Friday, January 28, 2011

IN THE FOOTPRINT: How was Boston?

Last weekend, In the Footprint was up in Boston at ArtsEmerson for six performances. Of course, the big question on everyone's mind was about how such a seemingly geographically-specific show would play in a different city where people might not even know what Atlantic Yards is. Here are some thoughts from some of the great reviews we got while the show was up there:

Time Out Boston (who called the show "a powerful, multifaceted portrait"): "You may ask yourself: “Self, what does a play about a real estate dispute in Brooklyn have to do with me, here, in Boston?” It has a lot to do with you, actually. We’ve had our fair share of skirmishes over neighborhood ownership; just look at the turf war between Allston and Harvard University, or the aborted move of the Patriots’ stadium to South Boston."

The Hub Review (who said, "I can't think of a more accurate portrayal of the Way We Live Now"): "You may shrug at the topic - what do the travails of Brooklyn have to do with Boston?  But rest assured, the Civilians limn through this particular prism a devastating vision of millennial politics and, you know, how things get done.  For what soon came clear about the Atlantic Yards project was that - as one disgruntled homeowner points out - no elected body or official had ever voted on it ever. "

WBUR (who felt that "the issues come alive in a way I certainly didn’t get from reading about it in the New York Times" - what would Norman Oder say to that?): "The unlikely subject matter is the urban development project in Brooklyn to bring the New Jersey Nets there, among other things. But the Civilians make the issue of eminent domain, something that Bostonians are certainly familiar with, compelling with a variety of strong theatrics from musical numbers to modernistic re-creations of who said what."

The Phoenix (who called the show a "surprisingly sprightly epitaph for a neighborhood"): Some New York–centric details may not resonate with Boston audiences, but issues of urban renewal (of which we've botched a few) are as hoary — and as pertinent — as Jane Jacobs's 1961 tome The Death and Life of Great American Cities

So it looks like the show was really well received by people who have probably never seen the footprint or heard the name Bruce Ratner before! 

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