Saturday, January 23, 2016

Shuckin' and Jivn'

This weekend is definitely calmer than the last two, when I had six shows to review.  I'm only reviewing one show and then have two days off!  Woo hoo!

I had to laugh, though, when I received a promo this afternoon for one of the shows that I reviewed this month.  Theater companies always send out "this show is great! come to see it!" publicity pieces (used to be by mail; now it's e-mail).  In it you find good quotes from reviewers.

I am quoted in this particular publicity piece.  It says "Decidedly Enjoyable" and gives the name of the paper. Actually, my review was luke warm and mostly it pointed out the problems I had with the play, but I did end by saying that because the acting was so good, it was decidedly enjoyable.

I remember when writing promo pieces for the Lamplighters and choosing pull quotes for our own publicity pieces, how we scoured reviews for the sentence, phrase or, like this particularly promo piece, words that made your show sound like a "must see" experience.  A critic could write that something was spectacularly awful and some publicist might pull "spectacular" out of it.  Technically speaking, that word was used, but context is everything! It's why I don't take pull quotes at full value.  I know how they can be manipulated...yes, I said "decidedly enjoyable," but if you read the whole review it doesn't sound as good as that quote makes it sound.

It's all shuckin' and jivin' in the advertising biz.  Just look at Mad Men

There is a lot of shuckin' and jivin' going on in this interminable presidential race, in both parties, but especially the Republicans.  My God what else would you call bringing Sarah Palin in to be your spokeswoman?  Her down home delivery and her truths mixed with lies to make whatshisname look good seems, sadly, to be working at least for the devoted following.

I got a kick out of her blaming Obama for the fact that her son is in jail for domestic violence.  Mrs. "Model of Morality for Conservatives," with 3 out of wedlock grandbabies, now says that it's Obama's fault that her son, who fought in the Iraq war under George Bush, developed PTSD and Obama hasn't helped him.  Gimme a break.  (I wonder how she can pin her daughters' out of wedlock pregnancies on the president...I'm sure she can think of a way)

Trump also brought out John Wayne's daughter to a rally, telling the crowds that if her dad was alive, he'd be voting for Trump (as Colbert said, "if he were alive he'd be a 108 white man...sounds about like Trump supporters.")

But than I have to admit that I had to laugh at Hillary.  Sarah gets trotted out to appeal to the brain dead followers of Trump and Hillary trots out 23 year old pop star Demi Lovato to appeal to younger voters.  When did elections stop being about issues of national and international importance and start being about which famous personality you could get to endorse you?

But like with the pull quotes for stage shows, it's all shuckin' and jivin' and doesn't really give you the full picture of anything

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