I'll criticize when I feel it's warranted. But I'll also praise when it's earned. So score the last word on the Folly Theater's Mark O'Connor Hot Swing band concert as a Folly victory.
The combined audiences for the first three concerts in this year's Folly jazz series wouldn't fill the theater for a single show. And I've written less than glowingly about it. But the Kansas City Star review for Saturday night's show (here) reports about 950 in attendance. That's a near sell-out, and that's a job extremely well done. Even better, the review of the show is glowing (though, after viewing some Mark O'Connor videos on the web, that part I didn't doubt).
The promotion for this show captured most of the front page of last weekend's Star Arts section, followed by another mention and large photo on Thursday's Preview section jazz page. Clearly, the press and promotion for this show were just what the theater needed. I've argued hard that social media done well will sell more seats, but when nearly every seat is filled that becomes a harder argument to make.
If I wore a hat, I'd tip it with respect to the success of Saturday's jazz series show. And I plead, please keep it up with the upcoming shows. Because there's nothing like a full house to smother the tired and unwarranted jazz-is-dead cry.