Content in Context

2016-12-31 – 1 pm matinee

First post of 2017!  I saw THE FRONT PAGE yesterday and have a lot of different thoughts about it.  The play debuted on Broadway in 1928  — over 88 years ago.  It’s hard to appreciate this when you’re watching after rushing in to see one of the last theater performances of 2016.  In order to understand the significance of the play, please see the following videos:

“Newspaper Story” – Directed by Thomas G. Smith, an accomplished film professional (IMDB). This is a must-see to understand and appreciate the environment and culture of the newsroom. It’s an outstanding educational film produced 44 years ago:

2nd Edition – 1973

“Newspaper Story” — produced by Encyclopedia Britannica. This is the original film 23 years previous to the second edition and 57 years previous to today!  I believe seeing this movie would provide a great set-up for seeing THE FRONT PAGE, you will appreciate what the word “press” really means:

1st Edition – 1950

In regards to the role of women in journalism:  Sally Quinn is a former Washington Post reporter who debuted on a morning program on  TV for CBS News.  Here are some very news excerpts as an example of the portrayal of women in news:

She is an established host of society gatherings in Washington DC.  Here are some articles about her:

Sally Quinn on Fox with BIll O’Reilly:

Sally Quinn on her experience of sexual assault:

Finally, here’s my review of the show:

I saw “THE FRONT PAGE” yesterday and enjoyed noteworthy performances by Nathan Lane, John Goodman, and Robert Morse.  There are a lot of actors onstage and I’m glad they’re gainfully employed onstage.  That said, Nathan Lane is the lead star, carrying the show to the stratosphere. Unfortunately, the treatment of women in the play, though perhaps historically accurate, is glaring and severely dated for 2017.  It’s painful to watch, making it difficult for me to enjoy, while it makes me appreciate that good roles for women were lacking in 1928 and are still lacking today, and if shows like this are remounted, it’s important put them in historical context as I have tried to above.

The play a great vehicles to showcase some accomplished actors and to see them all in one show.  Too bad it’s weighed so heavily towards the males — but that’s the way the world was back then.  The box office numbers back this production up,  but I wish the play had something profound to say.  My take on the takeaway on the message then:  “We’re all human. (beat)  The newsroom is a fun place to be — if you’re a guy.”  The message now:  “We’re all human and have history — some worth keeping, some worth leaving behind..  Recognize and correct our biases. Learn to utilize the abilities that a variety of people have by taking storytelling in the Press to a higher level.”

Week #31 ending December 25, 2016 – 85% capacity, 73% of gross potential at a total gross of $842,663 at the Broadhurst Theatre, seating a maximum of 1,178 people.   

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