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Comment Archives: stories: Theater

Re: “Books Are Dead. (Long Live Books.)

Brrrrrffff !!! {a.k.a.artsy fartsy}Eeeets all gooood!!

Posted by Internet Narcistical Coconut Head on 02/10/2011 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

I'd like to thank you for your response, Alison (and apologize for mis-spelling your first name in my original post). I'm glad to hear that the point wasn't to cheer on the arrival of the Nazis, and I thank you for clarifying the point. That said, I encourage you to reconsider the appropriateness of the remark, and my request for an apology. Your review noted the generational difference between yourself and many of the show's patrons. Some of those patrons were Holocaust survivors and children of survivors. Such a fact does not oblige you to judge the performance any differently, but I hope it helps you understand why I and others found in the joke no humor and much offense.

Posted by David Berkson on 02/10/2011 at 2:48 PM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

Hi David,
I want to thank you for your comments, and for your civility; I've never been called a bigot so politely before! I can certainly appreciate that not everyone shares my sense of humor, but my wording was quite deliberate—the point was not to cheer the arrival of the Nazis, but to ask the reader to consider how bad a play would have to be to evoke such an inappropriate reaction. I reread the review after receiving your letter, and I'm still comfortable with that joke.

Posted by Alison Hallett on 02/10/2011 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Books Are Dead. (Long Live Books.)

What the fuck is an "art crime"? And the kind of people who refer to anything as a polemic need to go masturbate furiously some more.

While I often disagree with Alison's reviews, I don't feel the need to accuse her of boring ad-hominem attacks (lazy, under-informed, ignorant, et al). Too many artists think that just because they made something, people should respect their work. Bullshit.

"Just because I like drawing something, doesn't mean it's worth looking at." - Laylah Ali

Posted by Graham on 02/10/2011 at 12:21 PM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

I, too, am delighted that newspapers print opinions that I disagree with. I'm simply asserting that Ms. Hallett could (and should) have done so without expressing glee at the arrival of the Nazis. At best, it was a poor choice of words, and she would do well to apologize.

Posted by David Berkson on 02/10/2011 at 10:36 AM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

I haven't seen the show, but I do read a lot of newspapers. And I disagree with David Berkson's assertion that Hallett's review is defamatory. It's simply a negative review with a typically off-color remark in a journal that is known for it's off-color remarks. If it is tasteless at least the author very clearly shows her own responsibility for that, and her discomfort. I'm glad we have newspapers that print opinions I disagree with, and I fear that calling such opinions "defamation" both discourages the newspapers and trivializes the actual effects of defamation.

Posted by Matthew Stadler on 02/10/2011 at 8:49 AM

Re: “Books Are Dead. (Long Live Books.)

it is true that Hallett will tend to indulge her often lazy and under-informed perspectives. for me it is an art crime to have a mostly ignorant (and arrogant) critic, with what seems to be a free and un-edited hand, sitting in judgement on artists many of whom dedicate their lives, usually with great financial/social sacrifice, to the rigors and disciplines of performance. adopting a lofty attitude w/out doing the homework and then publishing it weekly harms much more than it helps.

Posted by bridgeburner on 02/10/2011 at 8:18 AM

Re: “Books Are Dead. (Long Live Books.)

Allison Hallett’s review of Portland Center Stage’s futura, while praising certain parts, accuses it of stifling discussion of issues that Hallett herself acknowledges. Yet as any reviewer should know, a polemical play sparks dialogue after the lights come back on – and often intentionally so. One doesn’t have to regard a work as flawless in order to not be disrespectful, as Ms. Hallett’s review is; if she thinks parts of futura are clichéd or unoriginal, that’s fine, but it’s uncalled for to lambast the playwright’s cultural literacy or cry “hysteria.” Most confusing of all is that Hallett, conflating a specific production with its art form, questions whether futura should be produced by “theater” as such, as if the latter must endorse the beliefs presented in the works it produces. Odd it is that a reviewer would be so ignorant of the nature of her specialty.

Posted by B. H. Emerson on 02/10/2011 at 3:42 AM

Re: “Life, Theater, or Ill-Conceived Performance Art?

