In last week's Village Voice--the very same issue, in fact, as my own more respectful thumbs- down of Mr. LaB's In a Dark Dark House--ran this slightly more, uh, unguarded? take by James Hannaham on a one-act by said dramatist in the latest E.S.T. marathon.
Things We Said Today, by hateful Neil LaBute.
Tired idea #547: Draw parallel between "us" and characters from Greek drama, using extreme violence as "proof." Dana Delany fights to lend credible emotional arc to scene in which wife's discovery of husband's years of infidelity with sister leads her to abort own fetus w/ handy steak knife in crowded restaurant. Would that LaBute's mom had done same. Fact that people won't ignore LaBute better evidence that humanity sucks than his stupid plays.
Well turns out playwright reads the Voice. Hence, this week...
Re James Hannaham's "The Five Spot [June 13-19]: I'm usually very tactful in my letters to critics, but very few of them talk shit about my mother--pleasebe kind enough to tell Hannaham that he's a pussy and that if my mom doesn't drive to New York and wash his mouth out with soap, kick his ass, and laugh in his fucking face over his pathetic I-wish-I-was-a-playwright review, I just might. Thanks for delivering the message--you folks are really doing terrific work, keep it up.As for that "keep up the good work," perhaps he's picking up from another letter just last fall...
Los Angeles, California
Please pass along my thanks to Michael Feingold for almost reviewing Wrecks ["Unnecessary Evils," October 25–31]. I'm sorry that he didn't enjoy it any more than he did, and I hope he enjoys the next play a bit more (it has "jerks" and "twists," so he should, as it takes one to know one). As for me, I'll wait happily to see his next translation/adaptation of a more suitable play for the New York theatergoing public.Now I feel insulted he hasn't puffed his chest at out at me, too. I'll have to be meaner next time.Neil LaButeLos Angeles, California
Nice how the letters all come from LA.
Note: No link as of yet on the 1st letter, so I just typed it in from the print ed. Don't know what's up at villagevoice.com this last week, but as you may notice many pages--including theatre--have not been updated. Including my latest review! But I'm on that.