The difference between reviewing films and reviewing live events is that live events are…well, live. Their ephemeral nature forces the reviewer to rely more upon subjective impressions stored in memory – unlike films, which can be doubled-checked in minute detail on Blu-ray or streaming media. This can lead to errors, such as one I recently made in my review of Wicked Lit’s July presentation of “The Monkey’s Paw.”
I wrote that the one-act adaptation of W.W. Jacobs’ story “reused the fine interior set seen during Wicked Lit’s Halloween 2014’s production of ‘Dracula’s Guest.'” However, Jeff G Rack, the Producing Artistic Director of Unbound Productions, writes to inform me that the “Monkey’s Paw” set is actually completely new:
Although I have no qualms about reusing and recycling things, and I definitely have in the past, I thought it was important that you and your readers be aware of the fact that my Monkey’s Paw set, although in the same room and in a similar configuration as my Dracula’s Guest set, was, in fact, a completely new and different set and look from that one (Although I admit that I did use the same window in both). It was a very expensive and time consuming set to make (The fireplace was completely carved in foam by hand and all the walls hand plastered) so I wanted to make sure our audiences know when we are giving them new, quality goods . I know with time it is sometimes hard to remember these things, so I understand you believing them to be the same. I have attached photos of each to show you just how different they actually are.
Jeff confirms the difference with two photographs. The larger one, seen at the top of this article is from “Dracula’s Guest.” The smaller image is from “The Monkey’s Paw.” Though they suggest a similar kind of environment, their differences are striking including such details as the fireplace and the staircase, not seen in “Dracula’s Guest.”
I regret the error.