Dec 7, 2006

Critical Condition

Well, this Time Out poll, critiquing New York's critics in several fields in often quite devastating, career-damaging terms, certainly got my attention. Some of these unattributed quotes read like the sour grapes of some very pissed-off artists (as gawker helpfully notes) and even publicists (as one preposterously named blogger/critic points out) more than happy to return the dubious favor of assessing their subjects' fitness for their chosen career. The spectacle of table-turning payback is about the only real satisfaction of this exercise, and though that's not a negligible pleasure, it's a rather guilty one. As an erstwhile theater critic myself, I'll go on the record and say that while I find valuable insights in the work of nearly all of my peers except Hilton Als, the theater critics I still enjoy (and envy) most are Eric Grode, Jeremy McCarter, and Charles Isherwood. They're the only ones whose writing has consistently made me think, Damn, wish I'd thought of/noticed/written that.

One of my favorite colleagues remains in L.A. Here's Steven Leigh Morris's priceless recent bout of hand-wringing column, on how his despair over the art form was only amplified by his recent visit to New York (nice Little Dog Laughed slam in there).

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