Tuesday, July 14, 2009

(Another) Reply to Bill Marx

Over at The Arts Fuse, Bill Marx has taken his nose out of the books he's been reading just long enough to take a gratuitous swipe at Gloucester Stage, which is currently running Neil Simon's schmaltzy, sexist Last of the Red Hot Lovers.

I couldn't help but reply, of course - and since I'm not sure Marx will publish my comment, I thought I'd post it below:

I just wanted to say I found this piece somehow pathetic, and deeply unfair to Gloucester Stage Company. Gloucester Stage's complete summer season includes David Hare's The Breath of Life, which I believe has only had one prior production in America; Edward Albee's ode to bestiality, The Goat (only one prior New England outing); founder Israel Horovitz's latest, Sins of the Mother; and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.

I think it's telling that you found time not to support any of these productions of new or almost-new plays by this small theatre, but instead decided to puncture (without even bothering to see) the one turkey on the Gloucester Stage menu, Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers. With a hilariously pretentious quote from whackjob Antonin Artaud, no less.

Could you have more expertly (if unconsciously) skewered your own pseudo-intellectual, theatre-hating M.O.? I don't think so. Now I don't mean to praise a silly, schmaltzy, sexist sex farce like Last of the Red Hot Lovers, but I also know better than to deny a summer theatre even a single evening of light summer fare. (And just btw, hold onto your hat, Bill, because Karen Macdonald is getting IRNE buzz for her performance.) And I want you to know that I'll be making a donation to the Gloucester Stage, on the condition that it be listed under your name in the program.

[Note: The Arts Fuse has, indeed, ignored my comment.]

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