Misery Does Not Love Company « PREV | NEXT »: Two movies, America and France

November 1, 2008

I hear you, Laura

pelvicthrust-thumb-280x775.jpgRe "Misery Does Not Love Company": Laura Collins-Hughes writes about the horrific week in Journalism Land, and I have to agree: Make it stop! I picked up the L.A. Times on Friday for my weekly devouring of the Calendar section, and after reading the news earlier this week about film critic Carina Chocano losing her job  I did it with a fair amount of trepidation. Sure enough, there was a "shared" movie review by Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips right there on the cover. (Did anyone else notice that in the Times' recent redesign, the byline style was conveniently altered so that you have to wait until the end of the story to find out if it's by a staff writer? Now a filler wire story gets just as much byline prominence as a locally produced story. And what's with leaving the "By" off a byline, anyway?) I just don't get it: The L.A. Times isn't just any paper; it's HOLLYWOOD's paper, and running non-staff movie reviews is, frankly, embarrassing. Everyone keeps talking about how newspapers can get their reviews "off the wire." What happens if even the wire reviews disappear?

But the day ended better than it began. I attended a whopper performance of the musical "The Rocky Horror Show," staged by a newish Fresno theater company, on Halloween night. There was something exhilarating about witnessing the payoff of the time and preparation that the cast and crew, all of them volunteers, put into the endeavor.

The performance wasn't Broadway quality, but even its rough moments gave it an even sweeter authenticity, and I'm glad that I pushed hard to give the production the coveted cover-story slot in our weekly entertainment tab. (We did a six-step photo series in our print edition of our own local Frank N. Furter showing folks how to do the Time Warp, which meant that I got Step 5 -- the pelvic thrust, pictured above -- onto breakfast tables all across Central California.) To be in the wildly enthusiastic sold-out audience -- feet stamping, rhythmic clapping, a standing ovation that wouldn't stop -- reminded me of how local theater can bring a community together. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that I continue to get paid to write about it!

November 1, 2008 1:10 PM | | Comments (0)

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