Thursday, December 11, 2008

Somebody didn't get the memo . . .

I'd like to tell you all about the Gold Dust Orphans' latest, All About Christmas Eve, only I can't because, according to their publicist, "We unfortunately do not offer press tickets for blogs, only standard theater reviewers." Hmmmmm. "Standard theatre reviewers" - did she really say that? I mean, I promise I won't use the 'whites only' drinking fountain! Oh well - I guess everybody should go see Irma Vep instead!

10 comments:

  1. Thomas,

    You are not suggesting that everyone with a blog gets a press ticket. So what are you saying? All bloggers with a resume as reviewer get press tickets?

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  2. What I'm saying is all bloggers who write at a professional level and who write constantly about the local scene and have hundreds of readers and who vote on local awards get press tickets. Trust me, that narrows the field.

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  3. Just so you know, the Gold Dust Orphans are a very small, tight-knit, tight-budget company. If we could afford to give tickets to everyone who blogs about theater, we still wouldn't. It's a business, dude.

    Our tickets cost less (and our shows are funnier) than any "real" theater out there, so bite the bullet and buy a ticket so you can actually review the show, won't you?

    If not, at least consider sparing your "hundreds of" readers your complaints about such things. It only makes you look cheap.

    Merry Christmas.

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  4. I'm sure you are right about narrowing the field. But who or what is the qualifying entity that makes such judgments on number of readers, consistency, and professionalism? Once it was if you worked for a print publication that was all the credentials necessary. That’s changing as print shrinks and online publication expands.

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  5. I'm with TG on this one. As arts coverage in the regular media declines, bloggers are increasingly going to be stepping in to fill the void. Some will be terrible, but some will provide thoughtful coverage and will develop a following. Publicists need to investigate press requests to be sure they aren't just handing out free tickets to everyone who asks, but the ones with legitimate cred should be acknowledged and treated appropriately.

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  6. To Panda - I'm not really sure what the Orphans' being "very small, tight-knit, and tight-budget" has to do with this - or at least, it's worth pointing out that just about every other small, tight-knit theatre group in town feels differently. As for this "every blogger" trope - uh, how many bloggers do you think there ARE, anyway? I can only think of one or two who write consistently on theatre, or at least only one or two who have a substantial audience.

    A better point is that the Orphans do quite well, actually - they told me this weekend was already sold out - yet didn't offer tix for a later weekend, or for one of their matinees, which are less well-attended. (In general, I'm very flexible about when I attend a show and assure people I don't want to take up seats they could otherwise sell.) The fact is that for commercial purposes the Orphans probably don't need any reviewer other than the Globe, which is reliably in their pocket. Which is okay, of course - that's real life - but they might as well say that they're only interested in the big fish who already like their formula. Only that kind of tears away the mask of artistic integrity most theatre groups try to maintain, doesn't it.

    So I'm afraid it's the Orphans - and you, of course - who look a little cheap. Happy New Year. And feel free to reduce my audience count by 1 whenever you like.

    To "silent nic" - I wish there were a governing body for criticism, but alas, there's not. Perhaps as a result, the local critical circle with the largest public - the Nortoneers - actually have the least critical legitimacy; several of their judges rarely if ever write about anything, but they still ask for free tickets. Indeed, you'd be surprised who shows up at major theatrical press nights from half the print outlets - the music critic, the movie critic (and of course their hangers-on) - you name it. It's rather obvious that many "critics" in this town think of "criticism" as kind of like a high-school club - your friends have to vote you in, and then you're in for life.

    Still, by general - if perhaps sometimes jealous and/or angry - consensus, I'm a legitimate critic, and certainly the only one writing regularly about those small, tight-knit groups. And I may actually still pay to go see the Orphans - only don't worry, I won't write a revenge review of the show; I'm not Terry Byrne, after all.

    Of course as Janet Bailey points out, the collapse of the print medium could hastily change much of the situation I just described. The Globe, for instance, will likely soon be sold, and then its print version will be drastically reduced. Most of its reviewers will become web reviewers per force. How (and whether) they hang onto their influence at that point will be interesting to watch play out. This is what makes the Orphans "policy" - if it is, in fact, a policy - look so short-sighted.

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  7. I have a review for you Ms. Garvey, but first a few tips. I think you should bring a laptop to the door nextime so that you can bore the ticket taker who obviously cares so much about "who you are" with your ridiculous repetoire of nonsense. I think if you have clippings (though I'm quite sure nothing you've written has ever ended up in print), you should bring those too and hold up the line and the show because after all your review is SOO important and vital to the show's very existance.

    If you do, did or will ever have influence (although with that attitude I certainly think not), You are the type of queen who, if he cares about theater in the least, be it underground above ground or what have you, would be the person to destroy the art. Giving a show a bad review because you are a self proclaimed critic, (and might I remind everyone a critic is an artist with no talent) and were not allowed free admission due to the diva clause is pure hatred and crap and you should be ashamed of yourself. You, my friend need a life desperately!

    Now for my long awaited view of your performance! Stank rancid and childish! "Don't you know who I am" at it's worst!-Miss Dover

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  8. Oh and im sure you won't have the guts to post my comment!

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  9. Gosh, they do come crawling out of the woodwork for the Orphans, don't they! That publicist just emailed me again with a strange comment about knowing where I worked . . . A class act all around!

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  10. And just btw, unbalanced drag queens, I'm closing down comments for a little while until all of you work your knickers out of that bunch they're in . . .

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