Friday, February 26, 2010

Terry Teachout has an interesting idea, BUT . . .

As I've noted before, many New York bloggers are in a tizzy because the Royal Shakespeare Company is coming to town next summer to, well, show up their Shakespeare. (And it turns out a lot of their money is coming from Americans!) The fact that the RSC is building its own temporary stage has given the Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout an interesting idea - why not keep the stage, and reserve it for performances of the classics by regional theatres? This is of course an appealing suggestion - no doubt related to the fact that Teachout actually travels the country, looking at, and reviewing, theatre outside New York. But there is a problem - just as New York is quite sure its Shakespeare is as good as anything the Brits could offer, so the Big Apple is equally sure that its theatre is superior to anything going on in the rest of America! So technically, for most New York bloggers, Teachout's suggestion would be a lose/lose: first they'd be shown up by the RSC, then they'd be shown up by Peoria!

On another, unrelated, note, it's nice to see Teachout's rave for Israel Horovitz's Sins of the Mother, which he rightly notes "in a better-regulated world would now be playing on Broadway." I couldn't agree more, and just wanted to add that the play's Gloucester Stage production earned it an IRNE nomination for Best New Play.