The Playgoer: Time Out New York

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Time Out New York

Theatre Editor David Cote of Time Out New York has now weighed in on the Rachel Corrie controversy. (Online now. Hits the streets Thursday, I think?) And for a magazine often considered a consumer guide and so associated with "the's pretty hard hitting! (Cote has done much, it must be said, to take the theatre coverage there beyond commercialism and has really embraced the entire scene, uptown and downtown.)

Tony + "TONY"= critical mass? Seemed so to me yesterday afternoon. But then, as the Times today shows, NYTW is just digging deeper trenches.

Full disclosure, of course: he does mention and credits Playgoer. I wished he had also mentioned the important reporting and commentary being done by George Hunka at Superfluities and by Jason Grote on the more activist "Rachel's Words" front. But, more important than the plug, I think we can all appreciate Cote's acknowledgment of the "theatre blogosphere" (bloggers and commenters alike) as an important factor in this story.

No doubt, in light of my criticizing of the Times story today, it will be easy to discount my praise for Time Out as self-interested. But read for yourself. Cote is writing an outright editorial, sure, so doesn't have to consider objectivity or balance as McKinley does at NYT. (However, as many of your comments bear out, even those standards seem to have dissolved in that piece.)

And here's some actual news Cote gets on the record:

Nicola, sounding defensive and dispirited over the phone, wearily acknowledges that his company uses a PR firm to test the waters for controversial plays. “People think that their voices are heard free and unfettered,” he says. “Of course, we like to create that atmosphere but that’s a perception. Do they think that happens without someone working at it carefully?”
Was this what he meant originally by "polling the community"?

Interesting to reconcile that with the theatre's mission statement:

New York Theatre Workshop produces challenging and unpredictable new theatre and fosters the creative work of artists with whom we share a vision. With a community of artists and audience members, we explore perspectives on our collective history and responses to the events and institutions that shape our lives.

Hey, what's past is past. I just hope for their sakes, they start using a good PR firm now.

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