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re: I think there is some chance that Variety was wrong
Posted by: AlanScott 07:44 pm EST 11/23/22
In reply to: re: I think there is some chance that Variety was wrong - BobPlak 09:43 am EST 11/22/22

Yes, Variety has often been quite sloppy about facts, and this goes back decades. One area is performance totals, which are generally not to be trusted, and previews totals have sometimes been obviously wrong. For that matter, performance totals in most of the places we look are not to be trusted. They're not always wrong, but they are surprisingly often. If we take them as approximations, fine, but when we say something like "That show ran three more performances than this one ran," well, that sort of thing may well be wrong surprisingly often.

The trouble is that getting correct totals now for so many shows of the past is essentially impossible. All we can do is make educated guesses. This is something that Suskin discusses. When you go back in time and you look at different contemporary sources, you may well find two, three or even four (maybe more sometimes) different totals, and the least trustworthy often seems to be Best Plays, which is often the source for the totals we find online.

Other times the source for what we find online seems to be Theatre World, which used Variety as its source, and therefore seems to have been wrong surprisingly often.

I have sometimes done what Suskin mentions doing: go week by week, checking different sources, trying to come up with answers.
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