Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Okay, so the Reader review came out. Let me see if I can selectively edit it to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse: "This Factory Theater production ... is ... a bright ... unremitting ... story ... [full of] ... tension and levity." Ta-da!

Oh well. We've said all along that this is not the kind of play you'll want to see if you're keen on figuring out every detail of the story. The plot and situations are complex and, in some ways I guess, not fully intended to be completely comprehended. 

It's funny that the reviewer found the corporate speak "unconvincing," especially since it's lifted almost directly from real-life incidents. I guess the truth is more confusing than fiction.

Speaking of the truth, it's very odd that none of the reviewers thus far have noted (or seemed to notice) that the play is based on real events. We thought it was pretty clear, not only from the press materials but from characters like "Attorney General Stewart Spritzer," an ambitious and ruthless New York politician gunning for the governor's office. Particularly in light of recent events involving an actual state Governor and former Attorney General whose last name is just one letter off from the main character's.

I think that goes to show the perils of overestimating what people will pick up on. Or maybe it's a sad commentary on the public's lack of political awareness.

Either way, the show's clearly not for everybody. And if someone doesn't like the script, they're going to have a hard time getting past that to anything else. Like this guy did. Or didn't.

Anyway, yes, I recognize I am totally rationalizing this review away. A job that will be made much easier if the Trib has something decent to say about us. Come on, Trib.

1 comment:

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

Reminds me of a show I produced for Stockyards some years ago----it was a published play based on real events (the fact women astronauts trained in the 1960s space program alongside men). The play was more than 20 years old and had had productions all over the US, but for whatever reason had never been produced in Chicago. The Reader reviewer said something along the lines of "this world premiere play is in serious need of a rewrite, and is not historically accurate". Which meant that the reviewer hadn't bothered to look at the press materials or the clause "produced by special arrangement with Samuel French" in the program.

These days, the TIME OUT review is much more important than the READER review. The Reader is on its last legs. I don't read it anymore.