Leave it to an outa-towner to alert me to a modest tempest brewing right in my own backyard (Thanks, Rick!) To recap: apparently, a letter to the editor was written to the T-D by a Mr. Miller complaining about Barksdale’s “Little Dog Laughed” – I don’t really care enough to look it up. But in response to THAT letter, two others were written (readable here). One is a great one from Brian Vaughan – nicely stated Mr. Vaughan! The other, written by a Sandra Randell who I guess is the wife of CAT Board Member Mike Randell, suggests CAT as a family-friendly alternative.
Rick asks if this was “hideously tacky.” I wouldn’t go that far. I would say it was opportunistic, something that I’ve seen in many situations, including on this blog. You see a chance to promote something you are interested or involved in and you take it (“Go see the Capitol Schlepps at Or Ami tomorrow night!”) People draw the line between opportunistic and tacky in different places. But one thing I think such a letter does is open the door for folks to think CAT is taking advantage of another theater’s risk-taking and misfortune for their own benefit. Which doesn’t really reflect well on CAT.
I also think the letter was pretty badly timed, given that “Veronica’s Room” – a show that, according to Ms. Berlin posting in this space, is CAT’s first ‘adult advisory’ show – was their next offering. “As an alternative to gay sex and nudity, we offer murder and incest!” Hmmm…
I absolutely agree with Rick that Bruce’s post about it was very well constructed, showing a little bit of ire but ending on a magnanimous note. He refers to Susan H’s review in the T-D, which makes clever use of the LDL controversy in commenting on "Veronica's Room." And I agree with Bruce that it seems very easy for some people to vent their disgust and very nearly impossible for them to express their compassion or even to attempt understanding. This is sad at least and despicable at most.
The biggest irony here might be that reaction to Barksdale’s “edgy” show might have thrown some attention toward CAT’s most “edgy” show to date. If it all results in more contemporary, risk-taking theater in Richmond, bring on the controversy!