My apologies to Jimmy Boegle. I may have been having a flashback to a former AzStar editor - an unfair comparison. Thanks for setting me straight, rickydale.
In the interest of full disclosure I am the director of Fifth of July reviewed above. I, of course, disagree with its general and unsupported statements. My real issue, however, is Ms. Forrester's using the occasion of the death of one of America's greatest playwrights to make a cheap reviewer's quip about the play "dying onstage." It is appalling, disrespectful, and crass. Whatever my comment bodes for future reviews from Ms. Forrester i don't know nor do i care. My only hope is that in future reviews (of my work and everyone else's) she will be a little more thoughtful, respectful, and have a little more taste.
Here's the deal.
A lot of people are really upset about Sherilyn's relationship with Kathy Allen. No one in the theatre wants to see the critic from the Weekly and the critic from the Star come to a show, sit right next to one another, and then write painfully similar (positive OR negative) reviews. I disagree with Stage Hand's comment that Jimmy Boegle wants theatre in Tucson to go under. The Tucson Weekly has long been an extremely generous advocate of the Arts in Tucson and a lot of that credit is due to Jimmy. They don't have to cover anything they don't want to cover and they cover every single thing they can. The headline reflected the review published and nothing else, quite accurately, too.
I'm one of the actors in FIFTH OF JULY and what I take issue with is the comments about Lanford Wilson and our production of his play both being dead just because Glen Coffman had the audacity to make a heartfelt acknowledgement of his passing and his contribution to American theatre on opening night. That's snarky, it's not artistic criticism. Snarky isn't even necessarily a bad thing, if there's some wit to it (James Reel, we really miss you right now). That was cheap and gross and unfortunately it's all anyone in the Tucson theatre scene can talk about. I have people coming up to me every day now and apologizing to me for what was said in this review and not because the review was negative but because it was hideously nasty. It's almost as though the cast and their performances have been completely disregarded (since they weren't actually assessed in any way in this review) as bad simply due to what appears to be some kind of vendetta with Glen and / or Winding Road Theatre Ensemble.
Sherilyn is absolutely entitled to her opinion and she should make it clear, that's her job as a Theatre Critic, not to give a pass or an easy review or whatever. I don't mind a bad, even a scathing review -- if it's thoughtful, specific and well written.
Thank God for Nathan Christensen. I'd take a bad review from him any day.
Jeez Louise. Okay, let's start with the review. Ms. Forrester, I think once you've emptied both barrels, you don't need to reload and start again. We got that you hated the production by paragraph 1; your editor (whom I believe would be happy if all theater companies went under) really gave it away with that knife-in-the-gut headline. But you go on and on and on and...see? It's no fun when you know what's coming.
I imagine a cold-hearted, turtlenecked, schmoe dictating to herself as she types, chuckling with glee, like Higgins when he thinks he's finally caught Magnum with the Ferrari. However, I don't think that is really who you are. I don't think it gives you pleasure to trash a show. I think you are a defender, of sorts, of theater done well. I wish you could also be a true defender of the effort. You know what it's like to do theater. Have you forgotten the feeling of being panned? I am in no way saying you should give a show a pass, just because someone dared to put up the money, get a cast, rent a space, pay for ads, spend weeks of their lives for, in the end, pennies. I'm saying, wasn't there SOME little positive thing you could say? A spoonful of sugar, as the saying goes.
Now to the show. I'm going and you can't stop me. Try as you might, and you did try...I'm going anyway. I like both the Wilson plays they're doing and I'm pretty sure I'm going to like these productions. If I don't, I'll come back and eat crow. And I don't like crow one bit.
I must agree with the comment that Sherilyn Forrester seems hostile. I would use the term mean-spirited. When is it ever appropriate to use death and dying is such a coy, tongue in cheek way. She may have thought she was being clever but she was just being rude. After reading that comment and seeing what poor judgement she possesses how can I trust anything else she has to say. The rest of the review became a moot point.
Theatrical criticism can be accomplished in a creative and polite way. I am not saying she has to like everything she sees, I am saying that civility is a two way street. It is difficult not to be rude back-but I am a gentleman. I saw the same performance she saw and do not understand what she is talking about-by the way, Ms Forrester I have over 35 years in the world of show business and have been in, produced, directed,designed, built, painted and choreographed for over 300 productions. What are your qualifications?
I enjoyed the show and think all readers should form their own opinions after seeing it for themselves.
I saw the production, too. And Ms. Forrester is too kind.
However, I'm pretty stunned that people can't seem to disagree with critics or others without resorting to personal attacks. Civility, anyone?
