HARVEY PERR IS STILL ALIVE!
explained by John Topping
published April 11, 2010
Stage and Cinema's beloved theater critic Harvey Perr has been the center of attention this week in Los Angeles and lovin' every minute of
Bitter Lemons is a web log – or as they are more well-known, a "blog" – which gathers and encapsulates reviews of Los Angeles
theater. Stage and Cinema was delighted to have Bitter Lemoner Colin Mitchell recognize and
appreciate Harvey's unparalleled style. We learned this when we chanced upon a blog Colin had posted about a review Harvey had recently written,
wherein he (Harvey), to say the least, let his opinion rip.
Then, almost as soon as the love started pouring in, the well dried up. Bitter
Lemons stopped including Harvey in their LA Theater Review round-up. We were puzzled, and
totally meant to contact them to ask why we were all of a sudden getting the cold shoulder after the initial outpouring of admiration, but
the task kept getting shoved to the backburner. Then we learned what had
Due to a computer glitch of some kind, Bitter Lemons was no longer getting Harvey's reviews forwarded to them. In an effort to find some information, Colin Googled the keywords "Harvey Perr" and happened upon
a site called The Last Bohemians, a project documenting an era of Greenwich Village artists, which Harvey participated in as
a subject. The way the site was laid out led Colin to assume that all the subjects on the page
were, at least partially, chosen because they had expired, and he mistakenly came to the conclusion that Harvey had died. This
prompted him to write an obituary of sorts for Harvey – an obloguary? – on the Bitter Lemons site.
Soon Colin's obit began receiving comments that evidence of Harvey's continuing survival was
surfacing: one person had noticed a recent Facebook posting by Harvey; someone else had
spotted him at the opening of The
Wake. Once Colin realized his mistake, he updated the same web page to reflect
that -- oops, sorry about that -- he's actually not dead at all.
But here's the funny thing. The LA Weekly (Southern California's equivalent of The Village Voice) used this mishap as
a lead-in to an article about fact checking in the internet age, complete with a creepy picture of Harvey peeking out of a
coffin. (Colin subsequently blogged a response.)
Harvey is amused by all of this and very much enjoying being the focus of the blogosphere (other blogs
are picking up the story and blogging about it). We at Stage and Cinema are a little bummed that the
LA Weekly didn't so much as mention our site. Damn you, LA Weekly! You think Harvey's reviews just magically appear in your head? Or
maybe you didn't do quite enough, ahem, research?
Well, in any case, our thanks go out to Colin Mitchell and Bitter Lemons for blogging about us, and especially for
mistakenly thinking Harvey was dead. He always wanted to live long enough to read his own
johntopping @ stageandcinema.com