Auto critic but no theater critic

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Email is rolling in (OK trickling, but coming in nonetheless) making a point I should have noted when announcing the L.A. Times hire yesterday of an automobile critic. An auto critic is nice, but it's been at least 18 months since the paper has had a regular drama critic. When Michael Phillips left for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine called it "a step up" on the basis that theater there was taken more seriously than here. Maybe, but there's a lot of good (and mediocre) theater in Los Angeles. Apparently the Times has interviewed several top candidates and has been unable to close a deal -- same with the TV critic job that Howard Rosenberg just vacated.

One emailer, a Times subscriber, also complains about being unable to find reviews of recent Carol Channing or Tony Bennett shows at the Hollywood Bowl:

We've had weekend bowl season tickets in the family for three decades and part of the experience is reading the Times review on Monday. Apparently, one more tradition done away with by the Chicago Tribune. No Bowl reviews of the weekend program in the Monday Times! Argh!

She also reports numerous failed attempts to sign on to the new Calendar Live. [If she had got on, she'd have found a Channing review, from the Monday Aug. 11 paper, by Daryl H. Miller]


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