FYI: It's not cool to post an entire review from another media source. That's called stealing. If anyone would like to review Dave Irwin's take, go here: http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/arts/report/…
I agree wholeheartedly with those who have commented on this misguided at best, hostile at worst, review of this production. It seems to me, and I too was at the same performance, that the reviewer has something of an ax to grind, as it does not appear that she is talking about the actual production at all. Perhaps 'deconstruct' the one word she used that does have some resemblence to the production - is the operative one here, as that is exactly what the play and its characters call for. The fragmented nature of all its parts and layers held me until the end, when if only for a brief moment, those very delicate edges seemed to brush up against each other. Well that is the genius of Lanford Wilson's writing, and in fact was the experience I encountered at this production. Go see it!
I just created a bio so I could comment on this show or rather make a public point. For the record, I absolutely enjoyed this show but the point I would like to make is regarding the Tucson theatre reviewers. I find it odd that Kathleen Allen and Sherilyn Forrester seem to write the same review, so we can count on Ms. Allen to poorly regurgitate the same thing that Ms. Forrester has written about this show. If you have a moment go back through archives of reviews in Tucson over the past year and it looks as though they either passed around a cheat sheet or they just share the same brain because at times they even use nearly identical sentences and odd review points. Either way I find it embarrassing for Tucson theatre and these newspapers, what has happened to journalistic integrity and where is the Editor In Chief? Am I the only person who has recognized this as an issue?
The Game – if Kathleen Allen’s review comes out and says the same thing as this review then come back here and post a comment. My prediction is Ms. Allen will print more or less the same thing but she will be a bit more nasty toward the actors because she does not appear smart enough to know the difference between an actor’s choice and a director’s decision (I learned that in Theatre 101.) Post back here after Kathleen’s article is printed.
Perhaps Ms Forrester mistakenly saw Sex & the City 2.0- this would explain how very far off the mark she is regarding this production. I agree with the previous poster- See this show for yourself and disregard this review.
I absolutely cannot believe that Ms. Forrester was at the same production I was! This does not appear to be a review but rather an attack on what was for me (and several other people with me - a few who plan to attend the show again during the run because they liked it so much) a decidedly lovely experience. The only thing I agree with in this unpleasant diatribe is the fact that the Cabaret stage is small. I thought the blocking (considering the small stage) was really very good and the positioning of the actors provided some really wonderful tableaus. The acting was above average (in a couple cases, way above average) and there were several truly touching moments! In closing, all I can say is that you should see this play for yourself. I think this reviewer is totally out of touch with reality and, in effect, has told potential playgoers that it would be better if they stayed at home and watched Simpson's re-runs. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth! Please, go see this wonderful play!
Stage Hand: Thanks for the e-mail. I asked Nathan to look into this, and indeed, we goofed up the part about the "Beauty Queen" intermission; we fixed the text here and will run a correction next week. However, we're standing by Akimbo being closer to two hours.
Beauty Queen runs 2 hours WITH a 15-minute intermission.
Kimberly Akimbo runs 90 mins, no intermission.
i believe this was reviewed on the first performance. I think it's a good review. However, the play is a uniting, a chorography of individual performances but intentionally not melded like a Broadway dance production. The movement and entwining is intended to be chaotic and dissembling so that the audience is drawn into it. The play acts as a mirror of our imperfect selves in an imperfect world that is in constant need of adjusting. Like an old TV set. The director would have failed had he turned AMERICA HURRAH into a chorus line of perfectly moving parts. There can be improvement, true, but whether there is or not, it doesn't affect the play. It's actually a small thing. I thought the play, like the playwright, van Itallie, was brilliant and that Mr. Encila directed it masterfully. Tomas DeMoss
It's not the river Styx, it's the river Lethe.
I have followed Vicki Noon for years and she is beyond brilliant. We will be going to her final show tonight having seen her in Wicked in SFO as well. She is flawless and the best in this role we have ever seen. It's a little confusing to discover that her contract was not renewed. How can that happen? The show will not be the same without her and whoever made that choice made a huge mistake. I for one am going to be attending my last "Wicked" performance. For those who will get to see her or got to see her, cherish the moment as you have seen someone who has only just begun and will never see Wicked as it is with her!
Francois Robert's photography covers many themes. You'll be relieved to know that his most well known is faces found in natural objects, most of which seem friendly. FYI, they can be seen at: (http://francoisrobertphotography.com/#/por…)
If 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples then 1 apple + 1 banana = 2 fruits
Saw the show this past Sunday afternoon and what a treat it was. From the cast to the staging to the scenery, just perfect. Can't wait to attend future performances. If I were in town this weekend would make an attempt to see the show again. Special kudos to Kit Runge - such an extraordinary voice!!!!
I find it odd that the reviewer mentions everyone in the cast (including those with non-speaking roles) with the exception of one actor; Joe Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard's role as "Briggs" is very well played, and leaves the audience feeling sorry for Briggs and wishing his time on stage was more frequent. If the reviewer felt otherwise about Mr. Hubbard's performance, she should have included that opinion in the review, as completely ignoring his presence/performance is the worst type of criticism an actor can receive. Providing no feedback at all negates the opportunity for a performer to analize the perceptions of the audience and if so inclined, to make adjustments in his/her performance.
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