New Yorker Critic On The Lion King: 'I Don't Do Black Folklore'

Oooh, snap. The Tony Awards, given out to the "best" Broadway ballyhoo of the year, are often accepted by Theatahhh people as a silly but necessary (for business) annoyance. People shrug them off, maybe even have a little fun with them. But not The New Yorker, mercy no. In a little Q&A on the magazine's website about Sunday night's awards show, chief NYer theatre critics Hilton Als and John Lahr are gratuitously bitchy and snobbish as they pick apart the Tonys and the past Broadway season. "I have not seen 'The Lion King.' I don't do black folklore. And I'm black," says Als for no particular reason. The two, with Als being the wickedest, then bitch on for eight more questions. Some more highlights are after the jump.

"Broadway is not about surprises. It's about rewarding the putrid, formulaic crap that makes Broadway Broadway" — Als
(Which is, OK, sort of true. But why be such a shit about it?)

"A shallow, ill-informed New York Times review of Clifford Odets's The Country Girl couldn't see beyond the backstage story to the fascinating dissection of a symbiotic relationship underneath." — Lahr
(Hah. Calling Ben Brantley shallow and uninformed is sorta funny. Plus, I can forgive Lahr a little more than Als, mostly because he helped write the wonderful Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, for which he won, um, a Tony.)

"Elevator Repair Service (The Sound and the Fury) and Richard Maxwell. Collectively, that's the best theatre being made." — Als
(Groan. Get over thyself.)

"I'm also interested to see if the sentimental claptrap of Billy Elliot will succeed in picking the pockets of the American public as it has in London." — Lahr
(Something popular is "sentimental claptrap." Snooze.)

Then Als proceeds to say that August: Osage County had the worst casting and direction of the season, which is just silly because things like The Little Mermaid and Grease existed. He's just being a contrarian windbag. Ugh.