Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"A Conversation with Critics 2011"

While An Evening with Patti Lupone And Mandy Patinkin was opening to rave reviews on Monday evening, a small audience gathered at the Helen Mills Theater in Chelsea for The Drama League’s A Conversation with Critics 2011 - a panel discussion featuring critics chatting about the theater. The event was moderated by Peter Filichia of The Star Ledger and featured the following drama critics:

Scott Brown
 - New York Magazine 
Elisabeth Vincentelli - The New York Post
Joe Dziemianowicz - New York Daily News
Elysa Gardner - USA Today
Adam Feldman - Time Out New York
Steven Suskin - Variety

No, no one from The New York Times (the only one that really matters?) was there.

When Adam Feldman was not commandeering the discussion, the panel covered various topics. For example, the panel explored whether Broadway musicals have become unsophisticated, lowbrow. They noted that Broadway is primarily tourist driven where roughly 66% of attendees are tourists and spoke about the increase in rock musicals. However, they all seem to agree that all great musicals are character driven.

Another topic of discussion was the role of the critic and how criticism is about how a play or musical hits the critic at the time he or she sees the performance. They also noted their dual sometimes - critics and industry journalist.

A final topic worth mentioning was the use of profanity at the theater, naming Silence! The Musical, The Book of Mormon and The Mother______ with the Hat as examples. They all seemed to agree that use of profanity is a fad and will probably come full circle.

Whether you agree with them or not, this is a sampling of what NY drama critics had to say about 2011.

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