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…At home, to complain about her opinion of Desire Under the Elms, as expressed on her "Dueling Critics" segment with Jonathan Abarbanel on WBEZ's 848 (listenable here).
Suddenly I'm glad I don't have a landline.
Posted on February 25, 2009 in Arts coverage, News and Reviews | Permalink
Goodman Theatre, Robert Falls
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But then how can people call you to congratulate you on your accurate, honest assessment of their show when you write a rave?
In my (admittedly more limited) experience writing reviews, not having a landline doesn't help. If someone decides they're pissed off enough by a review to respond, they'll find a way to get in touch with you. Watch out for grim-faced carrier pigeons.
Do people still have landlines? When I first moved to Chicago I had one the first year, until my roommate and I realized that the only people using it were telemarketers.
February 26, 2009 at 09:19 AM
I blog on it here:
February 26, 2009 at 09:57 AM
I thought it was pretty bad when the mother of an actor in a show with which I was affiliated several years ago angrily contacted critic concerning the review of said show--but, uh, wow, this really takes the cake.
Oh, and some Luddites who use DSL instead of cable must retain a landline--which comes in handy for ignoring telemarketers or, I guess, staving off angry artistic directors...
February 26, 2009 at 12:07 PM
I do have a landline (I'm old, cut me some slack!) but no major artistic director has ever called me at home to berate me.
All of a sudden, I feel so insignificant.
Kerry Reid |
February 26, 2009 at 01:58 PM
Good for Falls.
Critics should be called on their opinions more often.
They are not sacred.
Treating them more profanely might remind them of that.
February 28, 2009 at 03:20 PM
Falls calling Kleiman out on her opinions is one thing. Calling her at home and resorting to personal and bullying attacks is quite another. It speaks less to having a difference of opinion and more to having a difference of ego.
Lord knows I've read enough theater criticism from critics who clearly consider themselves greater than the medium they judge, so I do hear what Peter's saying...but I fail to see how Falls' reaction does anything to change the discourse for the better.
March 01, 2009 at 11:23 AM
Hey, she has byline for a reason. And criticism is personal - always has been, always will be no matter how often the word "professionalism" is used. So if someone wants to use a personal channel to challenge the critic, even better.
And, ultimately, ALMOST anything that changes the regular course of the discourse is for the better.
March 01, 2009 at 12:51 PM
Peter, as I pointed out in my response at the Reader blog on this, when Bob Falls is willing to take calls at home from disgruntled audience members who want to chew him out with profanity for wasting their time and money on shows at the Goodman that they didn't like, then maybe it will be okay for him to do the same to critics. But since he is protected from that reality by an administrative structure, that will never happen. (As of now, I don't think the Goodman even has a blog where the public can leave comments, unlike Steppenwolf.)
Artistic directors aren't sacred, either. They should be willing to take the heat from the people who matter the most -- their paying audiences. I see little evidence that most of them do that, however.
If I want to talk to Bob Falls or almost any other artistic personnel at a large or midsize theater, I have to make a request through the press office. If they want to dress me down for a review, they can go through my editors. And as Justin Hayford pointed out, if they write a public response (and almost all my reviews now provide a way for anyone to comment upon them online), it will get more play than a private tirade delivered over the phone line that I pay for. (I'm not a tax-supported nonprofit entity.)
Sure, criticism is personal. But it's not the same as bullying, which is something I will not tolerate. Period. If Bob Falls or any other theater artist or company doesn't like a particular critic or critics in general, they can simply stop inviting them to shows. When you invite critical scrutiny, sometimes it won't be favorable. And I'm mystified why artists who pat themselves on the back for doing "provocative" and "daring" work turn petulant when the work happens to "provoke" some people in the direction of not liking it.
Kerry Reid |
March 02, 2009 at 12:49 PM
Goodman actually does have such a blog, though it is not as well-linked-to as some theoretical people might theoretically like:
It's so hidden that it might actually be meant for a very small subset of patrons, but it does at least visibly invite dialogue of some kind.
Nick Keenan |
March 09, 2009 at 11:13 PM
Thanks for the link, Nick. They really don't promote it well at all, especially compared to Steppenwolf's blog.
Kerry Reid |
March 12, 2009 at 10:58 AM
Thanks for the information! I do have a landline (I'm old, cut me some slack!) but no major artistic director has ever called me at home to berate me.
donne russe |
May 27, 2011 at 08:35 AM
And, ultimately, ALMOST anything that changes the regular course of the discourse is for the better.GooD lUck!
Anne Hathaway |
September 28, 2011 at 07:03 AM
But since he is protected from that reality by an administrative structure, that will never happen. (As of now, I don't think the Goodman even has a blog where the public can leave comments, unlike Steppenwolf.)
temple of isis |
September 28, 2011 at 07:07 AM
Right now, reviewers have to defend their opinions. I don't know why people have problem deal with it. It is a personal opinion and you have to respect it. If you know a reviewer. You should know what kind of games it likes it so you don't have problem with the score.
cialis online |
November 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM
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