Slate thinks Washington is a Second-Rate Theatre City. What do you think?
Slate, an online magazine which specializes in telling people how to think about politics and culture, has done President-elect Obama the favor of telling him how he should think about Washington, D.C. – his new home. And, in a stunningly economical move, Slate, rather than surveying the current state of Washington culture, simply recycles the advice it gave to President Clinton in 1993 – with “glaringly dated references edited out”, Slate assures us.
Here’s what Slate says about Washington theatre, then and now:
“The theater is still second-rate at best.”
Our own belief is that the folks at Slate don’t get out very much (it’s demanding work, telling people what to do all the time) and so they missed Rachel Bayla Taichman’s superb Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare Theatre and Synetic’s award-winning silent Macbeth. They didn’t go to Arena’s amazing Death of a Salesman or see Jerry Springer: the Opera at Studio. They skipped Signature’s wonderful The Visit, and they didn’t see Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Kennedy Center. They were likewise absent for Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Woolly. And they sure didn’t see Forum’s magnificent The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
We also suspect that Washington’s regular theatergoers – who are also the regular readers of DC Theatre Scene – are better qualified to advise the Obama family on the state of Washington theatre than are the editors and publishers of Slate.
So what do you think? Is Washington theatre second-rate at best and the Obama family might just as well stay home?
Let us know your thoughts, and we’ll notify the Obama White House for you.