Of interest to Chicagoans (possibly)

As some of you might know, I was one of a pair of “Dueling [theater] Critics” unceremoniously bounced from Chicago Public Media for being too expert.  (I am not making this up.)  However, you can’t keep a good battle down, and my colleague Jonathan Abarbanel and I have resumed our role as the Bickersons of Chicago theater on a podcast of our own design and creation.  You can hear us on soundcloud every Friday morning and/or subscribe to us on iTunes.

See you at the theater!

Author: Kelly Kleiman

Kelly Kleiman is a freelance writer on the arts, feminism, travel and social justice. Her reportage and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor, among other dailies; in magazines, including In These Times and Dance; in the alternative press; on the BBC; and on Chicago Public Radio, where she’s one of the “Dueling Critics” and a contributor to the Onstage Backstage theater blog. She is also a consultant to charities and editor and publisher of The Nonprofiteer, a blog about charity, philanthropy and nonprofit management. She holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago.

7 thoughts on “Of interest to Chicagoans (possibly)”

  1. Well! I don’t know from theater, or theater experts.

    I will say though that one of my many pet peeves is this business of newspapers (LAT, I’m lookin’ at you …) having *one* architecture critic, for example.

    What the bleep good is that? I *need* at least two of them arguing just to be able to tell what they’re talking about. So, your new format sounds good. Wish we had that here. It should be standard practice, I think.

  2. Be interesting to have some more details on the bouncing.

    Have to wonder if it didn’t have something to do with actually reviewing and providing actual opinions instead of cheerleading. After all, even theaters advertise.

    Kinda reminds me of a show on KCSN (Cal State Northridge) called, I think, Two Rabbis, Three Opinions, which was a debate format thing on controversial topics with a Talmudic twist featuring staff members from the Museum of Tolerance which was bounced off the air. Apparently was a little to controversial and the U was getting complaints from donors.

  3. WBEZ may or may not have financial problems; I rather doubt it but have no inside information. What’s clear, though, is that the decision to bounce its blogging/podcasting corps was based on the discovery that the audience was more interested in the station’s radio offerings (surprise!), and the decision to bounce the Dueling Critics from the air as well as from blogging/podcasting was based on a change in radio format. WBEZ, as the Reader article makes clear, has decided to emphasize “listener-generated content” rather than station-generated content. The test of a good broadcast is its ability to spark lots of phone calls and e-mails and texts. The Dueling Critics mostly didn’t do that: we reviewed, other people listened (or didn’t) and were amused (or not). As we were informed during our final meeting with powers that be at the station, they have no use for experts–“If I want an expert in theater I’ll call Chris Jones [of the Chicago Tribune] and he’ll come over for free. I don’t have to pay you guys.”

    So that’s the tale.

  4. I enjoy your “act” very much and have subscribed to your new podcast. I have to tell Jonathan, however, that he should be careful when he “corrects” French pronunciation. He told us that Steppenwolf’s “Belleville” should be pronounced without the “l” sounds, which is generally the rule in French. HOWEVER, as my French prof drilled into our heads, there is the “mille, ville, tranquille” exception – one says Bell-ville, not Bell-veeeee.

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