Berit Johnson, as reported by Ian Hill, at http://collisionwork.livejournal.com , has christened Charles Isherwood, second lieutenant of The New York Times as What the Fuck, Chuck?
Ian's blog isn't on my blogroll, I just noticed, but that's only because I'm an idiot and couldn't dial a telephone until quite recently. No idea how to get him on, embarrassed to ask Steve or Nancy again.
Sorry, Ian. I'm a regular reader.
In a rave of August: Osage County yesterday, WTFC penned:
The play has the zip and zingy humor of classic television situation comedy and the absorbing narrative propulsion of a juicy soap opera, too.
The play is killing all critics and hey, hallelujah. Tracy Letts is a very good writer and I know the guy a little bit, enough to know he's a guy not a gal despite the ambiguous first name, he read Fatboy a while ago and was very cool and supportive about it. He's also a very fine actor, as anyone who saw Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow at Barrow Street a few years back can attest. Judging from the current and projected field and the very strong notices so far, Mr. Letts should start working on some acceptance speeches. The Tony and the Pulitzer are out there waiting for the Chicago mantle back home.
So bully, Tracy. Good on you, son.
But back to Chuck.
He doles out the appropriate pull quotes:
"sensationally entertaining... blazes... the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years blah blah blah..."
Fucking great. A new play received on Broadway with open arms, great.
But then, Jesus, then, he wrote and someone allowed him to publish:
Watching it is like sitting at home on a rainy night, greedily devouring two, three, four episodes of your favorite series in a row on DVR or DVD.
Several things come to mind.
What the fuck is a DVR, Chuck?
And what the fuck are you talking about?
What the fuck, Chuck?
I mean, fuck.
Come on, man.
Is there a good reason you can't go to the person behind the Big Desk who decides these things and tell him or her you are fucking dying to be transferred to the TV beat?
You're salivating, publicly, for the gig. You recommended, during the recent strike, that theater audiences should rent or buy Friday Night Lights and sit at home, alone, and enjoy themselves.
Sir. Chuck. You're a theater journalist for The New York Times. Do you have no idea whatsoever what your job is? Have you ever had the single thought, once, to wander, carelessly, thoughtlessly outside of your prescribed, corporate bailiwick?
Move over and let Zinoman or Kendt or Jacobs or Simonsen or Cote or Feldman or any of a legion of very qualified and hungry writers I, and anyone else who's paying attention, could name to take your spot.
Guys who care about the theater, Chuck. Guys who know what the fuck they're talking about and where the fuck they live.
What the fuck, Chuck?
Life will roll on at the Times, I guess. They gave up really caring years ago. A shame, but hey, at a certain point you have to stop looking at the idols of your youth for guidance today.
I knocked a first draft of the Melanie Stewart Dance piece out of the park today. Beautiful little ten-minute piece. Hope she likes it. Basically just boiled down C.J. Hopkins' screwmachine/eyecandy to a ten-minute dance thing, but it's good.
And had a wild, hour-long conversation with a tune-meister from the 70s/80s about a potentially big-ass musical he wants me to direct. Major money behind this. Could be great, could be ridiculous, don't know yet. Remember, I'm the genius who worked on the stage adaptation of Midnight Cowboy.
Never heard of that?