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Friday, June 01, 2007

Keep The Day Job

When reading scripts as a literary manager, I soon learned that the more a playwright foregrounded any extra-theatrical aspects of their resume, the more apparent became the reason that playwriting was not their primary career.

But that hasn't stopped the folks charged with the press for the latest Cherry Lane show from some pretty hilarious ad copy. For instance, in case you were on the fence about the new play "Phallacy," surely you're reassured by the dramatists' bio:

Djerassi, emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford, was awarded the National Medal of Science for the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive - "The Pill", and the American Chemical Society's highest award, the Priestley Medal, amongst other honors.
Now to make things even more confusing, Cherry Lane is putting on another show, "Sea Change" which we are told is "sponsored, in part, by the American Premiere of Phallacy." Huh???

Gee, talk about a money-maker, here's a show already producing its own shows!

Or is this just some Byzantine tax dodge.

Oh, and just not to be outdone by the Phallacy scribe's credentials, "SeaChange: Reversing the Tide is written and performed by world-renowned whale-biologist Roger Payne and his wife, actress Lisa Harrow."

Whale biologists and "steroid oral contraceptive" innovators? Why, who needs Yale Drama anymore! Apparently "Practice" isn't the way to get to Carnegie's Med School.

(Personally, I'd be much more persuaded to see these shows by the presence of Ms. Harrow--a fine former RSC actress who appears in that great John Barton "Playing Shakespeare" series from the 80s. But, no, good acting doesn't sell like whale blubber.)

Look, I'm not saying an expertise in spermatozoa or sperm whales automatically precludes any dramatic talent. But don't expect me to be so impressed by your hobby! Though I am impressed by the cash you can apparently raise among your fellow doctors for such a quixotic vanity-venture in front of the New York critics.

And speaking of which...
With music and lyrics by sociologist-turned-composer Margaret Martin, Gone with the Wind has been in development for three years...
Unfortunately this one is no joke. It's West End-bound, with Trevor Nunn in tow.

Oh Trevor, say it ain't so. I guess no resume--even of the finest theatrical pedigree--is crap-proof.


Anonymous said...

And guess who is also starring in Phallacy? None other than Miss Whale Blubber herself, Lisa Harrow! She is either one sweet talker or this is a swallow-my-pill-I'll-brush-your-
baleen type arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, y'all, but your ignorance is flapping in the breeze. A wee bit of intelligent research reveals that SeaChange: Reversing the Tide has received very positive reviews from an extraordinarily diverse audience - people who have made the effort to attend the program before expressing their opinions of it. Go see the show. The program has much to offer and you might learn something.

Playgoer said...

Fair enough, Mr. "Y'all". I freely admit I haven't seen the show and that it would be unfair to prejudge the show as bad.

The point I was TRYING to make, though, is how ridiculous it sounds when publicity highlights something totally irrelevant to my potential enjoyment of the show and thinks I'm going to see a play just because it was written by a whale biologist.