Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pit and Balcony's "Sweeney Todd" a muddled mess


review by Janet I. Martineau
OK, first a word to the cast of “Sweeney Todd” at Saginaw’s Pit and Balcony Community Theatre. This review is not about you. You all did the very best you could under the circumstances, and your singing voices were stellar.
But your director, Michael Walling...WHAT was he thinking that resulted in turning this musical about madness into a muddled mess.
We LOVED Walling’s  “Jesus Christ Superstar” interpretation that was unique and different. It succeeded, in our mind. But with “Sweeney,” which he labeled in a newspaper story as a stylized version purists might not like, yikes.
In its frantic race to get to the end there was no time allowed for nuances and inflections from the cast and thus no emotion. The majority of songs were sung with such a vicious rapidity and over-the-top volume that the words were unintelligible. (I had to explain the story to the woman sitting next to me.) The sound system, at least on opening night Friday, sounded like an echo transmission from outer space.
Then there was the set. What the heck was it trying to say. Those HUGE gears at the back were distracting and tended to swallow up the people in front of them. The half dozen noisily moving towers...toward the end we thought we would scream if the cast moved them one more time in an attempt to create an imaginary scene. And we did scream (internally) when during Daniel Taylor’s singing of the lovely ballad “Johanna,” one of the few quiet numbers, those towers started moving to set up the next scene. NEVER upstage an actor with a set piece.
Red wooden chairs.....really, do people routinely stand on chairs to sing...made us giggle. The little fog machine that couldn’t....TURN IT OFF. When the barber killed his victims and then each of them proceeded to stand up, take his or her chair, and walk off the stage...talk about destroying a moment. If the orchestra nearly outnumbers the cast count....well, guess who will win.
And why was it some of the cast members had British accents (it is set in England) but others not a hint?
It was like Walling was saying “Sweeney Todd” is a dumb and horrible show and I am going to dis it; gonna turn it into a cartoon; gonna rob it of any humanity (and it DOES have humanity amid the carnage). If this is what stylized means, that a show is robbed of its humanity and any sense of detailing, then yuck.
But back to the cast.
Laura Peil somehow managed to triumph over most all of that in her lively performance as Mrs. Lovett, who turns the revengeful barber’s victims into best-selling meat pies. She speaks and sings with enough diction to save some of the play and displays at least some hint of being a human (albeit a sinister one).
Tony Serra in the lead role has a baritone voice to die for, and uses it well. But in the director’s apparent rush of this thing, his Sweeney Todd lacks any depth of character.
As for the rest of the cast, bravo for braving the super difficult Stephen Sondheim score. We can tell from the hints that are there, you did conquer its complexities, We also know most of you from other plays and what you are capable of as actors. You just got pushed under the speeding bus on this show.
And it could have been worse. We saw a “Sweeney Todd” in Detroit that had the cast members also the orchestra members -- each playing an instrument along with having to act and sing. What is it about this musical that makes directors want to mess with it?
We’ve also seen two more traditional productions...and to that we say, sometimes being a bit of a purist might be wiser.

58 comments:

  1. So sorry, I'm sure I would have been in tears if I saw it. Sometimes, it is best to just leave it alone. When it is almost perfection as it exists.

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  2. Well, I was torn about being inside for 2 hours on such a beautiful Sunday--I think you've helped me make my decision.

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    1. Wait, ME---it's me, Ann Russell-Lutenske. I've signed on anonymously because (I'm ashamed to admit) I don't know how to sign in with my name. Don't let a bad review keep you from the theatre! You've been such a good supporter of P&B for so long, and--quite frankly--they need EVERY ticket sale they can get. Honestly, lots of folks who know music and theatre have loved the show; it just wasn't Janet's cuppa tea. Think of all the bad reviews you've read for movies that you ended up loving...

