Mr. Isherwood to no longer review Mr. Rapp?

It appears that Mr. Isherwood will no longer be reviewing the work of playwright Mr. Adam Rapp.  You can read the news here: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/theater-talkback-for-one-critic-its-a-rapp/ .  Despite the relief some of us may feel for Mr. Isherwood, I wonder that he made the right choice?  Here’s my response (which corrects some mis-placed parenthetical shenanigans).

While I’m sure that you’re relieved by your choice, Mr. Isherwood (and I am relieved on your behalf as you no longer need to sit or sleep through the work of a playwright who is clearly wrong far too often), I wonder that you should give up so easily.  Our theater is at the vanguard of a struggle for proper culture.  It is important that art be made to bend to the critical consensus, not vice versa!  It may be true that most criticism is merely a form of infotainment–it gives us pleasure to see something eviscerated.  But how much more pleasure when something truly deserving of evisceration (such as a work of theater or an unruly playwright’s career) is eviscerated with carefree style!  I may not agree with you .1% of the time (usually when you enjoy something, but I know that sometimes the witchcraft of a spectacle–and sometimes [rarely] of language–can be overpowering), but I continue to have faith in your poison pen.  Of the Grey Lady’s Critics, you are certainly the Greytest!  (If you do open a yogurt shop, though, I’ll have you know my wife and I are big fans of cultured dairy products and would frequent your enterprise, well, frequently.  Hint: I enjoy plain yogurt.)

(I regret suggesting that it was a wrong idea for Mr. Isherwood to review Mr. Rapp’s plays–see below.  I hope it’s clear that my concern is principally for the preservation of Mr. Isherwood’s critical palate.)

What do you think?  I hope you agree with me!

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4 comments
  1. JazzHands1 said:

    Kudos Mr. Thropwelle and thank you for your efforts in preserving correct theater! Fight the good fight you gallant and sterile man. : )

  2. Dear Sir or Madame,

    I am gratified by your kind words and support! Ours is an uphill battle, I’m afraid, but keeping the unsullied aesthetic faith and supporting each other in the same is paramount.

    If I may offer a word of counsel, however? In the days when I listened to music, I always found Jazz to be a bit chaotic and untoward. It was one of the first things that I removed from my listening repertoire, before embarking on a full fast from all things musical. I’m sure I don’t need to say why I would mention this…Mr. and/or Mrs. JazzHands1 (ahem!).

    Nonetheless, your support remains meaningful to me.

    Sincerely,
    Dean

  3. Dear Mr. Thropwelle,

    Have you considered starting an advice column here on this site? You seem to really know what’s what.

  4. Dear Mr. Butler,

    What a wonderful idea! Indeed, there is a plethora of advice I would like to give, much of it on topics of which I know next to nothing. But I’ve never found ignorance of a subject to be a severe impediment to forming a correct opinion on it.

    You have inspired me. That is difficult to do. I would not suggest you do it too often–the next time you do, you may consider warning me first.

    Sincerely,
    Dean

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