Further Glory.

Portland Center Stage's production of LIZZIE opened last Friday. The Oregonian, Portland's major daily paper, gave it a rave the next day, and that made us all feel pretty good, as you might imagine.

A little later in the day, Broadway World (a fan site) weighed in with, well, not a rave. More like a grumble, or a grouse. This guy seriously hated the show. So of course we broadcast the Oregonian review to the four corners of the earth and bury the other one in that special place in the pit of our souls where we keep all the other voices that say "You suck, you're ugly, everybody hates you."

I felt weird ignoring it. The older I get the more ruthlessly honest I try to be. I don't have room in my brain for secrets, and self-mortification can be soothing in a strange way. Still, you don't necessarily want to call attention to bad reviews when you're trying to sell tickets. So ... I was very glad this morning to see the first comment to the Broadway World review:

I think you missed so much of what this show was about - caught in an old paradigm. I saw this show on preview and worried that the older audience would have difficulty adjusting its expectations. I don't know your age, but your opinions smack of someone stuck in yesterday. This was the most glorious and strenuous and artfully crafted sample of women's rage I have ever seen- in music or otherwise. I hope folks can see its beauty and promote it to further glory.

Not only does this neat (and, I should say, coherent) take-down put the negative review in context, it places it within the conversation about audiences that every theater institution in the U.S. is having now: old/new, old/young, fans of pop-rock/fans of whatever that other thing is, etc.

To further glory.