No Love Lost

love jerry.JPGThere's been some controversy over a show I reviewed this week, Megan Gogerty's Love Jerry. But before that, there was a censorship controversy over an ad for the show, which Philly.com, the Philadelphia Inquirer's online umbrella, refused to run. Controversy is also built into the show's DNA. Love Jerry is about a pedophile. It's a musical about a pedophile. It asks whether we can forgive and love a pedophile despite what he's done. 

So I answered no, and a crapstorm erupted the likes of which I haven't seen since I trashed Respect: A Musical Journey of Women. Seriously. One might think Nice People Theatre Company (NPTC), producers of this piece (it first appeared at the New York Musical Theatre Festival), would have been prepared for some dissenting opinion. I mean, The Little Mermaid, this ain't. NPTC asked their supporters to comment on my review, which they did with an outpouring of vim and vitriol, then asked the Inquirer to remove the review from Philly.com's website--ironic because, well, you know. The show's admirers (and there appear to be many) accuse me of dismissing the production on principle. I'd argue they're doing the same with my review, and here's why.

I believe this script is fundamentally flawed, that the questions it raises are the wrong questions (and yes, I believe that on this topic there is a clear right and wrong approach) and the answers it suggests are the wrong answers. After all, love, therapy and forgiveness is the same cocktail the Catholic church claims it served up while managing its pedophile priests, and look how successful that's been for the church and its young victims.

Of course Gogerty didn't set out to be an apologist for child abusers, but I do think she mishandles the topic. The film The Woodsman is marginally more successful because by the time it begins, Kevin Bacon's pedophile Walter has already been judged and condemned, has been held personally responsible for his actions (despite whatever his backstory may be), and now must rebuild his life from its ashes. Gogerty presents Jerry as a sympathetic victim, a character who made a forgivable mistake, and that's a huge problem. Were the production elements solid? Sure. Was the script well-crafted? For the most part. Is it useful that NPTC has talkbacks after the show and partnered with CAPE? Amen. Can theater ask tough questions and further the cultural conversation? Hell, yeah. But can I endorse a concept and a musical that I find irresponsible and even dangerous? No way.

The part of this crapstorm that really fouls my airspace is that NPTC and Gogerty claim they wanted this show to be a catalyst for discussion, for "honest open dialogue" on the issue. As it turns out, all they wanted was agreement, and that hurts their cause and their credibility more than any negative review ever could.

Update: Please visit The Clyde Fitch Report for even more on this issue. 
June 9, 2010 1:24 PM | | Comments (23)

23 Comments

I would like to announce up front that I am an actor in Nice People Theatre’s “Love Jerry” production and have been following the reviews, and comments, and blog posts, and twitters around this show, and drama begets drama begets drama. I wrote this in response to a thread found on http://www.clydefitchreport.com/2010/06/pedophile-musical-causes-critical-crapstorm-in-philadelphia/comment-page-1/#comment-16843

The back-and-forth has been interesting dialogue, but Gene’s comment above is the first to really move me into responding. This is the kind of response and dialogue that should be in the foreground. The First Amendment, Safety and Risk and Downright Dangerous art, Theater critics and non-profit companies – all of these discussions and debates are also extremely important if not imperative. But the impetus for sharing “Love Jerry” with Philadelphia is to spark the kind of discussion Gene has had the courage to introduce.

There were many shocking things I learned in the course of working on this play thanks to our partnership with CAPE (Child Abuse Prevention Effort): that 90% of child sexual abuse is someone the child knows: her/his mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, cousin, teacher, neighbor. It is easier to respond to a detached monster – a stranger in a trench-coat; a predator online; a crazy serial-kidnapper than it is to respond to your spouse, your child, your brother, your father – a person you “know well” and love – who is doing these atrocious things. I had no idea that 1 in 3 girls and 1-6 boys are sexually abused in Pennsylvania (and again, 90% of this stark statistic is being carried out by a family member or family friend.) I had no idea that the abusers didn’t usually know that what they are doing is wrong – that a serious relationship and “love” is their motivation, not abuse and torture, and that the children often refer to that time of abuse as a “loving relationship” – sadly long before they are developmentally able to comprehend what that means. I never thought about the fact that abuse is overwhelmingly inter-generational – that a child-target of sexual abuse grows up and has children who the now-grandfather may continue abuse. And I never knew that there is no such thing as a profile for pedophiles – they are men, women, white, black, brown, socio-economically rich, poor, middle-class, educated, uneducated, Christian, atheist, outgoing, shy, former abuse-victims, not-abuse victims, professors, drug dealers, pharmacists, waiters, stay-at-home moms, Admins,politicians, actors, salesmen.

This is the most horrifying thing I learned – sexual abusers are a) Everywhere and b) Everyone. Including people we love and trust. The scenario is: what if one day you found out your spouse/daughter/father was a pedophile? It is a legitimate question to ask because this is 90% of child abuse-cases.

I never before thought about the possibility that you don’t have to forgive someone and can still love them. As it poignantly says in the play: “I’m not asking you to forgive him. I would NEVER ask you to do that.” What he then asks is the crux of the play: can you love me if I am capable of loving someone who has done unspeakable acts and harms to me and my family? The heart of this is that when we love someone, and find out that someone we love has done horrific, evil, unspeakable things – where does that leave us? What are we left with? Hate. Love. Confusion. Humanity.

According to the research that’s what the victims of abuse feel, as well. Is it possible to still love what we cannot forgive?
What I didn’t know before this play is that yes, it is possible. It is possible (and normal) to feel polarizing, different feelings at the same time. It is possible that Love and Forgiveness can possibly be mutually exclusive – when I thought before they had to exist hand-in-hand, and that is liberating. There are a few people in my life that I know I can never forgive, but I still love them so deeply. This play taught me that that orientation is a possibility – not something I should try and “resolve and “make a choice.”
So, if 90% of child-sexual abuse is done by family members, then this is not a favorable stereotype of what we “know” about pedophiles. And if 1 in 3 girls and 1-6 boys are sexually abused by someone they know, love, and trust – most oftentimes a family member – then there is a family-dynamic of the rest of the family involved whose voices have not yet been heard – many, many people are attached to each of this statistic. This play does the community a service by giving a voice to those people who – as the statistics show – are the majority of us. We are either the statistic of sexual-abuse victims or know someone who is abused or an abuser (even if we don’t “know it” yet or know someone who is this. (If we are friends/family with more than 10 people, that is. And I suspect we all are.)

Crystal and Nicole,
Theater people have always complained about bad reviews and they have always pointed out errors and misinterpretations and moments when the critic, to use the most repeated phrase in the history of review-reading, JUST DIDN'T GET IT. They have every right to do so and should continue to, but let's not mistake that discussion for the real news here.

What is new here is that a theater, because of a threatening phone call, asked for a review to be erased. Speech was not answered with more speech. It was answered by an attempt to limit speech. That is entirely different and in my over 12 years of reviewing theater, no one has ever tried this with me. And if they did, i wouldn't be as understanding as Wendy has been.

When religious groups protested Jerry Springer the musical, they didn't demand that the show not get reviewed. And when the Catholic League complained about a review i wrote of Corpus Christi, they wrote letters to the editor and complained to the Public Editor. Which is their right. They didn't demand that the article get pulled from the website. Believe it or not, you are defending something that is much more extreme and you need to address that issue. The real one.

Tell us please: Does a threatening phone call justify censoring a review? You do not need to see this show to have an opinion about this. It's a question of free speech. I know where i draw the line. Where do you?

Crystal, we contacted Wendy's editor at her suggestion.

Again, I must disagree with you. I feel you have the ability to prove your point about choice without blatantly disrespecting the production. Just because I know what Rosebud means doesn't mean I want to ruin Citizen Kane for everyone else in the world that hasn't seen it.

I also disagree that you didn't feel challenged by this show, or else you wouldn't feel the need to defend your position so strongly. Now, I'm assuming here, but it seems like the problem begins in answering your three questions. What is the play's goal? To ask a question. Whether or not it is a question you want to consider answering is up to you. Even if you feel it is utterly worthless, you are entitled to your opinion. You are welcome to live in a society that vilifies people who want to sexually abuse children. I would rather not live in a society that includes people who want to sexually abuse children. By walking away from the question, the possibility that we might learn ways to stop things like this from ever happening are never explored, and that is far more terrifying to me than anything presented in the play.

I do apologize for not knowing the full story of NPTC’s request. I will keep my comments reserved for the play and your review from now on.

Actually, NPTC contacted both my editor and me.

And I do mention in the review and elsewhere several examples of shows that I believe deal with the same issue in a more effective way. As for giving away the plot point, as I mentioned before it just seemed really obvious to me, not a surprise at all, but also, I couldn't really highlight Jerry's choice--or emphasize that this is indeed a choice, as Gogerty's own play illustrates--without it.

It's great that you felt challenged and inspired by the show. I didn't, and that's the way it goes. My capsule review, written the same day as the full review says this: "Love Jerry: (Nice People Theatre Company) If you want to know why pedophiles do what they do, and hear one sing about it, this is your show. If not, I’m with you." I still stand by those words.

I will begin by saying that I am NOT affiliated with NPT, and I did see the play, which sadly is more than I can say for many people throwing their opinions out here in internetland...

So, Wendy, let me understand. Someone from NPT called & asked you, not your editors, to take down the review because they were scared of someone they believe misinterpreted their play because of your review, and you said no. That is perfectly understandable, and well within your rights as a journalist.

I get it. You didn't like the play because you're a parent. I also get that you feel insulted because they asked you to take down your piece. Your opinion, which you have repeated several times is that "it engages in a moral relativism that allows the audience to see molesting an 8-year-old nephew as a forgivable offense right alongside--as the commenters argue--marital infidelity, alcoholism and cheating on a test."

But those commenters are wrong, and so are you.

I could watch this show again to be sure, but neither I nor my companions felt there was any indication of this play showing molestation as a forgivable offense. This was a painfully honest rendition of a human being, one who obviously, to use Philly.com's suggestion, "did a bad thing.” This was a horribly uncomfortable show to watch, because it does bring up very serious questions about relativism and the psychology of abuse, but it was certainly not presented because anyone wishes to condone this act or that mentality. Discussion and exploration of horrible things should happen because rational human beings want to find out why such things occur and try to make sure they never happen again. To dismiss it as completely as you have is, in my opinion, seriously irresponsible as a journalist. To deny that your review has not dismissed the play is horribly puerile. I don’t expect at this point that you would possibly reconsider your opinion, but then again, what would be the point? How many people on any of the other websites talking about this drama surrounding your review have never seen the play, nor will because they feel that you obviously know better than they how the mind of the playwright works, and why this play was written?

Presenting your opinion as a journalist and a critic is one thing. The problem occurs when you confuse presentation with justification. This is a play about a person, and the real question of the play is whether or not you can deal with the person, not a characture. Does it make a difference what happened to him as a child? Does it matter that he seems to genuinely repent his actions and wants to make amends? Did you really have to give away one of the pivotal plot points in the second bloody paragraph of your review?

The point of good theater is to engage the audience in thought and words, and this was good theater. Sadly, you just didn’t get it.

Thanks, Jason. And just as you suspect, I totally hated Happiness.

Wendy,
This is really maddening. I would need to see this play to form an opinion on it, and to be honest, i suspect that i might disagree with your review since i thought that, say, Happiness was a very good movie. BUT your review was fair and honest and i think every person who cares about the theater (not just a free press) should fight for your right to express your opinion.

If you mount a show about pedophilia, expect some crazy people to get upset, and when you get one threatening phone call (hardly unusual for a controversial show), you do not ask the press to shut up. And please, don't say the cause was that she misrepresented the play when you have no idea what is in the head of this caller.

I would ask everyone involved to imagine the precedent this would set? Should we be at the whims of every crazy person with a phone? And let's say this crazy person sees the show and still finds it horrible. Should the theater for security reasons shut down the run? Of course not. We should fight for the right of artists for free expression just as we should be angry that anyone would question this critic's right to a passionate opinion, even, maybe especially, if we disagree with it. If there's a factual error, that's one thing. But a critic also has a right to her own interpretation, and there's nothing wrong with taking a moral stand about a show. I actually wish more critics did this.

Wendy, the truth is, these people should be thanking you. All the talk backs in the world will not start a conversation like this will. And in the current climate where coverage of the theater is shrinking everywhere, the fact that people are trying to erase reviews is absolutely amazing. I am impressed by your patience, civility and calm in responding. Well done.

best,
Jason Zinoman


Wendy, I'm with you 100%. Not because I agree or disagree, necessarily, with the content of your review. Rather, because Nice has no business trying to have your review taken down. I don't care what an artistic director or a playwright or anyone else says. That's fooling with a free press and that's disgusting. Shame on them.

I have written a response at the Clyde Fitch Report: http://www.clydefitchreport.com/?p=7092.

Sincerely,

Leonard Jacobs

I should start with my own disclosure - I'm a member of the board of directors of the Nice People Theatre Company, and I'm fortunate to call both Nicole and Miriam (the other artistic co-director) my friends. I've been reading the posts on philly.com and your blog for several days, but I didn't feel it was appropriate to post myself due to my relationship with the company. Against my better judgement, perhaps, I've decided to write something. I don't have any objection to you not liking the piece or its premise. Nor do I have any objection to you expressing those opinions in your review. Obviously, it's controversial material, and everyone is entitled to their own view. What does trouble me, however, is the manner in which you expressed those opinions. Quite frankly, I found the review somewhat irresponsible. You exposed the "surprise" in the piece early in your review. While you may have found it obvious, I doubt everyone in attendance did. Further, you KNEW from the talk-back following Friday night's performance that this point was intended to be a surprise. So why would you choose to include it in the review? I can't say that I read many theatre reviews, but I do read a lot of movie reviews. I've never known Manohla Dargis to expose a plot twist in a movie, however much she disliked the film. And I don't understand why you would deprive the audience (or at least those members that aren't as quick as you) of the experience. Again, I don't know much about theatre reviews, but I wouldn't think that is part of the job. Second, if you view an open dialogue about difficult issues as an important part of theatre, then why would you effectively quash that dialogue by essentially telling your readers not to see the piece? Agree or disagree with the premise of Love Jerry, we're still talking about it. And you and I both saw this piece almost a week ago. Isn't that what good theatre is supposed to do? Isn't this exactly the type of work that we should want people to go see? Again, I understand that you hated the premise and I understand your objections to Jerry's portrayal. I'm fairly confident that you're not alone in those. But I would have hoped that a professional like yourself would have presented those views differently in the review. I think you would agree that this was a carefully crafted, well-produced piece. And unlike a lot of theatre, it's pushed A LOT of buttons. It seems to me that theatre patrons in this town should have the right to make up their own minds about Love Jerry - it's just that kind of piece. So I guess it wouldn't have hurt to acknowledge some of those points in your initial review (to your credit, you do mention them in this blogpost; unfortunately, I doubt this will be read by many of the your Inquirer readers) alongside your strong views of Love Jerry's premise. I do know that a lot of time and energy went into presenting this piece responsibly and sensitively - the involvement of CAPE speaks loud and clear to that point. And I would have liked folks to have had the opportunity to make up their own minds about Love Jerry. Sure they still do have that opportunity, but I fear your review has adversely affected the experience - not because you didn't like the performance (you're obviously entitled not to like it and to print that for all the Inquirer's readers to see), but for the reasons previously noted in this comment.

P.S. I wouldn't have used my name as my username if I wanted to stay anonymous. I was very happy for everyone to know that it was me commenting. I'm Bayla Rubin, I'm the stage manager for Love Jerry. I was happy for you to know that. That's why my username was baylarubin.

P.S. I wouldn't have used my name as my username if I wanted to stay anonymous. I was very happy for everyone to know that it was me commenting. I'm Bayla Rubin, I'm the stage manager for Love Jerry. I was happy for you to know that. That's why my username was baylarubin.

Quite alarming here to suggest that press opinion is more important than an individual's safety. Let's not hope for the worst, but if that person had actually shown up with a gun, we would have a different conversation. Please let's swallow our pride, forget emotions, and react with reason.

Whatever you think might help your theatre, Nicole, or even the safety of its members, is not a reason to ask Wendy to remove her review. When you stage a play, you ask for it to be covered and reviewed. You should have foreseen the possibilities when you chose to stage the play -- which of course you have the absolute right to do. Both parties are using their freedom of expression.

Just FYI, I'm a freelancer, which means I'm not in the building, I'm in my house or at Starbucks. Always have been, even when I wrote that serial killer story.

ok i know i said i wouldn't comment anymore but i feel compelled to note the following two things:

1. Yes, I am a young girl - or woman, whatever. - the point is - if someone came into the theatre angry about a misunderstanding - i'm not much able to defend myself and have no security. and i never said we were surprised about dissenting opinion - we were surprised at your misrepresentation of the play.

2. I'm glad that you believe everything you read. The president of philly.com told the editor of Editor and Publisher a story that served his needs of saving face for his paper. What really happened is not that. You can believe what you want but when he called me to offer a 'solution' - that 'solution' was to put a banner on top of the ad that read 'Nice People Theatre Company Presents" - this was never a problem with us - this was something we had discussed doing with the original ad rep. And i NEVER told him we refused his 'solution' because we were getting so much publicity. that's just crazy. i told him that even if i wanted to, i couldn't place the ad because the only $800 we had budgeted for advertising had now been allocated to CAPE if we met our challenge that we put out. maybe you should walk over to the advertising department and ask him yourself. His 'solution' also ignores the fact that the issue they had was with the word 'pedophile' and they asked us to change it to 'this is jerry. jerry did a bad thing. can you love jerry'. like people who might see it are 3 years old. So I'd very much appreciate if you would rescind what you said about 'false premise' because one thing I have not done is lie about anything.

Sorry Nicole, my daughter's a young girl, not you or your partner. You're grown women who willingly signed on to tackle a grownup and immensely unpleasant topic. I just can't believe you're so surprised there's some dissenting opinion.

And here's the full story on the ad: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Headlines/did-philly-com-%E2%80%98ban%E2%80%99-a-theatre-ad-not-really-but-it-sure-generated-publicity-61549-.aspx

Nicole and Larry: if it ain't a crapstorm, it sure is muddy, particularly when you've got people like the show's stage manager commenting but never identifying herself as such. However, I agree with you that passionate public discussion happens too rarely. I only wish those involved with this production cared enough to get this sort of discussion going online about shows they aren't directly involved in. And p.s., it's okay to comment if you agree or disagree with a positive review too!

I want you to know I walked into that theater with a completely open mind, and was looking forward to what sounded like a pretty compelling evening--even said so beforehand--from a company I've championed in the past, so don't sell me short. Just because the choir is singing your song, it doesn't mean there aren't other songs out there; some people, perhaps because of their involvement in the theater community, perhaps for other reasons, feel more comfortable sending me an e-mail than posting online.

But getting back to the real onstage issues, what disturbs me most about the message board comments is exactly what disturbed me most about the play: it engages in a moral relativism that allows the audience to see molesting an 8-year-old nephew as a forgivable offense right alongside--as the commenters argue--marital infidelity, alcoholism and cheating on a test. And don't even get me started on the messages underlying Jerry's blind date with Sheila. Perhaps there's some darkness missing from this production, a viciousness absent from Jerry's character that might have made Gogerty's argument more palatable. My point is, asking an audience to understand Jerry's motivation starts the play on a slippery slope, and to my mind (and judging by the conclusions reached by some of its defenders), this production unintentionally facilitates the downward slide.

Anna, The man who called had not seen the play - Wendy's review gave him incorrect conclusions that we were "making money off of children who had been abused and condoning pedophelia" - his words, not mine. And that is what he was upset about. Not the premise of the play which is not that. It was Wendy's review that lead him to think that incorrectly. So I thought it was dangerously misleading.

Larry is right that the 'crapstorm' is a tribute to those who feel passionately enough to write in about what they saw and how they see it. And not one who has seen the show is in agreement thus far with Wendy who I believe did not watch or listen to the show and had shut herself out of the message and plot points completely before entering the theatre.

And you are right - in fact, no one leaves our theatre whistling...it's not that kind of musical. But then, I guess you'd know that if you saw it. And I don't have a sister.

And that concludes my responses from here on out because I have things to do - and great theatre to keep making.


So... Nicole...

You claim that a man called threatening you regarding the controversial play that you're doing, and your immediate conclusion was that the only clear path to safety was to have a review ABOUT that play taken down from the web?

Riiiiiiiiight.

So, by this logic, I assume you'd agree that all BP needs to do to remove the threat of the oil spill is just to delete all negative references to it from the internet?

I'm not saying don't do the play. Do whatever you like. But don't silence your critics under the guise of claiming that the reason it got flak from an abuse survivor was because of a REVIEW.

If it got flak, it got flak because of the subject matter, which, no matter how bouncy your time signature, remains forever and always at the bottom of the human cesspit of moral degradation.

Not everyone leaves your theater whistling, sister.

Like Nichole, in the interest of full disclosure I want to say up front that I have a connection with NPTC; I am on their board of directors and have done occasional reading for the company. I am also a playwright, dramaturg, and a passionate theater goer and theater educator. I wasn't at opening and did not see the performance Wendy saw, nor do I in any way dispute her right to call it as she sees it. I do, however, want to suggest that characterizing the reader response as a "crapstorm" devalues the idea that the people who feel strongly and post their feelings here and on the Philly.com site might, in fact, really have passion on the subject of this play. This, it seems to me, is worth honoring.

Theater that creates reactions and is alive and urges toward something greater than simple passive reception of entertainment is brave, especially in our moment when so much theater seems absurdly unnecessary to its audience. Like "Love Jerry" or hate it, the evidence in the response is not that a theater company rallied its friends to hurl brickbats at a critic. Far fewer folks would post on these sites if they were not deeply engaged by this. This is not a crapstorm. People, friends or not of the theater, are writing passionately about their experience of a play. Let's not be glib about that. It happens way too rarely.

There is something else that has gotten lost in the aftermath of the various controversies and the review. Serious artists with a serious intentions put up a difficult work that does the job it set out to do, and does it well and beautifully. Love or hate its themes and characters, those things creep us out or illuminate our fears because the production is as good as it is. This play talks directly about things that scare us. But it is simply no different in form than the cautionary lessons that are embedded in fairy tales, where witches lead children to their doom in the woods. We are asked to engage with the danger at the same time we are being given room to learn from it, to distance ourselves from it. Where the antique social orders disallowed direct talk about human darkness, modern theater allows for -- encourages -- this direct approach. The play I saw was subtly and smartly directed, and did the work the playwright wanted, and the cast achieved their purpose of making these characters feel real enough that despite her disdain for them and her discomfort with what she saw in the play's treatment of its main character, Wendy testified by way of her review to the play's power. The play got to her and creeped her out, exactly, I would argue, as the playwright intended. I don't think Gogarty really wants anyone to love Jerry. Or forgive him. The understanding the play asks for has no implications for the events that unfold in the world of the play. In fact, I think that while this play pretends structurally to seek sympathy for Jerry, it never really delivers, never really gives the audience a false note of hope for him, never sentimentalizes him -- and that is by intention. There is no moment of redemption, and despite the implied question in the title, really no suggestions that loving Jerry is or ought to be the outcome of the revelations about him. We are merely witnesses to terrible events which, as the play unfolds, we come to understand from several perspectives. How we respond to that understanding in our own lives is another matter entirely.

We never called it a 'censorship discount' and why do you call it a false premise? Philly.com refused our ad because they didn't like the word pedophile - nothing false about that. And yes - one angry phone call from a man talking about guns does scare me. I'm not a news organization with a security guard at the door. I'm a young girl with my partner who is another young girl, at a box office at a not-so-nice block at 7th and spring garden four blocks from where a lovely young lady was just murdered in front of her house. And it's not the premise of my show that had this guy riled up. It's the false conclusion he drew from your review that we were 'condoning pedophelia and making money off of children who had been abused' - his words, not mine. I was shaking when I got off the phone with him. I answered the phone thinking it was someone calling for tickets and hung up feeling that I needed to do something to protect myself and my cast and crew - that is my job is to make sure they all feel safe in their jobs. The show in no way shape or form 'forgives' or 'condones' pedophelia. What person in their right mind would do that? What organization dedicated to fighting child abuse would endorse that? And how on earth would a show like that go on to receive several productions, awards, and accolades? That is why we are saying you missed the point. The show serves the opposite purpose in a productive, responsible, and theatrical way. Period. The child's voice is represented. It doesn't need to be any further expanded upon - there are plenty of plays that present that perspective, not to mention, we all know the harm done to the child. The focus is on the LONG-TERM effects - hence the effects from the perspective of an 'Andy' who has grown up. It gets down to the root of the person and the problem. Megan researched this play to death. She spent enormous amounts of time with abusers and experts alike. Her play is true to life.

I have no argument with your interpretation of the script--it just isn't mine.

However, you sold tickets and offered a "censorship discount" based on the false premise that Philly.com was keeping your ad off the site. You don't see the irony here? One angry phone call and suddenly censorship is the solution? Please. Welcome to the wonderful world of journalism, girlfriend. I once wrote an article (for Philly Weekly) about a potential W. Philly serial killer and the lack of effort the Philly Police put into the investigation. You wanna talk scary phone calls? And guess what? We ran the story.

Hi Wendy and Readers, NPTC's co-artistic director, Nicole, here - for full disclosure. I would like to point out two things: 1. NEVER does the show ask for his forgiveness. This continues to be your misrepresentation of the play. 2. So everyone knows - we didn't ask Wendy to take down the review because we didn't like it - we asked her to take it down because we received a threatening phone call from a man who read her review, had had an abusive past, had drawn the conclusion that we were "making money off of children who had been abused" and mentioned that he didn't own a gun because he doesn't know what he would do if he had one. So naturally, we were a little frightened and thought her review and the false-conclusions it gives could be actually dangerous.

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