Critics, Sunshine, Rainbows and Sugarcoating

Early this morning, I received a comment on theatrical wishlist. The commenter was clearly not pleased with my list and I can’t put the comment here because I’m typing this on my Blackberry.

But this is my response: If you disagree with my opinion, that’s fine. I am actually excited when people do not agree with me because that can lead to interesting dialogue. However, if you, the reader, are going to come on here and say that I’m getting back at Charles Stilwill because I didn’t get cast in some shows I auditioned for and you say things that can be easily disproved, don’t even bother commenting.

At first, the people that do go off and say, “Oh, you don’t like WCP for X, Y and Z” amused me, but I am fucking sick of this. If you want to pay $19-$23 to see “Tuesday With Morrie,” have a good time. This is what I think and what I believe. I think that some theaters need to have some guts when they pick their seasons. And, for those of you that scanned over the wish list, there is only one instance where WCP is the only theater company that I address. Yes, WCP did “High School Musical,” but a month prior, so did Theatre Cedar Rapids and the same month WCP did it, Des Moines Community Playhouse did “High School Musical 2.” And those are just the productions I know about. And I also said the Old Creamery and CFCT need to have some guts when picking their seasons. If anything, I should be accused of being too hard on the Old Creamery because I had a letter to the editor published in the Gazette where I publically criticized the Old Creamery’s season.

If you don’t like that I’m honest with my opinions or my critiques of shows, go read the Courier. If you don’t like that good critics are honest with their opinions, then don’t read reviews.

Coincidentally, this coincides with a post Kris Vire, who, according to the commenter, is not a real person, put on Storefront Rebellion today. Here, you have a woman who feels that Chris Jones should have been nicer to “High Fidelity.” I may not like Chris Jones’ reviews and theater coverage, but I would have to say that he was giving his honest critique of “High Fidelity.” It makes me sad and simultaneously happy that people like this don’t just exist in Iowa. There are people who take the critics-should-champion-the-art-form idea too far and assume that critics should like everything. Critics champion art by pointing out what’s good out there. (Kris says this in his post, but I probably using different wording.)

Let me put it like this: you’re in the car listening to the radio. Chances are good that you’re not going to like everything you hear because you’re making some judgement on the song for some reason. It might be the rhythm, vocals, lyrics, instrumentals or song’s subject. In a way, this is what critics do. They make an assessment of a show based on various aspects. And as most people know, we don’t always agree with each other’s opinions. For those of you not aware of this, please look for footage from town hall meetings on YouTube.

Presently that’s all I have. Any thoughts?

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