The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 69.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Musical Theatre Guild review needlessly harsh

I was disappointed with The Tech's review of the Musical Theatre Guild's production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum ["Musical Theatre Guild's weak Forum is far from funny," May 9]. I was not disappointed with the fact that the reviewer did not enjoy the production. I was disappointed with the vicious and unrelenting spirit in which the review was rendered. I saw the production this past weekend and I enjoyed it very much. I was not alone.

The reviewer meticulously detailed what she thought were poorly executed components of the musical. Point after point highlighted a weakness, a flaw, a shortcoming. The review provided a thesaurus of unflattering adjectives: "lackluster," "simpering," "undistinguished," "insipid," and the accurate but ironically biting "amateurish." For every seemingly positive comment there was a negative one to undercut it: "passable if lacking strength," "amusing, but ... unremarkable," "adequate but undistinguished." The reviewer even projected limitations on the next production from the Musical Theatre Guild. She did, however, mention a couple of characters she thought were "worth watching."

What The Tech's reviewer failed to mention was how much the audience did enjoy the show: the clapping and cheering during and after the performance, the countless instances of good humor and warm feeling, the sustained giggles which cut into the next scene. Some even gave the performers a standing ovation to demonstrate how much they appreciated and enjoyed the production. The performance was by no means perfect, but the production was successful in its primary endeavor: to put on a show for fun. And many of us, the performers as well as the audience members, had fun.

As a community we need to join together in a spirit of critical affirmation, honestly critiquing each other so that we become better, strive harder and contribute more to a community that we know is encouraging us to do our best and which appreciates our efforts. The Tech's review gave all of the criticism with none of the affirmation that is absolutely essential for productive interaction between artist and audience bound by community.

N. Charles Thomas->

Admissions Office->

This guy is not listed in the directory. But I don't think it matters much for this letter.