Longtime New York Magazine theater critic John Simon was fired yesterday. He was at the mag for 37 years and is being replaced by a 28 year old. A lot of actors, playwrights, directors and so forth hate him for his zingers. They think this is a comeuppance.
He's entertaining to read. He's also smart as a whip. And mostly... he cracks me up.
From his review of Heather Headley in Aida (one of the worst pieces of shit I've seen--except for Sherie Rene Scott's big number):
"It is rumored that the true inspiration for Aida was Disney's search for an excuse to market a black doll. If it does not make Headleyan sounds to frighten little children, it should be a huge success."
Who else would have the chutzpah to write that?
"How many more overrated British directors are we going to import to become serial killers of American theater?"
Need I mention the names Edward Hall and David Leveaux?
His recent review of the revival of Glengarry Glen Ross:
"Mamet’s own, most idiosyncratic contribution is reveling in obscenity and scatology. Thus one twelve-word speech of Richard Roma’s in Glengarry contains five “fuck”s and one “fucking.” In the printed play, two “fuck”s are italicized, one also capitalized; three, plus the one “fucking,” are in capitals. The 1984 play, you may recall, takes place in a Chicago real-estate office—Mamet worked in one—where a bunch of hardened hucksters hustle worthless Florida land developments with those fancy Scottish monikers. A foulmouthed gang they are, though I doubt that even these guys would talk such mangled and mephitic Mametese. Glengarry's two acts last 105 minutes; I reckon that just by cutting the “dirty” words, the whole thing could be turned into a slightly oversize one-acter."
You gotta love a man that counts the "fucks" in a script.