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November 19, 2010

Online, expanded Brooklyn Paper review of "In the Footprint" claims show "betrays" project opponents and will "delight" developer Bruce Ratner. Nah.

Atlantic Yards Report

A funny thing happened to the review of IN THE FOOTPRINT: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards, as it appeared in three Community Newspaper Group outlets this week.

It got brutally weird, morphing from a general criticism to an unfounded assertion that the show "betrays" project opponents and will "delight" developer Bruce Ratner.

The initial review, my response

On YourNabe.com/Brooklyn Graphic, the review was headlined The drama of Atlantic Yards: "In the Footprint" retells a story best left to the historians, not the playwrights.

(The review was attributed to "The Butcher of Flatbush Avenue Extension," who is, almost certainly, Brooklyn Paper Editor Gersh Kuntzman, who was at the show I saw.)

In this week's print Brooklyn Paper, that review reappears under a different headline: Yards on center stage: Mega-development is subject of play at Irondale Center [PDF].

That review calls it "an unsuccessful theater production," an assessment which I countered in my own review, which considers the show a mixed bag, given the attempt to pack seven years into 95 minutes, but absorbing and certainly provoking discussion.

The review morphs

The Brooklyn Paper's online review, however, contains a far more pointed headline, Yards drama will delight Ratner, appall opponents and confuse everyone else, and two additional paragraphs.

First, after talking to a half-dozen "opponents" after the show, I found no one "appalled." Like me, they thought it was worth seeing but a mixed bag.

Second, there's no way Bruce Ratner would be delighted by a show that portrays him as speaking through a toy crane--essentially a heartless piece of earth-moving equipment--or his ally, Borough President Marty Markowitz, as speaking through a basketball.

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Posted by eric at November 19, 2010 5:39 PM