Friday, January 27, 2006
The Waiting Game
Everyone was back in great form last night as we returned to Fair Ladies. I would even say the couple of days off have allowed people to settle into their roles quite nicely. The first show back, after having a couple of days off, reminds you that you actually enjoy being around one another on a regular basis.
I have posted here each time a review has gone up and right now some of us are holding our breath for the one review that most people will read, The Post. Now I am not saying it is the end of the world that The Post has this week run reviews for Measure for Measure, Tuesdays with Morrie and now Trying, just to name three of the five shows reviewed since we opened on Saturday. But it does make one feel a little less loved, that Metro Stage, The Folger, Ford's Theater and a touring show all get reviewed before the little theater in Columbia Heights.
Your mind starts to play tricks on you and you begin to believe that the review is being held back because it may or may not be that good. There is a belief that many small theaters simply rely on The Post review to get them audiences and put all their eggs in that black and white Easter Basket of daily readership. Not entirely true but you and I both know that The Post reaches a whole hell of a lot more people than theater web sites and The City Paper. So you hope a little and you prey a little and whether it is a good review or a bad one, you know that more people find out about your show with one review in The Post than all of the postering, blogs and handing out post cards could ever accomplish.
Rorschach has gotten some bad reviews from The Post, but I would say overall we are a theater company that produces not only good plays but also some good ink.
Here are some of my favorites:
"Placing the audience on the stage of the DC Jewish CommunityCenter’s Cecile Goldman Theatre brings you face-to-dirty-facewith Yank’s hell. You don’t just watch, for example, thedramatic stoking of the furnace; it rings in your ears andrumbles in your chest. The production rages and bellowsfrequently when you expect it, but just as often when you don’t…”
- Washington Post
"It's not hard to find talent among the more than 80 theater companies in Washington. But brilliance -- that rare confluence of perfect design, direction and performance -- that's something else again... proof that limited resources do not stymie great talents, any more than big budgets can squeeze works of genius from mediocre minds."
“An engaging, gymnastic production, one who’s highly combustible power source is the six fired-up young actors who portray more than 40 characters… Turning a Methodist church on Columbia Road into their personal playing field, the young men take on the assignment as if UBU ROI were a rugby scrum.”
- Washington Post
"Rorschach's staging grips you from the start... the young and imaginative Rorschach Theatre, adds an eerie theatricality to Hawthorne's already dramatic 17th-century morality tale... Nathaniel Hawthorne may have always been engaging, but he's never been this hip."
Reviews in the long run are not the reason we do these shows. If they were why have more than 12 seats in a theater and run for 20 performances. Audiences are who tell you that you have made great theater and reviews are merely a tool for getting the elusive Asses-in-Seats problem licked. Sorry that was kind of dirty.
Washington Post thanks for the love you have shown us over the years but I will not hold my breath. If anyone who has already seen the show would like to write in with an audience point of view on Fair Ladies I would love to post them here. Email me or post in comments, and we will see what the opinion of the masses counts for in this town where democracy comes to take a cat nap. Hooah!