So I know things are tough in the whole print business these days and I sympathize. But here’s something I don’t get: the Times-Dispatch runs a review in today’s paper of a concert in Charlottesville by the Dead (formerly the Grateful Dead, apparently not so grateful now since the death of Jerry Garcia). So maybe a handful of Richmonders besides Ms. Ruggieri from the T-D went to this show. But is this news? Does anyone care about the review since most people will never see the show? At the same time, a review I know exists of Stage 1’s “Normal” – a show that hundreds could still see (and hopefully WILL still see) – sits unpublished on someone’s hard disk somewhere.
Maybe it’s just a reflection of my particularly foul mood these days but this seems like totally asinine priorities to me and like an editing decision that does an active disservice to the arts community and theatergoers of Richmond. If column inches are so precious, why waste them on something that is so absolutely irrelevant? Like it or not, media shapes (as well as reflects) the community it serves and the T-D seems to be encouraging people to leave Richmond -- maybe to chase the Dead to their next gig in Albany, NY? – or at least reinforcing the impression that nothing relevant artistically is happening here. I know Style has not always been exactly perfect on this score but this specific case is kind of ridiculous and, if it reflects the general attitude at the T-D, I can only hope the paper dies a quicker death than its current slow fade so that something more relevant and vital can take its place.