar, even experimental-seeming art form to many in France.” Well, yes, if you’re sticking with Sondheim musicals from the ’80s, I’m sure it would seem that way.

David Mamet, who is self-publishing a novella and two short stories about war, claims “publishing is like Hollywood — nobody ever does the marketing they promise.” (I’ll try not to take that to heart, sir.) For the record, New York Times, his last book was published just a few months ago — not, in fact, in 2011 — and it was called The Anarchist.

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND TO YOUR NEW MUSICAL READING?

I don’t think I want to come anymore, this is a lot of pressure —

No!  Please come!  I need you to come!  I need your eyes.  I NEED YOUR EYES.

Filling the Empty Seats first. Trevor Donnell asks who’s more important:  loyal patrons and subscribers or those fickle folks who respond infrequently/sometimes take advantage of discounts? The answer my surprise you.

And to fill those aforementioned seats, theatre companies: You need to be responsible emailers. Because “nothing pisses off your customer more than an email they didn’t ask for.” (Truth.)

Ayad Akhta’s Disgraced wins the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. (World premiere at American Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois in January 2012; NYC premiere at Lincoln Center Theater in October 2012.) Chicago immediately stakes its claim on the recent playwright-winners, recognizing that “they all have a growing presence in Chicago.”

Following the bombing of the Boston marathon, Richard Greenberg rewrites a portion of his The Assembled Parties, cutting a line that referenced Boston and altering a description of a character who attempted to build a bomb. Because when a tragedy occurs, you don’t want to (inadvertently) encourage anyone to think/talk about it (?).

Progressive Dramaturgy: “It’s about reading from the bottom up, asking what the play is trying to do… and to approach it on its own terms.” Dramaturg David Lane discusses working with playwright Hannah Silva on her play, The Disappearance of Sadie Jones in the U.K.

It’s time to vote for the Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards (though May 2). It’s worth voting if only to ensure that Bertie Carvel wins “Favorite Diva Performance” for his take on Miss Trunchbull in Matilda. How Billy Porter wasn’t nominated for this, though, we’ll never know.

Should critics get in bed with the enemy? A discussion of “embedded criticism,” i.e. critics reporting on the process alone. Otherwise known as plain ol’ reporting? So… where’s the criticism in that?

The fur flies on Broadway, hisses the New York Post. Animal actors abound this season , and one of three felines to work Tiffany‘s, Vito Vincent (yes, he has his own website!), got the boot a couple weeks ago for being too divalicious. He also got the best reviews of the poorly received show, and I suspect, his great absence is at least partially to blame for show’s closing notices (less than two weeks later). You can follow him @VitoVincentCat (I obviously am).

VITO

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