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  3. http://www.360mainstreet.com/article/1111/sweeney-todd-for-the-sound-biteamp;layout=standard

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  4. And here's Mlive's review written by Justin Engel. Editor of the Saginaw News Entertainment Section.


    http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/05/review_saginaws_sweeney_todd_c.html

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  5. How is it that every reviewer raved about this show except this one? Oh yes, Janet had her feelings hurt and now she is taking it out on this show. how sad. You are hurting Pit & Balcony with this revenge piece. If you have a problem with Michael Walking have it out with him face to face. I have no more respect for you Janet.

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  6. This is ridiculous, Janet!
    Do you have a vendetta out against someone involved? You must forget you are representing a community organization that relies on support...not cutting criticism.
    I don't know where you get your thoughts of how theatre should work. Do you have any experience IN productions? A critic has, as a standard, education or training in the field they're critiquing.

    I'm sorely disappointed in you. Viva Pit and Balcony!

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    1. I'm sorry...but why are you in theatre? You can't even take criticism. Try getting out in the real world. You wouldn't last two minutes. Get over yourself.

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  7. If it were up to me you would be banned and barred from ever stepping foot into our theatre again. "Covering the arts scene in mid Michigan"? Do you even know what art is? Do us a favor and do not review any Pit & Balcony show ever again. You are not needed or wanted.

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    1. "Covering the arts scene in mid Michigan" is exactly what she's doing. Does it say anything about only reviewing things positively? No.

      Art is subjective. She is entitled to have an opinion, even one that "your" theatre might not like.

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  8. I'm sure this comment will simply get looked over, but I have a few things to say about this review.

    To start with, I respect Janet and what she has to say about these things. She has made some incredibly accurate reviews in the past, and will continue to do so in the future for sure.

    With that being said, I'd like to pick at some specific parts of the review. Contrary to what Janet had said, the songs were not rushed at all, nor the words difficult to perceive. The actors sang and spoke with superb diction - I would know, being a well-trained singer. Perhaps the years have not been as kind to your ears as they have mine? While the sound system did echo a bit, that did not slur the singing or speaking whatsoever.

    On to the set. The large gears in the back may have been distracting to you, as well as others, but they said something about the story. Notice how some gears were sharp, and others were more squared-off. This was done purposefully, to represent Sweeney's character; on the outside he is a very respectable man, but on the inside, he has a "sharp" side to him as the murderous barber. With the same precision as a clock, he mercilessly ends the lives of those who do him wrong.

    What am I, just another ill-tempered guy ripping on poor Janet's review? No! Not everything in her review is inaccurate. The bit about the chairs did seem a little ridiculous.

    The acting was very very good. Despite what Janet has said about Tony Serra lacking depth in his character, he, as well as the entire cast, did an incredible job of interpreting and depicting the emotions that the characters should have felt at the appropriate times during the performance. Not only did I feel mentally and emotionally engaged in the story with the actors, but the music helped pull me in as well. I would like to congratulate Sara Taylor and her orchestra on a job well-done.

    Overall, I believe that Michael Walling did a magnificent job with this production. Between his incredibly artistic eye and his natural sense of leadership, this was one of the finest productions of "Sweeney Todd" I have seen before.

    Although I respect and appreciate Janet and what she has to say about the arts in mid-Michigan, I would love it if she would consider choosing her words more carefully. As a 16-year-old singer in Saginaw, I help to represent local youth in the arts. If Janet continues to review wonderfully interpreted performances in the same manner she has done with "Sweeney Todd," then what hope does that leave for me and other young people like me?

    Reading such negative words about a beautiful show really effects the way that us youngsters view our careers in the arts. In uncertain times like these, it is better to give the kids positive reinforcement about their futures in the arts, rather than a negative one. Consider me and my peers. We are the future. And in the future, myself, as well as many others look forward to reading more of Janet's reviews, and hope to see many more amazing productions such as Michael Walling's interpretation of "Sweeney Todd."

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  9. I'd like to point out that the Detroit production you saw was a multi-Tony Award winning piece. INCLUDING best direction of a musical for John Doyle.

