First I realize I need to apologize to the nice lady who invited me to see the show in the first place. I know she felt sucker-punched and I’m sure I got her in trouble with her boss. She is just an innocent by-stander in this drive-by. She was a friend, and now we’ll be dead-eyeing each other at events, and that sucks. I guess she didn’t realize that that’s what I do , and hence this introduction to me. I’m a critic; I have very little interest in hanging out at parties.
She got it wrong when she accused me of jealousy though. I just had a couple of successful (sold out in fact) shows at some pretty prestigious venues, so it’s not quite that. And I’m smart enough to know that things go much better when you make nice-nice. And yet I GRATUITOUSLY, flagrantly did not do that.
Why would I do that? Why would someone do that? Recklessly damage relationships. For fun? For the heck of it? Ya think so?
Look at this post from yesterday. It’s because I CARE about these people. I care about protecting and promoting their art, their lives and their legacies. I don’t want to see them disrespected or treated lightly or shat upon. And — WOW — if you invoke the Holy Name of ZIEGFELD on 42nd Street — for God’s sake! — what you’re doing had better goddamn well be WORTHY of that name. And if you are presenting someone who is supposed to be EDDIE CANTOR in a BROADWAY HOUSE, hadn’t that person BETTER be the BEST Eddie Cantor impersonator in the country? Hadn’t he at least BETTER be doing an Eddie Cantor impression? And shouldn’t the music be period appropriate? These are, like, fundamental. This is before tying your shoes and brushing your teeth in the morning kind of stuff. Yet the caliber of the almost uniformly positive reviews the show is getting are like this one from Theatremania, which says off-handedly, “Fink eschews Cantor’s eye-rolling routine in favor of….” Something else. That’s okay?! That’s NOT okay! What sort of “reviewer” are you? You don’t get to just blow it off! The actor doesn’t get to blow off his role! That’s not a choice! It’s either what it’s supposed to be or it’s not.
So this thing is slipshod, amateurish, unresearched, uninformed, and unworthy of the Deuce. This venue happens to be a showplace in the heart of Times Square, the cocoon and the pinnacle of the Best in American Theatre. So take this amateur dinner theatre thing to Epcot Center or Las Vegas or someplace where people don’t know the difference! Oh, I forgot. You’re next door to Applebees, so it looks like you’re already there.