Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Sincerity is the new Irony"

I laughed out loud when I heard that on today's broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion," the tongue-in-cheek old time radio variety program of Garrison Keillor on public radio stations.

It was a gag-line in a skit about a non-profit theatre company that had abandoned its aesthetic philosophy called "theatre of the inert" to go commercial, producing absurdities like a razzle-dazzle musical version of "Our Town" and a reinvention of "Cats"--using the royalty-free music by Georg Friedrich Handel instead of the costly Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Coincidentally, I had lunch yesterday with an old theatre friend who asked me if I had ever seen "Slings and Arrows." I had to break it to him that he's a johnny-come-lately to that Canadian three-season comedy series about the inner workings of a non-profit theatre company--it's been all the rage among insiders for a couple of years now, and is rich with irony.

Whether we're really embarking on a new era in which sincerity trumps irony is doubtful, but there's nothing wrong with taking a moment to reminisce about our lost innocence--and I suppose this is the appropriate time of year to do just that.

Until next time...


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