My esteemed blogging colleague Esther at Gratuitous Violins has an insightful post today about bloggers reviewing shows before opening night. Her post is in response to an article in on British news site The Guardian about British producer Michael Condron. At the end of the article, Condron rails against theater bloggers:
Here's an irony: Codron actually misuses the word "reactionary," under the false supposition that it means "in reaction to." In fact, it means "opposing political or social change." And that is, in fact, what Codron himself is doing. Well, tu quoque, Mr. Codron.
His single flash of anger is aimed at the bloggers who, in defiance of theatrical convention that comment is embargoed until press night, review a play during its previews. "It's almost invariably reactionary responses. They're the modern equivalent of the lot that used to boo the plays in the 50s and 60s. I think they're ghastly.
You're fighting a losing battle, dude. ("It's a new world, Golde. A new world...") The moldy Old Guard simply don't understand the new media. They rail against change, anything that doesn't fit in with their fixed ideas about how theater should operate, and in the process they fail to take advantage of potential marketing opportunities. One of the reasons that Next to Normal recently turned a profit is that the marketing team was very savvy about social media, Twitter in particular, upon which it has amassed more than one million followers. That's right, one million. How many Twitter followers did you manage to scrape up for Losing Louie, Mr. Codron?
When I get press tickets, I abide by embargoes. It's only fair. But when I pay for my ticket, I'll say what I want, where I want, when I want. And no reactionary septuagenarian is going to stop me.