Wednesday, April 08, 2009

metaDRAMA: Recaps & Editorial Fears

Not much to recap with Rock Of Ages, since I find myself agreeing with most people, but while reading reviews, I was struck by what seems to be an ominous sign. Andy Propst (who, like me, writes without an editor) calls the drugged-out lead singer of Arsenal "Stacee Jazz" (instead of Stacee Jaxx). Patrick Lee (for TheaterMania, but who I blog with) spells the director's name "Kristin Hanngi" and Matt Windman (for amNewYork) calls her "Kristin Hangii," when the correct spelling is "Kristin Hanggi." There are some other minor underestimations (there's actually over thirty songs sampled in the show, not a mere two dozen, and I don't think they're all "metal rock"), and none of these issues actually affect the readability of the review (well, I really liked Propst and Lee's write-ups), but shouldn't we be concerned? Since I've made more than a few errors myself, I'll use this as an opportunity instead to reiterate, to those who think there's a big difference between critics who are backed up by institutions and bloggers who are out there on their own, well . . .

And just to follow up with yesterday's point about using disclaimers in reviews, NY1's Roma Torre points out that: " 'Rock of Ages' is not for everyone, but I bet a lot of people who wouldn't expect to like this goofy musical will be smitten." Unlike yesterday's specific examples, however, this is a rather generic statement, and as I'm wearing my editorial hat today, I'd want to cut it--the review itself should tell us this. But now I'm just nitpicking and totally ignoring Torre's audience, most of whom will be hearing this, and not reading it. So here's a leading question for future reviews and recaps: does/should a critic's audience matter, or should the show supersede all?

I'll end with this: agree with him or not, Isherwood's a fabulously descriptive writer, even if he does spend a few too many words on himself; you can check out his lengthy rave here.

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