The Mercury No Longer Invited to Review Shows at Portland Center Stage


@Graham: no, we have a THEATER section, you pretentious twat.
lmao. You really think it's because of your pitiful reviews in a weekly rag? It's probably a savings measure you self important pleb.
Hardly a savings measure. None of the companies in town have such full houses that they can't comp press tickets. No one operates at full capacity for every performance.
even more unlikely that they'd give a fuck about the mercury's reviews. who the fuck takes this rag's reviews seriously?
I'm pretty sure Obamacare is to blame for this.
Alison after getting the news:
cc - it's true. theater people experience emotions as musical numbers.
GUYS! Alison didn't know the entire backstory when she wrote this (I was eating a Hobbit breakfast at Denny's with a Merc reader when it went down), so I updated the post. CHECK IT OUT, FOR THE REAL DIRT.
I do not like this news. Mostly on principle, but I am also opposed to any change that will negatively affect the Mercury's budget and ability to send checks to freelancers.
Yowzah, that's bizarro
This is some ridiculous bullshit for PCS to be pulling. It indicates a complete lack of respect for the Merc (Okay, to be fair I sort of see that part), and Alison (that part I don't see and pisses me off). Additionally it says they think that the Merc is pay-to-play, which is infuriating on the one hand and shows a real lack of confidence in their own work on the other. I guess the other way of looking at it would be to assume that Chris Coleman really is as petty as he is sometimes whispered to be. Bad day to work at PCS, I'd imagine.
I've never met a theat[re|er] director who wasn't thin-skinned and/or a first-rate narcissist. I'm about willing to pay for the tix so the Merc can continue to tell it like it is with this too-big-for-its-britches company.
Damnit Mercury, just act more like Yelp, what is so hard about that?
This must be why Marty Hughley can't write a negative review.
Darius Pierce is awesome, I agree.
well, pretty much the entire performing arts community knows that if the merc trashes a show, audiences are really going to love it. It's as sure a thing to bet on as the sun rising in the morning. And for the record, there are at any given time at least 100-125 companies producing theatre in the greater PDX metro region. The fact that the "paper" flat-out ignores more than half of what's being produced is a better indicator of their priorities than anything else. It's also pretty clear on hallet's reviews that she doesn't actually stay for the whole performance either in many cases.
"And as for our readers, you can continue to expect and read the tough, fair, trustworthy reviews that has made our Alison Hallett the most respected theater critic in town." - blowing our own horns, are we? Does ANYONE actually consider hallet a legitimate reviewer???
this just got funnier. so the merc is all buttmad about them getting all buttmad that some shitty weekly didn't like their shows. slapfight!
"It's also pretty clear on hallet's reviews that she doesn't actually stay for the whole performance either in many cases."

I have never reviewed a show without seeing the whole thing.
@blerg not really. i mean the merc isn't exactly a real publication. just an advertising supported weekly shilling terrible bands and ugly clothes. also lol at how self important everyone in this is. including pcs
Dudes. Just for context: when I wrote reviews for my college newspaper pcs gave me free tickets. same when I wrote for a random blog. There is no way to spin this as the Merc being too small or not legit enough to earn press tickets.
This IS a shocker! Somebody who expects serious, thoughtful commentary from the Mercury? Takes all kinds I guess...
Graham is correct. "Theatre" is the art form, "theater" is the building itself.
Why wouldn't a theater company want to advertise in a magazine that hosts their own amateur pornography contest? Sounds like that comparison flyer the Willamette Week produced is working.
@ yup:

it's either, at least according to the folks at 'new oxford american'.....

theater |ˈθēətər| *(also theatre)*
a building or outdoor area in which plays and other dramatic performances are given.
• (often the theater) the activity or profession of acting in, producing, directing, or writing plays : what made you want to go into the theater?
• a play or other activity or presentation considered in terms of its dramatic quality : this is intense, moving, and inspiring theater.
or, from

Theater vs. theatre
There is no difference in meaning between theater and theatre. Neither has any special definitions. Theater is the preferred spelling in American English, and theatre is preferred virtually everywhere else.

Some American writers do make distinctions—for instance, that theater is a venue while theatre is an art form, or that theater is a movie theater while theatre is a drama venue—but these are preferences, not rules, and they are not consistently borne out in real-world usage.

Those guys are so annoying. A couple of years ago they had a thing where everyone with a Snap card could go to a show for $5. Sounds great right? Wrong. Because now, every day I get a call from them asking for donations. Seriously. Asking people who were just so recently, and I'm sure a lot of people who still are, on food stamps to contribute to your drama club?! Rant over.
I say we yank it out and put a fetish porn company in our old armory. Then we can be even more like San Francisco.
What's sad and lame to me are 1) the EIC continuing to support Hallett's juvenile drivel she claims is popular criticism, and 2) the sophomoric assumption that it's "obvious" why PCS pulled support for such a mediocre paper. I read Hallett's reviews for a few months, and found her particular brand of puerile hipsterism distasteful enough that I stopped reading the Mercury altogether. So all in all, way to be grown ups, Mercury staff.
Ignoring/missing the point of this story for the sake of making it about you and your blanket, thin-skinned assessment of Alison's work? So uncharacteristic of theater folk.

Regardless, be honest: do you really think all PCS shows are good?
I was amazed when I moved back to town in 2010 to find almost all of the theatre review space in the Mercury cut down to a paragraph or two. I for one am glad you will have more space to feature smaller companies, and I would welcome more theatre critics in Portland who could hold us up to a standard, as the evil and dearly missed Steffan Silvis once did. His reviews were brutal but hit the mark, and motivated me to do better in the hopes of one day impressing him. Those who are interested in making art more than making money will appreciate all the feedback they can get.

You lost points for failing to put "reviews" in disdain-quotes.
"I read Hallett's reviews for a few months, and found her particular brand of puerile hipsterism distasteful enough that I stopped reading the Mercury altogether."
"I partially ceased to understand the meaning of 'altogether' completely."
"Why wouldn't a theater company want to advertise in a magazine that hosts their own amateur pornography contest?"

Because they're upset that their ad buy doesn't extend to the editorial section of the paper. It's pretty clearly stated in the post.
In any case, theeeeeeeey suuuuuuuuck.
So shouldn't the Merc continue to review the shows? To prove its editorial independence?
To say PCS essentially blackmailed the Mercury to gain positive reviews is ridiculous! Really Mercury??? You're going to make a statement like that without any evidence? That sounds like a "trustworthy" news source. This is all a one-sided argument. And what does assuming do? Well, let's just say you can't spell the word "assume" without the word "ass."
Again - it's in the post:

PCS: We're thinking about pulling our ads.
Merc: Why?
PCS: You don't review us, and when you do, it's negative.
Merc: We review 80% of the shows you put up, and you're batting about .500 actually.
PCS: Not good enough. Your writers can't come to our shows, and we're pulling our ads.

It's a rather uncomplicated chain of events.
"Buttsore"? Verrrrrry mature. Kind of like how your ego is "buttsore" Humphrey? I don't know whats funnier, the pretentiousness in this thread or the people making fun of it. I admit I like the theatre, but everyone I know involved in it is weird. Given the arts scene in Portland i am sure the Mercury has many other options. Just protect that ego. And I disagree that Allison displays "puerile hipsterism", but I plan on using it soon, so thank you!
The phrase that is, not the actual deed (whatever the hell it means)
@ Showstopper

Ouch, will you please leave my butt alone? ALREADY SO SORE.

That's exactly what we've debating since yesterday. So I wrote a blog post about that! Check it out!

@ Everybody
Thanks for joining us! GOODBYE.