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Tuesday, May 17, 2005


... sort of. The new Huffington Post--the darling of the blogosphere (as evidenced by the interest of the clueless Charlie Rose last night)--features among its resident bloggers no less than four theatre luminaries. True, two of them are Mike Nichols and David Mamet, who perhaps are more associated with film and basically professional celebrities now. But kudos to Ms Huff for also tapping two lesser-known playwrights, the estimable Jon Robin Baitz and the downright "emerging" and decidedly off-broadway Seth Greenland.

Then again, given that every one of Arianna's California friends and their illegal nannies seem to have a blog on her site (my, what an endless list) the least she could do was acknowledge our corner of the world as still relevant...

Of special note--both Baitz and Mamet weigh in on the departing John Simon (see below). Baitz's take is wonderfully honest, yet respectful, and yet justifiably unforgiving. (Looking over my own post, I must have been in a good mood. Baitz is right--whatever cultural knowledge Simon has he has wasted in cheap shots. Period.) What's more he turns his assessment into a mini-manifesto, worth quoting:

The theatre needs geniuses to criticize it; it needs passionate advocates and firebrands, not to mention writers of gorgeous prose. [Simon], instead, opted for parlor tricks and reruns.

Words of warning (and inspiration) to us all.

Mamet, on the other hand, gladly dismisses Simon mercilessly in 41 words.

Especially odd in light of that, catch the strained hat-tip to Mamet in Simon's farewell New York Mag column this week. Surprisingly humble, yet without any sign of regret or apology...And, oh, he does disappoint us not applying that savagery just one more time to Sweet Charity which (as I admit to hypocrisy) might have been fun all the same.

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