Look at all this activity!
Goodness gracious, a recap! Everyone wants Chris Jones to review workshops and no one wants George Hunka to review previews. Sorry, was that unnecessarily glib?
I'm trying to settle my ethical compass long enough to figure out exactly where I sit. Rob's vision of Jones as a promoter of Chicago is dead-on; after all, the man's fighting to review a Chicago show before Final Destination: New York. Whether the review is good or bad, it's all gravy for the locals (in general, that is -- Marisa's got the inside scoop on what this situation can mean, good and bad, for the individuals involved). On the other hand, as El Vet Diablo mentions in the comments at Casa de Don, the producers of a show should be able to give reviewers a no-go if it's their prerogative. And a part of me agrees completely that it is fun to see the show give the critic a pass for once instead of the other way around. And the ground is only muddied with Rob's point that the blogosphere is on its way to becoming the alternate (replacement?) for the newsprint critics. But for the most part we're just a bunch of shmucks posting our opinions (which is to say that it ain't our line of biznass, not that those opinions aren't informed). What sort of ethical standard are we to comply to? After all, a show can say no critics, but it can hardly say no posting your opinions online, gentle viewer.
Which brings us to Mr. Hunka, ever the eye of some hurricane or other. George has reviewed Kate Fodor's 100 Saints You Should Know, one of the shows in New York that Chris Jones fought so hard to review in Chicago. George didn't like it so much. George didn't like it so much that he also didn't finish it. It being the preview that George was at. And there's the gasp gasp right there -- is a critique of a show based on the first half of a preview valid? Matt Freeman doesn't think so. Neither does Rob. Ditto Tony.
I'm less adamant. As I somewhat posted in Tony's comments, seeing as how George is still flying under nebulous blogger review rules, why not hit a preview and why not leave at intermission? That's the word of mouth side of the blogosphere -- the part that's no different than chatting the weekend's entertainment up with your friends. But George... George, George, George... you saw a preview and left at intermission. Those are important details and the world wide opinion part of the blogosphere, the part with some more delicate ethical concerns, demands that you make them known. And by make them known, I mean before the last paragraph. Just a simple disclaimer or by and by or hey, psst, you should know this, that's all it really needed. I don't fall in the Freeman camp on the issue of respect in terms of walking out and applause (an interesting discussion, p.s., go check it out); if I don't like a show, that's that and it's my decision to act accordingly. But I'm not getting my time or money back by undercutting the artists. Be honest, absolutely. Pan bad shows, absolutely. Let future audiences know what you think they may be getting themselves into, absolutely. But we're all on the same team in the long run; at least give the show the fair breaks it deserves. And I consider an opening and a second act pretty damn fair.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Look at all this activity!
Posted by Paul Rekk at 8:05 AM