by Geoff Hoff~
In the two years I have been reviewing plays in Los Angeles, I have never been late to a curtain. I have often sharply judged those people who do arrive late and those companies who accommodate them with curtains that regularly and habitually go up as much as twenty minutes past the advertised time.
Well, karma is a bitch. And I owe an abject and heartfelt apology to the members of the Coeurage Theatre Company and to the general Los Angeles theatre community at large. I was extremely late to a performance of their production of Hats, Nudes & Immortality last Saturday night. There is no excuse, of course. I am a native Los Angeles resident and should know better than to not expect traffic from the West Side to Silver Lake to be impossible on a Saturday night.
They did hold the curtain a bit, but, thank God, not for me. Or at least not just for me. It seems one of their actors got stuck in Valley traffic. I know that reviewers and their reviews (good, bad or indifferent) are important to the life of a theatre company, so I do understand the impulse to cater to them, to hold the curtain for them. I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion. (There is at least one reviewer in this town who is famous at several venues for never, ever arriving on time.) I would loath to think, however, that a production was delayed to wait for me. Holding the curtain drains energy from both the actors and those audience members who did manage to anticipate the bad traffic, and it can sharply diminish the power of a work of art.
So here is my apology. I am truly sorry that I arrived to a piece of Los Angeles theatre late. Such an act does not reflect well on my deep respect of and love for theatre. It will not happen again.