Saturday, September 27, 2008

IMHO: Attention Must be Paid Across the Boards

I've been reading some of the reviews on Jim Tommaney's Ambition, the new play presented by Edge Theatre. As you know by now, the critiques have been pretty negative. Some being more blunt than others.

The relationship between the press and Edge has been rocky at best since I've know Mr. Tommaney. But that hasn't stopped him from producing his works and others under his imprint for over a decade. If the press was a major force in this region, he could've been shut down a long time ago.

I don't know why he decided to write a satire allegedly based on a certain local critic. I hope to hear his side one day. I have also seen some productions at Edge as well. Some were better than others. Mr. Tommaney plans to continue his work at another venue when the show closes this weekend in North Miami. I don't plan to see Ambition, because I am not interested in the premise nor the synopsis. I do wish Mr. Tommaney and his production the best wherever the journey takes them.

But that's not the main reason why I write this today: As much as the press seems to take pleasure out of their relationship with Edge as a girlfriend they love to abuse, there are other companies who deserve the same coverage that Edge has gotten from the press lately.

The Tamarac Theatre of Performing Arts is preparing their season opener with The Musical of Musicals: The Musicals next month. I called Bill Schmookler, general manager, and asked them when was the last time they were reviewed. It was their last season opener, The World Goes Round. No one has been back since.

There have been other productions that needed recognition over there in that tiny storefront space: Crimes of the Heart, Lost in Yonkers, to name a couple. They just finished a production of The Last Five Years that need to be covered just on the ambition (pardon the pun) alone.

Schmookler also said that he has refurbished the theatre now with new seats, and will also be having more events involved to make Tamarac a force to be reckoned with. But it can't reckoned with, if the press is not there to see the changes.

Other companies like Curtain Call Playhouse deserves the same coverage that Edge has given. The African American Performing Arts Community Theatre, after a brief hiatus, just finished a play called Stories from the Old Days. Did not see a single review on that production.

The press also seemed to have unstable relations with the Broward Stage Door Theatre at one time, but it seems to have stablized with reviews of current productions.

So while the press commiserates over what a bad show Ambition was, we hope the press will now focus on other small theatre companies who have the same structure as Edge does.

The Sun-Sentinel is still using two critics to cover in Jack Zink's posthumous absence, so between the both of them they should be able to cover more shows at Tamarac.

Going back to Ambition for a second; some press think its merciful not releasing the names of actors performing due to how they felt about the show. I find it as a disrespect to the actors since no credit is given regardless of how the press feels about the show. Plus as far as them not being seen at other venues, that is also a disrespectful notion.

So let's give credit where it's due. To find out more about this play, you can look at the Miami Herald's review. Since this has been the most detailed.

And from time to time, I will be giving my two cents on what's going on in this region as well as many other people should. But please be clear: My opinions are my own and are not the opinions of anyone elses on this blog. If those wish to comment or give a rebuttal, please feel free.

And as a disclaimer: I was once invloved with some of the other entities I've named. The shows that I mentioned are shows I was never involved with.

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