The Playgoer: Critic Proof?

Custom Search

Monday, August 20, 2007

Critic Proof?

Crumm & Osnes: Trained Grease Monkeys?


So is a $15 million advance enough to withstand reviews like this? and this? and this?
Sum it up, Mr. Brantley, why don't you: "Changing the channel is not an option."
And that's just his lede.
The surprise today is how much the production (by that Broadway pro Kathleen Marshall) is
criticized. The two newbies don't seem worth the critics' ire and don't get as much ink as you'd expect. While the expectation all along has been that Marshall would mask her stars' inadequacies with a knockout supporting cast and dazzling stagecraft, now everything being called lame, lame, lame.
Or maybe Grease is just a dumb, dumb show?
If the advance and the scattered fans who still remember the tv show can't save them, then at least we can be thankful if the experiment in casting-by-reality-show be deemed a failure not worth repeating.

3 comments:

Eric of maninchair.com said...

I was a sub in the pit for the early 90's revival, and though I was certainly glad for the paycheck,it was a dumb, dumb show then, and now it has been dumbed down even further with the reality casting twist. I hope this is the end of that trend.

Edward Einhorn said...

Interestingly, the London version of this was much more successful. Their Maria actually garnered some pretty good reviews, I hear.

Why the difference? I didn't see the British show, but I must admit that curiosity led me to a few episodes of the American show, which were remarkably soulless. But what struck me about them was that, as the review in the Sun mentions, no time was spent looking at acting ability (versus singing and dancing).

I actually think the idea of generating stars through reality tv is no worse (or maybe even preferable) to casting anappropriate stars in roles to generate audience. But I couldn't help put myself in the place of director, when watching the shows, and thinking--these auditions are really being poorly run. I would have had no idea who has the acting ability to pull this off.

Did anyone see the British show? Was it run differently, or did it just get more lucky?

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Garrett, Although you may already have seen it, I thought you'd enjoy knowing that Minneapolis' Star Tribune picked up on your post in Tuesday's issue:

"In New York, the surprise on Monday was how thoroughly the critics trashed the production. Blogger Garrett Eisler of the Playgoer wrote: 'While the expectation all along has been that Marshall would mask her stars' inadequacies with a knockout supporting cast and dazzling stagecraft, now everything is being called lame, lame, lame.'"

Nice to see some well-deserved recognition for you.