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    1. So, does that mean that everyone is supposed to like it? Pretty sure even people who saw that production might not have enjoyed it, Tony Award or not.

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  10. This review seems very harsh. I've read every review that Janet has written for the last ten years and I can't ever remember her crushing a director like she does here. I have, however, read many reviews where she writes glowingly about certain directors in the area when the particular show was generally assumed to be lackluster. Its my personal opinion that Janet does play favorites when it comes to directors. She can't seem to take personal feelings for certain directors out of her opinions and constantly whitewashes average shows directed by certain Saginaw Valley State professors (see her recent review of SVSU's Little Shop) and is far more honest of her opinions regarding acting performances. She is often spot on with her critique in that area.

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    1. Having been in several Ric Roberts directed productions (which you not so subtlely referred to), I can tell you that Janet has NOT had all positive reviews for his productions.

      That being said, Ric, as well as all the other professors go out of their way to discuss the reviews with their cast and teach us to read them constructively and not overreact if they are negative. Which is clearly not something that people at Pit & Balcony are willing to do. Their first instinct is to attack Janet and flood her blog with hurtful comments. It's clear who the real, classy actors are.

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  11. The last post is spot on! Janet hasn't seen a Ric Roberts production that she didn't write glowingly about!

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    1. How naive of you, and you're wrong, actually. Go back and read her reviews of some SVSU shows - they're not perfect.

      Go cry about it some more.

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  12. In addition the Detroit production was the same revival concept as the Broadway version... the version in which Steven Sondheim himself was involved in creating!

    Have you gone back and watched tapes of the old production with Angela Lansbury? It is painfully slow and old fashioned in appearance by comparison to today's 21st century theatre stagings. I Saw the Pit version on Saturday and it is stylized, sleek and glorious! The gears symbolize the machinery turning and echo the lyrics "The engine roared the motor hissed". The moving wall pieces were NOT a distraction but a clever way to create many places with minimal clutter. Yes, you had to use your imagination to see the pie shop or the Judges house but it wasn't that hard to figure out what is was all supposed to be. And as for the chairs... really? You've never seen chairs used as musical props before? And even my teenage daughter got the symbolism... "the red chair on the wall equals someone who died right Mom?"

    It just goes to show you how out of touch Janet has become. She LOVES the Drowsy Chaperone at Bay City Players which was staged very typically but hates the modernistic and innovative Sweeney. (Chaperone was fantastic by the way. I saw that one last weekend. I am just comparing them because of their differences in staging... not judging one against the other as to content or merit.)

    If you didn't care for it Janet why didn't you just say that the modern touches didn't work for you? You didn't have to be so scathing and hateful about it. You have hurt a lot of people who have invested hundreds of hours of their own time hoping to do nothing more than entertain you.

    If you ever find yourself reviewing a show and are about to write how dull and predictable the production is... you may only have yourself to blame. Be careful what you wish for.

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    1. "Yes, you had to use your imagination to see the pie shop or the Judges house but it wasn't that hard to figure out what is was all supposed to be."

      The problem is, some people *cough*Janet*cough* have no imagination

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  13. I too found Janet's review unusually harsh, however, I find some of the opinions expressed anonymously to be equally harsh and unkind. Thank you to those who expressed their disagreement with concrete points rather than vitriol. If you are entitled to express your disagreement, then so is Janet entitled to her opinion. It is, after all, her blog. Shame on those who hide behind "anonymous." You should NOT call yourself a representative of Pit & Balcony.

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    1. As we have all seen in these comments, and I have seen over several years, almost no one from Pit & Balcony ever represents it very well. These comments illustrate that perfectly.

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  14. It is not up to you to decide that I am less entitled to my opinion than Janet is to hers whether I choose to post anonymously or not. Vitriol has been met with vitriol. Don't stand up for hers and criticize mine.

    If Janet doesn't want anonymous posts she can turn that option off. As for representing Pit & Balcony it is a community theatre, true, I do not formally represent Pit & Balcony but I have been a subscriber for a very, very long time and have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into supporting this program because I believe deeply in my heart and soul in what is created there so I stand by my earlier statement. This was not a fair review. Be fair or stay home.

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  15. Why does Janet even bother with community theatre reviews? As far as I'm concerned her opinions are wildly biased towards directors she either likes or dislikes and they do nothing but harm the local theater community. Nobody cares if she likes a show, but reviews like this will close down a community theater forever. If she wants to continue writing reviews she should stick to professionals or the local colleges who may or may not find constructive criticism useful. The largest problem she has though is that she has a bias towards certain people in the community that is widely known. Many directors actually shape their shows and give special treatment to Janet just to get favorable reviews. Apparently she didn't receive her comped tickets and special seating at P&B this time.

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    1. Most community theatres DON'T get reviewed in other areas. And frankly, maybe Pit shouldn't be reviewed at all. That way they can go on doing the terrible productions that they do and think they're the greatest thing to happen to theatre. And they won't have to tear down anyone who happens to actually know what good theatre is, like Janet.

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    2. Thats what I thought too! Janet can only do harm to the community theaters in this area.

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  16. This just confirms my opinion that Pit and Balcony is a complete joke of a community theatre. The productions have been going downhill for years and the amount whining from the cast in this blog makes it obvious that they don't know what their doing anymore. Its a shame that a once proud organization has gone completely down the drain. My money will now be spent on productions in Bay City or at the excellent shows that SVSU has been producing lately. I earnestly hope that this trend will turn around and I'll be compelled to support community theater in Saginaw again, but this review and the subsequent comments have turned me off to Pit for the foreseeable future.

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    1. AMEN! I am appalled reading all of these comments from obvious angry Sweeney Todd performers. It is ONE person's review! GET OVER IT! You're making yourself and Pit & Balcony look bad, and if you can't take criticism then WHY are you in theatre? Why why why?! Learn from it!

      Janet knows what she's talking about - she's not going to sugar coat her review just so to make everyone feel better. These angry comments are just childish.

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    2. And they thought a bad review was going to turn people away.

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  17. It seems as thought the Anonymous posters forget that a review is simply the opinion of one person, and that should be taken into consideration when considering whether to see a show or not. Not all people have the same tastes or opinions. I have been involved with P&B for a long time and been in many productions. Some reviews have been fair, and some have seemed very unfair, but that was just my opinion. If you are a performer, that should not bother you. You know if you did your best or not. Janet may have seemed unduly harsh, but at least she puts her name on her review. The people who post as Anonymous are absolute cowards, and should be ignored.

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  18. Just going to toss my two cents in, as someone who has been on both sides of this...

    I've been acting for about 4 years now. Janet has reviewed more than a handful of those shows. I have performed at both SVSU and Pit and Balcony. (For the record, I speak for neither of these organizations nor do I claim to)

    There have been times I felt I put my heart and soul on the stage, and barely got mentioned. There have been times where I have done roles I hated, and get glowering praise.

    As a reviewer at the Saginaw Valley Journal, I have been reviewing my peers and have hurt peoples feelings with my opinions. It gets awkward when Janet talks about a show being fantastic, and I thought it was middling, or vice versa. But I appreciate that there are numerous voices out there. Because of that, we have developed our own reader bases. We have differing opinions.

    I feel I am qualified to take part in this discussion... But only so I can make a point.

    A reviewers opinion is just that. I understand that some people feel this review will "Hurt the show"... but it has already caused buzz. It has created controversy. People are more interested in seeing this show now, so they can weigh in on things, and develop their own opinion. This review goes against the grain the others have established. There are now different voices with different opinions.

    Janet has been reviewing shows long enough to form supporters and people who don't like her opinion. There are plenty of folks out there that look to reviewers they hate, and will go see the shows that reviewer didn't like.

    Her job as a journalist is to tell the truth about her feelings and opinions, and it's the communities job to discuss it. To either validate it by going and seeing the show in question, or making her piece irrelevant by ignoring the theatrical piece in question.

    Also, on a side note to whomever is saying that she should not be reviewing Community Theater, and to stick with colleges and professional plays... I disagree wholeheartedly. Community Theater has put on some amazing shows. It is something that deserves a critical eye, it has potential to do great things. To treat it like anything less is insulting.

    I hope a few of you take this to heart.

    -Randall

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    1. Unrelated to the review, kudos to you and the others who use your real names. It takes a small bit of courage to say "I am so-and-so, and I approve/disapprove of this message." Especially to those who work in this business (from hobbyists to professionals). Theater is a small club, and this is a small market. I'm glad to see that quality in a college student. Be accountable for the things you say.

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  19. Come see our show! We have received standing ovations, rave reviews and more handshakes in the meet and greet line that I can ever remember. The costuming and set are visually stunning and the orchestration will move your very soul!

    No this show is not the typical staging of Sweeney Todd and we knew going into it that people expecting "that" show would be disappointed. But isn't that what artists do? Reach and expand our own, and hopefully your, expectations and boundaries?

    We are creating superb art with this show and it would be a real shame if you missed it. There are four shows left this week. Open your mind and let the beauty of the music and the story flow over and through you. It may not be all that the other, glowing reviews have said (although we think it is ;)... but it is not all this either. The best opinion is your opinion.

    - Kevin, a real cast member

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    1. Aren't artists also supposed to take all reviews with a grain of salt and not go out of their way to attack someone who happens to not agree that their show is "superb art"?

      You're a hypocrite for posting this and have no reason to be on here right now. If you're a REAL cast member, then I have even more reason to not waste my time watching your show.

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    2. And now you are just being mean. Show me one thing in his post that shows he did not take the review with a grain of salt.

      He believes in his show and you call him a hypocrite for doing so? What a sad little boy or girl you are.

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    3. Greetings from the "pit" (it actually isn't a pit)but just an area in front of the stage. That said, I am a pit musician and just want to say we all are human. Our performances vary. Audience reception varies too. Some nights standing ovations, shouts, and cheer. Other nights they are blah... We "feed" off of one another. After running a show night after night, it is physically, as well as emotionally and mentally grueling. I agree with Kev, the production is marvelous! Bravo and Brava to the entire cast. Sara's supurb musical expression on keyboard leads this production throughout. Do people realize, she cues actors,musicians,while playing her keyboard? Talk about multi-tasking! Now for the negative: I received comments about the sound. Yep, I gotta say, sometimes it is so loud, we musicians cannot hear ourselves. We have monitors with us in the pit too. Tony's microphone was cutting in and out, and the sound had issues. People sitting in the front row(3 ft. away) were hearing the musicians over the actors. The large speakers and monitors plus 10 musicians is a lot! Maybe people should not be seated in the first row, or do we need a higher curtain that is the same ht. as the stage? The critic came for one of our troubled performance. Oh yes, some words were garbled and lost, even when there wasn't music. Also, if you don't know anything about the story of Sweeney Todd, you may not fully understand the play. It's artistically,done. There is tongue and cheek humor, and satire. Some audiences get it, and sometimes they don't. At least there isn't a lot of blood and gore! Also, it is true, some of the music was cut hear and there in the second half of the show. But hey, come today...our last performance! Hope to see you there. -Lisa

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  20. I will admit that I have a bias towards the show, as I am involved in Pit. But I have been reading the comments thus far and I think many of them are like the review- quite harsh. Though some comments do have valid points, Linda's about people remaining anonymous and a few of the anonymous' posts...I think that it has gotten a bit out of control.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, yes, and Janet certainly has hers. We all may not see eye-to-eye, but that's the basis of discussion and reviews.
    To the people who read just this article and don't see the show or rip into Pit and Balcony for being a "joke" should go see the shows for themselves. Taking one author's viewpoint as the ideal review is foolish! No harm in going to see a show and making your own opinion!

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    1. The harm is to my wallet. Why would I spend money after reading all this bitching?

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  21. There are an awful lot of assumptions about who is posting anonymously here. Bottom line is - you don't know who is saying what and for what purposes. Chill children. And that means every single one of you whether you be P&Bers, MCFTAers or SVSUers ...or Janet supporters pretending to be whatever. Grow up all of you.

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    1. Clearly, anyone honestly complaining that someone gave them a bad review is untalented, uneducated, and immature. All ways that I would describe the people who have commented on this review, namely Kevin Proffit, who not only commented on here, but also commented on Janet's personal Facebook page, which he has since deleted, hopefully after he realized how much it made him look like an ass. He's the one who started the whole "personal vendetta" crap, which has been repeated by several people on this page, obviously because it was passed along to all the other cast members when they decided to reply anonymously on this page.

      Making Pit & Balcony look great as always. Nice job!

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    2. Any and all comments I have made on this blog have my name on them. If you are going to call me out please do the same.

      The vendetta comments were not started by me but I made the mistake of repeating them on facebook. I realized throwing them around based on second hand information was wrong so yes, I deleted them. I owned up to my mistake and removing them from public view was the right thing to do.

      If I am guilty of anything it is of being passionate for this show. Perhaps overly so. But would you want to see a show where the actors are not passionate about their craft?

      I stand behind the single post I wrote here... Sweeney Todd is one of the most innovative productions you could hope to see. The costuming is stunning. The orchestration is absolutely gorgeous. The actors are among the most talented with the strongest voices ever to grace our stage and you are doing yourself a disservice if you snub it.

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    3. But you and your fellow cast members are doing yourself a disservice by shaming someone for having a negative opinion of your show. Part of being an actor is to do your best work, which you think you are doing. Why is it a big deal if someone else feels differently? She's doing what a good critic should do, voicing her opinion and starting dialogue. However, the Pit & Balcony "supporters" are not contributing to that dialogue. All they are doing is commenting how she just didn't get it and shouldn't be reviewing theatre if she can't get some concept that clearly wasn't very good if she and several people in the audience just didn't get it.

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    4. Here are my thoughts. After reading all the posts I would guess (which is all any of you can do with anonymous posts) that only one or two members of the cast commented early on in this discussion. From the one cast member I spoke with Monday afternoon they all felt it better to walk away from this once the sh!t hit the fan starting with [AnonymousMay 13, 2012 6:48 PM]... who more than likely was an overzealous supporter and not connected with the theatre.

      After that it became a piling on of people venting for their own personal reasons... either they have close ties to one side or the other or conflicts with one side or the other.

      The commenters who have signed their names have not appeared to shame anyone here. Rather they have appeared to be quite sincere in trying to remain calm and positive. The most venomous replies have been by the people who won't accept their peace makings and continue to sling mud at them.

      I don't one of the "reply as:" accounts to let me prove myself but my name is Kathy Cunningham.

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  22. To Janet and everyone who posted here THANK YOU! There is a saying in this business: "There's no such thing as bad press." As the new Director of Operations for Pit and Balcony Theatre, I am always searching for economical ways to market our organization and this hasn't cost us a dime!

    Isn't all this drama exciting?

    For those who expressed negative opinions about the theatre organization as a whole, I understand where some of the frustration is coming from- but take heart: there is a new plan in place that takes these community concerns into consideration, and we are creating programs and productions in answer to them.

    Consider the Class Act Youth Theatre Program slated for summer 2013: this program will give youth aged 9 to 17 opportunities to experience all aspects of theatre from acting, to production, to marketing. The Dimensions Program was created to honor the diverse backgrounds residents in our community, and the Family Arts Enrichment Program, which begins durning our next season, provides some family-friendly shows annually.

    As an actor, writer, director- I've received some pretty harsh reviews- and reviewers are entitled to their opinions: that's what makes them reviewers. I'm thankful for the publicity- however it comes to us. And rather than getting up in arms about it let it be what it is.

