Sunday, November 09, 2008


"Bad times, sad times
Now they're all yesterday's news
Since Annie kicked out the blues."

Many people have said many nice things to me since I started doing this blog. And some people, well, haven’t. In fact, a recent detractor wrote an extended criticism of my writing that included this wonderful bon mot (among others): “I find your blogs, your reviews and your articles no less ostentatious, egocentric and overblown than you find my work. I just don't have the public forum to say so and so your pride in your work (if you have any) can avoid being dented.”

The ironic thing is that in the weeks following the RTCC awards, I was seriously considering stopping the whole blog thing. My life is crazy busy enough, nobody pays me to do the damn thing and I wonder whether anyone really gives a shit what I have to say. I mean, really, why should they? The statement above was just one small piece of a long rant that was just about the last nail in the coffin.

But two things happened in the last week. One was that Derome Scott Smith used this blog to update everyone on his condition. I was relieved to hear of his improvement. But I was also glad to know that some people who had been concerned and didn’t really know where to go for more info were able to be reassured that he was recovering.

The other thing is I met an actual “fan.” I know there are at least a few “readers” out there who swing by here at least occasionally. But Annie Steingold professes to be an actual “fan” – a devotee, I guess, of my online ramblings. Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those before. She even says her sister is one as well. A pair of fans! This is even more peculiar to me given that they have their own quite hilarious blog and I, who can’t turn a funny phrase with a screwdriver, am a bit of a fan of theirs.

The situation with Derome made me realize that, regardless of my opinions and notwithstanding those who consider me a pompous ass for even supposing to have anything worth saying, this blog provides a service, a place for a smallish community of people to check in or ramble on as they see fit – or not. And so, fresh from Annie’s boost of my ego, I’ll keep throwing stuff out there for your perusal. I’ll work on keeping it from being too ostentatious, egocentric (oops!) and overblown, but I can’t make any promises.

I’ve got "Shadowplay" and "tick…tick…Boom!" to write about and I'll get to them ASAP. But I promised my fan a shout out first, so here it is, Annie. Nice meeting you and keep up the good work!


Jeffrey Cole said...

I also like reading your blog. I check back constantly, just to see what's up. Being a noob to the Richmond theatre community, it's nice to be able to see what's what.
Don't let the haters get your down. As a former Prince of Denmark, they can all go screw.

JKD said...


I read your blog constantly when I lived in Richmond and now from Missoula, MT. You provide a crucial service to this community, free of charge and almost always as a booster rather than a self-promoter.

As and actor and educator critics drive me BONKERS... as they should :) When you do your jobs well, you keep us honest and productive. Even if we think you are DEAD wrong.

Its very brave to put a strong opinion in print for all the world to see. With all the repercussions that said opinions might stir.

We in the theatre community too often forget that we are not on stage simply to have careers and further them but to reach an audience, perhaps to inspire them, but at the very least to entertain them. A critic's opinion is a small sampling of audience perception at a given moment in time.

If you weren't a sponsor of your own awards show, I'd say you and your fellows deserve a special award for service to the theatre community.

Thank you to much for all you do. I hope the day never comes when this blog is no more. The Richmond Theatre community would be poorer for it.

All the best,

John Kenneth DeBoer

Unknown said...


Speaking as a Richmond Ex-Pat, I love this Blog. It, along with the Barksdale Blog help me feel like I am still connected with the theatre community that has meant so much to me for more than a decade.
I considered becoming a stalker, but the commute was just too much. I hesitate to call you a fan, after all you are still a critic, and if word were to ever get out that I was a fan of a critic, I would lose all respect.
Seriously though, please keep this Blog it is such a nice place to come and see what is going on in Richmond.

blogva said...

Dear Dave,

I am devastated that you did not understand earlier in our relationship that I am a fan of yours. It cuts me to the quick to think that Annie, as cute, funny and smart as she seems to be, gets the credit for being your first bonafide fan. (It was nice meeting you Sat. night Annie. I look forward to checking out your blog.)
Not only do I admire your writing style and mastery of adjectives and metaphores but also your personal charm, enthusiasm for theatre, and fairness. It is an honor to share word spacd with you at STYLE and membership in the RTCC.
Oh well. It's not the first time I've been shrifted for another woman and certainly it won't be the last. I guess I will just have to start that Chris Hester fan club I've been chatting about with so many people.

Mary B.

PS. I get the impression that Holly is a big fan of yours too. But you may have guessed that already.

Annie's Blogs said...

Hi Mary,

I figured I'd address you here. I'm sorry that I snagged the role of the first bonafide fan.

Although I will not be fully handing that honor over to you, I will share it with you. If that works?

And Dave- quoting "Annie" lyrics?? Not only is my sister jealous, but right now we're not speaking to one another. Just kidding. But she is upset that there are no musicals that have "Elyse" in the lyrics.

AWESOME meeting you! Keep the blog up! You write and don't have typos- LOVE that!

Frank Creasy said...

Agree with you (often), disagree with you (occasionally)...either way Dave, to your own self stay true (sorry for paraphrasing Hamlet, and up the bum of the guy who said "enough Shakespeare" as referenced in the post above!)

Keep it up man. More "yays" than "nays" by a long shot on that amigo. Just my guess, but I'd lay money on it. Both a necessary service and a respected opinion is my two cents. Keep on truckin'.

elise said...

I check in once a day to see what's up. I never comment, but always like to know what's going on.

Dave T said...

There may not be any extremely popular Broadway shows called "Elyse" but here are some sample Elyse-oriented lyrics:
Lyrics to "Sweet Elyse" by Tony Martin:
Take a little bit of voodoo magic
Just a little won't do much harm
Then follow the scent of the sweet perfume
To the woman with open arms
Yeah that's sweet Elyse

"A Letter to Elise" [let's just say Elyse] by The Cure:
Oh Elise it doesn't matter what you say
I just can't stay here every yesterday
Like keep on acting out the same
The way we act out
Every way to smile
And make-believe we never needed
Any more than this

Dave T said...

I'm sorry -- certainly didn't mean to devastate! But I'm flattered. And you're no slouch around the adjectives either, my friend! But I'd recommend the Chris Hester fan club, just the same. Catch a rising star!

And Holly has a vested interest. Her fandom waxes and wanes depending on the length of the "honey-do" list. And she's a better writer than I am too, thereby neutralizing the one talent I might have for impressing her.

Thanks to all for the nice comments! Y'all are the best!

Anonymous said...

I have you in my browser's subscription feature, and I'm always thrilled to see the little RichmondVATheater text bolded. Very wonderful!!. Every time. And always look forward to your reviews here when you don't happen to be doing one for Style. You are now the senior critic in town, Mr. T.