Monday, February 18, 2008

The Death of a New Musical

While everyone is flapping their gums and their wings worshipping Mike Daisey and his takedown of the regional theatre movement (I'm going to be weighing in very soon, and no, you won't like my view), everyone should read Chris Jones' analysis in the Chicago Tribune of the life and death of a new American musical at the Goodman in Chicago.

Gosh, remember when first-string critics in New York used to do reporting like this?

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1 comment:

Zev said...

Daisey's piece has some merit, but is overall...cranky at best.

Chris Jones is a wonderful writer, and a real asset to theatre in Chicago. HIs piece on "Boys" is mostly on the mark--it's a shame that a good score couldn't find its way into a totally successful play. He only went off the mark at the end when he bemouned Northwesern saying goodbye to Stuart Oken. AMTP in its current form is not an asset to Northwestern--if anything it's a detriment. NU actors were often not cast in roles they could have played, in favor of equity actors. Little was made of the opportunities of having nationally known theatre artists on campus. Meanwhile, huge amounts of money and resources were being poured into the shows, taking it away from the entire rest of the department. In the end, it didn't benefit the students or the school in any substantive way, aside from a possible enhancement in reputation. A program run by the extraordinarily capable David H. Bell and Amanda Dehnert, for the benefit of Northwestern rather than commercial interests, will be a welcome change.