Friday, October 9, 2009

"Souvenir" Earns Finely Tuned Assessment

Posted by Bruce Miller
Dave Timberline has written a wonderful review of Souvenir for STYLE Weekly, under the perfect headline, A Diva’s Delusion. Do STYLE critics get to write their own headlines, or is their editor simply more in tune?

I encourage you to read Dave’s complete critique at I know. I need to learn how to make a link. It’s on my list.

Here are the review quotes we’ll be pulling:

Entertaining and Extravagant
Played to tuneless perfection
The lesson is that passion can provide joy
Fine playing and singing
Generates plenty of guffaws!”

--David Timberline, STYL:E Weekly

Dave’s review is informed, specific and well written. I appreciate Dave and his work.

In his review, Dave repeats a story about an accident that took place in the audience on the night he saw the show, a story he had related earlier in depth on his wonderful blog. People have asked me if I mind so much attention being paid to this incident.

Here are my honest thoughts. I do NOT mind Dave relating the story on his blog or repeating it in his review. He's writing about one of the things that makes live theatre so extraordinary--that irreplacable sense of moment. My only reservations about either mention are as follows.

Barksdale and Theatre IV (and many if not all theatres) have a long history of welcoming everyone into our artistic homes. We are, in fact, proactive in our efforts to do so. On rare occasions, distractions occur when differently abled individuals fall or become inadvertently noisy during performances. Both a fall and disrupting noise occurred on the night Dave attended. The fall literally stopped the show. (Kudos to the consumate professionalism of Debra Wagoner; she managed the situation perfectly.)

I think it is honest and appropriate for Dave to comment on this distraction, but I do not want any comments to embarrass our audience members or staff, all of whom did everything they could do address a challenging situation. Knowing Dave and his generous heart, I know that he doesn’t want to embarrass anyone either. I also know he doesn’t want to discourage our efforts to welcome any and all patrons into our theatre.

It’s a fine line we walk when we try to be inclusive and create a distraction-free environment at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, most times it comes off without a hitch. But in one performance out of a hundred, we learn lessons on how to better manage things in the future. Dave happened to attend one of those rare performances, and it is appropriate for him to report on his experience.

Changing subjects, I will discuss in a future blog post how I select the words I pull from a review, and why I didn’t feel comfortable pulling great phrases like “A bravura performance!” and “Uncontrollable laughter” from Dave’s excellent review.

Till then, see you at the theatre!

--Bruce Miller

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