A Night at the Opera: Politicized for Your Protection
'04 Tuna

All the Happy Ones Are Alike, You Know

First, Terry Teachout complained about press releases for new plays guaranteed to drive him away. Example:

"A poignant and humorous study of three dynamic characters whose lives collide on an abandoned street corner in NYC."

Then, Teachout reader/blogger/playwright George Hunka tried his hand at crafting bad press releases for good plays. Examples:

Two homeless men wait for a man who never comes. Then they do it again.

A family of actors sits around talking for four-and-a-half hours before they're interrupted by their drug-addict mother.

Now, a further example drawn from life. The biographical sketch on composer Richard Strauss included in the program for the Los Angeles Opera production of Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten incorporates this choice bit of understatement:

In the new century he turned his attention decisively to the medium [of opera], and arrived at Salome (1905), the portrait of a family in severe disarray.

Arrangements are being made to book the unfortunate family in question for an appearance on Opera Winfrey's program, or perhaps a session with Dr. Phil Harmonic.


Michael Snider

Sam Gwynn (he publishes as R. S. Gwynn) found Hamlet described in newspaper TV listings as " A man is haunted by his father's ghost." Being Sam (my favorite poet these days) he wrote this Shakespearean Sonnet.

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