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Wayne Kawamoto

Simple Entertainment?

By March 11, 2012

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I was recently reading a Chicago Tribune review of Dennis Watkins' solo show, "The Magic Parlour," which is running at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. What struck me most is the writer's rather condescending tone, which I think reflects his bias towards magic entertainment. Despite the "little" digs, the final sentence does seem to reluctantly acknowledge the sophistication of the show.

First there's the repeated use of "little." "But there is very much a retro tinge to the magician Dennis Watkins' little solo collection of sleights of hand, performed in one of the historic, wood-paneled private dining rooms..." says the story.

"It was an intimate little scene, the kind a great old city with a crucial tourist trade should accommodate," the story says in another paragraph.

What jumps out at me is the word "simple." "'The Magic Parlour' is a simple entertainment in the Ricky Jay mold: old-fashioned trickery performed very well in an ideal setting by a man with a heart and a story who craves being close to his audience. It's about an hour and a sophisticated, thoughtful night-cap."

Despite "little" and "simple," I'll take the words "sophisticated" and "thoughtful." But how can a show be "simple" and "sophisticated" at the same time? And why is an entertainer "craving" to be close to his audience?

Am I over-reacting? You can read the story here.

More Reading
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Comments

March 14, 2012 at 10:26 am
(1) Levantino says:

No you are not over reacting Wayne. You are drawing attention to the bigoted, ageist, illiterate idiots who obviously use trickery of their own to land themselves a plum job where they can publicly display their talentless, puerile inadequacies as reviewers of a topic that they do not know anything about, and author moronic un-inspirational badly-written pretentious copy to boost their over-inflated ego’s to the detriment of the publication.

Either that, or the Chicago Tribune is either unable to attract professional talent that have the ability to provide lively unbiased opinions to encourage patrons to attend a given show based upon its merits and ‘value for money’ in these recessed times; or the hiring department of the Chicago Tribune lack the capability to appoint reviewers of any worth; or these reviews, which are giving the Chicago Tribune a bad name and turning away its readership, are being hidden from the editor; or the editor permits publication of crass without chastisement because they do not give a rats backside for the company that provides them and these other parties with their lifestyle.

Its hard to believe that 20% of American wealth is generated by just one-per-cent of its people, and the other 80% by just 15% of its hard-working people. The rest of the huge populous are happy to bum around and do nothing and add nothing.

In Detroit nearly all of the municipal buildings – given free by Ford et al, are laying empty and decimated. Empty schools, Town Halls, and empty Fire Stations filled with free fire tenders and the very best of equipment are trashed by the locals and everything is simply left to rot rather than convert them into great free accommodation so that everyone has somewhere to live and use the very fertile land around to grow the food. And the Chicago Tribune cannot find a person who can write commendable non-patronising copy that promotes worthy employment. That is one sick joke!

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