Saturday, February 27, 2010

John Simon - How to Succeed on Broadway - 1961

(Or why John Simon has always been disliked). From his 1961 review of "Purlie Victorious":

"The one show that could run forever on Broadway would be a big, vulgar musical about Jewish Negroes. The author would have the audiences, reviewers, and the Pulitzer people eating out of his little hand, and would not have consider all the perfumes of Arabia. Unfortunately, our showman only have wit to use two of the three useful ingredients at one time: thus "Milk and Honey" is a big musical about Israel, "Kwamina" is a big musical about Africa, and "Purlie Victorious" has Negroes celebrating Hanukkah in their church. Yet a score of two out of three isn't a negligible achievement, and I trust all three shows are reaping their just rewards."

3 comments:

Trooper York said...

John Simon new his stuff and wasn't afraid to say when something sucked. Just like Simon on American Idol.

But John Simon was a horrible movie reviewer for many years with I think New York Magizine. Just horrendous.

rcocean said...

Why horrendous? Other than he hates most everything.

Trooper York said...

Well you can not couch everything in terms of "high culture." Some things are just pop you know. Not everything has to be compared to Beowulf or Chaucer. Somethings have to be compared to Fonzie and Archie Bunker.

Don't despise the business you are in. There lies danger.