Friday, September 26, 2008

Stick to What You Know

A cardinal rule of authorship: stick to what you know. It is next to impossible for a writer to be persuasive, moving or even interesting without following this rule.

This bodes ill for playwright Buddy Sheffield, whose bawdy musical Idaho! opened off Broadway on Thursday. Asked whether he has ever been to Idaho, Sheffield says: "I haven't, but I know it's beautiful."

Questioned about the cornfields and the repeated references to Idaho as "the prairie," and the heavy Southern drawls, and the pig-hugging farmers (not to mention the high prevalence of table-cloth-pattern dresses, battered cowboy hats, farmers posing for pictures with potatoes and rifle-toting grannies), Sheffield says he knows he does not accurately portray the Gem State -- but that's all good, because his play just portrays New Yorkers' stereotypes of Idaho.

Sheffield hopes he will be able to capitalize on the crass ignorance he assumes is an outstanding trait of New Yorkers and take his purported spoof of the great Broadway musicals to the Big Time. Straining all credibility, he declares: "I hope the musical runs for five years on Broadway and everybody in Idaho gets to come and see it and feel proud about it."



  1. Yeah, how can a play about Idaho not say word one about white supremacists in the panhandle?

    *Cygnus runs

  2. Personally, I want to know about the ancestors came to the US because of a lack of potatoes...


    OK, what a dufus. The play description is more fitting to MN blended with a few states to our south than to Idaho! And by the way...our farmers in MN are FAR more diginified than that!

    Oh, and pig hugging is for the greased-pig competetion at the county fair. The farmers don't do that...the kids do! :-)