Tboy still hasn't seen Stuff Happens himself, of course. But he does remember vividly what Arthur Laurents told him he thought about it:
"A paste job ... not a play."
Now this, Tboy points out, was coming from a man who was busy reworking Hallelujah, Baby!
On the other hand, Laurents was a blacklist victim, and he knows his political theater.
On the other other hand, Racing Demon and Plenty are two of Tboy's very favorite plays. And Via Dolorosa (which got staged right here in DC, as Tboy recalls, not at all long after its London premiere, so how provincial can we be, really?) was nothing to sneeze at.
It does make a Tboy curious to see what Mr. Hare has done with the Rummy monologues.
As a five-year veteran of the Gannett flagship USA TODAY -- where, he should make plain, he worked with many a talented and committed individual -- Tboy nearly spat coffee when he read these words, penned by Michael Kinsley on the topic of the future of newspapers:
Some believe that the answer is to restore local ownership. Newspapers were born free, and yet everywhere they are in chains, like Gannett.
So Tboy would be less than responsible if he didn't draw your attention to a regrettable incident involving one of his own paper's longtime contributors. A explanatory Editor's Note appears in the Sept. 22 edition of the WashingtonCity Paper, which hit the streets today, Thursday. It reads as follows:
On July 21, the Washington City Paper published Pamela Murray Winters' review of Ellington: The Life and Music of the Duke, a MetroStage production that closed on Aug. 20. Here's an excerpt from the review:
"Duke Ellington led an interesting life; unfortunately, you’d never know from David Scully’s grade-school lecture of a script, which is way more concerned with weary rhymin’ than with wit, energy, or even content. We get birth and death dates, and the idea that Ellington moved around a lot and changed his style to suit both himself and his audience, and that’s it."
As it turns out, this paper was in no position to render such summary judgments on Ellington. The reviewer left the show shortly after intermission and did not return, and the review made no mention of this [fact]. Washington City Paper regrets this inexcusable lapse in critical integrity and apologizes to MetroStage and all those involved in the production of Ellington.
Tboy will now set aside the third person briefly.
City Paper initially became aware of the Ellington incident when a non-MetroStage source brought it to my attention. This, as you may imagine, put me in a difficult position. The problem was compounded when, in inviting the paper to review Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, MetroStage specifically requested that I, in my present role as interim assigning editor for theater, agree not to send Winters.
On the one hand, I personally rather like Winters, who's written for us for years, and who's almost always available to pinch-hit when Bob Mondello and I can't get to every opening. Her reviews tend to be measured, informed, and often generous. The last theater piece she contributed, which included a review of Olney Theatre Center's In the Mood, was an honest and forthcoming response to a play that framed the life of a character with bipolar disorder, from the perspective of a writer who's dealt firsthand with someone living that condition.
On the other hand, I cannot think of any circumstance that would induce me to leave a performance early, neglect to inform my editors that I had bailed, and then file a review (negative or positive) that left readers under the impression that I'd seen the whole show. It's simply unethical.
After some thought, I discussed the matter with managing editor Andrew Beaujon, who took it up with Winters and with the newspaper's top editor, Erik Wemple. (I am not privy to the details of Winters' conversations with Beaujon and Wemple, or to the details of why she felt compelled to leave the performance early.)
I do know, however, that last Friday Wemple informed Winters that she will no longer be permitted to contribute to the newspaper.
Winters, when I spoke to her today, thanked me for the chance to respond, but indicated that she'd prefer not to discuss the incident or its fallout any further.
... Round House's Blake Robison, Metro Stage's Carolyn Griffin, Synetic's Paata Tsikurishvili, Longacre Lea's Kathleen Akerley, Stage Guild's John MacDonald, Firebelly's Kathi Gollwitzer, Charter's Keith Bridges, and possibly Shakespeare Theatre Company's Michael Kahn...
... if'n you had an hour and a half of their time, and the topic was The State of D.C. Theater?
Tboy has a list of 9 questions so far, which he figures is more than any moderator really needs -- part of the point, after all, is to see where the conversation goes.
Still, it's entirely possible you have ideas he hasn't considered. So lob 'em this way, if you want. He'll pick the best and post some of the responses next week, for those of you who can't make a 10 a.m. curtain ...
... that Tboy and Dr. H are on a major Entourage kick right this minute? He hasn't blogged about it, has he?
Wait, Tboy just realized you may not be looking at the same page, so here's the graphic that got served just this minute when he was checking his punctuation. Bottom ad - the eye chart.
No, look again.
Now, Tboy confesses that he's got a little Adrian Grenier* crush. Tboy and Dr. H came late to the Entourage party. In fact they'd never seen a single episode before last week. (Hey, that's what theater 4 times a week will do to you.)
Now, though, they've burned through Season 1 and Season 2 in something like four days. Can you say Netflix addiction, boys and girls? But Tboy never imagined he was jonesing visibly enough for the technology to notice.
*Bonus confession: Grenier's a pretty critter, Tboy grants you. But Kevin Connolly has that short redhead thing goin' on. The news that he is now dating or at some point has dated a Hilton indicates that something is quite seriously wrong with the universe.