Doin’ It For Free Like The Village Voice

Hey, Village Voice! After your retrospective of Richard Foreman’s work and Michael Feingold’s enraptured review of The Gods Are Pounding My Head (AKA Lumberjack Messiah), could you possibly have anything left to say about Foreman?

I suppose you don’t; that’s why you brought in graduate students to contribute five additional reviews of the play. Talk about pounding heads.

If you think these new reviews won’t nudge you towards Foreman’s production any more than Feingold’s review a month ago, you’re right. However apathetic I may be, though, I have a small, insistent feeling that seeing The Gods may be useful to me. It’s because of Dean.

Dean claims to have seen Foreman’s Pearls For Pigs years ago in Connecticut. He was delighted by the weird, unpleasant theatre experience, the people walking out during intermission, and the incomprehensibility of the production. He recalled few details (not even Foreman’s name), but would often bring Pearls For Pigs up in conversation. “We need to do a play like that!” he’d say, frequently. We needed to write a plotless, difficult play just for the sake of writing it.

But I wasn’t interested. After a while I doubted that Pearls For Pigs even existed outside of Dean’s imagination. That was until I read the Voice‘s retrospective.

Will seeing an artist that doesn’t appeal to me cause me to discover what appeals to Dean? Possibly. Do I care? Hmmm….

PS:I think it’s great that the Voice gives a high-profile forum to up-and-coming drama critics, but the very existence of “University Wits” can’t help but remind me of my time as an eleven-year-old “Young Reader” for The Asbury Park Press. It’s hard to convey the authority of your opinion while sitting at the kids’ table.

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