I am dismayed to read Allison Hallett's tasteless and inflamatory remarks in her review of Charlotte Salomon's Life or Theatre. Ms. Hallett clearly did not care for Jewish Theatre Collaborative's adaptation of Salomon's massive autobiographical body of work, which the artist painted when in hiding from the Nazis between 1941 and 1943. A negative review is the perogative of any critic, and Ms. Hallett is entitled to her say. But she oversteps her bounds when writing: "I can't forgive a lack of narrative tension so utter that at one point I actually thought 'Oh, thank god, the Nazis. That means it's ending soon.' " Such a remark is at best careless, at worst bigoted, and in either case utterly callous - especially in light of the fact that Salomon herself was gassed to death by the Nazis in Auschwitz. Perhaps it is Ms. Hallett herself who should seek forgiveness (for a lack of sensitivity so utter) by at some point actually apologizing. Not for panning the show, but for the quoted remark. A good writer has learned the difference between hyperbole and defamation, and Ms. Hallett clearly has a lot to learn.

Posted by David Berkson on 02/09/2011 at 9:08 PM

Re: “What the Fuck?

Marc Maron blast from the past: Stalker Guilt Syndrome…

Posted by Commenty Colin on 01/28/2011 at 10:18 PM

Re: “Good for the Gander

Frank Beaton you appear to know that directors are in charge of productions. When you mention flaws without noting whether it is the director or the actor causing them you prevent your reader from gaining an understanding of how artists create art. All your disagreements with the play center originate in stylistic and staging choices. It would have been productive to try and converse with the director about those choices. Once you're familar with Megan Kate Ward's artistic approach, you can intellectually assess her work in a language that helps you, her, and your readers.

" . . . could have been an exercise in tedious experimentalism . . . "--what worthless words. It wasn't. Why could it have been? Because of the play? Or because you expect plays to be bad?

Posted by sexmachinealpha on 01/20/2011 at 6:23 AM

Re: “So. 2010.

That picture isn't of the Roadhouse: The Play, is it? Or not the one I worked on. I am confused.

Posted by Miranda on 01/11/2011 at 8:19 AM

Re: “So. 2010.

@El Stunto--What do you think is being overlooked?

Posted by Alison Hallett on 01/03/2011 at 10:04 AM

Re: “So. 2010.

El Stunto calls 'em like El Stunto sees 'em and doesn't give a shit who El Stunto pisses off.

Posted by sexmachinealpha on 12/31/2010 at 3:05 AM

Re: “So. 2010.

Let's see....Comedy club's aren't theatre, so those didn't need to be there.

Maybe you saw a different night, but the Long Day's Journey i saw was pure magic, and the lady playing opposite Hurt gave one of the single best performances I've seen in Portland in years, bar none. Long, yes, but that's in the title...what dd you expect?

I'm alone in this, but Portland Playhouse is WAY over-hyped...I guess free beer makes people think it's better, but there's a lot of stuff happening in PDX that's as good, better that doesn't get the ink. Kind of like 3rd Rail, yeah, it's good, but people need to expect more than that, else that's all they'll ever get.

Posted by El Stunto on 12/29/2010 at 11:32 PM

Re: “So. 2010.

Prohibitive, as they may be, I would shell out the money for mandatory drinks at Helium more often if Anthony Lopez was opening there.

Posted by ifuwant2disco on 12/29/2010 at 9:04 PM

Re: “Bunny Suits & BB Guns

Just for the sake of argument, these began as stories that JEan Shepherd told on radio, then wrote in short story form...the film came much later. The point of doing the play is to reimagine the story YET ANOTHER medium, the film holds no sacred place. It's not like they're putting out a staged version of Citizen Kane for Pete's sake. And Rose Reardon is one of the finest directors in town, even when working with schlock, she finds a way to make it interesting and unique.
Turn off your dvd player Noah, it's dumbing you down.

Posted by El Stunto on 12/06/2010 at 10:03 PM

Re: “Flying High: Zip Zap Zoom

Well, now we know who was right. (See the "One Day at a Time" from Dec 2, 2010.) Everyone give it up for Ned, who hit it on the head!

Posted by Electrolemming on 12/04/2010 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Tosh.0

"...Because you're all hypocrites..." is his license for regurgitating bigotry. Tosh likes to think that his comedy de-constructs political correctness -- it doesn't, he's just a douche. AND is a comedian only a step above the likes of Mencia.

Posted by delgado on 11/22/2010 at 2:51 AM

Re: “Dracula

Holy crap this was a great play--I agree almost 100% with this review 'Nuff said.

Posted by StageCarp on 11/07/2010 at 9:59 AM

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