By the Way: Vacation

I always thought that the miffed fairy who was not invited to Sleeping Beauty’s christening party overreacted when she put a curse on the baby, the family, and all of the castle staff.  I mean, isn’t that the behavior of a passive-aggressive bitch?  But now I think I know how she felt.

I learned today that there was a special, by-invitation-only preview performance of “Die, Mommy Die” at Theatre on the Square last night.  I was not invited.

And I had been feeling so successful as a theatre reviewer!  Now I feel like crap.

But wait a minute…My theatre blog is getting more than 1000 unique visitors and 30,000+ hits per month.  I am managing to see and review one or more shows per week, and I have been able to incorporate tid-bits about still more shows into my posts.  Several theatres regularly send me publicity photos, and one of these days I am going to get comfortable with posting those all by myself.  Many theatres do invite me to preview performances, or meet-the-cast-and-director parties, or other special events.  I receive more invitations than I have time to accept, as a matter of fact.

Also, it wasn’t the first time, and probably won’t be the last, that I have felt invisible or that I have misunderstood my relationship with someone.  It’s not the end of the world.  I wouldn’t have traded last night at the Phoenix anyway, and whether or not I am invited to special events, I can not see every show that goes up.

So, really…life is still good, in spite of my not being invited to the TOTS preview.

Whew!  Nothing like a little public processing to get me feeling strong and centered again.

‘Speaking of life being good, I am going to be on vacation this next week, including the next two weekends.  I am going to spend some of my tax refund on a therapeutic massage.  (As you can probably tell from this post, I am in desperate need of one!)  I will return to this blog refreshed and ready to resume my theatre habit.

I am planning to see “Midwestern Hemisphere” again on its final night, Sunday, April 13, at 8:00 pm in the Indianapolis Artsgarden.  I love that play, and I am really looking forward to seeing it again after the cast and crew have lived with it for a while. 

After that, there are several other shows around town that I am looking forward to seeing, too.  Break a leg, everyone!

My next blog post will be Monday, April 14.

Hope Baugh –

7 thoughts on “By the Way: Vacation”

  1. Hope,
    An FYI that may be useful: Many theater do not want reviewers coming to previews. In fact, in NYC, this was a major issue for a while, with theaters dragging out their preview periods to, some believed,avoid having critics come in and comment.
    When I’m reviewing a play and a preview is the most convenient time for me to see it, I always ask the theater if the powers that be are comfortable having me comment on a preview performance. Sometime they are, sometimes not. And I respect whatever decision they make on it.
    A preview performance sometimes is nearly identical to opening night. Sometime it is the equivelent of the restaurant preview in which the kitchen and service staff are seeing for the first time how their creation works and so they want a friendly crowd in there that isn’t going to take them to task for mistakes, tech errors, etc.
    Hope that helps.
    And thanks for your Midwestern Hemisphere enthusiasm. Friday’s crowd was very enthusiastic.
    As always,

  2. Oh, Hope! I hope you don’t think you were intentionally excluded AT ALL from the preview on Thursday. I’m in the show, and from what I understand, those that were invited were there on behalf of some sort of group through IUPUI that invites students to see shows for free so that they will advertise through word of mouth. Amy P. was in attendance because she was performing her one act on stage 2 prior to our final rehearsal, and those that were in the audience for her show were also invited. For the record, I was actually scanning the audience for you all weekend, wondering where you were! Also, Ed Mobley directed this show, not Ron, and as far as I know Ed hasn’t directed at TOTS since 2004 and most likely just didn’t know how to contact you to invite you. I know I speak for the rest of the cast when I say that I so hope this doesn’t mean you won’t come to see the show, and that it would mean the world to see you at a performance. I’m so sorry that your feelings were hurt. It was a misunderstanding!

  3. Thanks, Lou and Erin! I really appreciate your taking the time to read my blog and then to write these detailed assurances.

    I was just now showing my father my new blog and saying that I felt bad because even though I say here that I have talked myself out of my hurt feelings, I really hadn’t waited long enough when I posted this.

    I said to my father, “There are a million good reasons why I wasn’t invited, and besides, I am a reviewer, not a groupie. It was a preview, not a media event. The purpose of a preview audience is to generate informal buzz, whereas the purpose of a review is to evaluate the effectiveness of a finished piece of art.”

    I _KNOW_ this!


    Being “media” is still a very, very new experience for me.

    Also, thank goodness for vacations. I can feel my equilibrium coming back with each day of R&R.

    Anyway, my plan has always been to see the 5:00 performance of “Die! Mommy, Die!” on Sunday, April 13. That is the earliest that I can see it.

    And from what I have heard, it is a very funny show!

    I am really looking forward to seeing it.

    And then I will dash over to the ArtsGarden to see “Midwestern Hemisphere” a second time, at 8:00.


    Thanks, again, Lou and Erin, for your comments.

    Okay, now I’m going back on vacation.

  4. Hope,
    I am afraid I have never met you, but I have read and appreciated your work.
    As previously stated, here and on Indiana Auditions, there was no “by invitation only” sneak preview of Die!…. The IUPUI Cultural Tour was viewing a cutting from a Fringe play in our second stage. Knowing that our cast was craving an audience, and trying to be a good host, I invited them to stay and watch. I also invited them to tell their friends, as all theatres do. That is what Amy P. did.
    Theatre on the Square no longer invites anyone to the “preview”. Maybe a few relatives or friends of the cast who would otherwise be unable to see the show come, but the general public has not been invited to the last several shows.
    I am sorry if you felt left out. Up until 10 minutes before the rehearsal started, it was a “closed” rehearsal.
    I thought it was a very nice gesture for Amy P. to take the time to express her opinions about the show on IA.
    I hope this explanation helps explain the situation and will soothe your readers who may think you were snubbed.
    Enjoy your vacation! We appreciate that you will be spending some of it with our show. Unfortunately I will be out of town during that performance, but I look forward to reading your review, and to meeting you in the future. I hope you will spend a lot more time in our two venues next season. You are welcome, anytime.
    Ed Mobley
    Director, Die! Mommie Die!
    President, Board of Directors
    Theatre on the Square

  5. Thanks very much, Ed, for taking the time to read my blog and to leave this kind and patient comment. I really appreciate it!

  6. Oh, Hope, your comment about Sleeping Beauty
    (was her name Maleficent? I’ve got to go look it up.) and being a p/a bitch made me laugh out loud.
    You are so nice and so kind – and everyone gets
    pissed off or “pinched” once in a while.

    Looking fwd. to more ith. See you soon.

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