Friday, July 17, 2009

Crazy artists; Tonys snub critics; British imports

A grab-bag of three topics in the theatrical news lately:

You think artists are nuts? Now there's proof. According to an article in the Scientific American, there may be a genetic link between creativity on the one hand and psychosis and/or schizophrenia on the other.

Variety notes that critics won't get to vote on the Tonys anymore -- causing those awards to become even more producer-driven and therefore commercial and shallow. It's true that critics don't get to vote on Grammys, Emmys or Oscars, either -- but at a time when arts journalists are getting laid off right and left, this will just further embolden bloggers full of hot air. (Wait, I'm a blogger full of hot air.)
ADDED July 19:
Jeremy Girard weighs in at Bloomberg.

The WSJ reports that more British plays will be arriving on Broadway. Included: the Jude Law Hamlet; Trevor Nunn's A Little Night Music; The Pitmen Painters, by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott), about coal miners who discover their own artistic ability, coming in April; War Horse (World War I with puppets); The Mountaintop (about MLK Jr.); and David Hare's The Power of Yes, which demonstrates that theater is quicker to respond than movies when it comes to fictional treatments of current news like the worldwide financial crisis.

But note the 500 percent difference in mounting a production in the U.S., because of British theatrical subsidies. Loving jocks (who make you feel) over thespians (who insist that you think) is not simply a Spokane phenomenon; it's nationwide. We don't love the arts much. The up-by-your-own-bootstraps ideal pretty much precludes intellectualism. Who needs book-larnin'?

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At August 20, 2009 2:36 PM , Anonymous Maria C. said...

I'm a little late to the party but wanted to note that we saw Warhorse in London and were blown away. Can't wait to see it at the Tony's next year!


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