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Friday, August 26, 2005

Comments

anne

I read your review and was still left with the question as to what you were expecting upon walking into The Magnificent Hour. The show was advertised as sketch comedy and it appears we have been judged as a play--in which I can see how there would be many faults. Or perhaps sketch is not your thing, Aaron. Bottom line is the troupe never intended to rock anyone's personal belief systems.

etc...realizes that our comedy is not for everyone. However, there is merit in the writing and acting. While you may yearn for the Fringe of long ago, etc...has been welcomed with open arms by today's Fringe community and we couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to showcase our work. If it is a decline in quality control, then you must explain how the troupe enjoyed sold-out runs for two consecutive Festivals.

Viva la etc..Faithful.

Aaron

To anyone else reading this, Anne, above, was a member of the show that put on "The Magnificent Hour."

And to answer you Anne: II had absolutely no expectations about what I was seeing other than it sounded interesting. I did not think I was going to see a heavy social drama only to find myself disappointed by a comedy. I read the description, and I'm sorry, but your show wasn't funny. At least I didn't think so. The audience at my performance laughed sometimes but certainly not at every moment that telegraphed, "Hey, isn't this funny?" And maybe you weren't describing this run, but the performance I attended (on Thursday at 5:15) was certainly not sold-out. There were at least 10-15 empty seats, and I imagine that space holds something like what? 75?

I love sketch comedy, and I'm not judging etc. on anything other than this show. The comedy (sketch or otherwise) in THIS show was tired, unimaginative and super-schticky. It wasn't outrageous or offensive -- it was simply dumb, but not "smart" dumb. And regardless of what you seem to think, your show IS a play. It's not a series of unconnected sketches or even mildly interrelated sketches. You have an actual singular narrative that runs through the entire thing, and then even some subplots. Calling it not a play is simply a poor excuse for creating something as realtively incoherent as this show..

My review stated that you guys had a great idea and your execution didn't fulfill its promise. It was not a judgment on the Fringe at all, and it certainly wasn't a longing for older Fringe festivals -- this year has been the best Fringe I've ever attended. I'm not quite sure what makes you think I was looking for something to "rock anyone's personal belief system," but if you don't think that good comedy and satire comes from a place of belief, well maybe that's part of the problem. You guys are trying to do political satire which means you are making a statement. The fact that all the jokes are easy, tired and things we've seen before just means you don't have much to back it up, I suppose. Anyone can make fun of George W. Bush or pompous talk show hosts or stupid "Star Trek" moments. Giving an "evil genius" a less than manly voice (in this case Elmer Fudd) is no different from "Dr. Evil" in the AUSTIN POWERS movies. Giving him nothing actually funny to do is different, however.

I'm sorry if you felt defensive at reading a bad review, and if your show had been funny, I wouldn't have been disappointed in your not doing more with the premise. But it wasn't. It was dull and amateurish. The explanation that it's "just sketch comedy" is completely missing the point, however. The best sketch comedy -- on SNL or SCTV or KIDS IN THE HALL or THE STATE or UCB -- all comes from an intelligent place even when it's the dumbest thing you've ever seen.

I'm wondering Anne: Have you responded to everyone who gave your show a bad review? I mean, you're welcome to comment here as much as you like, but don't try to say there's something wrong with your audience when the fault lies with your show. I've read a few other reviews at other sites, and I don't seem to be alone in my opinion. Maybe you should focus on making your show stronger rather than trying to refute others' opinions.

I didn't have room for an intricate moment-by-moment critique over at Gothamist, and certainly none of this is personal. I just didn't think you're show -- which repeatedly cried out "Laugh at us! Look at how broad and funny we are" -- was any good.

Anne

My post wasn't meant to be defensive. I was just using your blog space, which is an open forum anyway, to comment on the "and the utterly horrible The Magnificent Hour". If it warranted a second mention on your personal site, I thought it would be worth asking for clarification.

Reviews really don't register with the troupe anyway--etc...'s been around for over 10 years. We have a unique style, large fan base and talented writers. Like I said, we're not for everyone. We pride ourselves in not being the next SNL, UCB or The State--all of which have gone completely down the toilet in terms of quality or in the case of The State--disappeared.

Just as a feather-in-cap FYI, the Wednesday show you reviewed was attended by 90 people. Our Fringe capacity was 60. The previous night was 104--imagine that!

Well, back to work on our next show. Stay tuned for details...www.etc3dot.com

Anne

Whups. Got my dates mixed up. We were at 50 for Thursday--not bad for 5:15pm, eh?

kim

yarks. i personally thought the show was fantastic! as did my friends and fam.

so's the site: www.themagnificenthour.com

so, opinions run the gamut. just some are louder than others.

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