We were happy to trumpet Tricia WaPo's sterling review of The Scarlet Letter earlier this week. City Paper Trey Graham didn't care for the show as much, but you know what? Trey's a fair man and a smart man. I wouldn't take issue with him because he comes out, he applies his best critical thought to the task, and he writes with style. "Aura of woo-woo", from my earlier post? Total shout out.
However, I feel like it's okay for my to slag the critical efforts of Bob Anthony, self-described "freelance art critic" for some AOL board no one reads anyway. Now, I had never heard of Bob Anthony until yesterday, and who can blame me. He wasn't very well described to me by my colleagues, but certain terms kept coming up--"third grade education", "daft", "uuuuuuuuggghhhh"--I was told that his review would be hilarious.
And so it is.
A few points:
- The script fails to identify relationships? Umm, I'd be happy to enter the script into evidence. Characters in this play are CONSTANTLY stating their relationships overtly and repeatedly: "my brother can be a handful", "My sister needs a noose", "you were my husband", "you were my wife", "you baptised my sons", "I am your mother, Pearl"...again and again and again. The characters keep clarifying their relationships for a reason: the story features a HUGE unspoken relationship at its center. It's called COUNTERPOINT. And that's what having a literary degree will do for you.
- You say the script "extends the plot to incorporate a medicant woodsman who provides tonics and who tries to add spice by having his ex-wife (?) plead with him with sadomasochistic behavior." First off, yes. Hester is his ex-wife. We weren't trying to, you know, FOOL YOU when he said those forty or fifty times that she was his wife. More importantly, that character was no "plot extension." That "mendicant woodsman" was Roger Chillingworth, and he's right there in Nathaniel Hawthorne's book. That character was part of the story from day one.
- This raises an interesting point: you do know that THE SCARLET LETTER is a book by Nathaniel Hawthorne? Maybe I should start with something simpler...you do know what a book is, don't you?
- You're so hung up on Elizabeth Chomko's height! You make her seem like a giant! She's what? 5'6"? Are you having that nightmare where Liz carries you up the side of the Empire State Building again?
- After slagging us, you tell people: "This theater deserves support so this production is recommended." If only a blurb could capture the exquisite depths of your magnificent pity!
- You sign off by saying: "The acting can do nothing but improve over the run of the show." I would be careful before making such a bold pronouncement, dude. Speaking for myself, I can tell you that I am pretty fucking amazing right now!
I keed, of course. Everyone in the show is pretty fucking amazing right now! Oooh, snap!