Dr. Feingold offers a harsh but needed prescription of what ails us:
New York theatergoers, in effect, no longer possess Broadway as a venue for seeing plays; it belongs to the ultra-rich and the tourist trade. This puts Off-Broadway's nonprofit institutions in an awkward situation. They would like to take risks, to test works that are untried and perhaps unready, to let novice writers and directors spread their wings and perhaps fall flat on their faces. But their own ticket prices, like their expenses, go up every year. Their audience—the dedicated New York audience that, in decades past, used to check out new Broadway shows from the cheap seats—demands the satisfaction of a fully achieved work. Prestige-hungry boards of directors and hit-hungry commercial producers waving enhancement dollars hover over their season planning. The pressure is endless, the time available for pondering nil, the situation wholly untenable. No wonder such theaters produce many more mishaps than triumphs.He offers this as prologue to his review of the new Lincoln Center presentation of Graceland--which another critic this week, Time Out's Raven Snook said "feels more like a Sundance semi-finalist than something that needs to be on a stage." I haven't seen the show myself. But that pretty aptly sums up most of the new plays I see our Off Broadway theatre producing.