October 29, 2013
Letter to the Editor
Re: “’Big Love’ is a big disappointment” by Lindsay Adams
To Whom It May Concern:
Lindsay Adams’s review of Big Love is not only unfair, but also inaccurate. By way of introduction, I graduated from the UMKC Theatre Department with my Master of Arts in Theatre in 2012 and am now a PhD Student at the University of Kansas.
Charles Mee was raised in the Midwest, in Illinois. Mee graduated from Harvard and went on to be a successful theatre artist in New York City. His career of 50+ plays includes a wide range of stories adapted from Greek and Roman myths, works by Shakespeare, as well as varied other source materials. Big Love specifically, is based on Aeschylus’s The Suppliants, which Adams fails to mention. Nor does she mention that Big Love a part of the (re)making project (Google it).
Two minutes worth of researching would turn up information guiding the reader to recognize the unique nature of Mee’s writing. It is the responsibility of the reviewer to do research. If Adams were to even Wikipedia Mee or Big Love perhaps she would have garnered some credibility for being a knowledgeable reviewer. Even a reviewer for the New York Times said this in the 2001 review, “Better to let ‘Big Love’ just happen to you. Read background material, some written by the playwright, Charles L. Mee, later.” Not all theatre is easy, not all theatre is palatable – sometimes it requires a little effort.
Research and playwright aside – if a performance is bad, then a performance is bad. But having attended this production myself, I can assure you that this performance was not bad. It was not “random” or “pointless” and it is absolutely “funny” and “intelligent.” UMKC Theatre has well-known and talented faculty and their program pulls students/actors from across the nation from New York to California to study there.
Lastly, The Comedy of Asses, which Adams cites was not last year, but in the fall of 2011 and is hardly comparable, in any way, to Big Love.