|Refined Or Philistine? Critic or Reviewer?|
(Seth Numrich in the Lincoln Center production of Golden Boy)
Lahr wrote an essay, The Illumination Business; Why Critics Should Look At and After the Theater, for the Winter 2013 Issue of Nieman Reports which included several other essays about criticism and reviewing.
Building off of two distinct examples of what he considers lazy, inaccurate opinion-making, Lahr builds a platform upon which he can lament the rise of reviewing over criticism.
Stop me if you've heard this one. No, really. Stop me.
Many critics took umbrage with the piece. Charles McNulty, the theater critic for the Los Angeles Times, took to Twitter to respond to what he considered to be an unfair attack on the authors of the two reviews Lahr chose to single out for criticism. McNulty later compiled these tweets on his Facebook page.
In a rally not so much to the defense of Lahr personally, but more to the point of the Nieman essay, theater blogger George Hunka characterized McNulty's twitter flurry as an ad hominem attack that chooses to avoid Lahr's overall thesis: