To the editors:
I know this won't be the only letter you'll receive in response to the Anonymous Artistic Director's letter printed in the February 3 Reader. I am in whole-hearted agreement with every sentiment expressed by the A.A.D. and let me add a couple of my own.
A review is, presumably, a service--not only to the theaters and artists but also to the audiences involved in a given production. And while Tom Boeker is entitled to his opinion, no one is served by his bilious attitude. (Except, possibly, Boeker himself.) His unfavorable reviews are so extreme and so odious that they render his favourable ones suspect. Who wants to go to a show that Tom Boeker likes? Without meaning to cast aspersions on those shows he has professed to enjoy, I ask: if Tom Boeker likes it, how good can it be? Of what possible value is a reviewer who prompts his readers to employ this perverse sort of logic?
Should we stoop to play the game Boeker's way? While the A.A.D.'s plan has the undeniable appeal of giving Boeker a taste of his own medicine, I propose something more practical and only slightly less vindictive: Refuse to let Tom Boeker into your theatre. If he shows up at your box office, send him packing.
During preparations for my company's last production, serious thought and discussion was given to courses of action that might be taken if we were to learn that Boeker was coming to review us. Conclusion: A Boeker review is worse than no review at all. We decided we could request the Reader to send someone else, and if they couldn't or wouldn't comply, we'd simply decline to be reviewed. And if he arrived anyway, we wouldn't let him in.
Our resolve has not yet been put to the test, but we'll adhere to our new policy. If every theatre in the city refuses to be subjected to Tom Boeker's treatment, perhaps the man will go away. He needs our cooperation to slam us--Just say NO to Tom Boeker.
In the meantime, I'm going to try to make as many opening nights as I can, just in case! And to keep Boeker guessing, I'll sign myself
Anonymous Managing Director