Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dropping the Ball

So I'm just wondering, in light of The New York Times' lack of coverage of New Georges recent premiere, Good Heif, what exactly a company needs to do for a review. I know the Times is sporadic, at best, in its coverage of off-Broadway plays (and with just cause, there are too many), but can't we at least have some guidelines? (1) The run is at least three weeks: then you don't have to feel as if the review is irrelevant. (2) The show is at least in a 99-seat venue: then you know you'll have readers. If that doesn't narrow it down enough, add requirements: (3) That there be good word of mouth about the company or the venue: why the Times covered Dead City at 3LD and God's Ear at CSC but not Good Heif at Ohio Theater. Or (4) That the work be new, which, in a time of not-often-enough-produced female playwrights or American ones, should call out to the "arbiters of taste" to render some judgment, if for nothing else than to help the Pulitzer committee out. The rest, the Gray Lady can leave to the bloggers or the umbrella websites that unite them: rest assured, there are many Martin Dentons out there. But seriously: The Ritz may be on Broadway, but I'd much rather read about something totally new than about something that's back again. Given the Broadway climate, it's possible we'll start getting a new Gypsy review every year -- and miss out on some of the new works out there. (Note: I didn't like Good Heif, but it's the principle that counts, and as I've said before, the more people who review something, the easier it is to remove pure opinion from the picture.)

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