I finally sat down to watch the Oscarcast I had waiting on DVR (I can't bear to watch such things as they happen, I need the security of the fast-forward) and I thought Hugh Jackman did a bang-up job. He was charming, classy, and (as opposed to the usual Oscar host, who for 30 years has been a comedian) multi-talented. I thought his musical numbers were a hoot, and his camaraderie with the audience was fun and endearing.
I've been thinking about critics this weekend, as the local review of our Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was published on Sunday. I'm new to the area, but I think, though am not sure, that this will be the only print review the show receives. The critic was enthusiastic about the production and the players, but issued one of those caveats which do not help increase attendance. Phrases like "the evening lengthens to three hours" and "don't worry if you don't understand it. It's not supposed to be easy" will hardly cause a stampede at the box office. I admit to a bit of frustration here, as, after a tentative start, the show has blossomed into a real crowd pleaser, from what I can tell. The laughs are plentiful and the surprises in the text are well played by our leading actors. With two well-placed intermissions, the show moves briskly and hardly seems like an experience which is "good for you," like attending the opera or the ballet. (This local critic even spent a paragraph discussing the intermission, railing against patrons who went outside to smoke.)
As the great Hans Meyer, playing our Rosencrantz (to the hilt), said, the review, while very positive, "did us no favors."