At Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.  Bruce Norris is the playwright.

This guy I know is saying that a theater critic is always the bad guy. He’s like “the playwright is so special just because he wrote the play in the first place, but the critic never gets credit for his part.  I mean the word ‘critic’ already carries such a negative connotation.”

Maybe its because reviews are so pointless.  I mean what can a review actually accomplish?  OK maybe you might convince some people to see the play or not to see the play, and maybe you might shed some light on some kind of deep meaning, but really what does that matter in the long run?

Hold on a sec, I don’t like the way that sounds.  I don’t think I really believe that and I certainly don’t like the way it feels.  Let’s do that again.  Back up.

The female lead in the play takes off her shirt once.  And the reality show Top Chef is featured in a crucial scene.

Now I am sure to have an impact.  You don’t mind spoilers do you?  Well, it doesn’t matter.  It’s just a play and even if you do know what’s going to happen, there is nothing you can do about it because its already written and its going to unfold just that way no matter who is there watching.  Do you smell smoke?

On the other hand, this review is being written right now and it can change at any moment.  Did you hear that?  She just said that this review is going to suck.  You didn’t hear that?  There, she said it again.  You didn’t hear that?


I’m not going to bother with this review any more.  I know you just think I am making stuff up and you’re not going to listen to me anyway so what’s the point? So I’ll tell you about the dinner we had before the play.  Even though I know that I will get bored of that by the end of this paragraph (yes, she told me that too.)  But that’s kinda sad isn’t it?   I mean it was a nice dinner.  It made me happy.  I had rhubard consomme, I should at least be able to write a nice review of that.  But look, I am already bored of telling you about dinner.

OK, you wanna hear about the play again right?  That’s why you are still with me through all this.  OK good.  It ends tragically.  Everybody dies.  Even I die. You don’t believe me, see I told you you wouldn’t.  There I go, messing it up again.  You gave me another chance and I blew it.  I can’t let it end this way, let’s try again. Back up.

OK, you wanna hear about the play again right?  That’s why you are still with me through all this.  OK good.  It’s beautiful and touching and it ends well and everybody goes home feeling warm and fuzzy.

Hey this is great.  This is what a review is all about.  Why am I always being such a downer?  Nobody wants to read my ponderous reviews.  From now on I am going to write nice, normal reviews and everyone is going to love them and everyone is going to love me.

Ick, it already feels wrong.  I just can’t pretend like that.  But I’ve already written all this stuff and its come out all wrong.  I need to start over.  Back to the beginning.


This guy I know is always saying that a theater critic is always the bad guy…