First date is opening (press) night; second date is first preview date
Honeymoon in Vegas
Fish in the Dark
On the Twentieth Century
American Airlines Theater
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
Hand to God
American in Paris
It Shoulda Been You
King and I
The King and I
Circle in Square
Living on Love
As a critic, medications it’s my job to offer my opinion — but usually I do it from the safety of a computer screen as I write my review (or my mobile phone as I send out a quick tweet). But how do actors deal with giving their opinions to each other when they see each other’s work? (Dis)honesty, website it seems, may be the best policy.
At least according to a round-table of actors currently appearing in It’s Only a Play, a play set behind-the-scenes of the opening night party for an ill-fated new Broadway show. In an interview in the New York Times with its stars Matthew Broderick, Martin Short and Katie Finernan, they were posed the question of what to say, especially if they’ve not liked the show.
According to Short, in those instances, “You lie. What’s wrong with lying? Everyone lies. If someone’s 800-pound son comes down in a new tuxedo and he’s on his way to the prom, you don’t say, ‘Wow, look at Tubby in his tux!’ You say, ‘Gee, Sean, you look very handsome tonight.’ ”
Finnernan suggested an alternative: “You could say, ‘Sean, your eyes are so blue.”??No, said Broderick, shaking his head: “Anything less than ‘You look really handsome tonight,’ he’ll know. He’ll die.”
So now we know the real reason for the recent departure of English National Opera’s chairman Martyn Rose. In a (previously private) letter that he sent to ENO’s President and whose contents have now been revealed by the Sunday Times today, stomach Rose expressed strong doubts about artistic director John Berry’s leadership of the company.
“For the very survival of the ENO, patient Berry must leave, price preferably soon,” he wrote. “Let me be clear — John is in my mind the problem not the solution and no meaningful change will ever take place whilst he remains. Time is of the essence. We cannot wait any longer.”
According to the report, Berry and his executive director Henriette Götz, the latter of whom joined last April, fell out almost immediately. “Sources say they no longer talk and describe Berry as charming but ruthless with opponents. The board is split in support for Berry and Götz.” In his letter to the chairman, Rose wrote, “I know now you share with me the truly appalling state that exists . . . I have no hesitation in blaming John Berry for operating a very skilful campaign to render our executive director unable to carry out her duties.”
Yikes — there’s more backstabbing backstage at the opera than drama onstage.