"the entire first half of the show is dedicated to giving us the information we need to understand the second half, and the payoff isn't worth the slog."
Perhaps, but while it can seem passe the core story of the love that Genly and Estraven eventually discover is all the more worthwhile because it blossoms not only on the cold glacier, but on a planet that is just as petty, small-minded, reactionary and self-serving as our own. Without building that world, this just becomes a fun adventure in a tent. Are the social themes addressed in the first act too distant to care about? I didn't think so. I thought there was a lot of subtle observations definitely worthy of my attention.
He's gonna - he's saying on as a member of Artists Rep's resident company after stepping down as Artistic Director. Awesome, huh!
Allen Nause is such a treasure, I really hope he continues to act in town!
An "exposé" seems to imply some sort of conspiracy. Whom do you imagine are the perpetrators and the beneficiaries of a secret plot to start new theater companies? (Especially out around 82nd Avenue, where up to now "lingerie modeling" had been the main theatrical competition?)
I definitely see Boice as a polarizing figure whom people would be inclined to give undue credit—and flack—based on just his image. I tried to reflect that humorously in my writing because I think it's a big part of people's first impression of the guy. But I wouldn't have profiled him if I didn't think he was doing decent work. I do agree that for most artistic directors it might be weird to take a starring role, but there's an exception to every rule.
As long as you're speculating, can I posit a theory about your beef? I'm going to guess that a project/person you love is feeling sidelined by some of the new theater companies, and I don't know what to tell you. Send press releases, do good work, and try not to hate. There's no New Theater Company Conspiracy.
I love a young energetic startup theater company as much as the next person, but this seems a bit much; I fear Miss Adams may have quite the crush going! I propose an exposé on why so many people keep starting new theater companies in a city already saturated with them, particularly when their creators, ie: "Artistic Directors" put themselves in leading roles in so many of their shows rather than pulling from the established and talented acting pool Portland is blessed with.
After hearing about this I am dissapointed that I missed Roadhouse: The Play!
I'd like to know more about this. Why is the owner of Tao of Tea so keen on kicking them out. It feels like something's missing here. Is she going to sell that building to developers? Or what?
But how does he feel about kale?
There are many areas in need of experienced arts related businesses & I know these fantastic venues will find greener pastures!
Uh.... but is it any good? Worth watching? Failure of a review.
So much better than a movie. Real people, live action! Performers so close you could reach out and touch them (and they might just reach out and touch YOU!)
I thought this was a movie.
Apparently someone hit a nerve. Nothing you say about theater in this town is inaccurate; however, no one commenting here said everything on stage in this town is great. And no one is saying they have a problem with negative reviews. They are saying THIS negative review seems off base. But to answer a couple of your comments:
Ms Hallett did not just disagree with the commenters here, she disagrees with the ENTIRE audience that saw the show that night. By her own admission her experience of the show was completely different from EVERYONE around her. So which is more likely: that 99% of the people in the audience were just too "unchallenging" in their thinking and that Allison is the one true voice of theatrical reason in this town; or that maybe, just maybe, Ms Hallett missed something. I've seen reviews by people who admit upfront they hate the type of show they're reviewing. My question to them is "then why review it?" Send someone to review it who is at least going to give the show a fair chance.
Your question about who IS a theater reviewer is beside the point. An absence of other reviewers does not make the one any better (or worse).
As for your OPINION about how theater should be in this town and how people should relate to the arts, well, you are entitled to your opinion. I'm not even saying I disagree. But neither of our opinions is the "RIGHT" way to view theater or the arts. Not everything has to be deep, significant, and weighty to appeal. Maybe some people prefer hearing a nonsense song sung lightly to a "deep" exploration of the human condition (because no one has ever tackled THAT before - how fresh!).
