I didn't expect Hamlet or Amadeus when I went to see this play the first time. However, I do expect that a hit of this magnitude at least measures up to Neil Simon's worst work. Which it does not.
Obviously, I need to get a few items off my chest:
1. Paula Abdul can't sing.
2. Jackie Collins tells a good story but writes like she's semi-literate.
3. Home Alone is boring.
4. Beau Jest offers heapings of fluff with no bite or wit.
5. The Emperor, more and more these days, has no clothes.
Until we admit the truth A that popular culture now descends to deeper, almost incredibly subterranean layers of trash, to a lowest common denominator best suited to inbred hillbillies, there's no way society can rise up to any sort of renaissance in the near future. Curse at me all you want, but face the facts: Nunsense II? Super Mario Brothers? Basic Instinct? Guilty As Sin? Judith Krantz novels (pick any one)? South Beach? Route 66 (again)?
Jump off the Woolworth building if you want. I'll just sit here eternally optimistic, waiting for the real thing to return.
Speaking of Coconut Grove, the marketing team of Mark Sylvester and Savannah Whaley assure me they knew nothing about the Surf Theatre owner Frederick R. Von Langen's plan to sell Grove tickets in a subscription package that includes "a national brand, nutritionally safe, weight control program with complete vitamin-mineral supplementation" for only $1239.95 per year. They heard about it for the first time in my column, and frankly, they were not amused. Sylvester is looking into the whole mess before he takes some sort of appropriate action, undecided as of this writing.
The Theatre League of South Florida announces that it's gaining solid ground. Started in November 1991 as a series of monthly meetings among theater professionals, the League has adopted bylaws and begun the process for incorporation as a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting and protecting the interests of theater and its artists in Dade, Monroe, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. On June 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Playhouse (3500 Main Hwy.), the League will elect officers and board members to steer it through the next year. Individuals and organizations interested in becoming members, as well as the general public, are invited to attend. For more information, call Barry Steinman at 547-5414, extension 226.
Finally, the intriguing potpourri of plays being presented this week by the eighth International Hispanic Theatre Festival are contained in the "Theater Listings," and over the next two weeks, I will be reviewing the highlights.