Theatrical press agent Rick Miramontez no longer will give comp tickets to Wall Street Journal critic and culture writer Joanne Kaufman after she admitted in her Dec. 1 article “Confessions of a Broadway Bolter” that she often leaves shows at intermission and still writes reviews.
That is just appalling. And can’t you just hear the moaning of theater lovers everywhere who would love to have the primo seats she apparently disdains and cost hundreds for dollars that most people have to save up for a one or two time per year Broadway visit.
Or maybe it’s just the shows she dislikes and left early, which include “The Last Ship,” “The Country House,” “It’s Only a Play,” “Matilda,” “Kinky Boots,” “Pippin,” “Boeing-Boeing” and “Billy Elliott.”
Miramontez’s O + M company, of which he is president, represents “It’s Only a Play,” “Kinky Boots,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Side Show” and the upcoming musicals “Finding Neverland” and “Fun Home.”
Not hard to spot the Tony Award winners in those lists, is it?
When I was the theater critic (Asbury Park Press, Back Stage and Variety) covering Broadway, off-Broadway and NJ regional theaters, a slow week meant catching only four shows. Multiply that by 52 weeks and we’re talking an average of about 200 shows a year. Why would anybody see that many shows if they didn’t love the theater? Of course they aren’t all winners. Some are really awful. So what. You’re getting paid to go!
WSJ declined to pub letter to editor
Miramontez responded to Kaufman’s Dec. 1 article with a letter to the editor the WSJ declined to print. He’s posted his response on his company’s website and you can read it by clicking here. You can’t read Kaufman’s article online unless you subscribe to the WSJ or get a back issue which I will do tomorrow at the library.
But I couldn’t let this go until then. It’s just so unprofessional for a journalist to leave a show at intermission unless the theater is on fire or she’s on her way to the ER.
When I was a beat reporter I would have loved to leave those town council, board of education and especially sewerage authority meetings early. But it’s not professional to do so.
I see people leaving sports events when their team is losing but the reporters are still in the press booth pounding away on their laptops long after the whistle blows ending the game.
Miramontez says he hopes other press agents follow his example. He says if Kaufman wants tickets to his shows in future, she will have to buy them. Maybe then the WSJ will insist she stays. Or maybe give the job to someone who really wants it. Like me.