Pain Awakening

It’s been a year since I’ve read The New York Times. Their theatre coverage ranges from precious to shallow to damaging. I find it all unnecessary.

One thing the Times did every once in a while was ask a whimsical question of the makers of Manhattan theatre: “Where’d the orchestra pit go?” “Can Charles Isherwood get a drink at intermission?” “Are robots the new puppets?”

I found this useless meta-theatre less offensive than the Times’ more dedicated work. Still, I think this type of article is unwelcome when The Village Voice does it.

I know this isn’t strictly a theatre article (it’s one of the Voice’s “Eight Million Stories,” too), but is there nothing more to onstage seating at Spring Awakening than the opportunity to see “ass” and “boobs”? Granted, body parts are one of my theatre priorities, but isn’t there anything else to write about concerning the experience of superclose seating?

The Voice titles its article “Ass You Like It.” No, frankly, I don’t. The Voice has become quite wretched under its new ownership, but I hope the theatre coverage doesn’t suffer. T&A isn’t a problem. Ungrounded, unserious whimsy is.

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