Friday, June 12, 2015

Bill Kristol Is Not a Reliable Theater Critic Either

I had the pleasure of seeing a new production of Molière's Tartuffe at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C. last Saturday night. While standing in the lobby with my wine during intermission, I was surprised to see a badly-dressed man wearing William Kristol's familiar permanent frown walk past. A couple of days later, something made me search for "Bill Kristol Tartuffe" on Google and I was led to his tweet about the show.
The Saturday performance was a preview that received a standing ovation from those of us who stayed until the end, but it hadn't been reviewed yet. When the play officially opened on Tuesday, it received unanimous rave reviews in all the places I could find: The Washington Post, DC Theatre Scene, Broadway World, and DC Metro Theater Arts, but, then again, all of these reviewers seem to have watched the end of the play rather than storming out like an offended French noble watching the first version in 1664 (before the royally-mandated happy ending in the 1669 version).

Of course, Bill Kristol has been known to make extremely hasty and seriously erroneous judgments before. Here he is on C-Span in 2003 mansplaining to Daniel Ellsberg how George Bush's decade-long war in Iraq would be nothing at all like Vietnam.

"This is going to be a two-month war, not a year war..."  --Bill Kristol, 28 March 2003

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