    What I do know: the team that put this show together worked really hard, their hearts are in the right place, and the theatre, funders and private donors invested this show with the intent of bringing something bright into our community.

    Personal attacks- whether directed at Janet, the cast, director, or other individuals responding are out of line.

    I'm happy that art created a stir. Thank you.

    Robin Devereaux-Nelson
    Director of Operations
    Pit and Balcony Theatre

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    1. You might want to share these thoughts with your cast, since most of the attacks were started by them. Some kind of program to teach your actors how to handle negative reviews like REAL actors do might do wonders for your theatre's reputation, which I can tell you has certainly been affected by all of this ridiculous and immature behavior.

      Take some of the opinions expressed about your organization to heart. There are clearly some bad apples around you that are creating this reputation.

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    2. You know, I keep hearing that accusation... that these comments are from the cast. How do you know? Aren't you behaving badly by making accusations that you really can not prove? Thou shalt not bear false witness.

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  23. News flash folks: "real" actors don't handle bad reviews all that well either.

    Anyone with the guts to get on that stage deserves kudos.

    Credit where credit is due, please. These folks volunteer many hours when they commit to involvement with a production.

    Thank you again to the cast, crew, volunteers, director, Board of Directors, our reviewers, supporters, donors and patrons for supporting the arts in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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    1. So you, like everyone else involved in this production, aren't going to admit that this whole situation has been handled incredibly immaturely. When your show gets a bad review, point fingers at Janet Martineau, SVSU, MCTFA, and whatever other organization she might not have a "personal vendetta" against. I can see where your cast is getting their undeserved confidence. Credit where credit is due.

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    2. And what is your axe to grind that you cannot let this go?

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  24. Dear Anonymous-

    If you will carefully read my post, you will see that I thanked Janet, as well as stating personal attacks BY ANYONE involved are out of line.

    Thank you,
    Robin Devereaux-Nelson
    Director of Operations
    Pit and Balcony Theatre

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  25. I'd like to say hi to Chad Baker and Ric Roberts. ;)

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    1. I haven't commented and I feel like now was the time to do so. I actually only commented on one post on Janet's FB wall because I thought, and still think, that it was inappropriate.

      I'm currently living in Cincinnati working for a theatre and planning my move back to
      Michigan by scheduling several professional auditions. I'm a little too busy to focus my time on petty community theatre drama.

      It is nice to see that my reputation as a bitch is still going strong even though I haven't even lived in the state for over a
      year.

      Chad William Baker ;)

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  26. There is a reason Bob Sorbera kept her from reviewing Pit and Balcony shows in the past. I have rarely seen Janet give a good review about anything that Pit and Balcony does.

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    1. Probably because it sucks.

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  27. I would love for someone to explain the choices made for both the set and the costumes. What time period were the costumes supposed to be in? What sparks my curiosity is why would you have a stylized set but not carry that same style over into the costumes? The overall design ends up not being unified and if you are going for a minimalistic set (as ive read on here) then all you needed were the chairs. The mere fact that the concept for the set design needs to be explained means that it was too complicated and didnt work. Furthermore all this backlash for an honest review (regardless of where the comments are coming from)has given me good reason not to see this show. Ill be saving my $22 for something else.

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    1. I'm going to go out on a limb and say both the set and costuming reflect certain steampunk/clockpunk elements - I didn't do the design so I can't speak for the designers, but just based on the whole look of the production, that's what comes to mind! The show is visually beautiful, and was done in a very budget-conscious/green manner - lots of recycling of materials (and more recycling to come once it's torn down). Hope that helps answer your question!!

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    2. I saw the Broadway revival with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris and I still don't know what that set was supposed to be. (a hospital ward? An attic?) That didn't stop me from enjoying the show however. This one sounds like it's cut from similar cloth with actors picking up and hanging a red chair on the wall when they die instead of putting on a white coat with red smears down the front like on Broadway. I'll let you know when I see it this Saturday.

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