Is the Goodman Chicago’s “flagship” theatre?
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune theatre critic, seems to think so.
This comment comes from his recent post, where Jones basically prints a retraction to his original review of Rebecca Gilman’s A True History of the Johnstown Flood — a show nearly every critic in the city had significant issues with (including Jones).
I’d be curious to know what criteria he’s using to determine what makes a theatre a “flagship”? History in the community? Budget? Grants? Cultural impact? What? It’s a pretty bold statement to make, and I feel he needs to back it up in some way.
As for the play, I haven’t seen it, so I (sadly) can’t comment on it or Jones’ retraction. However, I find it strange that he would feel the need to write such a fangirly post about the Goodman and Johnstown‘s director Robert Falls. I mean, Jones uses “ravenous,” “crashing-theatricality” and “essential” to describe the man.
Does Falls have some blackmail material on Jones? Lord. Calm down. I think it’s especially ridiculous when a critic’s main job is to remain objective.
Oh — and why haven’t I seen this play about the flood? Mostly because I’ve left the Goodman underwhelmed one too many times. And since I see theatre on my own limited time, I like to pick and choose things that I feel are worthwhile, amusing and/or unique.
Also — and a big also — I’ve contacted Goodman’s PR team multiple times to review shows either representing this blog or the EDGE network, and haven’t gotten a single response. Not even a “sorry, we can’t honor your request.” Apparently I wasn’t worth the time or effort to hit “reply.”
[EDIT: 4/15/10]: Goodman’s PR team recently contacted me and explained their blogger policy and outreach plans (they’re in development) and apologized for overlooking my previous review requests. All is good, and I look forward to seeing their next show(s).
Anyway…the Goodman = Chicago’s flagship theatre? I don’t know. It’s been around since 1925, so it’s deeply steeped in Chicago’s cultural history. But then again, they also produced Turn of the Century — a show that resulted in people paying to see Jeff Daniels sing and dance, so…
(Monica, over at Fragments, has some interesting things to say on this topic, too.)