Tuesday, December 07, 2004

An Open Letter To Peter Marks



What the fuck are you doing?

You know, dude, I should have written this a few weeks ago, after you used valuable space in the Washington Post reviewing Brooklyn: The Musical. What a waste that was.

But now, in the space of a week, you've reviewed Pacific Overtures, Gem of the Ocean, and Billy Crystal's one-person-show, 700 Sundays. One might ask: at which DC theatre are these shows playing? Only to be answered: none of them. Said shows are running in a place called Manhattan, which is thought to have its own newspapers; its own theatre critics.

So what the fuck is Peter Marks, theatre critic of the Washington Post doing there? Writing about shows his paper's constituents are not going to see--indeed, not talking about--in fact, not even caring one bare scintilla of breath over?

You got me, jackass. You got me. What the fuck are you doing there, Peter? Do you want to write criticism on New York's shows? Fucking get a job there, douchebag. In the meantime, you work for the WASHINGTON Post. You need to concentrate your tiny little brain on reviewing WASHINGTON'S shows.

Now I know what all the excuses are. Yes, Lisa De Moraes gets to write about television shows that are broadcast the nation over. Well, Washingtonians wanna know what time Scrubs is on, same as everyone. Besides, she actually does a good job framing her column locally. I know some people still say that New York is the center of the theatre world, and that plenty of Washingtonians want to travel there to see theatre there, or keep informed what's going on. Those Washingtonians are reading the New York Times. Those Washingtonians are reading American Theatre magazine. Those of us who are interested in theatre in NYC do not need you. And I have yet to join a conversation, let alone meet anyone in the District, who's got a yen to see Pacific Overtures or Brooklyn: The Musical. I think, though, if those people exist, they did not and do not need your services either.

Now you'll probably say, "This guy's just got a beef because he's jealous of the attention NYC is getting." Well, I'm sorry, but what on Earth does any fan of DC theatre have to be jealous of? If I wanted to see corporate chorus boys lip-synch their way through a mass-market piece of shit musical that is just going to close in two weeks and tour the red state boonies, or freeze to death in some Lower East Side dive watching yet another emaciated one-act that basically regurgitates the playwright's last ten therapy sessions into an unrecognizable tumor of soon-to-be-forgotten theatrical trends, well, I'd either shoot myself in the head, or, grudgingly, move to New York, and, once again, avail myself of someone who doesn't write for the Washington Post. Here in Washington, I get to see plays by actual masters, with world-class directors and actors who aren't aging themselves into an early retirement and who probably won't light out for fucking Weehauken the minute Van Helsing on Broadway! closes.

Peter, it's not my fault that you can't get a gig in New York. (Did you try the Staten Island Pennysaver?) So stop making me pay the price for you getting hired at the Post. We have what, 80 theatrical companies in the area? All of whom could benefit and grow from a little ink? So fucking write about them or don't write at all.

Are you still a little resistant to what I'm saying? Then fucking read this again in its entirety, pillhead. Read it until it fucking sinks in. If you need to tenderize your brainpan with a ball peen to make it SINK in, than do so. Because I want it to SINK in.


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