Baldwin writes that a critic should “never say ‘why bother?'” about something he or she is reviewing, and that “[in] the case of Orphans, Brantley wrote ‘Why bother?'” Actually, Brantley didn’t — though he did call Baldwin’s performance “a mutating cartoon … with only hints of the requisite menace” and said the production was “dispiritingly pallid.”
Okay, this is probably a way for Baldwin to vent his spleen a little, but, you know what? When you strip away all the vitriol from both sides, Baldwin is dead right.
Look, critics have way too much power.
Critics who are looking for a way to tear down a performer or a performance sadly outnumber those who are offering legit criticism.
If theatre marketers were doing their jobs correctly — and I say this with impunity because I was one for years and years — you can make your shows immune in critics. Of course, doing so requires changing your business model and investing more money in marketing, so I’m pretty certain that’s not going to happen anytime soon.