Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New York's Golden Age?

Thank you to CottMail for pointing us to this article:

By Michael Feingold, The Village Voice, May 18, 2010
Golden Ages don't post signs telling you, "This is the Golden Age." The art that achieves its effect simply by doing what it set out to do tends to be quiet. In our time, it has all too often been jostled out of the way by the noisier, more specious kind that fails of effect while busily proclaiming its own importance. One peculiarity of New York theater has been its increasing habit of looking away from its own best assets. Broadway understandably needs to cast its glance elsewhere: Its affluent patrons hunger for pre-approved London hits; its tourist market thrives on Hollywood star names. While giving our local economy a wonderful boost, this situation has the unfortunate side effect of making Broadway irrelevant to the city's cultural life. [And] New York has no major theatrical institution. Lurching nervously from hit to hit, our better-funded nonprofits strive more often to placate current taste than to offer it either the backbone of tradition or the adventure of the new. They, like the commercial producers with whom they feel compelled to compete, look elsewhere for their grounding, not to the incredible artistic potential waiting for them here at home. The genuine gold that glitters, quietly, just below their noisy flashing signboards may become visible. The Golden Age we think we lack, and yearn for, the one granted public recognition, may be just around the corner. The ore is there, waiting to be mined. I hope it happens soon: Like the rest of the planet, we are in no position to waste our precious resources.

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