A lot of the reviews have landed, and they’re very positive. Bostonist and Edge Boston were excellent, as was the Phoenix. Metro’s review was mixed–they liked me and the performance a great deal, but were uncomfortable with 9/11, which is a risk you have to take when you work with charged material.
The Boston Globe review turned out very interestingly. It clearly would be a total rave if the Globe had come on any night except Easter Sunday–most of the review is one of the most effusive of my career, and an intelligent, informed effusiveness at that. But our failure to pack the house effectively and prepare for what we knew was a very important review was critical to wounding what should have been a triumph: by neglecting the audience, the element that must NEVER be ignored in live performance, we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It’s a very important lesson in the theater: more than marketing, more than PR, more than fundraising it is always the audience that matters most: first, last and always.
It is still a very good review–miraculously it holds that particular night of the show separate from the act of seeing the show–but I don’t know if it will communicate to people reading it that they should come down to the theater. I hope that the confluence of different positive notices, coupled with the feature on Friday in the Globe, will help–it remains to be seen. I have given up crossing fingers, and now I am crossing toes.
There’s not much for me to do in this regard, though I am doing some radio spots and we’ll be creating pull quotes, which is the term used for extracting quotes from longer pieces for the purpose of letting people know about a show. In the spirit of transparency that I’m following during this run I’ll dissect what goes into making good pull quotes, how to keep them honest while still showing the work in its best light, and how I choose to navigate the slippery slope of what is and is not fair and balanced in editing the words of critics.