George Hunka delivers a shot at one of the most earnest and hardworking crews in NYC, the Brick, with his rather harsh review of "Adventures of Caveman Robot: The Musical" here.
Now, I haven't seen this show. Perhaps it's as bad as George says. Reviewing, as I've said, is a balancing act. Reviewing for the New York Times, as George does now, means that you can wield a brickbat to the fortunes of others.
I'd like to say, for those interested, that the Brick Theater is one of the true gems of the Off-Off Broadway scene. Situated in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Brick features a fantastic crew of producers, writers and actors that are dedicated to the true Fringe theatre in the NYC area. They present an alternative to the Fringe Festival now, as well, first called "The Hell Festival," then "The Moral Values Festival" and this year "The $ellout Festival." I'm a huge fan of their work, a supporter of the kind of output and attitude they provide, and of Jeff Lewonczyk, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet in the "Indie" scene.
I don't mean to criticize the review... I'm sure there are clunkers to be found Off-Off and even from people I adore (I've seen many.) But it was painful to see this so snarkily dispatched in so influential a space. The Brick ( and others who work hard to create oddball pleasures, with shoestring budgets in an overstuffed field) deserve, perhaps, a little less snark and a little more respect.
I'm probably just kneejerk defending a company that I have love for, but I'm only human. This show might not warrant an endorsement, but those involved certainly don't warrant this sort of drubbing. The Brick represents the sort of venue we need to see more of, innovative, undaunted, brave and fun.
So... I'll leave it at that.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.