A Gripe from the Doldrums
Between now and September 10, local theater has few openings. The summer shows are still running, and the restarting of schools keeps this stretch of days quiet.
But come September 10, San Diego theater once again catapults from the doldrums to gridlock.
Four shows open that night: Edward II at Diversionary; Lend Me a Tenor at North Coast Rep.; Thom Pain at New Village Arts; How the Other Half Loves at Scripps Ranch.
In the olden days, some newspapers had stringer-reviewers who covered nights with, say, two openings. These days, the number of reviews and reviewers are getting cut back.
And reviewers only have two feet. If theaters want same-day/same-week service, wouldn't it behoove them to stagger first nights?
This is even more important for audiences, many of whom support several of these theaters.
Another kicker comes September 23. The Old Globe opens with The Rocky Horror Show and the San Diego Rep. with Walter Cronkite Is Dead.
Most likely getting lost in that shuffle is San Diego Musical Theatre's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which also opens on the 23rd.
The problem goes back at least a decade. What is new: the number of times it now comes up.
Years ago, Actors Alliance had a calendar of openings that theaters could consult well in advance. The smaller theaters scheduled around other openings and benefited a great deal. Nowadays, given the opening night conflicts of the larger theaters, everyone could benefit from such a calendar.