Cricket's Notebook by Larry Stark - "Two New Letters"

THREE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


Friday, 27 October, 2000: "Two New Letters"

Subject: Birthday?
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 12:02:03 -0400
From: "Don"

Isn't this month your fifth birthday for Theater Mirror?
I think so.. Happy Birthday!
Don Gillis

Subject: Old News
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 23:46:01 -0400
From: "Kay Coupe"

I went out to your "Plays Up and Running" page and the info is from last year, at least for several of the theaters I am familiar with. I'm not sure if you realized this.
It would be great to see a current list.
A theatre patron

You know, you're both right!!!!!!

And there's nothing like a couple of letters out of the blue like these to make me feel proud as punch --- and deeply ashamed.

I hadn't noticed, but Don's right. Five Years!!! The Theater Mirror has become an on-going institution of sorts, with e-mails with Special Announcements and Audition Calls coming in and going up several times every day --- and at least 250 to 300 of you checking in daily to see what's now.

Last Monday, the e-mail was at an all-time high, this time including several entries from other reviewers. I rolled out of bed about 11 a m, started in on all the notices, and was finished at about eight-thirty that night. Somewhere along the line I managed to squeeze in a late breakfast and an even later lunch. And, this year I've seen so far about 130 productions, and tried to review just about all of them.

And those are the reasons, Kay, that the listings began to slide --- though I had no idea that started so Long Ago!

The last time I actually took the time to update --- stealing from a copy of NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST as a start, then adding to that with the weekly updates from the GLOBE Calendar and from all three Play By Play listings from The Boston PHOENIX --- the major update of "Coming Attractions" took me about four days of steady typing. And in an average week the update of "Plays Up And Running" takes most of a full day.

And let me remind you, The Theater Mirror is only one person right now.

I've been seeing two to four shows a week, every week, and trying to get the reviews written as soon after seeing the shows as possible, and keeping up with new e-mail. When the weekly update was impossible one Friday ---probably because I was reviewing three or four shows that week --- I just let it slide. A couple weeks later, the monthly update came due, and that slid by as well. I had only a finite amount of time and had to make some choices about how best to spend it.

Listings, week after week after month, slid to the bottom of the "To-Do" list.

And no one seemed to notice.....

Until now.

I am sorry I've failed everyone, but the e-mail seemed only full of frantic invitations for me to come and see more shows every week than I could possibly have time for, or disappointments that I couldn't see everything. The notes saying how many auditioners came by way of The Mirror seemed to suggest that Auditions, Announcements, Reviews and The Greenroom were all anyone read. I knew I was breaking a promise, butwhen I got all of that taken care of, I was just too tired to tackle the, let's face it, more boring job of enterting listings-data.

I think maybe there should be more of me here in The Mirror.
If anyone wants to volunteer for a full Friday every week of nit-picking precision and complicated typing --- and more than that every fourth week or so! --- I'd be more than happy to give that "Listings Editor" full credit on our front-end page. It's a dull, dirty job someone has to do, but for some time now that someone hasn't been me. And I don't see much hope of change right now, either.

Nonetheless, thank you so much Don Gillis for noticing an anniversary that slipped my own mind.
And thank You Too, Kaye Coupe, for pointing out my obvious shortcomings.
I will try to do better ----- but I'd better not promise.

Thank you both. And thank you, one and all, for making what little is still left of The Theater Mirror indispensible to the local theater scene.
Break a leg all......!


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide