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The Foundling Review Too Venomous

I take great offense at the unnecessarily negative and insulting review of the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players' production of my operetta, The Foundling, which was written by Jonathan Richmond ["Student-written Foundling yearns for editing," Feb. 4]. I would be sadly remiss if I did not respond to it on behalf of my colleagues and friends. A large number of people made extraordinary efforts in producing this show. On that basis alone, even if the production were as miserable as he would have his readers believe, it would deserve better treatment than the pounding he gave it.

This is not to say that The Foundling is a flawless masterpiece. Some of Richmond's criticisms, if the venom were removed, have merit.

I don't pretend, either, that the performance is spotless. The performers are students and amateurs, and they do sometimes misinterpret a line or play out of tune. And I am perfectly aware of every gesture of mine on the podium that doesn't work. Still, the production isn't that bad, especially, if one considers -- as a reviewer for The Tech should -- that this company has mounted a very large, totally unfamiliar show in a very short time in a very inconvenient performing space. There is enough good singing, playing, and acting to go around; judged by an appropriate standard, this show holds its own among any of the stage productions that I have seen at MIT in recent years.

I was told that Richmond is personally attached to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Perhaps this is why he feels entitled to slam the authors and performers of an original work that comes out of that tradition. If this is the case, then I suggest that he not cover future MIT GS&P productions. As a reviewer, he is entitled to his opinions, but he should be responsible enough to keep his emotions separate from his critical faculties, at least in print. There is simply no call for the arrogant rudeness displayed in his review.

Robert J. Weingart