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    john lahr Quotes

    The pigeons are shitting on George M. Cohan. I shoo them off. They fly up and perch on his hat. Cohan would've never given his regards to Broadway if he saw how dirty they kept his statue in Duffy Square. New Yorkers walk right by. Nobody cares.
    — John Lahr
    tags: right  care 
     
    Most of the people dishing out judgment have no working experience of the theatre, have not written a professional play, a sketch, or even a joke; have never worked in a theatre, taken an acting class, or published any extended piece of work. They are creative virgins; everything they know about theatre is book-learned and second-hand.
    — John Lahr
    Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising.
    — John Lahr
    tags: people  society  lust  crazy 
     
    Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.
    — John Lahr
    Nobody has ever gone broke selling escape to the American public.
    — John Lahr
    tags: gone  american 
     
    I go to the theatre expecting to have a good time. I want each play and performance to take me somewhere. Naturally, this doesn't always happen.
    — John Lahr
    tags: time 
     
    Death of a Salesman' is a brilliant taxonomy of the spiritual atrophy of mid-twentieth-century white America.
    — John Lahr
    tags: death  spiritual  america 
     
    Broadway shows in New York draw two times the attendance of all New York sports teams put together.
    — John Lahr
    tags: time 
     
    I detest literature. I abominate the theatre. I have a horror of culture. I am only interested in magic!
    — John Lahr
    Identity is memory; when memory disappears, the self dissolves and love with it.
    — John Lahr
    tags: memory  self  identity 
     
    In 1957, 'West Side Story' had introduced the musical to the reckless dark side of teen-age life; 'Bye Bye Birdie,' set in Sweet Apple, Ohio, where the citizens apparently dress mostly in chartreuse, mauve, orange, periwinkle, and turquoise, was a walk on the bright side.
    — John Lahr
    tags: dark  stories 
     
    Although the 'New York Times' annually declares that Broadway is on its deathbed, news of its demise is greatly exaggerated. There's a lot of life yet in the old tart.
    — John Lahr
    tags: time 
     
    Angels in America' - which is composed of two three-hour plays, 'Millennium Approaches' and 'Perestroika' - proved to be a watershed drama, the most lyrical and ambitious augury of an era since Tennessee Williams's 'The Glass Menagerie.
    — John Lahr
    tags: drama  angel  america 
     
    The New Yorker's' drama critics have always had a comparable authority because, for the most part, the magazine made it a practice to employ critics who moonlighted in the arts. They worked both sides of the street, so to speak.
    — John Lahr
    tags: drama  authority 
     
    Of the modern critics, although I disagree with almost everything she says, I admire Mary McCarthy's eloquence and social observation in 'Sights and Spectacles'; she thinks in print, but she doesn't have a real feel for the stage.
    — John Lahr
    tags: real 
     
    Like the tail fins on fifties American cars or the parabolic shapes of Populuxe furniture, 'West Side Story' incarnates the dream of momentum in the golden age of the twentieth century.
    — John Lahr
    tags: age  stories  dreams  american 
     
    In Britain, the theatre has traditionally been where the public goes to think about its past and debate its future. The formation of the National Theatre, at the Old Vic, near the South Bank, in 1963, institutionalized the symbolic importance of drama by giving it both a building and state funding.
    — John Lahr
    tags: future  past  drama  giving 
     
    I was the first critic ever to win a Tony - for co-authoring 'Elaine Stritch at Liberty.' Criticism is a life without risk; the critic is risking his opinion, the maker is risking his life. It's a humbling thought but important for the critic to keep it in mind - a thought he can only know if he's made something himself.
    — John Lahr
    Did you come of age in those sweet summers of the early nineteen-sixties, when the airwaves were full of rock and roll's doo-wop promise of joy and the nation was full of J.F.K.'s eloquent promise of a New Frontier? I did. Life seemed to be laid out before us like a banquet; everything was for the taking, especially hearts.
    — John Lahr
    tags: heart  joy  age  summer 
     
    Dame Edna is that rarest sighting in our time of the absolute comic, an inspired personification of caprice whose comedy answered the primal call to take the audience for a tumble.
    — John Lahr
    tags: time  comedy 
     
    That state of mind - of being beside yourself - is wonderful. As you get older, you're just very aware of a sense of an ending. You're grateful for every day.
    — John Lahr
    tags: mind 
     
    A prose writer never sees a reader walk out of a book; for a playwright, it's another matter. An audience is an invaluable education. In my experience, theatre artists don't know what they've made until they've made it.
    — John Lahr
    We live in a time of terror, and contrary to what we see on television and allow ourselves to believe, the real goal of terror is not to kill people but to kill thought; to so demoralize a society that it implodes from within.
    — John Lahr
    tags: time  people  society  live  believe  real  goal 
     
    The British playwright Nina Raine is one of her generation's most promising talents.
    — John Lahr
    tags: talent 
     
    Criticism is a life without risk.
    — John Lahr
    tags: criticism  risk 
     
    A cruel critic has never made anything; his glibness is a way of inflicting his emptiness on others.
    — John Lahr
    Writers don't always know what they mean - that's why they write. Their work stands in for them. On the page, the reader meets the authoritative, perfected self; in life, the writer is lumbered with the uncertain, imperfect one.
    — John Lahr
    tags: work  write 
     
    When Elvis made his mass-media debut on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' - his notorious gyrations filmed only from the waist up - I fell off the family chaise longue with delight.
    — John Lahr
    We were postwar middle-class white kids living in the slipstream of the greatest per-capita rise in income in the history of Western civilization; we were 'teen-agers' - a term, coined in 1941, that was in common usage a decade later - a new, recognizable franchise. We had money, mobility, and problems all our own.
    — John Lahr
    tags: living  problem  money  kids 
     
    Tony Awards boost Broadway attendance and sell the shows on the road. They're the sugar to swat the fly. If you needed more explanation for the yearly ballyhoo, in the metropolitan areas where a Broadway show plays, the local economy is boosted by three and a half times the gross ticket sales. So when we're talking Tonys, we're talking moolah.
    — John Lahr
    tags: time  sell 
     
    Theatre people, who are an adaptive species, know that to remain sane in the process of production where everyone and his uncle has an opinion about how to fix a show, you must pick the people whose knowledge and taste you trust and stick only to these few. The Tweetocracy is no place to look.
    — John Lahr
    tags: people  trust  process  opinion 
     
    Theatre is a game of hide-and-seek. For both the hiders and the seekers, the thrill is in the discovery. When the rules of the game are too vague or too complicated, however, the audience can lose its urge to play; the prize no longer seems quite worth the hunt.
    — John Lahr
    Questions about political theatre always overlook America's most powerful and effective political theatre, which is always thriving: the American musical. The politics is conservative but, to my mind, effective and insidious.
    — John Lahr
    The history of theatre is the history of first nights.
    — John Lahr
    tags: night 
     
    First and foremost, I'd say my father, Bert Lahr ... gave me a love of theatre-its kinetic and emotional potential and its raffish backstage fun-and also set an artistic example of the importance of corrupting an audience with pleasure.
    — John Lahr
    Entertainment is not politically neutral.
    — John Lahr
    Momentum was part of the exhilaration and the exhaustion of the twentieth century which Coward decoded for the British but borrowed wholesale from the Americans.
    — John Lahr
    tags: american 
     
    I know in an existential sense that life can change on a dime ... something has instantly and inexorably changed in American life.
    — John Lahr
    tags: american 
     
    The only thing I get from the theatre is a sore arse.
    — John Lahr
    Frivolity is the species' refusal to suffer.
    — John Lahr
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