> For example, the Robert Wilson Lohengrin received an enormous ammount of
adverse comment before it even opened.
Hmmm. This argument sounds familiar. Even if it's true that the word around
the Met was that the Wilson would be a disaster (I know I didn't hear
anything like that, and I think there was only about one mention on all of
opera-l), so what? The Met, like any theater, spends lots of money and
effort on generating positive buzz for a production, the result of which
(according to Mr. Loeb's theory) should be an insincere or unrealistic
ovation on opening night. Or, for that matter, the warmer ovations Wilson
enjoyed later in the run must have been -- at least in part -- a reaction
to the first night's booing.
At any rate, Mr. Loeb seems to be indulging in exactly the same sort of
audience mind-reading that Rich Lynn so eloquently argued against. The root
cause of any action is not so easy to discover.
And here's the anecdote. Back in 1963, the Judy Garland television show.
That week Ms. Garland's guest stars were to be comedian Jack Carter and
singer Nat King Cole. They are rehearsing, the show is shaping up nicely,
when suddenly a message arrives from upstairs somewhere: the taping is
canceled, everyone please go home.
"I knew this would happen," sighs Carter. "It's because I'm Jewish."
"No," says Cole, "You're wrong. It's because I'm black."
Garland eyes her two colleagues. "You're both wrong, boys. They canceled
the show because I'm such a difficult bitch!"