Thursday, January 10, 2008

Near the Sea

So I looked at Variety and saw the headline that said: " Foster joins 'Spider Woman' cast" and I thought "Jodie Foster in a movie version of Kiss of a Spider Woman." But, alas. (I also love how in the story, about the Signature Theater revival of the musical, it says "will play here" as if Variety is associated with a regional location beyond LA and, maybe, NYC, this "here" referring to neither.)

Anyway, I am still in LA. I just returned from attending The Color Purple, so I feel very NYC at least. My email box is flooded from messages of people who have seen Mermaid. Now, in 24 hours we'll know what the "real" critics think. But will it matter? That we won't know for a good while... And there are multiple scenarios to consider:

1) Good reviews = A joyous day
2) Mixed reviews = I'm 100% sure the show will keep on selling (and by mixed I mean mixed major reviews, not like good reviews from two people in Kansas who happen to have stumbled upon a Broadway opening mixed in with bad ones)
3) Bad reviews =
A) Doesn't matter (See Beauty and the Beast)
B) Sales begin to slow down in a few weeks (See Tarzan)

I have this much to say about it: The Little Mermaid is a more appealing title than Tarzan. It's a story of a girl fighting for her dreams. Tarzan is about cultural imperialism. So score one for Ariel.

That being said, if multiple critics say this show doesn't have the heart/integrity of the movie, that might possibly mean trouble. Because--after all--Beauty may have been crappy, but mostly because it was so literal. And that helped it... You know there is this odd thing--people want stage work to be transformative, so they don't want to see the same exact thing that was on the screen. Yet they want to see the familiar--they want the songs delivered how they remember them being. Logically of course these things don't go together, but they do in the practical world. So, what I'm saying is, if bad reviews could possibly have an effect (and that's a big if), I think only certain types of bad reviews would have that effect.

I won't be reading the reviews tomorrow, so no reaction on Sunday. This is because I'm not going until I get back to town and I don't want to have my mound clouded with such things. Plus, I'm on vacation, people. I'm so not keeping up. I logged onto Variety just for all of you.

I'll join you again Sunday on the East Coast, home of the coolest people.

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