Cancer of the eyes

Dateline: Wed 13 Dec 2006

Crazy DJ Howard Stern (can you believe he held Greg Garrison's early morning slot on an Emmis station?) used to invoke this curse on all his enemies: "May (Imus -- or fill in blank --) get cancer of the eyes!"

That's probably what I'll get for criticizing the Star's arts coverage again, but dammit when something is wrong, it's wrong.

Case in point: the Nutcracker.

Once upon a time, the Star's Sunday calendar was a meticulous forecast on what was going on in the community, entertainment-wise.

No more.

The first weekend in December, I checked the Sunday calendar in the entertainment section, hoping to see a complete listing of upcoming Nutcrackers. Alas, only two or three were listed as taking place -- and all were on that Sunday, Dec. 3, the very day I held the paper in my hands. That was it; no Nutcracker listed at a future date. And I was so hoping to indoctrinate Gabriel, 5, into the magic of the Sugar Plum Fairy before he gets too far gone for it...

BUT, thankfully, I read my Indianapolis Business Journal this week and lo and behold, there arose such a clatter. Beth Fried, director of development of the Indiana Ballet Co., had written a letter to the editor faintly praising IBJ reporter Jennifer Whitson's well-done article: "Theaters decry cutback in coverage" (Nov. 25 IBJ).

Fried was careful to point out that her ballet company is VERY PLEASED with recent coverage in the Star (God forbid you should piss the Star off -- and good luck to Bryan Fonseca and the Phoenix for ever getting a review in again).

But, back to the Nutcracker. Fried mentioned she also was happy with the "quick reporting" about the Nutcracker, which will be performed, she noted, THIS COMING WEEKEND, Dec. 16-17, at the Murat.

OK, so I checked online with the Star's archives and I could find no Nutcracker story or upcoming Nutcracker except for a couple calendar items in INtake, neither about this performance. Maybe I missed the Murat's Nutcracker in the calendars; maybe I already have cancer of the eyes.

When I Googled'd "Nutcracker" and "Murat," the story to which Fried referred popped up: on Wednesday Nov. 19, the Star did run a short item y announcing that the Indiana Ballet Co. would have its first productin -- the Nutcracker -- on Dec. 16-17.

Apparently the news never made the calendars. Or if it did, it didn't make it into the Star's archives (good for the past seven days).

Fried was happy for the crumb she got. But what she did not get, apparently, is what arts consumers and patrons really need: inclusion in the calendar, which is where it should have appeared.

But as readers tell me, Star arts reporters are now limited to picking only 3 items for calendar inclusion. That makes for an awfully short offering.

But that's Gannett.



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