Yep. A little birdie told me that the decision has been made by Executive Editor Daniel Holloway and the powers that be, that after the April 11th, 2013 print version of Backstage has been published all theater and film reviews will stop. Forever. I believe April 8th is the final day that new reviews will be posted. This goes for the online website and the print version of Backstage. There might be a few stray New York reviews that post up until about April 25th, but after that – no more.
That’s right. Done. Gone. Finished. I haven’t quite sorted it all out, but somehow this news and the recent death of longtime film critic Roger Ebert seems related.
Here’s an explanation for the Backstage decision from Holloway:
“An analysis of metric data by our executive team led to the conclusion that too few readers are engaging our reviews for Backstage to continue to invest resources in producing them. We will be shifting those resources primarily to the creation of additional advice, news, and features content.”
Them’s the facts, folks, whether you like them or not. Not only are print publications dying but the need for the opinions of the “serious critic” are becoming relegated if not completely eradicated as well.
Is this a good sign, a bad sign? Is it simply a transition point? Are we destined to be ruled by the Yelpers and the Users? Is there any future place for the professional critic? What the hell is happening?
Here’s another telling line from Holloway’s statement to all the Backstage reviewers:
“Backstage’s editorial staff and I will continue to work to engage the theater community in a meaningful way through the material we publish online and in print. We just won’t be doing so through reviews anymore.”
Hmmm. I’m going to have more to say on this in another article but just wanted to get this info out to the LemonHeadNation pronto so everybody can begin to adjust.
Condolences to all the excellent Backstage reviewers out there – and the not-so-excellent ones as well – if you are looking for somewhere to vent, send us a line here at the Lemon: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do.
About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.