Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mis-Quotes and other Tall tales

It's been a while since we've discussed this topic - how marketing people are using 'Contextomy' (defined here) to rewrite blurbs for Broadway (and off-Broadway) productions. You've seen them "Brilliant!" or "Thrilling!" - my general rule of thumb has always been the shorter the blurb is, the less likely it came from a positive review. Not that I'm influenced by the blurb to see the show. The original review could have read "Brilliantly boring" and "If it were only thrilling"

The NYTimes review of A Chorus Line was luke warm at best yet there was an advertisement with the quote from the times reviewer stating:

"What occurs shortly after 8 p.m. at the Schoenfeld Theatre feels so fresh that you stop to catch your breath."

Sounds pretty good huh? but if you read the whole paragraph that the above was Contextomized from

"What occurs shortly after 8 p.m. at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater, where the otherwise pedestrian new revival of 'A Chorus Line' opened last night, is a sort of time bending that Einstein would have trouble explaining. Light, music and a mass of bodies in motion combine to allow you to exist both in 1975, when this musical was first staged, and 2006. This is what 'A Chorus Line' was when I saw it 31 years ago, and yet it feels so fresh that you stop to catch your breath" read rest of review

It seems a little misleading doesn't it? Well plenty of people have noticed: David Pogue, The Wicked Stage, The Playgoer: Fun with Quotes and Endangered Film Critics

6-20-06 More on Blurbs
6-18-06 Critics strike back over Blurbs

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Community Theater in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York. Information on shows, auditions, and our general adventures onstage, backstage and in the audience.