Local theater has a hard enough time drawing audiences here. Apathetic critics don’t help.
Something that Marc Haefele mentioned in his most recent post on Metblogs has stayed with me since I read it: his opening sentence wherein he mentions overhearing “the arts editor of a prominent local weekly… say she didn’t like opera and didn’t know anyone who did.”
Having been to my share of LA Opera performances, some that I have enjoyed more than others, I was shocked to hear of a supposed cultural gatekeeper in the guise of an arts editor coming forth with a blanket disdain for a particular, um, art. Perhaps she needs to broaden her circle of friends and get out more– or at least find another area of journalism to work in.
I got the same feeling today when I read a theater review in the LA Times by Charlotte Stoudt. Granted, it was a review of Octomom, The Musical, playing at the Fake Gallery on Melrose and Heliotrope. But her opening sentence may have tipped her hand about her feelings towards live theater, along with her qualifications to review it:
“It was only a matter of time before the exploits of Nadya Suleman trickled down to that most lowly of entertainment forms, live theater.”
It left me wondering where on her hierarchy of “entertainment forms” she places, say, WWF or TMZ, which she mentions being well aware of in her review. Something tells me she also is not an opera buff.
And for all we know, you could take her upfront dismissal of theater overall as a ringing endorsement of Octomom.