Sunday, March 30, 2008

off off Broadway theatre critics... pre-essay musings

I am having a hell of a time with my planned essay on off-off Broadway theatre critics. In part because they have much in common with off and Broadway theatre critics - except that the further up you go, the more male critics there are. So I'm wondering if it should be something about critics in general.

I did not expect my adaptation of JANE EYRE to receive an especially favorable reception by critics because for one thing, it's extremely girly. The original work was written by a woman, it's about a woman, and then I, a woman, adapted it.

And then there's also the issue of fans of the book never being satisfied with adaptations because something is always left out.

However, I DID expect a better response to the acting, which got fair-to-middling reviews.

But the most important thing is that the audiences LOVED my JANE. And if I could have afforded to extend the run, I think that word of mouth would have eventually been a significant factor in the show's success.

I will give the critic from thanks for her review though, for acknowledging the critic/audience split. She said:
Worth noting, also, is the fact that my companions—four in all—enjoyed the play. Where I found lack of depth and feeling they saw clarity and variety. Maybe this is what happens to someone such as myself who has loved the book and tried to see every adaptation available: there are particular sensations I look for, and the book leaves very large shoes to fill indeed.
You can read the rest of it here.

That's a great ratio - 4 people liked it for every person who did not. We would get people coming up and saying how much they liked it, or emailing, like this guy who wrote:
Dear Jane Eyre Team,
My complements to all connected with the production of Jane Eyre.
I saw the show yesterday. It was wonderful. I don't think I will ever forget it.
Thank you for presenting it.

Another critic went so far as to suggest that people should not even BOTHER to go and see adaptations and just read the book. I will have more to say about that review, and other aspects of the off-off Broadway critical environment, once I'm done brooding over them.