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Critiquing the critic

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor:

My name is Jim McNulty, and I directed the current production of "A Shot in the Dark" at the Heights Players. Paulanne Simmons wrote the review, which was published April 8.

The review ends by saying it is "a good entertaining farce that will lift your spirits in troubled times. Put down the newspaper, turn off your TVs and enjoy yourself."

This would be very nice if she didn’t take the time to put down a man who gave a fine performance. Paulanne has some personal vendetta against Jeff Carpenter. As a reviewer, she is supposed to look at each performance objectively. She is unable or unwilling to do this.

She goes to great lengths to point out that the character of Morestan, played by Frank Guerrasio, carries the comedy in their scenes. Somehow she missed the fact that Morestan is a minor character and that 90 percent of what happens in the play is between Paul and Josefa. She writes glowingly of Tom Weyburn and Marie Gay Thomas, pointing out that they are a perfect couple, but they never appear on stage together. She must have been napping when they first appear on stage together and have what I think is a very funny and important scene.

I could go on, but I think that you get my drift. Paulanne is entitled to her opinion as a reviewer but not when she is unable to look at a piece objectively.

Just in case you think that I am just another community theater wannabe: I am a member of both Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild. (In fact I shot an episode of "Max Bickford" this past Monday.) I have directed many plays and I have received both good and bad notices. I am aware that it comes with the territory but not when the outcome is predetermined.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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