Thursday, January 15, 2004

Hour Town

Just when you think Montreal's Hour magazine's theatre coverage couldn't get any worse...

One hopes that this Dylan Young character they used in their first issue of 2004 is just plugging a hole while Hour searches for a new theatre scribe. His article about Centaur theatre's Wildside Festival was truly... well, just read it for yourself.

The best part was this bit, about Keir Cutler's show Teaching Witchcraft, currently being remounted as part of Wildside: "In a presumably chilling and hilarious rendering, Cutler portrays Blessed Heinrich in all his paranoid, conspiracy-of-witchcraft-loving, final-solution-justifying glory. Sure to amuse and delight."

"Presumably"? What, did he copy the press release?

Wait. Yes. He did.

From the Centaur website: "A hilarious, yet chilling portrayal of Blessed Henrich who explains the worldwide conspiracy of witchcraft, and justifies his 'final solution.' Keir Cutler's latest piece follows his celebrated style of one-man shows Teaching Shakespeare, Teaching Detroit and Is Shakespeare Dead? Winner of Fringe Festival prizes in New York, Montreal, Edmonton and BC, Cutler's work is always a sure-bet."

Come back Jason Whiting! All is forgiven!

(Some of you must be wondering, why on earth does this guy care so much about a Montreal weekly's theatre coverage? It's true. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. But there are two reasons for my angst: 1) When I was growing up in Montreal, I used to enjoy picking up the Hour every week, mainly because of its good theatre critic. It's sad to see it decline and then decline further. 2) In order for theatre to continue to exist, we need good theatre journalists. The fact that so few exist just reminds me how marginal an art form theatre has become.)

Life as a journalist is tough I

"About 30 editorial freelancers who contributed to the now defunct Lingua Franca and University Business magazines are being sued in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. University Business LLC, the company that owned the two magazines, filed for bankruptcy in April 2002, and now its court-appointed trustee is trying to recover payments made in the months before the company went out of business?including fees of a few thousand dollars paid to writers, editors, and artists for work done long ago." [Full Village Voice article]

Life as a journalist is tough II

Elm Street died last week leading Canadian pundits to once again complain about the dearth of good magazines in this country. Note that Andrew Cohen's article ignores both Maisonneuve and Geist (probably because they're not based in Toronto), barely mentions Walrus, and doesn't care that Saturday Night is expanding back to 10 issues a year. Am I the only one who thinks that, perhaps, the Canadian magazine industry isn't doing half-bad?

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