Obies. Not.

Valerie Work, who has covered the Obies for the past three years for, posted about being denied press credentials this year.

According to her article her press request was met with the following denial:

“The management of the Voice has chosen to deemphasize online coverage of this year’s awards,” explains press representative Gail Parenteau, “due to the large number of blogs that are currently discussing New York theater. If you really want to cover the event, you can buy a $25 ticket.”

Personally, if I were the Voice and I were going to deny press credentials to a relatively minor outlet, I would find a more polite way to do it. I certainly wouldn’t blow my cover by trying to push them to buy a ticket. But word on the street has it that the Voice was super stingy with comps this year and was pushing hard to move those $25 tickets. Does anyone know if the strategy worked?

I skipped the Obies this year and went first to the Joe Melillo event at the Segal Center and then to the Movement Research Gala.

The Movement Research Gala was fantastic and when I left there at 11:30PM the floor was just heating up with a crazy dance party. I was loving watching all those lithe young dancers cutting loose and it was only reluctantly that I pulled myself away from this high-spirited, celebratory event. Honoring Cynthia Hedstrom and DANCENOISE, the MR Benefit was truly a celebration of community, continuity, creativity and commitment. It felt – much like the PS122 benefit – like an extended family reunion where the older generation encourages the next generation to keep the flame of creativity lit, to branch out, to push themselves and feel secure in taking risks.

The Obies feels like a sucker’s gambit. It is either time to replace the Obies with something new and meaningful or for the Obies to try and remember why the awards started in the first place. I know times are tough but trying to shill tickets to an awards show is just stupid. Its one thing to spend money at a benefit for a non-profit, another entirely to fork over your money to a corporate entity that doesn’t seem too terribly interested in the downtown community very much at all.

If anybody from the Voice would like to address their new approach and their ideas around the Obies I would love to hear from them.

I’m half-tempted to start the Botties.

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