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Capsule Criticism

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To the editors:

Why was it necessary to point out that Diana Spinrad, the director of the play A Girl's Guide to Chaos, is Reader's own [Reader's Guide to Theater, April 28; reviewed November 25]? Not that I don't look forward to being informed about a director, yet, the fact alone that Ms. Spinrad is one of Reader's own, does not necessarily mean that she has enough savvy with regard to plays. Achy Obejas, as a critic, could do better by giving us some feedback on the plot and who the main characters are, aside from simply telling us that it is "cute" and "downright perky," because, what is cute and perky to [her], might be boring to us. Many times I was bored as I watched plays that for the most part, if not throughout, consisted of one-liners, wisecracks, retorts, pat answers, repartee, but no substance. I don't say that people do not spontaneously come up with a smart answer once in a while, but as such one-liners are hurled back and forth for hours, the dialogue just sounds forced and superficial; it is an insult to the intelligence of the audience to present it as being naturally sustained.

Not even the idea that the author, Cynthia Heimel, wrote in the columns of the Playboy and the Village Voice is enough to make us conjecture that this play just got to be good, if we don't know anything about it. To no avail have I looked forward to coming across some extensive critique written in either the Reader or other periodicals.

Any person, who sees as many plays as I do, wants to know something about a play (especially a new one) before he exfoliates the large sum of money necessary to see it; more so, as even the title does not make any sense. I don't say I've never been disappointed after seeing a play, even though I've read a good critique on it; yet, it's one thing to experience a let down after expecting better, and another to run pell-mell like a bat in the dark into something without being given the chance to decide for ourselves.

Therefore, are we supposed to be lured by Achy Obejas's unqualified critique, which is based on only the fact that a Reader's own is directing this play? moreover, to shell out the money to see it, as if money were dry leaves fallen off from the trees? Come to think of it, maybe we should pay with dry leaves to see this play; since we are thought of as having the mentality of King Lear, we should use his imagination as well.

Christina Athanasiades

W. Hood

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