have read several of the reviews of Shrek since it opened Sunday on Broadway. The first two that I read were from Variety (David Rooney) and The New York Times. The most interesting one I’ve read is from The Washington Post (Peter Marks). The most recent one I’ve read is in the USA Today, which is interesting because I normally don’t read the theater reviews in the USA Today.
But, I read this because of my father.
At 12:18 PM CST, I was munching on Wheat Thins and reading The Night of the Gun by David Carr, when I received a text message from my father saying "Check your email. I may have to start a blog!!!!!"
I am rather intrigued as to what could be upsetting my dad so.
The email says "There is a review on ‘Shrek’. I thought I would gag. Elysa Gardner actually says there are references to ‘Gypsy’ and ‘A Chorus Line’."
Off the top of my head, I don’t know who Elysa Gardner is. I can tell you who a lot of critics are, but not who the critic in question is. I ask what publication it is in.
My father sends back, "The first paragraph of her review is stupid. Is she writing a professional theater review, or telling a story at a bar."
Now, I’m really curious. Especially after writing a piece on how the critic’s opinion no longer matters and they aren’t getting the respect they once did.
I get home and Google the critic in question’s name. She writes for the USA Today and I’m guessing that I might have read a review of hers, when I read the life section of that newspaper (there must have been an article that caught my attention) right after reading the review ofAmerican Buffalo in The New York Times.
The first paragraph reads like this:
If you don’t think flatulence is funny, chances are you won’t buy the theory that it also can be a means of seduction."
Well, to me, fart jokes aren’t as grating as poop jokes. They are, however, sophomoric and get old quickly. But, I keep reading.
Ms. Gardner gave the show three-and-a-half stars out of four. She says that there are nods to those shows, which I think is implied in another review I read (one that was much more negative). What I notice is that she says "It is the most ingeniously wacky, transcendently tasteless Broadway musical since The Producers, and more family-friendly than that gag-fest."
Alright, I may be the person that fell in love with that musical around the age of ten, but this seems like quite the hyperbole.
Clearly, Gardner enjoyed the show, and not in a "Hey, it’s better than Tarzan and Little Mermaid!" way that most of the critics have gone. I can at least tell that she enjoyed it, which I can’t say about some reviews I’ve read over the course of the year. But, I feel as though I’ve read better.
But, congratulations, Elysa Gardner, you upset someone not involved with a production you reviewed.