It’s bad form when critics attack each other in print, but after the shocking stupidity on display in the mixed reviews of the new Broadway production of Porgy and Bess, the temptation to open fire stretches from here to deadline. Cognizant of the boundaries of good taste and a dedicated defense of any critic’s right to an informed opinion, I won’t name names. But in this case, stupidity still reigns supreme.
It’s been years since I have been part of an opening-night audience so slam-dunked by greatness that people rose to a thunderous ovation the minute the opening bars of the Gershwin overture began and refused to stop screaming at the end, bringing back the entire cast for so many curtain calls that it felt like the applause might extend well into the night. The fear of paying union overtime to the stagehands was the only reason the cast and creative team ever left the stage at all. I am yelling “Bravo!” still and join the disillusionment of theatergoers who were crestfallen over the lack of enthusiasm in the next morning’s reviews. If there is any sanity left after The New York Times called The Book of Mormon “the greatest musical of the century,” I’d like to urge every living person who loves the theatre to ignore the critics and run to the Richard Rodgers Theatre immediately.
When the denizens of Catfish Row come alive in the dank ghetto of Charleston, S.C., they are not in Technicolor. They are black and white and real as breathing, scars and fake dreams in unison.
COLUMBIA, S.C.—We’ve just been informed that John Edwards did not actually win the South Carolina Democratic Primary! Some other people (who are not at the Edwards not-victory party) may have heard about this by now from Wolf Blitzer. From the front of Jillian’s restaurant, a plaintive wail went up: “Joe, please come to the host, Read More
COLUMBIA, S.C.—Yes, can you hear me? Hello?! It’s just BEDLAM here at John Edwards VICTORY PARTY HEADQUARTERS 2008, as a number of people casually dine on what look like chicken wings and cigarettes in Jillian’s, down on Gervais Street. We are in this large watering hole very close to downtown—and from the parking lot you Read More
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C.—We were at a community center attached to a megachurch-ish place called the Brookland Baptist Church. No one seemed to know we were coming. Charlie Rangel ambled in, looking Ranglian. He took three questions. The first, from a Greenville news reporter, was basically, what are you doing here.
“I have no idea,” Rangel Read More
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—Former President Bill Clinton, the only class-A champion worker of the media here in South Carolina, is up to something. And no one, particularly the press, is exactly sure what he’s doing, or why he’s doing it.
In Kingstree, around 6 p.m., Bill Clinton was taking questions and doing his Great Explainer thing Read More
DILLON, S.C.—Democrats are right to worry about the fall-out from the increasingly bitter battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—at least if conversations with African-American voters at two Obama events yesterday are anything to go by.
One might not expect anyone attending an Obama rally to come easily to Clinton’s defense. But it was striking Read More
KINGSTREE, S.C.—In the Q&A session of a lovely talk by Bill Clinton (seriously!), an audience member took the microphone and said, “Black America is voting for Obama—a lot of blacks—because he’s black.” His concern was that then Obama would beat Clinton: “[Republicans] know they can’t beat Hillary but they can beat Obama.”
After the “mean Read More
Here’s a pretty remarkable transcript of Bill Clinton’s question-and-answer session with reporters after his event in Charleston earlier. Q-CNN-Dick Harpootlian has called some of the tactics used in the
campaign reprehensible and reminiscent of Lee Atwater to try to appeal
on the basis of race and gender and for suppressing the vote in
COLUMBIA, S.C. — I’m going to be spending the rest of the week in my home state, South Carolina, writing about the upcoming Democratic primary for the Politicker.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into my mother’s house, where I’m staying, was a flashing red light on the answering machine. I pushed the Read More
CHARLESTON, S.C.—”Half the time when she shows how tough she is, people say she’s too tough,” Bill Clinton said of his wife early this afternoon at a diner full of invited guests. He noted she deals with the “psychological double-bind women sometimes get caught in.” He was speaking very calmly and quietly. “She has to Read More