Commodore Critic: still funny, 3 years later....

Dateline: Tue 15 Dec 2009

This post is courtesy of Commodore Critic. The Commodore's words first appeared three years ago on the Indiana Auditions blog theater page, in response to major whining and bitching from the city's theater crowd (especially the Phoenix) re: lack of coverage by the Star.

Anytime Indianapolis Star exec editor Dennis Ryerson gets to play Scrooge, I'm there. Fun fun fun. OK, Bryan Fonseca as Tiny Tim is equally worthy casting. And the two sharing a stage? Pure chemistry.

The Commodore's caustic words come on the heels of Indianapolis Business Journal critic Lou Harry's recent review of Indiana Repertory Theatre's "Christmas Carol."

Harry -- who did like the show --  laments that IRT in recent years has scaled back productions (at the expense of depth) in order to get audiences in and out in 90 minutes. This year's 'Christmas Carol' production suffered the same fate, but Harry is not comaining about the results.

Anyhow, here's the funniest local "review" in a long spell:


"Mad Magazine presents:
Arts coverage we’d like to see:

"Snow Covers IRT 'A Christmas Carol' Show; Star Doesn’t

"Sleigh bells linger on the wind. Dustings of snow drift earthward, covering in fluffy drifts the lively London streets, now alight with Christmas festivity.

"But in Indiana Repertory Theatre’s special presentation of “A Christmas Carol” this week, the “coverage” that comes center stage won’t be the white a frosty kind.

"The special performance gets underway at 2 p.m., Sunday December 3 on the fabled IRT mainstage.

"The classic tale of miserliness and redemption, rescripted by IRT playwright-in-residence James Still, draws attention to the lack of Star coverage plaguing area theaters, says IRT Artistic Director Janet Allen.

“'This is an issue that’s blazing like a Yuletide log at the moment,' Allen said. 'We hope this stirring tale, creatively re-envisioned, will provoke community dialogue on this important issue.'

"The production puts a poignant topical spin on the profitable IRT warhorse.

"'Scrooge' is Dennis Ryerson, (played admirably by good-sport Chuck Goad) the skin-flint old codger who earns scorn and condemnation bah humbugging London’s tired store of Christmas theatrical productions.

"Bryan Fonseca is 'Tiny Tim,' a pathetic little tike who will pull on your heartstrings like they were the purse strings of his funders. 'Please, sir? A review?'

"Scrooge’s critic, Marley, long dead (or maybe he just quit: who could blame him?) delivers little solace as Scrooge wends his wary way on a nightmarish journey down the darksome paths of his misspent life.

"Along the way, he’s accosted by ghosts -- artistic directors past, present and future -- who, so desperate for reviews they’d undercut one another in a heartbeat, hound him to the very pitch of personal crisis, one that, in a sumptuously staged second act, delivers him unto personal redemption.

“'We know the Star won’t review this,” acknowledges Megan McKinney, IRT marketing manager. 'It’s too bad, but that’s our point… Maybe Indiana Auditions will.'

"Proceeds from the special production will go to the Theatre League"


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