Friday, August 1, 2008

Where Exactly Is the Beaten Track?

Here's a sentence from the end of Sam Thielman's rave review (in Variety) for Larry Kunofsky's new play What to Do When You Hate All Your Friends:

The worst thing about this silly, stellar production is that it's puttering
along at a tiny theater off the beaten track in Midtown.

The theatre is the Lion, in Theatre Row (42nd St just west of Ninth Avenue). Come on, Sam, the Lion is a lovely intimate theatre (not "tiny" by a long shot)...and if a block away from Times Square is off the beaten track, then I need to know where the beaten track actually is.

Another example of the disrespect that indie theater has to put up with in the mainstream media, seemingly more and more.


Casey J said...

Hi Martin--I understand your perspective, but, to be honest, when I first read his review, I thought his "beaten track" remark was actually meant in a very complimentary way. I interpreted it to mean that he felt this indie theater production is so good that it deserves a playing space with more than 99 seats because it deserves to be seen by audience sizes normally equated with Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. So, I saw it as praise for one of our own homegrown indie theater productions (and not so much as a put-down of the Lion space)... said...

Casey J--
I am sure you are right about the Variety reviewer's intent. However, that doesn't excuse him from (consciously or not) promoting the misconception that indie theater is inconvenient. He could have said, as you just did, simply that the play deserves to be seen by a larger audience for a longer run.