Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, who can currently be seen as an off-key diva in the new film Florence Foster Jenkins, recently spoke to WENN about her theatrical roots, including the effects a critic can have on a production, the Toronto Sun reports.
It was in 1975, when Streep was playing the role of Miss Imogen Parrott in Sir Arthur Wing Pinero's Trelawny of “The Wells” at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater, that a critic's assessment of the production affected all involved.
“It was a wonderful cast with Mandy Patinkin and John Lithgow and Mary Beth Hurt; all of us pretty much first plays,” Streep said. “We had preview audiences who were laughing and loving it and having a great time and then John Simon, who was a reviewer for New York magazine and famously cantankerous, wrote a s**tty review and after that came out the audiences were nonplussed, because they were told how to feel.
“The difference was really marked. That‘s when I began to hate the critics. I remember when you would be in a play in New York City and there were three reviewers who really mattered—Clive Barnes, John Simon and Mel Gussow. You'd just get this terrible anxiety and go and buy the papers. It's so old school to get the paper in the morning and it's a nauseating feeling.”
Streep's other Broadway credits include A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton, Secret Service, The Cherry Orchard and Happy End.