RON FASSLER: JUNIOR CRITIC
Picture it: Great Neck Long Island, 1969. A young man with a paper route uses his earnings to go see as many Broadway shows as he can afford and records everything he can remember about his afternoons at the theatre in self made theatrical"reviews".
RON FASSLER: JUNIOR CRITIC
Check out some of these reviews chronicling Broadway's greatest shows through the eyes of a 12-16 year-old.
The Year Boston Won The Pennant, 1969
"The Year Boston Won the Pennant," by John Ford Noonan, prompted a cruel review. With its absurdity, it’s clear now that Noonan was writing a metaphor for Vietnam, but what did I know back in 1969? I was twelve. It was my 16th show and the 6th straight play I saw.
George M! 1969
"Ted Chapin, former President of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, is fond of asking theatre-goers who began at a young age (as we both did), what was the first experience that made you realize: “Wait, they’re all not going to be so terrific?”
Going through my reviews it appears that it happened for me at play #9.
Old Times, 1971
When it came to playwrights like Harold Pinter, who wrote in a less linear and more indirect style than his contemporaries (to say the least), I have to admit my younger self was at sea. I had no frame of reference for his work, and I couldn’t grasp the point of his plays. Over time, through maturity as well as study, I gained enormous respect for Pinter. Now I revere the man and rarely miss an opportunity to see his plays when they are revived.
It would appear from my review of "Old Times" that I walked out on it, something of which I have no memory. Considering it is about memory and what we choose and don’t choose to remember, this feels like a Pinter-style mystery in the making.
The Philanthropist, 1971
"The Philanthropist" was a comedy that failed to entertain me on any level. I found it an incomprehensible piece of theatre for my “fragile little mind,” as Eric Cartman of South Park fame is wont to say.
The Great White Hope, 1969
My incorrect and improperly spelled use of “appall,” a genuine attempt to pay James Earl Jones a compliment without quite pulling it off, has produced a few laughs over the years whenever I showed it to anyone. So I was eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to quote this to Jones himself in the days before I was to interview him for the book. I played the scene over and over in my head, safe in the knowledge I was going to engage his basso profondo in a belly laugh, and how entertained he would be.
To see how it turned out, it's all in Chapter 3 of Up in the Cheap Seats.
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