'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Friday, January 18, 2002 ]

The Isthmus review is out for Mercury Players' Computers In Love.

To celebrate, I'd like to start a new segment called (da-da-da-tah!!):

Critical Blowback!
(in which we critique the critics)

The critic is somebody new: Lue Allen. Or, at least, I will assume this person is new.

Here's a clip:

Clunky filler.

Slightly hackneyed open, but what are you going to do? The last sentence ("tempting to attempt too much") is a bit clunky--like Allen is trying to burn a few words before forming a real thought-out opinion.

All about Sonata.

And now, ladies and gentlemen...Doug Reed's reaction:

I don't know what the hell "overcomplicated" means. Either you can follow it, or you can't. From the review, it seems as though s/he followed it. (What the hell kind of name is Lue?) I'm not going to pander and spoon feed the message. Maybe "overcomplicated" means, "I had to do some thinking".

Indeed. Critics in town are loathe to have to figure anything out on their own.

What's strange about this is that Allen spends a deal of time on "Sonata," more or less praising it, but then pulls out just short of recommending it. Allen seems to get it, but never mentions whether or not the "overcomplicated" nature of the piece sinks it.

Allen goes on:

What's a synopsis?

And so on.

What's interesting is that all of these other shows get a brief mention, but Sonata's clip takes up almost the same amount of space.

I'd like to think that this is because it was the most thought-provoking (reason enough for praise), but really, it's probably because Allen just ran out of room.

No real complaints, here, it seems to be a positive review, for the most part--but it's hard to tell.

Still, good first effort.

In other news, Doug Reed sent me his initial reaction to "Welcome To The Terror Dome," which, to boil it down, was a strong, virceral, ultimately negative reaction--which I'm cool with. He and I are going to talk about that tonight some more, but I will say that pretty much all of his points are valid: The characters are unlikable, and the story is disturbing.

This, admittedly, has been bothering me from the beginning--does that aspect sink it?

Diplomatically, he pointed out that his sense of style is more quirky and light--and mine is a whole lot darker.

We'll schmooze, we'll both feel better.

And now, click here for the most horrifying sights 1971 had to offer.

posted by Rob on 6:52 AM | link



Post a Comment