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Sour Grapes

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After reading Lawrence Bommer's review of The Wine Seller [August 10] (which I saw on opening night, Saturday, 8/4, at the Athenaeum), I felt bound to share my utter disgust with you. I have seen six years' worth of theater in this town--some of it amazing, some of it deadly. The Reader almost religiously pans productions that are thoroughly entertaining while continuing to laud the same old, stale tripe that most of this city settles for. The Wine Seller review was the last straw. Along with the rest of the full house, I loved The Wine Seller, and although it might not be Shakespeare, it was delightful to watch and refreshingly original. I've never seen a play deal so accurately with the restaurant business, and I found the writing/dialogue to be superior to the majority of theater I've seen for $10-$65 a ticket. Lawrence Bommer's opinion that Jason Sheldon's performance was worthy of being ripped to shreds is not only unfair--it's untrue. Grossly untrue. I found Mr. Sheldon's performance to be the most dynamic in a young and talented ensemble. I wonder if it's ever occurred to this paper or any other that what your readers want and need are critics who don't mind having a good time, critics who know solid entertainment when they see it. I no longer give the Reader's theatrical reviews any weight because they are frequently mean-spirited and wrong. I refuse to be insulted any further and I suggest the rest of the city follow me and decide for themselves instead of heeding the bitter words of this city's critics.

Those who can--do. Those who can't--write reviews.

Corliss Benedict

Park Ridge

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