I’m returning to the theatah this week, in rehearsals for a production of West Side Story at the Carnegie in Covington, KY. With this privilege comes the burden of having to endure that peculiar linguistic habit of stage folk: the rabid overuse of possessive adjectives. His lights, her set, your orchestra. That last one (along with his actors) I find particularly galling, because it rings of slave days. Also: her set? She bought and paid for all that wood and paint? I know she put a lot of work into building it, work which was paid for by the theatrical organization, which properly speaking owns the finished product.
Theater People: Use Articles! The! It’s what makes our language so great – an all-purpose, genderless definitive that needs no declension or agreement! Or even better: how about “our”? No need to be so territorial – it’s a community here!
Speaking of musicals, as improbable as it sounds, I heard this song on the radio yesterday. It’s by Burt Bacharach, whose music has always elicited a genuine physical revulsion in me. This particular song contains what might be the worst melody ever written, and the movie, Lost Horizon, was a huge flop. In a world laden with injustice, it’s nice to know that something so totally deserving of failure fell flat on its face.