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Fringe Dwellers

Pioneer Press writers will be reviewing dozens of shows during this year's Fringe Festival. While traipsing from show to show, they'll have eyes and ears open to notable moments, odd encounters and unusual events. Those observations will be recorded here.






Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Breaking news!

The Enemy Paper (I can call them that again, since, as of last week, the Pioneer Press is no longer owned by McClatchy) reports this morning that -- horrors! -- the reviews posted on the Fringe Festival website might be less then completely objective!

Yes, you read it there first, campers. An intrepid -- an evidently unaffiliated -- reviewer on the Fringe site speculates in a story in this morning's Strib that "friends and family of those involved in a Fringe play write online reviews praising a play that really doesn't deserve it in hopes of increasing attendance."

I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Artists at practically every Fringe show are imploring audiences in curtain speeches to log on and write a rave on the Fringe site. That's exactly what they should be doing -- promoting their show with every breath and at every opportunity every single day of the festival. But I don't think anyone believes that these reviews are anything close to an objective guide. They are, as Fringe chief Leah Cooper said in the story, "an open community forum, not (a) science."

Meanwhile, if you're looking for fair, unbiased -- albeit slightly more cranky reviews -- you can find the scribblings of our intrepid critics on our OnStage page.

I haven't checked in with the paper yet, but I think what's in print today represents most of the rest of what our crack, conscience-tinged reviewers saw this weekend. As for me, I'll be checking out Kevin Kling's show tomorrow, and might catch one or two more over the course of this week. But I'll continue to blog for the next few days with other news, info, gossip, gripes and the like. So stay tuned.

-Dominic P. Papatola

6 Comments:

Anonymous Jared said...

That Strib article was probably the worst excuse for page filler I've ever seen. Big deal; the online ratings should never be taken at face value. Some of the worst shows last year got 4 1/2 - 5 star ratings. It's all arbitrary.

I know reviewers are trying to educate the masses so folks can be selective about their shows ($12 a pop ain't exactly cheap if one doesn't go with a pass or punch card). But I really think the Fringe is an automatic "Buyer Beware" event- these are often experimental pieces, and often unfinshed. Great, no prob. I expect that with my Fringe. But if one expects to win a popularity contest by garnering favorable reviews, especially in the Fringe, then the point is kinda lost on everyone.

*plink, plink*

10:50 AM  
Blogger Leah Cooper said...

Jared, we love you! Dominic, we love you! Thanks for adding insight to an article that lacked it ... and that misquoted me.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Jared said...

Back atcha, babe. You will be missed.

Man, people really are taking all of these reviews seriously. I think Dominic scared someone out of the Fringe with his scathing review... or was that Carolyn? Either way, there's no record of that particular show anywhere anymore. Can't wait to mount my own show next year! I really hope that reviewers love it, as much as Leah Cooper and her cronies apparently love me... ;)

11:21 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

This is Rick, from DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES. I don't know what Dominic is saying (DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES). Unbiased, promotion for their fringe show...such as DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES. Having family and friends promote their show, such as DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES. I'm appauled!!! (even though I don't know how to spell it)...oh, hell... just go see DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES already.

Rick, the producer of DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES

1:57 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

This is Rick, from DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES. I don't know what Dominic is saying (DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES). Unbiased, promotion for their fringe show...such as DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES. Having family and friends promote their show, such as DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES. I'm appauled!!! (even though I don't know how to spell it)...oh, hell... just go see DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES already.

Rick, the producer of DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Foster said...

From one outgoing staff member to another: Here, here!

I think I'm going to invite the Enemy Paper over to my studio apartment sometime at 4 in the morning so they can read and approve audience reviews (161 in this last batch alone). Then wake 'em up at 9 a.m. to go to their day job.

Let's see how they like policing every single interpersonal relationship in the metro then.

2:08 AM  

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