Monday, April 08, 2013

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Spain abandons the theatre":

What's amazing to me is that Spain's government thought that taxing live theatre events up the nose was going to be a good source of revenue in the first place. It must say something about Spanish devotion to the arts that would make such a potentially politically damaging move attractive. The article states a 33% drop in attendance, amounting to 1.8 million fewer butts in seats. That means that before the tax, Spanish theatre could count on 5.4 million ticket holders per anum, or around 11% of their 48 million companeros. That got me thinking, how does this compare to the U.S.? Should the feds tax us similarly? Perhaps to pay for some of the oil spill clean-ups that lately seem to be blossoming like the proverbial black crocus? Turns out, at least according to these guys:, we do a little better! 40 - 50 million Americans per year from 2003 - 2010 went to a live theatrical event. Even at it's lowest during that period (39 million in 2009, a bad year all around), per capita U.S. theatre attendance stood at above 12%. Of course, 73.4 million Americans attended a major league baseball game that year, but half as good as baseball is nothing to shake a hot dog at. Currently there is no Federal live event tax, although some states, perhaps most notably Nevada, have jumped on the Spanish banda vagon and charge an event tax on tickets. Hopefully the Feds will figure out all the revenue they've been missing out on and get a piece of the action for themselves. After all, is it fair for these fat cat regional theatres to live high off the land while oil executives scrounge and scrape to pay all the taxes and fines for a little oopsy-spill every once or twice in a week? Viva Espana! 
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Live, From New York, It’s Your Next Theatre Season...":
I've noticed the same trend that this article mentions: theatres around the country have very often been producing a handful of the same plays. Those plays may change from year to year: for example, a few years ago, the show "Red" was everywhere. "Spring Awakening" seems to be pretty popular, especially among college theatre companies (I know 3 universities that did Spring Awakening this year.) Everyone and their mother wants to do War Horse now. I'm conflicted as to how I feel about this trend. Yes, repeats of plays can be redundant, but because so many theatres have a geographic-specific audience, this gives more people the opportunity to see good shows (or at least shows that have been popular in NY). I do wish that more theatres would produce more new works or less well-known productions, but at the same time, I absolutely understand why theatres want plays that will bring in money. I'm not sure if theatres will do less well-known works and take bigger risks in this economic climate without some increase of government support or some other system of support from donors or companies, all of which has been very difficult to come by. 
Comment #3:  a new comment on your post "Theater Talkback: How to Offend a White Person":
As our resident "black" DP, here's how I see it. When it comes to racial slurs, there are obviously the big ones like the N-word. I've been called that before and yeah it sucks but in the scheme of things, I often find my friends who aren't african american, black, or whatever you decide to classify yourself as, the ones who get the most offended. Racism is terrible, I really truly hate how some people treat me because of my skin tone but when it comes down to it, the words mean nothing. It's really the actions and emotions behind it. People will worry about how they say things and will someone think they're racist if they say this or that. And yes, there aren't really offensive racial words for white people. But all these are just smaller facts in a big issue. I really don't mind if someone says black girl problems to me of tells me " that's because your black". It's when there is hate behind it that it becomes an issue. Let stop focusing on the words we are saying and focus on the meaning behind them. Because I'm telling you, if accidentally say something that might possibly be construed as racist in an attempt to explain something, well thats life and I won't care. Life isn't polite, especially when talking about stereotypes. People need to stop saying "thats racist" or "your racist", every time someone says something that isn't completely politically correct. It actually make really racism seem less harsh, and I have more of a problem with that then someone calling me "black girl". Saying I have a big butt or that I'm better at communicating with "my people" because I'm black, well not entirely polite or true, is not racist so stop calling it that. Racism is when someone spits at your feet and calls you a F-word N-word. See the difference? 
Comment #4: a new comment on your post "'The Flick' Prompts an Explanation From Playwright...":
The fact that there are theatres that take the risk and produce new american plays is a great thing. They take a great deal of risks putting new works on. Any person that threatens to leave or stoping going to a play is ridiculous. I do not really understand why people leave plays at intermission. If you are not enjoying it then you should still be there listening and observing why you didn't like it. You should think to yourself why the people who were creating this piece of work were doing so. Every minute you spend in a theatre watching a piece of work you did not like is a minute you can spend learning about theatre and what to do versus not and why. I also think that the artist directors letter was the perfect thing to do in a situation. It told people they had made a bold choice and if you did not like it then you are fine and if you did like it that is fine too. It was a good mixture of bring people into a difficult process of choosing the how and why of new works. Go him! 
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Cyndi Lauper on Being a Composer, for ‘Kinky Boots...":
I always think it's interesting when people who have achieved some notoriety in one field attempt to break into another related field. One one hand, it seems to be easier for them, since there's always someone who will pick something up thinking that people will go see it plainly because it was written by a famous actor, even if it's bad. I suppose that's the downside. The upside is that these individuals, knowing what they know about all aspects of their craft, are often very good at the new thing they are trying. Maybe it's something they have always been interested in or maybe it's recent, but much of the work turns out promising. This seems to be the case with Kinky Boots. I haven't seen the show myself (although I hope to), but have heard only positive reviews from those who have. I suppose the lesson to be learned from that is a good team is a good team, even when people step outside of their standard roles.

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