You guys sent a Janet Hopf to review my one-man self-written play, Not as Cute as Picture, currently running at the District of Columbia Arts Center. In her “review” (Curtain Calls, 6/14), Hopf remarked that I play “closeted gays and all straight people…with contempt.”
I believe, as scores of others who have seen the play believe, that Hopf was way, way off the mark when she made that statement. I feel it so strongly, in fact, that I called her up to talk about it.
During our phone chat, I reminded her of one of my characters, Howard, a retired (and straight) man who laments his daughter’s up and going to Israel to “find herself.” He doesn’t understand all this “searching and constant unhappiness with life” his daughter experiences. “Wasn’t he played with compassion?” I asked Hopf. “Wasn’t there some real humanity there?”
There was a beat, a silence on the other end of the phone.
“Yes,” Hopf replied. “There was some real humanity with that character. You did play him with compassion.”
I asked Hopf why this observation was passed over in her “review.”
“I can’t put all the nice things I see in a play in every review I write” was her answer.
Well, obviously she cannot. She is a “critic,” after all. But is she not required, in some small way, to be honest about her opinions?
She admits that there is a straight character in my play who was played with compassion, not contempt. Yet she submits as her final draft to you a “review” that accuses me of having contempt for my straight characters.
Perhaps it is time you sent a more responsible theater critic to come see my show before it closes on the 30th.