Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Boston Theatre "You Gotta Have Arts?"

Though not quite as pause inducing as the Village Voice getting rid of its Dance Critic, the announcement that Arts and Entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik is being laid off from WBZ is slightly interesting for Boston Theatre. Kulhawik is one of the Elliot Norton Award Panelists.

I have no insight into the Elliot Norton Award Selection Committee, but unless Kulhawik lands another gig soon, she will be another one of the Norton Award judges that does not sit at a regular drama post. (Though Kulwahik was never considered a devoted playgoer.)

On a personal note, some of the WBZ layoffs were somewhat surprising, even to the media covering it. Bob Lobel and Joyce Kulhawik are really some of the last remnants of newscasters for my generation's childhood, but I guess that brand has outlived its usefulness, finally. The next generation will always have Maria Stephanos's skirts and boots to remember.

Lobel, as Dan Kennedy points out on his Media Nation blog, should be able to secure a new job.

1 comment:

Thomas Garvey said...

Yes, it's a little hard to see how the Norton crowd differs from the IRNE crowd these days . . . except that maybe more of the IRNE reviewers have steady gigs! I didn't realize that Marx had left (or been dumped from) the Norton panel. Didn't he used to be on it? Wonder what the story is there?

Following your link, the current Norton panel is:

Terry Byrne
Carolyn Clay
Iris Fanger
Louise Kennedy
Joyce Kulhawik
Sandy MacDonald
Robert Nesti
Ed Siegel
Caldwell Titcomb

Of this group, only Kennedy and Clay could really be called working critics in the old-fashioned meaning of the term. Byrne sometimes reviews the stuff Kennedy doesn't want to, and occasionally Sandy MacDonald reviews the stuff BYRNE doesn't want to (MacDonald's writing can be found elsewhere on the web). Iris Fanger pops up here and there in the smaller papers, often covering dance rather than drama. Nesti writes a fair amount for a gay website. Siegel sometimes contributes to WBUR (maybe two or three times a month?). Kulhawik hardly reviewed even when she had a job, and Titcomb only surfaces on Marx's site. It's hard not to see the Nortoneers as a clique rather than a genuine professional organization; in general, they're critics of a previous era, hanging onto their spots on the panel through personal rather than professional connections.