I don’t think I was alone in doing something of a double take when I read Michael Coveney’s post about watching a preview of Legally Blonde. Specifically the bit where he appeared to projectile vomit all over his computer screen:
“I went on Saturday night and I’ve never sat in an audience so unreal or abnormal. Weird couples, clacking hen parties, simpering teenage girls: it was like being stuck in a nightmare college campus graduation ceremony.”
Yep, still had to do a double take when I copied that over because I’m not entirely sure which part of that paragraph is the most offensive.
I was going to write a rebuttal about Coveney’s prejudices (not to mention his hardly covered misogyny and contempt for a theatre audience who had paid to see a show) but others have already said so incredibly well that I’m going to point you in their direction instead:
Carrie Dun writing at Spotlight robustly and passionately defends the audience’s right to like something critically disliked.
The magnificent Mission Paradox blog wasn’t writing of Coveney when he wrote about art’s hostility to its audiences – but, crikey, someone should send Coveney the link pronto.
Finally, and gloriously, Sans Taste has what is possibly the most eloquent response to the whole debacle.