Friday, November 17, 2006

New Boston Arts Blog

Thomas Garvey is a former freelancer for the Boston Globe, sharp writer on the WBUR Arts Blog and an occasional commenter here on this blog.

He has decided to take the blog plunge, (welcome Thomas,) and he opens with a salvo on Mauritius and the Huntington Theatre's New Play Developement Program.

Here is a taste:

Don’t get me wrong; Mauritius is one gleaming machine, with a cast that understands just when and how to press its levers; but any spark of individuality long ago disappeared into its gears. What it represents is not the artist’s voice, but the collective voice – that is, the hip collective voice. In a word, it’s premium cable – on stage.

Some might argue “What’s wrong with that?” - and the first answer is, premium cable is a lot cheaper than Huntington tickets. The second answer: it’s redundant. Ms. Rebeck has found her natural perch in the law & order of things, as it were, and she seems to have little to say that can’t be said within its confines. Simply wanting the prestige of a playwriting career doesn’t mean you should be granted one, however clever you are, and however much your glamour may rub off on the organization that produces you.

I have added The Hub Review to the blogroll.

Maybe soon I will be able to do a Boston Theatre breakout on the blogroll.


Thomas Garvey said...

Hello Art -

Thanks for the plug! However, the post over at Hub Review isn't meant so much as a "salvo" against the Huntington's New Play Program as a skeptical take on their choice of "Mauritius" (and the free pass playwright Rebeck has gotten from local critics). I am in general a fan of the Huntington (I got into hot water not so long ago, in fact, for liking their production of "Love's Labour's Lost" too much!) - but as a critic I try to follow a policy of "tough love" in general.

In fact, one of my next posts will be a positive review of "Rabbit Hole" (the Huntington's current offering, fresh from New York), which I feel has been UNDER-appreciated locally.

- Tom

YS said...

Hi Thomas,

Point taken.

I saw Mauritius later in the run, after all of the "Stamp of Approval" reviews and had a very mixed reaction. I thought the actors and the play were very entertaining. But I was missing the larger things about which all the reviewers had been discussing.

The audience reaction was interesting as well. At the end, there were people literally leaping to their feet in applause. However, there were also a number of empty seats after the intermission.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Garvey has no e-mail address lised on his web site, tehrefore we can't invite him to some of the fringe alternatives in Boston that are more exciting and interesting than what the Huntington has to offer!

Anonymous said...