Tuesday, November 1, 2016


With all these licensed productions of LIZZIE all over the place lately, we're reading a flurry of reviews. Mostly really good, but as always at times like this I end up in a (somewhat tedious to me, at this point) conversation with myself about the function or utility of reviews, the relationship of critics to artists, etc., blah blah blah.

In the middle of this stew of intellectual inquiry and artist's insecurity plops this piece in this week's New Yorker.

I was excited when I saw the subhead, to read something by a gay man about A Life, a moving and thought-provoking new play running right now at Playwrights Horizons, which C and I saw last weekend and enjoyed quite a bit, and I like Als's thoughtful take on it. I haven't seen Duat, or the Front Page.

That last paragraph though. Yikes. I can understand having a strong negative reaction to a piece of art. I have them all the time. Just last week, in fact. I get how it can feel personally offensive to sit through something you think is awful. You feel taken. But still.

Artists complaining about critics is complicated if not just tiresome, but I will say this: if you're going to so fiercely attack someone's work, I think you should support your argument with an example or two.

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