Last week, theater mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber suggested that it might be time to let some UK theaters (not any of his, it should be stressed) close, rather than spend public money to repair or refurbish them. It may be a legitimate point of view, but to actress Nichola McAuliffe, it’s a joke coming from Sir Andrew. McAuliffe has worked in several of Lloyd Webber’s West End theaters, and from rotting windows to audience-assaulting chunks of plaster to rodent infestations, she encountered deplorable conditions at every one of them. So where does such a man get off complaining about other people’s theaters being in disrepair?
The head of the Recording Association of America says online piracy is killing the music business. “He told a conference in London that a 31% decline in music sales between 1999 and 2002 was primarily due to piracy. ‘More music is being consumed than at any time in history, it’s just that less of it is being paid for’.”
“The makers of Kazaa, the peer-to-peer file sharing software, failed to quash a court order Thursday that allowed the music industry to raid its Sydney-based offices, prompting a furious response from its chief executive. In February, the music industry was granted an Anton Piller order… allowing it to raid 12 sites across Australia to seize documents and data. Sites raided included the offices of Sharman Networks, the home of its chief executive, several universities and other companies that were believed to be holding information relating to Kazaa. Following the raids, Sharman cried foul. It made an application to have the order invalidated by Australia’s federal court.”
The new American crackdown on broadcast “obscenity” has claimed its first public radio personality. Commentator Sandra Tsing Loh, who is known nationally for her contributions to Public Radio International’s Marketplace and This American Life, has been fired from her regular position at Los Angeles-area station KCRW after using an expletive in one of her Sunday monologues. Loh claims that the word was supposed to be bleeped out in editing, but the station claims it was a deliberate attempt to flout broadcast standards, and, in a telling statement, called the firing “a precautionary measure to show the station has distanced itself from Loh in case the FCC investigates the matter.”
Five new theatres are opening in manhattan. “All are in Midtown. Combined, they represent the continuation of one of the city’s broadest theatrical building booms in decades, perhaps the most active period since the landmark Broadway venues were erected back in the 1910s and 1920s.”
This winter an actor wrote to the Washington Post, complaining about negative reviews and suggesting that critics ought to pay more attention to the reactions of audiences to a play. So “what is the critic’s role in relationship to the reader? Isn’t he, at least in part, a consumer advocate and, as such, shouldn’t he acknowledge audience response and, by extension, the fact that his aesthetics might not be in sync with popular sensibilities (if that is indeed the case)?”
Product placement is rampant in the movies and getting more blatant all the time. But inserting brands into plays as advertising endorsement has been rare. But that could be changing…
Akiva Talmi claims that the press agent he trained has stolen the ballet company in tiny Pittsfield, Mass that he spent 30 years building. Now there’s the matter of the 75-city tour and the presenters that are confused…
The Mondavi performing arts center at the University of California at Davis has a been a success with audiences. But there’s one thing – in its first season, the Mondavi center sold only 13 percent of its tickets to students. And why are students saying away?
There are so many archaeological sites in Iraq, and the technology for exploring them has progressed so much that if they are researched in the next decade, they will rewrite what we know about the history of the region. “A decade of research in Iraq could rewrite the books of archaeology, no question. There is just a phenomenal amount of history in this country and much of it is yet to be discovered. But over time it will be and we’ll have to totally rethink what we know.”