Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's all in the details

So, in my previous post, I answered four of the five questions you readers emailed me last week. I had hoped to have the fifth answer today, but I don't think there really is one. The question asked whether I knew who the ladies of Encores! Follies were going to be. Now, I have a list of people who have been offered roles, but, beyond Victoria Clark (who has already been announced), I don't think any of them have accepted yet. Thus I honestly don't know who we'll see onstage at City Center. And I don't think anyone does. I could list you the people who have offers, but it would be a tiny bit ridiculous. It's like if I listed you everyone who had been offered Roxie Hart in Chicago, we'd be here for years.

Now onto something that really bothers me--that even some theater journalists seem to not know/care the difference between off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway. They are not the same thing. People who write about such things for a living should know that. To quote my guest blogger--enough I say! If you don't know what category a show falls into, just name the theater and don't say off-Broadway or off-off-Broadway. That's a good way to go. Because I know it's honestly confusing. If you are writing about a production at a 55-seat theater that is performing 3 performances a week for 3 weeks, it's a safe bet that it's off-off-Broadway. But, sometimes, productions at tiny houses have actors under off-Broadway contracts. (This typically happens after a show has been at the same house awhile.) So I understand the possibility that justifiably journalists could not know whether a show is off-Broadway or off-off-Broadway. I know there are times when I read a press release and have no idea which one the show in question is. But journalists have the ability of calling the show's press agent and asking. I've asked that question many a time. Sometimes even the press agent does not know and, in these cases, a journalist can either persist until a answer is found or, and here is a novel concept, they can just write something like "New York's In The Middle of Nowhere Theater [insert actual theater name and not my smart ass theater name]." Now, I know some people are going to think I'm crazy for caring because the difference is irrelevant to the majority of readers, but there is a difference. And it confuses things to label shows incorrectly.

OK, I am going to stop while three people in this industry are still speaking to me. I can't handle everyone thinking I'm a pompous jerk. As I did with the Cry Baby post (which I got nasty emails about), I will say, that I'm sure I have in the past been guilty of what I criticize. That does not mean I cannot know it's wrong. It's good to learn. I've grown. I make other stupid mistakes now--like printing a dead guy is on the Tony nominating committee. Now that's stellar journalism.

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