Friday, May 30, 2008
And charting the theater companies . . .
I thought, after looking at my revised chart of the season, that I'd replace the names of the productions with those of their producing companies, to see if there were any patterns discernible. It turns out there were, although not any that were particularly surprising. The Huntington is variable, sabotaged more by its scripts than its productions, although it always stays in positive territory, and SpeakEasy the most consistent, again positively, although it never risks the most challenging scripts (that may change next year with Jerry Springer). Indeed, an analysis of the graph could lead to the conclusion that (surprise!) companies tend to falter with the most daunting texts. The ART veers too often into negative territory (admittedly, these assessments are by reputation only - I couldn't bear to sit through Julius Caesar, and I'm dragging my feet on Cardenio); interestingly, like the New Rep, the ART stands out as being far better at the weakest scripts it attempts, and weakest at the best scripts it attempts (the Lyric's a bit that way, too). The good-but-not-great standing of Trinity perhaps belies the critical rapture over Curt Columbus's work there. But other good news includes the strong double header from the Merrimack up in Lowell, and the home runs from the Publick and Gurnet. And the most depressing thing about the graph is that despite the success of Angels in America, Boston Theatre Works is now on hiatus.