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Theater reviewer 'doesn't get it'

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I would like to review Mr. Webb's review of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (Performing Arts, "'Frank' discussion, Sept. 29, Gazette). It was the most review-less of any review I have ever read. Unless you call a collection of bored, pretentious ramblings a review. He displays a staggering ignorance of what a stage performance is all about. He whines about muddled accents while breathlessly speaking of performances that "excel" or are "natural and understated."

Mr. Webb just doesn't get it.

The point of any performance is to tell a story, effectively, without demanding the audience wade through a foreign accent. If Mr. Webb wants to hear perfect accents, he should visit a Hispanic grocery store. Or take a trip. Far away.

And that's not all.

Mr. Webb agonizes about the alleged suffering of the cat for 10 minutes in his air-conditioned, oversized basket with food inside, but didn't spell his name right. (I guess it's hard to read large print when you're half-asleep.) I suggest Mr. Webb leave his cat at home when he takes that trip. Far away.

But his so-called review doesn't stop there.

The music from "Schindler's List" was too good for this performance, he concludes. Perhaps he was thinking of a tune he heard once, in a lullaby, back in Kansas.

Apparently, when the audience left with tears in their eyes, Mr. Webb was cleaning his glasses. Probably got smudged while he was sleeping. Was he being paid for this?

In the interests of full disclosure, I was a participant in this play, my first. I was impressed with every member of the cast from the first rehearsal, and the powerful and sensitive way this gut-wrenching story was being told.

This is a story that needs to be told. Too many say it never happened. But it did happen. Her diary proves it.

I played one of four soldiers at the end who screams and bullies this helpless family toward the death camps that awaited them. Not an easy thing to do, unless you were part of the Stanford Prison Experiment. I guess our performance was all right. He didn't mention it.

"Jim Gabe
Midwest City

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