Arts On Exiting at Intermission
posted by February 26 at 14:50 PMon
In this week’s theater section, I gave Craig Trolli and his theater company Bad Actor Productions a two-sentence review:
Bad Actor Productions at Northwest Actors Studio
Through March 3.
An alleged comedy about a day spa in “Oceanattle.” The production company is aptly named. BRENDAN KILEY
Understandably, Mr. Trolli and his pals are a little upset, accusing me on his livejournal blog of being “lazy” and “too cool for stool [sic—or sick].”
I know where you’re coming from, Craig. I used to think it was unethical and lazy to leave a play before it was over. For years, I proudly suffered through godawful slop to see if the second half somehow redeemed the first.
Of the hundreds of shows I’ve seen, it has never happened. Not once. Ever.
My change in thinking is recent—sometime in the last year—but I began to believe it is a critic’s prerogative to turn off the record, close the book, stop eating the meal, or leave the theater when he or she just can’t take it anymore. I don’t split often, maybe once out of two dozen events, but when I do I don’t feel even a little bit guilty. If you can’t make us believe that things are going to get better, that you are capable of giving us a payoff in the second act, you’ve failed.
Or, as David Schmader put it in his essay on the subject in 2005: “If alleged theater artists refuse to justify the attention they’ve demanded, audiences shouldn’t feel bad about withdrawing it.”
As for the two-sentence review: I could’ve gone on and on about the tremendous suckage of Super Females but Christopher had a lot to say in his review of Crumbs Are Also Bread. I thought that was a better use of the space.