It’s been far too long since I’ve trolled the ‘sphere, so here goes:
– Mr. Playgoer compared the Tony and Obie nominations:
Within 12 hours of each other, the alternate (not even parallel) universes of B’way and “theatre” announced their season’s honors. Granted the Tony “awards” proper are still to come. But Obies thankfully don’t bother with the two-stage process, so their multiple nominations are in fact their awards.
To compare these lists is (as it is every year) an object lesson in the incredible gulf between theatre as experienced by those who practice and follow it devotedly, and those for whom it is well… tourism, frankly. Or hobby, or industry.
Read the whole thing. It’s very tough, and very smart.
– The Mumpsimus speaks words of wisdom:
Theatre audiences and critics have been conditioned to expect plays to deliver messages, and many good playwrights have mangled their art by bowing down to this condition. One of the problems with the messages delivered by most contemporary plays is that they’re predictable and shallow–war is bad, love is good, people should be nice to other people who aren’t exactly the same as they are, etc. One of the results of ticket prices being so phenomenally expensive is that audiences expect what they see to give them either a lot of spectacle or some sort of education, though if you’ve just paid $85 for a seat, what you probably most want is a reinforcing of your current ideas under the guise of education, so that way even if you aren’t entertained, at least you feel smart and righteous. (Yes, I’m generalizing horribly.)
– I really, really wish I’d written this:
Finishing a great novel is one of those voluminous experiences; your heart races as the pages thin, you struggle to move your eyes faster, to soak it all up more quickly. It’s the final lap, and the object is to finish without a drop of energy left. When the last page nears, the temptation to skip sentences, paragraphs, entire pages, pulls like some watery undertow. The final page comes in a rush, the last words arrive like a trampling stampede, there and gone before you can comprehend what’s happened. Unlike the end of a movie or a television series, novel time is fluid; you can repeat sentences, skip around on the page. So maybe you read the last line several times, or read it first and then go back and read the paragraph leading up to it. But at some point it hits you: This thing you’ve lived with for a day, a week, a month–these people and places and words you’ve submitted yourself to–they’re over. There’s nothing left to tell….
– Recognize this?