Friday, December 6, 2013


Dear Theatre Snobs,

I know you. I used to live among you. To be fair, I was really more of a dancer and didn't quite fit into the world or "musical theatre", but I do love musicals and I enjoy seeing live performances. So when I went on my Facebook last night to see how people were liking The Sound of Music Live on NBC, I was disheartened/not surprised by the amount of catty, bitchy remarks directed at star Carrie Underwood. Was Carrie perfect? Of course not. Who is? So Julie Andrews was great in the movie. Is no one ever allowed to do it again? That is just silly. There are millions of talented young women in this world who could play Maria. You might say, "So-and-so from Blah Blah Blah the Musical would have been so much better than Carrie Underwood." That might be true, but NO ONE KNOWS WHO THE FUCK SHE IS! Carrie Underwood has sold 20 million singles and 15 million albums worldwide. If she wanted to play Tevya I'm sure NBC would throw a beard on that bitch, hand her a fiddle and let her go. You think you can do better than Carrie? GET FAMOUS! Carrie brought people to The Sound of Music last night that may have never discovered it. Fans of country music, fans of American Idol, kids who have never heard a musical but love Carrie Underwood. That means maybe they understand musicals a little bit better and will possibly explore that world. Is that bad? Think about it, all of you Bitter Betties who had nothing better to do than snark and bite at the production last night (I guess your catering gig fell through) will have plenty of kids to teach voice to at your community theatre when you run out of money and have to eventually move back in with your parents and work part time at your local Dolly Dinkle's Tap & Twirl. Do you know how many Broadway people were employed and PAID last night? I guess if you had been offered the part you would have turned it down for artistic reasons. Right. Keep telling yourself that. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not that long ago a young actress went on twitter to criticize the recent revival of Into the Woods and the theatre community went batshit crazy and proclaimed she would never work again. What's the difference, you may ask? Carrie Underwood is beautiful and famous, so you are free to openly hate on her and get away with it. If you haven't learned already in the world of Broadway that it's not JUST about talent, then you have a long, sad life ahead of you. That's show biz! So the next time this rolls around and (Insert Famous Person) is doing a live version of (Insert Musical) on television, maybe think about someone coming to see you in your next show and tearing you apart via social media while you are performing for the sole reason that they are not in your show. Break a leg!

Better Than You,


  1. You hit it right on! I am a Cabaret performer only really known in San Diego.You are preaching to the choir here!
    Thank you, thank you for speaking the truth. Maybe, just maybe you will light a spark in one person and make a difference.

  2. Ridiculous. Bad art is corrosive, not a boon. "Oh, kids'll be exposed to musical theatre!" Bullshit. They used the same excuse for Harry Potter - "oh, sure, it's not that good, but they're learning to enjoy reading!" - but as it turns out, studies show that the series was never a gateway to a love of reading, that most just read Harry Potter and nothing else. Likewise, while I don't begrudge people taking a paycheck in a tough industry, let's not pretend like it's a GOOD thing when bad art is foisted on the world, like there's some fundamental value in artists getting paid to make bad art. This whole post is founded on bullshit.

  3. Co-sign 100% on the above anonymous comment. we need to stop excusing and justifying mediocrity. bad art with a big audience teaches that many more people to appreciate bad art... which is bad, of course.

  4. " If she wanted to play Tevye I'm sure NBC would throw a beard on that bitch, hand her a fiddle and let her go. "

    Yup. There's the kernel of your post right there.

    It is BECAUSE there are so many waiters and 'exotic dancers' out there who have actual talent that I get offended by roles that are badly performed by people who became stars via knowing the right people or, in Underwood's case, by being famous for different talents from those required for the role. There is enough real talent that big budget productions should NEVER suffer from the lack of it.

  5. I agree with what you said re Carrie Underwood and The Sound of Music Live being the "gateway' that may have introduced a lot of people to The Sound of Music and musical theatre in general. And I completely disagree with Anonymous re Harry Potter. As a parent (and writer who frequently covers parenting and education) I have seen books and series such as Harry Potter attract and draw kids into the world of reading many times. They may need some help and assistance from caring adults -- "hey, if you like that series, you might like this book" -- but it happens. I have 2 kids in my house who hated reading until they discovered Diary of a Wimpy Kid. One of those kids is 7 and saw no point to reading as recently as a few months ago. This week, he started (and nearly finished) the 8th Wimpy Kid book.

  6. What constitutes "bad" art is subjective. Just because it wasn't necessarily done "your" way doesn't mean it wasn't done the "wrong" way. Yes, Ms. Underwood's casting was a commercial decision first and foremost, but at least they didn't cast Snooki or Kim Kardashian. Maybe she wasn't ideally suited to the role but she gave it a shot. We've all become too accustomed to cruelty and bitchiness instead of offering constructive, respectful criticism. There is no one way to perform a role and clinging to such rigid standards is artistically limiting.