Gee, I was right after all, and The New York Times said so. Well, not really right, but sort of agreed with. Well, not really agreed with, really just sort of concurrence at certain intersecting points in parallel universes. You see, although I write reviews for crosscut.com about touring dance and theater, I am always a little sheepish about seeing my thoughts in print (actually in cyberspace), because before crosscut.com my reviews consisted of telling my wife, family and friends what my opinion was of something, and often ranting against them for disagreeing with me, along with any local professional critics who didn't see things my way, which they usually didn't.
Oh yeah, the New York Times. Well, growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., there were few things more sacred then watching Your Show of Shows every Saturday night on the TV, starring Sid Caesar, and penned by a host of brilliant writers including Mel Brooks. So when Mel Brooks' new musical show "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein" comes to do its pre-Broadway try-out at the Paramount Theater last August, I say to myself, I gotta review this. And so I did. But I didn't really like it all that much. So I tried to be really nice, but as I was reviewing this and the crosscut.com editor said to edify and inform as well as be critical, I told people a lot about the history of Mel Brooks - a really funny and smart guy - and when I wrote about his play, "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein" I tried to be nice and respectful even though I thought the show had some real like, uh, problems. So anyway, I was pretty pleased with my review.
And then a few months later the show opens on Broadway. And you know what? Ben Brantley, the big-shot theater critic of The New York Times, and I'm talking here THE NEW YORK TIMES, a big-time newspaper printed on real paper - so, Ben Brantley, I don't think he thought the show was so hot, just like me. He thought it was too loud, and an "overblown burlesque review," and that it "never stopped screeching at you." Wow, I never would've said that because that really takes guts, I mean, I guess it's OK if you write for The New York Times, but here in Seattle, well, I don't think people would like me talking about Mel Brooks that way because he was so nice to come here and do his tryouts right here in our town. I mean I said the show was kind of long and I thought he should have left the movie alone, but I wasn't mean or disrespectful or anything.
So that was my big thing with crosscut.com this year. Me and Ben Brantley of The New York Times pretty much agreed with each other. I'm sorry Mel Brooks. Can you ever forgive me?