Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Theatre Week in Review: August 18, 2013

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

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Spider-Man: A Hard Lesson About Live Theatre: A dancer is in serious condition after getting his leg caught in a trapdoor during Thursday night’s performance.  [On a personal note: How many injuries does it take — or does it take an actual death? — before this show is closed, or at least re-worked to much higher safety standards?]

Damon Intrabartolo Passes Away at 39: The film orchestrator and composer of BARE, a pop opera,  died suddenly on August 13.

Choreographed Applause at the Bolshoi Theater: Roman Abromav’s job is to “is to engineer applause and ovations, on the basis of secret agreements with dancers, using associates planted in the audience.”

The Critic, the Worker and the Business Model: Critic Michael Feingold ruminates on the recent trend of staff downsizing — in journalism and beyond.

The “new” business model, in every field, starts with the premise that cutting staff equals cutting costs. Journalists, and particularly arts journalists, may feel themselves unjustly singled out; the unemployment statistics tell a different story. — Michael Feingold

Should Actors Act Their Age? Brendan Lemon of the Financial Times, considering Denzel Washing in A Raisin in the Sun and James Earl Jones and Vanessa Regrave in Much Ado — asks whether age should still be relevant in casting. [Personal note: The answer is yes.]

Critics Need to Stop Coddling Restaurants (or plays, for that matter): Luke O’Neill purports that there are “are two functions of criticism: to inform the public, and to write for writing’s sake,” and readers need to know whether or not to spend their money now, so why are critics giving restaurants (plays) time to mature?  [Personal note: I completely disagree with his argument: To review a restaurant/show before it’s ready — which it can only be after being placed in front of an unbiased audience — can mean the premature closing of something that could ultimately be fantastic.]

Youth Theatre Acts Out to Lesson School Violence: Actors Playground School of Theatre (middle/high school and college students) tours “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead” to schools, youth groups and churches throughout New Jersey and New York to great success.

MCC Theater’s current social media marketing campaign: It’s time to play Guess What Show We’re Advertising.

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54 Below Announces New Staff Member: Producer Jennifer Tepper has been named the new Director of Programming for “Broadway’s Supper Club.” Meanwhile, the venue struggles financially.

Non-profit membership organizations: Why they need to become the innovators of their fields, by Angie Kim.

Steve Cosson, Michael Friedman and Alex Timbers Talk Shop: The Civilians’ Artistic Director, composer, and director discuss current projects Love’s Labour’s Lost in the park and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at Playwrights Horizons.

Are Arts Leaders “Cultural” Leaders? Considering the Metropolitan Opera’s  response to a petition that the institution dedicate its September gala “in support of LGBT people,” the answer appears to be no.

Youth Theatre Acts Out to Lesson School Violence: Actors Playground School of Theatre (middle/high school and college students) tours “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead” to schools, youth groups and churches throughout New Jersey and New York to great success.

Pen American Center Announces 2013 recipients:  Among the winners of the prestigious prize is The Normal Heart playwright, Larry Kramer.

How do we get rid of ‘star’ reviews? Dan Hutton suggests we start by having theatres publicize bad reviews. [Personal note: I am all for this.]

El Ateneo is an amazing bookstore located in Buenos Aires. The structure used to be known as Teatro Gran Splendid and was completed in May 1919. Every available inch of it is filled with books, except the box seats, which are used as reading rooms. Courtesy of Buzzfeed.

A bookstore in Buenos Aires, El Ateneo used to be known as Teatro Gran Splendid and was completed in May 1919. Every available inch of it is filled with books, except the box seats, which are used as reading rooms.

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