Gettin’ All Ole’ Fogey

Jan 31, 2008 by

There is a local website dedicated to New Orleans Theater. I will not post a link to it. If you are unaware of it, that’s all for the best.

It’s a bit of a wonderful place to post audition notices and production information. It’s like a local IMDB for the theater crowd. But it has a forum in which anyone can post anything they wish.

Recently, a review of a certain musical was posted. It was not a favorable review. It was really pretty bad. Personally, I know from bad reviews – I get them all the time. But everybody has an opinion – and, although reviewers may be the least deserving to have them, they do, too. So what? Whatever they write is going to end up at the bottom of the bird cage tomorrow, so let it go.

In this case, however, the review contained a typo which referred to the director as “Gay” rather than “Gary”. Hardly noticeable within the context.
Unfortunately, there is a clique on this site that has it in for a couple of these reviewers. By which, I mean, they cannot let the dust lie. They have to parade their superiority by passing white gloves over the furniture.

There was a response:

I wonder if [so-and-so] always copies [this guy’s] reviews or just sometimes…

Then one person, a 27-year-old community-theater chorus boy chose to refer back to the review in this fashion:

Yes, but that “other” review didn’t call the director, “Gay.”

Oh, but I’m sure that was just a typo…sure, sure….

Now, I have to admit, this got between my teeth and gums like a piece of burnt pork. I waited and kept checking back to see if anyone would comment further on this cheap shot. No one did.

So … yours truly took the bait and wrote:

I do not normally dive into these cat fights regarding bad reviews. I’ve always believed those reviews were better left unremarked-upon, since they will all inevitably line the bird cages of the land tomorrow morning.

This comment I am posting now is no different, in that I have no intention of parsing Mr. [So-and-So’s] review of “[The Musical]”.

However, as a 57-year-old, retired gay man, a taxpayer and a homeowner, who has been partnered to another man for 32 years – and as artistic director for To Do Productions and the Marigny Theatre, LLC – I feel compelled to express my disappointment at the “Gay” wisecrack in the above post.

[Sir], I am “…sure, sure…” that that word was, in fact, a typo. I’m afraid I find your comment sophomoric, offensive, and hateful. In the future, I would hope that you would think before you speak or publish.

Within an hour, I had received a response:

Sophomoric? Sure, that’s me. Offensive? Well, no, I was quoting someone else. But hateful?! Dear Gosh! I am sorry that you feel that way, but my opinion had nothing to do with you or anyone who shares your sexual preference; rather, it was merely a (sophomoric) crack at an ongoing feud. I suppose that since you don’t know me, you don’t realize that I’m perhaps the least “hateful” person in North America.

COME ON!!! I calls ’em like I sees ’em, sir…and that was NO TYPO. I maintain my opinion on this matter. Sorry if you disagree.

..and I don’t hate anyone.

I find this disingenuous. I find it homophobic. Am I wrong? Am I overly sensitive?

My idea of theatre is of something uplifting and cathartic, revelatory and communal. The human race had theatre before it had church. These children who are into Jazz Hands! do no service to the better good.

In my opinion.

Have I turned into nothing more than another old fart?

I don’t think so. I mean, I just want something better. Is that too much to ask?

Sorry to take up your time.


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