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This Trailer Approved for all Audiences

I’ve seen it attempted by all sorts of companies, and I almost always like the idea but loathe the execution – the use of a video trailer to promote a play.  It’s really a fantastic idea when you consider that trailer-viewing is almost a prerequisite for cinema attendance and that many folks, especially those who do not frequent the theater, want to know what they’re getting into before buying a ticket.  A well made video trailer can sum up a play’s plot (if there is one) and hint at the production value and competence of those involved.  Of course, the video is likely made by a whole different team of people, but so what. The producers of Deathtrap at the Noel Coward in London have spared no expense.  They’ve released this preview (with Jonathan Groff, rawr) of their revival of Ira Levin’s 1978 hit. Pretty sweet, huh?  The problem I see is that while this could be one of the best play trailers I’ve seen yet, it still looks like the Worst Movie Evar.  Doesn’t it?  There’s something about the camera that makes theatrical writing and acting seem like an out of date form that should have hit the trash heap with the deguerreotype.  ^.^  There are other ways of doing it, of course.  We at Brimmer St. tried our hand at video-hype, slapdash ADR and all: Cute, right?!  Well fuck you too. Another popular video tool I’ve seen (and […]

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At Least She Didn’t Leave it to the Cat

Did the audience go to the Met too?

It’s a good day to be in the development department at the Met, and an equally bad day for the bean counters at the Washington National Opera.  According to PND, a former board member of the WNO rendered an $18M gift to the opera “with the unusual stipulation that should that company fail to remain independent the gift would be rescinded and transferred to the Met.” Now, as the Kennedy Center continues their slow consumption of the capital’s high-brow art centers, the WNO is faced with losing close to 2/3rds […]

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Somehow, Miles loses Work of Art.

No disrespect to Abdi, who was one of my faves throughout the entire show.  His charcoal drawing in the last regular challenge was magnificent and a couple of his final pieces were really incredible. But how could Miles Mendenhall possibly lose this competition?  Anyone watching this show from the beginning would have put money on his eventual victory, not because he was so much more talented than the others (although he was among the best in every challenge) but because the show seemed made for him.  All actual artistic considerations […]

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Why I Stopped Writing Theater Reviews

Some of you may know that for much of 2009 and 2010 I was a weekly writer for the upstart online publication LA Theatre Review.  Each week I would accept a complimentary ticket to one of the dozens of live performances that are produced in Los Angeles each weekend, and in return, I would give my honest assessment of the show’s quality, vivacity, and relevance.  And like so many ‘blogger-critics’ in this city, I did my best to distinguish myself from the pack by writing as insightfully and as brutally […]

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Hitch is dying faster than the rest of us.

The man who wrote Letters to a Young Contrarian and God is Not Great (as well as countless essays which define modern iconoclasm and are partially responsible for my atheism and general displeasure with squishy American liberalism) is nearing the end.  When asked whether we’ll be seeing any death-bed conversions as he approaches the final croak, Christopher Hitchens warns us not to believe anything he, or anybody else, says:

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