Today's "You've Cott Mail" included three links regarding the nature of theater previews and extended runs.
The first was Charles Isherwood's reasoning about allowing the moneyed elite as much time as they want to get theater pieces right, while charging top dollar for tickets.
Next was Matt Freeman's excellent response. His summation is worth posting here:
"That's why, I guess, I'm skeptical of the argument that defends previews as a way to serve Art with a capital "A." It feels more like an elaborate game of "Mother May I?" The standard mapped out ("never review the play until it's completed to the producer's satisfaction") is neither universally applied, nor could it be feasibly - at least not until the Showcase Code is adequately reformed. In the end, there's a brilliance to the profit model of charging your audience to watch you develop a show and keeping the press at bay as long as possible. Let's just not pretend that, in all cases, it's in service of more than protecting an investment. The rest of us aren't given such generous allowances."
The final link is from today's The (London) Telegraph and deals with how a production can mature and become better, a month after the reviewers have offered their opinions.
Though I found Isherwood's column spurious on a couple of counts when I first read it, I'm going to refrain at this late date from registering them, unless someone comments and a clarification is in order.
I will say that I'm glad to be a subscriber to Thomas Cott's daily email. Thank you, Mr. Cott!