Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Spokane theater awards, 2005-06

... arriving in *Inlander* racks on Thursday, June 29 (but if you're downtown, we have copies at our office, 1020 W. Riverside, noonish or one-ish on Wednesdays)

My understanding is that Jim Kershner is on sabbatical until Aug. 7, so this is probably it as far as local theatrical accolades go. (And what a thrill! Next year, we're going to add a secret handshake.)

I gave the awards a name which, to my surprise, was played up kinda big in the layout.

Surprises: Some shows I liked won lots of awards, other shows I liked didn't win as many as I would have thought. So I even surprised myself. BTW and FYI, I have never liked the "oh, we gave him one last year, let's spread it around this year" mentality. (Which is NOT intended as coded excuse-making for having given someone a repeat award.) But I say, let each category be evaluated on its own merits -- not on how this director or that actor performed last year, or even in another show this year. I'm with the Oscars not the Golden Globes, in other words -- judging on individual shows, not the year's collected works.

Messages I received on this blog --and, especially, via e-mail -- directly affected some choices; others, I rejected.

It's kinda lonely being the only critic-of-long-standing, at least for now, in town. (Insert your favorite overstayed-his-welcome joke here.)

Call me an imperceptive idiot, call me a snooty dishrag, call me whatever -- just don't think I dashed this off lightly. I spent hours rereading old reviews (few forms of torture worse, I know), sketching out drafts and combinations and re-combinations and re-rankings and new kinds of award categories.

In the grand scheme of things, I know, feh. But to those who saw a lot of these shows and care, at least they'll be food for thought.

"Parasite, parasite ..." I mutter to myself. It's a kind of mantra. Too harsh, but there's a kernel of truth: Without these people, these actor-types, I'm nowhere -- no job, no outlet for my passion for playgoing. "Criticism" has such a negative connotation. Critics can be a positive force -- but they aren't "part of the process," as they allegedly whine in *Anton in Show Business.* The process is sacred, takes place in rehearsal halls and hearts and minds. Critics are outside the process, alongside it, working to broadcast it and prod it along -- sometimes helpfully, sometimes unnecessarily.

Annual awards a part of that.

Sometimes wish I could just be one of the guys. Can't. Tension whenever I walk in, notepad in hand. Who the hell does he think he is? Overworked, underpaid stiff. But always the next show to look forward to. Gonna try a little experiment with *Peter Pan,* can't wait to see *Pippin,* looking forward to all the new seasons, might surprise a few people by showing up ... keep the fire in the belly. And has anyone read *Red Light Winter* by Adam Rapp, because I just finished it and I want to talk about it with somebody. Good sign I still have that. Books and music and plays and swim-bike-run and movies and playing with my daughter, reading to my daughter, worrying about my daughter. Gut check. End of a long day. Try again, fail again, fail again better.


At June 28, 2006 1:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if Spokane is going to have any such awards generally given outside of a Critic's Choice type award, may I suggest the Firth J. Chew Awards? (They could affectionately be called the Chewies, if you don't feel it's disrespectful. Maybe Mr. Chew and Ms. Antoinette Perry can commiserate.) Just a late night thought.

Or is having a theatre named for someone tribute sufficient? -- any other suggestions out there?

At June 28, 2006 11:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it! Firth would have, too!
We could use some of his coveted hand-thrown pots and vases for the awards.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home