Regardless, Ms Hallett is entitled to her opinion, and the (in her case) majority of the people who disagree with her are entitled to theirs. MY view is that a reviewer should represent more than their opinion (like back it up with something other than "the music was annoying" - wow, stop throwing around that technical jargon!). Otherwise, as I commented, what's the difference between a reviewer and some shmoe with a blog?
I love the show and am going for a 2nd time this Saturday. A comment on the "unicorn" mention in the critique - that skit isn't about unicorns discussing their sex life. It's about the woman of a couple searching for the inevitably-mythical perfect "other woman" to complete a triad. A very high percentage of men have serious fantasies about being with 2 women at the same time, and a very high percentage of women have serious issues with "their" man being with another woman at the same time as he's with them. Check out http://polytripod.blogspot.com/2012/10/uni… for a detailed discussion of how unlikely the perfect, long-term menage-a-trois truly is.
It's time for us to wake up. The mere fact that Ms. Hallett has an opinion about a show that she saw and that it differs from yours, and that it automatically means that she has no idea what she is talking about, shows the complete ignorance of this community.
The problem with this town is we think that our shit doesn't stink. We love everything that we do, which leaves us no room to grow and actually thrive as an artistic community. I've been doing theater in this town for the past 7 years, and a majority of what we do is blow smoke up peoples asses. I appreciate Allison, because she shares her opinion, that's it, that's all, nothing more.
You have an opinion too, and what I would love to know, is in your opinion, what makes an actual theater reviewer? What does that look like? If it's not Allison, then who in this town is an actual theater reviewer? Because all I ever see in reviews in this town are not actually reviews, but book reports. This towns' publications do an outstanding job of giving me the synopsis of every show that they see, but nothing more. I've never read one solid opinion from anyone other than Allison and Benjamin Waterhouse. We are so afraid of negative reviews it's astounding. How do we expect to grow as a community and create more challenging work if all we ever expect everyone to say is how lovely everything is?
What I would love to do is to challenge this community to start expecting more from each other. If we don't like something we see, it's okay to say something about it. We don't have to hide from it and sugar coat it. We don't have to bully the people who do say that they didn't like something. It's okay for us to create a discussion and a discussion can only be made if you have two oposing views and that both parties are willing to hear each other and then find the meaning and value in the other person's thoughts and ideas. Look, it's okay for us to get better, to be stronger, to have to swallow our medicine from time to time, it's how we can not only thrive as a nation but as a community. Our goal on any artistic level is to provide truth, be it onstage, in an art gallery or in a song. We call out the actor who is not genuine. We dismiss the singer who does not sing from the heart. We close the book that provides us with false information. Yet when we experience truth in the real world, we run away from it. We hide and say it's not truth, but lies, it's not correct, it's absolutely wrong. Well that's bullshit. If we expect it from one, we have to expect it from the other, and be okay with it.
I think it's time that we all come to the realization that not everything we put onstage, or in an art piece, or in a movie theater or at a book reading or a song that a band plays in this town is golden. It's time to accept the fact, that we have some work to do in order to get to the place where we already think we are. We all need to put more heart, and passion into the things we are doing in order to deserve the praise that we are so quickly ready to give ourselves and expect.
Casey Alan McFeron
Delighted that at least one of the papers in town has the courage to review this show! (PCS loss is apparently Dance Naked Productions' gain!) Agreed that it was running too long - which is why I cut two scenes from the first act. The strength and weakness of this format - (the show is entirely original, and all written by the cast) is that people get very attached to what they have written. It's so hard to let stuff go! But as the producer, it's my job to make sure the show is entertaining. First act now runs an hour and ten. And no one is forced to cuddle!
Great review, great show!
"I chose to interpret this as a sign that the standing ovation has lost any meaning whatsoever; a more charitable interpretation would be that the Sunday crowd found much to enjoy in this show that I simply did not." A less charitable interpretation would be that Alison Hallett is completely out-of-touch and doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground regarding theater. Perhaps she would be better off posing such drivel on a personal blog, rather than purporting to be an actual theater reviewer.
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