Patti LuPone’s “Dumbing Down” Comments Insulting

According to Variety, Patti LuPone managed to insult millions of Broadway ticket buyers AND a host of Broadway producers recently with this comment:

“I think we’ve spent — not we, but whoever’s in charge of, whatever — has actively dumbed down the audience. And so the attention span of the majority of the audience, I think, is much less than it was in the past, and I don’t think plays are going to have long lives on Broadway — I feel as though it’s turning into Disneyland, a circus and Las Vegas.”

Calling someone who spent a small fortune to spend an evening with you ‘dumb’ is probably counterproductive.

If Ms. LuPone wants more sophisticated shows with smarter audiences, she should create and produce her own material and do her own marketing aimed at drawing only smart people with long attention spans to her shows. Only then will she have the right to call her customers dumb or compare her work to theme parks, circuses or popular entertainment destinations.

And it’s not just Patti. Arts professionals everywhere regularly insult the people who pay their salaries by lamenting the ‘dumbing down’ of audiences, criticizing their shortened attention spans, and complaining about having to produce ‘popular’ entertainment to get people to buy tickets. Seldom do these folks venture outside their artsy bubbles long enough to immerse themselves in the lives and cultures of the distracted dummies they so casually disparage.

To her credit, Patti is suggesting that she’s stepping away, which is probably a good idea. If you are old, and you have strict standards that were established several decades ago, and you are disturbed by changes that are happening around you, it’s probably best to pull away from the mainstream and hold onto whatever stability you can find for however long you have left.

Meanwhile, the world will continue to change, art and entertainment will endure, and audiences – however dumb and distracted they may be – will continue to decide who belongs on the stage.


1 thought on “Patti LuPone’s “Dumbing Down” Comments Insulting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s