Is There Really “No Such Thing As Bad Publicity”?

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on October 5, 2012

Oscar Wilde said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” I’m not sure I agree.

However, I do know that a gaffe can turn into a major social indiscretion in an instant and be a sound heard ‘round the world. I’m constantly reminded of an old military adage that ninety-nine “attaboys” can be wiped out by one “oh merde!”

I’m often corrected for being politically incorrect on some topic or other. There are as many points of view on a subject as there are subjects on which to have points of view. One man’s faux pas is another’s death warrant.

A few people were offended by The Vagina Monologues’ title and wanted us to change it, perhaps to “A Dramedy Detailing Women’s Anatomy.” If I could, I would re-title Romeo & Juliet “Teen Suicide in 1540 Verona,” Our Town “Nostalgia and The Afterlife Exposed,” and The Mother* with the Hat “Drug Addiction and How to Overcome It.” But I’m not sure those titles would sell tickets.

There are other, seemingly innocuous titles like The Lion in Winter and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, ones which could almost be titles of children’s stories but whose plots are scurrilous. These are funny but dark, painting marriage with such bitter disdain and offering it up as comedy. Both make me ashamed that I produced them here at the Roxy. On the closing night of Virginia Woolf, I tossed the script in the trash. My best friend, Leslie Greene, who appeared with me, was surprised by my actions.

We aren’t going to reach everyone with a single type of performance. The Rocky Horror Show crowd won’t be our Romeo & Juliet audience. Or maybe I’m wrong. Once bitten by the theatre bug, the only antidote is more of the same. We try to cover all bases, from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the sacred to the profane. No one is trying to offend, but by fruition alone someone’s nose will get out of joint by something — that’s life. You can’t please everyone every time.

The “Roxy Moms” have an energy, commitment and drive that we should have harnessed ages ago. They came to the fore, not only with the Frolic on Franklin bake sale, but also with cowboy soup and Indian chili, earning us almost a thousand bucks toward the new center for arts and education.

Now they have set their goal to create a Cairo bazaar of sorts, where everything old is new again, a 30th Anniversary Birthday Bash and Yard Sale to coincide with the final Downtown Market, which has been awarded the best market of its kind, state-wide. If you haven’t been, you’ve missed a unique experience and an opportunity to partake of things local. The spillover to downtown businesses has been tremendous, and this especially will happen on Saturday, October 20.

9 to 5: The Musical continues on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through October 13.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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