Monday, March 02, 2009

Deconstructing Damon

In last week's New Yorker, Adam Gopnik wrote about Damon Runyon. The piece was smart enough, but I think deconstructing Runyon's voice is a bit like deconstructing a joke -- even if you do it well, you've only diminished the original pleasure.

Presumably, the magazine ran the article to coincide with the Broadway revival of "Guys and Dolls." In the Times, Ben Brantley ripped into the show, and several readers added their derision to form a booing chorus. At the very least, Oliver Platt has to be the strangest casting of Nathan Detroit on record. The newspaper also printed some Runyon excerpts to mark the occasion.

Getting back to Gopnik, he states in his article that the movie version of the musical "still sounds like too much, and one aches all through" it. He's hardly the first to criticize the movie, but I think he's wrong. For my rebuttal, please take two minutes and 11 seconds, and go here.


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