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2000: To Everything
There is a Season
2001: See How Much
I Love You?
2003: Tick, Tick, Tick
New Alarm Clock
2005: Quiet! and R.I.P.
2007: At Long Last
2008: I Don't Get It
2009: The Travel Bug
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2011: The Big
"The Miracle Worker"
Books Read in 2012
"Other Voices, Other Rooms"
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CHILLS AND THRILLS AND TERROR
17 October 2012
I have been a critic for nearly 13 years. In that time I have
seen my share of shows that I didn't like, and reviewed shows that I suspected I was not
going to like, but I have never refused to review a show, unless I was not going to be in
town and couldn't review a show.
However this week I received a notice about an upcoming performance
that chilled the marrow in my bones.
Upon arrival at The Haunt at xx, visitors will be led
in groups of 15 by a Guiding Spirit to the first of seven performance stages. Be prepared
for terror of every dimension as the cast employs its considerable talents and special
effects hosting guests through eerie scenes of mayhem: The Bargain without Knowing; The
Dismemberment; The Wandering; Finding Love in the Underworld; The Harrowing of the Soul;
The Realm of the Wild Men; and The Wild Bride and Bridegroom. Audience experiences are
intimate and immersive and include two mazes where demons and goblins dwell in and around
shattered mirrors and dense, foggy marshes.
Did ya get that bit about "audience experiences are intimate
and immersive"? It is also suggested that people come dressed in costume.
I don't want to be an old poop, but I am an old poop. I threw
myself on the mercy of my (new) editor. I told her this is a show that I want to see
less than having root canal without anesthetic while all of my fingernails are being
pulled out simultaneously.
She told me she would excuse me and I didn't have to review it.
But would that mean the show would go unreviewed? I recently arranged for someone to
review a show for me when I was going to be out of town and that person made the decision
that he didn't want to see the show, so he just didn't go. This meant that all the
work of all the actors went unreviewed and the theater company lost the opportunity of
people who might have bought tickets based on the review.
I was very upset by that and thought it unprofessional that this reviewer had not been
honest with me up front and had lead me to believe that he would review the show.
But aren't I doing the same thing if I refuse to review this Halloween themed show?
I am a bit more professional than that, so I have let my editor know that if she
absolutely cannot find anybody to review, I will do it. It will probably be a great,
fun show for those who like that kind of thing, but the whole "intimate and
immersive" thing just throws me into a panic and I am hoping that someone who
actually likes this sort of thing will jump at the chance.
It has always amazed me that someone like myself, who is SO shy and SO afraid of being in
the public eye (in person...obviously being in the public eye in print doesn't bother me
at all), gave birth to a whole litter of people who love performing, who have always been
comfortable on stage, and who would, given the opportunity, jump at the opportunity to
review this show...and have a fabulous time.
The show should be reviewed by someone who is looking forward to attending, not someone
for whom the very idea of entering the theater fills her with terror.
Cross your fingers and hope there is an alternate reviewer out there!
I've always had a problem with Halloween anyway. It brought out my biggest
insecurities. I always tried to be supportive of the kids, but felt that as a
"good mom" I should make their Halloween costumes, not buy something cheap at
the store, but my talents don't lie in that direction, sadly. The most inventive I ever
got was "diaper man" when the older boys were in superhero costumes and the baby
wore pink leotards and a blue cape.
And then there was the problem with trick or treat candy. In those days it as a lot
more popular than it is now and the kids would come home with big sacks full of
candy. That's five big sacks of candy and Mom having to decide how much they could
have and when they could have it. It was great when they were little and hadn't
learned to count their candy and didn't notice when the Snicker bars (my favorite)
disappeared. Eventually they paid much closer attention.
And then when the kids moved out, there were the neighborhood kids coming for trick or
treat which is a huge pain in the butt with three dogs there to either lunge at them or
try to get out of the house. I always wanted to put in a gate that would keep them
in the house (thus not barking outside), but away from the door. Ultimately it was
easier to turn off the lights in the carport and not answer the door.
As Halloween approaches each year, I dread it because I know that no matter what part of
it I look at, I'm going to feel guilty.
But, oh dear God let there be another reviewer who wants to
do this show...!