Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What's wrong with Broadway theatre is all the dead people.

(This post is dedicated to a certain friend of mine, who would kill me if I mentioned their name in connection with this story, but I just have one word to say here: fruity!)

There's journalism.

And then there's the New York Post.

A bizarre but perversely interesting article today in the Post about why the Cort Theater on 48th St. in NYC cannot seem to host a show that does not bomb infamously within a very short period of time.

It's a valid point: good shows such as Mario Cantone's Laugh Whore and the super-fun children's musical A Year With Frog And Toad as well as bad shows like Hollywood Arms and, god help us all, Bobbi Boland, the show starring Farrah Fawcett, (which was so bad that it closed before it even got to opening night), all of them died a fast and horrible death at the Cort.

So, with the upcoming revival of Barefoot In The Park just days away from its opening at the Cort, does the Post do an in-depth story on why audiences are not connecting with the shows that being offered in today's climate of commercial theatre?



Instead, they hire these two, psychic Stephen Robinson and feng shui consultant Judith Wendell, to go into the Cort and see if they can "sense" what's wrong with the theater.

Well, surprise surprise, the feng shui expert's complaints are: the theatre's lobby is too small, everything inside the theater is too crowded together, and the bathrooms are very bleak and unwelcoming.

Now, this would be a valid assessment of the state of things of the Cort, except that it also happens to be an accurate statement about virtually every theatre on Broadway. Has this person never been inside a theatre in New York before? There wasn't a whole lotta feng shui back when they were making these places, cookie. They're supposed to look good, and get the maximum number of people possible into it without it being (too) unsafe. Feng shui was the name of a guy working on the railroad when the Cort was built in 1912.

The feng shui detective goes one step further however when, according to the Post, she checked her pendulum for signs of "unhappy spirits." No ghosts there, she says, but she did feel "negative thought forms of previous tenants . . . unhappy actors, illness, hardship, sadness."

Really? Unhappy actors in a theater? Wow. That is just impossible to believe. The pendulum told you that, did it? My goodness.

Unfortunately, the psychic does not fare much better. He seemed to feel that an actress, long ago, had suffered something unpleasant in the theatre, and that the entire place had the feeling of negativity of a business deal gone bad.

Really? A business deal gone bad in a Broadway theater? Wow. That is just impossible to believe. The theatre told you that, did it? My goodness.

But what about the fact that Barefoot In The Park appears to be doing well, and that audiences seem to be responding positively to the show? The psychic admits that he saw "the bond" between the cast members as they took their bows, and the happy faces in the audience. But all that conflicted energy, he says, is working against them.

"If this show lasts, it will drain the actors," he says. "It will be an uphill battle."

Really? Actors being drained from the run of a Broadway show? Wow. That is just impossible to believe. The paper hired you to tell us that, did it? My goodness.

Hey, before I forget! Let's update some of the stories we've been talking about lately! Yay!

Now, you know the rules. If you missed the story the first time, just click on the picture next to the update, and read the original story first. Then come back and read the update. Here we go!

- Hooked, the swell short movie by Richie Keen and Heath Corson, has its website up in anticipation of their appearance at the US Comedy Arts Festival next month. Check out the trailer here. It's fun.

- Dave Chappelle finally resurfaced this week on Oprah, and, as we first reported way back when, he did in fact go crazy from smoking too much dope and having too much pressure. The interview, by all accounts, was really weird, and Chappelle is starting to psychologically resemble the people he used to make fun of, such as Rick James, Prince and Michael Jackson. However, Chappelle did say that he would not be adverse to coming back to his show to finish the third season, as long as proceeds from the show would go to some charities. Chappelle said "I ain't mad at nobody", but I think that the jury is still out on that.

- From the Los Angeles Times, Paris Hilton, still awaiting word on her other court case, has been slapped with a restraining order by a Los Angeles party planner, who said that Paris was hounding him day and night with phone calls and harrassment (video available here), because he apparently suggested to Paris's boyfriend, Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos, that he would be happier with his former girlfriend Mary-Kate Olsen. OK, look, I find Paris as annoying as anybody else does, but seriously, a restraining order? I mean, all you have to do to stop Paris Hilton is like give her a math problem or something. If you need to have 85 pound Paris Hilton restrained, it's time for you to start taking some self-esteem classes.


Anonymous Heath said...

Hey! That's awesome. Thanks for the plug! I appreciate it.

We'll see how we fare at Aspen.

Thanks, Mr. Jones!

Denny Crane.


2/10/2006 1:43 PM


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