Saturday, September 12, 2009

Marketing, Meet Show

Joel Brown discusses the disconcerting effect, (not necessarily negative,) created when the buzz or "angle" is at odds with the show itself.

Here he talks about Gioai De Cari's one woman show Truth Values which is about being a math major at MIT, and a woman. Joel actually did a pre-show piece in the Globe last week.

But for all of the fun that I and other journalists have had highlighting De Cari's angle on campus sexism - Larry Summers' unfortunate remarks about women in science drove her to finish the play! News hook! - this is a much more personal show than advertised. Her on-stage persona, at least, seems softer, less bold than that chick up there lolling on the desk. She is reluctant to directly confront the misogyny she encounters at MIT, displacing her anger into a series of increasingly hilarious and inappropriate "fashion experiments" that seem to upset her few female colleagues as much as they distract the men.

Brown also points out that De Cari doesn't do the monologue in the sexy Tina Fey-like glasses.


Thomas Garvey said...

Stop the presses! Joel Brown discovers that art is more complex than journalism! (Or marketing!)

Still, Brown's basically on the money about this funny, touching and sharply-acted show. And perhaps surprisingly, MIT the Institute comes off fairly well in it, even if various MIT geeks (tenured and otherwise) do not. For my part, it actually brought back my MIT experience, for good and ill, with a surprising intensity. It won't do that for everyone, of course, but it will probably resonate with anyone who ever had to make a high-stakes decision about pursuing the upper reaches of intellectual life, with all its cruel demands.

So I'd say "Superheroines" has some competition, Art!

Thomas Garvey said...

Oh, and btw, the panel discussion afterward was fantastic (and no, not just because I yapped a lot). As usual, the Central Square Theater got some major local lights to shine forth - Michael Sipser, current head of the MIT Math Dept., and biologist Nancy Hopkins, who leaked a certain famous quote from Larry Summers to the press. If you want real intellectual fireworks (where the fire may be intense, but always civil), Central Square Theater is more and more often the place to be.