Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Vote For Comment of the Week

This week's comment contenders, put votes in the comments for this post:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Critic's Notebook: real world concerns about a fan...":

"The Nightingale" its true is not naturalistic. It is not trying to capture how life actually is it is a symbolic representation of how the world is/was. But the real problem is that they tried to take a show that was clearly set in FEUDAL CHINA and make it reflect today's world. If the show had been actually set (meaning the costumes, props, choreography, and script) in a random ancient time with some Asian aspects then I don't think any of this flair up would have happened. Or if they were stuck on setting it specifically in Feudal China then they should have cast more Chinese actors. The reason this was not done is because Steven Sater the writer decided that he could not write the story of an entirely Asian cast (which is what a previous workshoped reading had been). And this brings up the most interesting question of all can a person of a different identity write and tell the story of people outside of who you are? I guess the answer is, depending on the identity you can? I don't think anyone can actually answer that question. But I just look at the work that is being produced today and who makes decisions and it seems as though if you are someone that is in the know then you are someone that won't be questioned. Also if the piece is abstract enough then no one will question your work. 
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Nakedness in Dance, Taken to Extremes":
I believe that this author is trying to raise the question of why certain audiences are appalled by a lack of clothing in some circumstances, and nearly welcoming it in others. I have never found issue with nudity in pieces, as I believe that tempered, appropriate skin-bearing can completely enhance a scene just because of the depletion of the physical barrier around the actor(s). In making someone nude, they are vulnerable, and the audience is entranced by their nudity.
The distinction between this and nakedness, however, is a strong one, and should be marked as something very different as the author notes. Being naked is often seen as distasteful and quirky; downright inappropriate at times.
We seem to run into this problem a lot in theatre, is defining the line between when a scene requires a level of intimacy that can be achieved in no other way than for a character to be unclothed. Nudity is something that directors use to enhance our emotional pull in a scene/piece/etc., as far as I see it. Nakedness is shock value.
Comment #3: a new comment on your post "Pittsburgh reinvents itself as the new Hollywood":
Pittsburgh as a new Hollywood? I don't buy it. I'm not sure how to say it, but that a little bit, there's something in the Kool-Aid out here in Pittsburgh. And someone sent some to If Pittsburgh is so great why did Pittsburgh's own George Romero pack up his studio and move to Toronto to make his films cheaper there than here? How much additional influence did Thomas Tull CEO of Dark Knight Rises' Legendary Pictures and Steelers co-owner producing have when bringing the film to the city?
What point does so much work come into town that the tax credit actually becomes a source of lost revenue for Pittsburgh and it's citizens? I'm not sure coupons to Hollywood film studios are the best way to generate business. It's a nice way to get people interested initially, I'd be interested to see what happens in the long-term for Pittsburgh. I'll admit things look good for small businesses if the entertainment industry picks up here in Pittsburgh. (I'd love to see the receipts for the cartoon and comic-book themed Toonseum during the shooting of DKR. Their downtown location was literally at the end of the block where most of the shooting in Pittsburgh took place.) But these businesses need to see that it's not Pittsburgh, its history, its culture, or its people that is attracting Hollywood, it's policy. The people of Pittsburgh and the small businesses need to be aware that they've been burned before by industry leaving the town, and this might be another way to get burned. There's evidence in the article's layout itself: did no one see the video about how China is set to be the next Hollywood?!? Look to your future Pittsburgh, America business outsourcing an industry. Sound familiar? 
Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Nakedness in Dance, Taken to Extremes":
I read each of the five comments that were logged before mine and I felt that my colleagues commented on this issue in a mature and sophisticated fashion. I however will make a few smart comments and then digress into juvenile behavior before hopefully making one descent point. As nudity becomes more and more prevalent it becomes less and less taboo and less and less powerful. Paige said that using nudity “is a strong and gutsy decision". Perhaps in the 50's. Now if your conservatory does not have at least one nude bit per season then you are not considered legitimate. (Counterpoint, I would love to hear someone who is more connected than I talk about the choice NOT to do the nude “Hair” scene or the nude “Mad Forest” scene last season at CMU.) My final thought is this. While watching the Olympic athlete’s uniforms recede over the last 20 years, I was wondering. When are they just going to give in and do these games nude like the Greeks did it? Then I thought, “not having a uniform at all would leave some things unrestricted or chaffed and end the end this may compromise the quality of their ability to perform.” (Ballet too) Reality TV, pop stars, university black boxes; keep pushing the limits and eventually, it will hurt the art.  
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Beach Boys Musical to Close After Six Weeks in Las...":
I think this is another sign that people are over mediocre jukebox musicals. There seem to be so many shows similar to this one that just can't quite make it. What people want in a jukebox musical is a funny, compelling, educational storyline such as the one in Jersey Boys. Honestly I don't even like calling Jersey Boys a jukebox musical- it's more of a biographical musical. I think the difference is that Jersey Boys is telling the real story of the men who wrote and performed the music involved, while shows such as Surf: The Musical are trying to force classic songs into an average musical romantic-comedy kind of storyline. It just doesn't work. The music can speak for itself much better than a cheesy musical can.
Also, I'm from Vegas/obsessed with Vegas and didn't even know this show was happening. That is not a good sign. To sell 50 seats in a 1,500 seat theatre is insane to me, especially over the summer in such a busy tourist attraction of a city. The only problem here can't have been the show itself, but I'm sure there were also issues with the way the show was marketed. Also, a Beach Boys musical is not really what the typical Vegas weekend-vacationer wants to go see. I don't know first-hand what the quality of the show was, but it seems like enough a pretty good show would have to fight to make it in those circumstances.  

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