Saturday, January 24, 2009

All This Can Be Filed Under: Only the Gold Remains

Check out my write-up of Elemental Theatre Collective's Deca-Go-Go, an energetic and implausibly emotional show at Perishable Theatre this weekend and next, on the IndieArtsRI blog.

This "write-up" is not a review. I see IndieArts as a promotional, rather than critical, organ, and I make no claims to objectivity in my pieces for it; that said, I never expect to deceive. Everything I wrote, for example, about Brown/Trinity's Full Circle felt true; it just wasn't the complete truth. I put as much work into my (sporadic) writing for IndieArts as I do here, but I pass it through something like a prospector's seived basin: only the gold (Or is it pyrite?) remains. I have no moral inhibitions about doing this; we all need a little help from our friends.

Sometimes I will promote on IndieArts and critique here, but this isn't one of those times. I'm friends with people attached to Elemental Theatre and I'm not interested in negotiating the dangerous zone between helpful feedback and objective observation; I choose unencumbered friendship every time. In a way it's a shame, because reviewing theatre like that created by the ETC ought to be one of the pleasures of being engaged with local arts, not to mention that the meaningfulness of one's praise is proportional to the integrity of one's criticism--pointing out a show's flaws confirms that it is worth thinking about, which is the highest praise. But it was fun going to a show knowing that I only had to enjoy it--that I was free to nurture, and not vet, my first impressions--and I hope that Messrs. Platt and Rabinow, the cast and crew of Deca-Go-Go, and the potential theatre-goers of Providence, know that this show is at least as good as I said it was.

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