Chi-town theatre is abuzz with the scandal of old time Sun Times critic Hedy Weiss writing full--and cranky--reviews of a bunch of new musicals presented as a workshop. John Weidman of the Dramatists Guild has taken this on full force and made this national.
Your food critic would not judge a restaurant by bulling her way into the kitchen and tasting the dishes when they were half-cooked. Playwrights, composers, and lyricists deserve the same consideration.Big name playwrights (Kushner, Albee) are lining up to vent their own outrage over the incident.
For the word on the street, close to the ground, go to the "Angry White Guy" Don Hall, here and here.
I don't sense this is a common problem. And Weiss was clearly in the wrong. Perhaps, as an older generation of critic, she just still doesn't get the idea of workshop. Whatever the reason, this sounds like irresponsible criticism, and these individual artists were betrayed.
Still, in the age of juggernaut development venues like Fringe NYC, I think this also should prompt workshop & play development folks to think again before they mega-market their "works in progress." Not that this was necessarily the case here, but when you hire press agents and rev up the media attention, are you sending a mixed message when you ask not to be reviewed?