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Friday, March 30, 2007

Better Than Audiotape

posted by on March 30 at 11:00 AM

Yesterday was the premiere of the play adaptation of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, but I wouldn’t advise reading Ben Brantley in the New York Times to find out how it went. Here is a representative, deeply pompous paragraph:

Such moments erupt often enough throughout this production, which is directed with austere eloquence by the playwright David Hare, to raise the show well above the level of an audiotape. Students of acting are advised to buy tickets as close as possible to the stage to observe the presence and craft that allows one woman to hold an audience’s attention for 90 uninterrupted minutes.

Don’t you just want to wash yourself? I guess I’ll have to wait for the New Yorker.

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So far the reviews are not glowing. Terry Teachout's review in the WSJ actually takes light in, rather than releasing it: "Yet I found it hard to shake off the disquieting sensation that Ms. Didion, for all the obvious sincerity of her grief, was nonetheless functioning partly as a grieving widow and partly as a celebrity journalist who had chosen to treat the death of John Gregory Dunne as yet another piece of grist for her literary mill."

Posted by MvB | March 30, 2007 11:29 AM

I can pinpoint the exact moment I gave up on NY Times reviews forever. This is from David Kamp's painful review of Norah Vincent's book about dressing up and going around as a dude:

"Conspicuously absent from 'Self-Made Man,' though, are men leading full, contented lives. Perhaps this is a function of the limitations of Vincent's experiment - after all, a 'man' created out of thin air and stoppelpaste can't very well insinuate himself into an elegant country club or a loving nuclear family."

Posted by a.b. | March 30, 2007 11:48 AM


Posted by sniggles | March 30, 2007 12:44 PM

What the heck is "stoppelpaste"? It was neither in my Webster's or OED.

Is it the same as chalk?

Posted by elswinger | March 30, 2007 1:09 PM

Ms. Wagner, your venom is caused by your invidiousness that you lack Mr. Brantley's slight social acquaintance with Ms. Didion.

Posted by elenchos | March 30, 2007 3:01 PM

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