Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Any Asshole can Blog "And most do"

Yes, I get the irony in that statement. I recently replied to a critic's mixed review of ReGroup's A Texas Trilogy, stating there were blatant mistakes in it. The editor, who seems like a decent guy, said I'd need to edit it before he could post it and asked me to rephrase the word 'lies' as 'misreported'. I refused to be censored and put a spin on, well... the lies, and felt I failed my company by letting a 3rd rate writer review the shows - to which I was told "It's a free country" and he can review them if he wants. Journalism is in the toilet - Our production was called "Uneven". Fine. Yet 4 of the top 5 headlines of reviews on the site also use that same exact word. Not something to get upset about - yet a red signal it's not a site I'd want reviewing my artists. The biggest lessons I've learned about running a theatre sometimes come from intelligent, negative comments.When I refused to edit my post, I was accused of censorship and told I wasn't willing to have a dialogue. Some dialogue when my words are censored. You can google it and find it here - with their 60 'expert' writers.

Here's my reply, that was deemed inappropriate on the reviewer's site. I can stand by all of my statements, and yes, I can laugh at myself better than anyone can- though I know humor is sometimes hard to read online. The editor's perceived 'snark' was meant to be laughable.


We’re honored to have such an esteemed critic as Paul Darvis in attendance. (See, anyone can bullshit online.) Art is subjective, so I don’t fault his criticism. When there are downright factual inaccuracies – they need to be called out. The set was not the same for all 3 plays, other than a literal breadbox and one bookshelf that both appeared in 2 of the 3 plays, the set for all three plays was different – down to the rug, the coffee table, cookie jar, the wallpaper and the towels in the kitchen. That’s the most basic outright lie. I could go on, but it’s not worth my time.

Darvis’s statements about union vs non-union actors is also very unclear. He praised mostly non-union actors and trashed the union ones. What’s the point?

When 4 of the 5 recommended articles on the site are :
Fuse Theater Review: “Working, A Musical” — A Pleasantly Uneven Hymn to the Working Man
Fuse Film Review: “Begin Again” — Lost Souls Making Uneven Music Together
Fuse Theater Review: An Uneven Evening Out “On The Town”
Fuse Music Review: Emmanuel Music’s “A Little Night Music” — An Uneven Evening
a certain word stands out, and perhaps Fuse needs to send their critics back to school or at least get them a thesaurus. You cannot make this crap up. It’s too obviously funny. We knew we were in for a hack job when the critic didn’t even know his editor’s email address, and after 3 nights, finally provided the WRONG email. There’s lots of ‘uneven’ theatre out there (thank God, it evens out the rest that’s tested and polished for public consumption) but there are even more terrible critics.
Brian Stites
Founder of the ReGroup Theatre (We’ve had our colon surgically removed, so where Paul got ‘Re:Group’ from is another mystery)