Wednesday, November 12, 2008

metaDRAMA: Stop Celebrating Celebrity

Yes, Grace Gummer is Meryl Streep's daughter. So what? I don't even mention that in my review of Electric Pear's production of The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents. In fact, after reading Leonard Jacob's NY Press feature, I looked back on information I received from the publicist, and found her heritage mentioned only in passing. In any case, I thought, I was going because of Electric Pear; barring that because New York magazine hyped up director Kristjan Thor; at the least, then to support the Wild Project (whose first project, 33 to Nothing, was hyped for being done in NY's first "all-green theater"). All of those are valid reasons for a theater critic to be attending a show; starfucking, on the other hand, should be left to the audiences, and out of a review, where it distracts from a critical discussion of the play itself.

Let's leave it at this: the publicist is entitled to draw critics to an off-off-Broadway theater (which are notoriously under-covered) by any means necessary. The critic, then, must choose what to discuss (as Mark Blankenship points out about Corpus Christi). Hopefully, they're going because they're familiar enough with the scene to go without being pulled by celebrity crushes. However, it's all fair game for discussion, particularly in a feature, so I'm confused as to why this would lead a publicist to withhold tickets from a critic. For my part, I'm going to stick to theater; as the recent explosion about Proposition 8 and the Scott Eckern situation has shown (do read Kel Munger's insightful post), it's too easy to get distracted.

1 comment:

Leonard Jacobs said...

Actually, her heritage was not mentioned in passing. I'll be happy to supply you with the press release that noted her heritage in the headline, in large type, as specifically described in my story.