Thursday, July 3, 2008

The real Odd Couple

Posted By on Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 12:00 AM

We must be in some sort of theatrical bizarro-world when Broadway Across America announces an innovative, exciting season -- and the Vexler does exactly the opposite. Yes, the same company that brought us last season's The Rimers of Eldritch and Metamorphoses turns back the clock for some truly retrograde programming. The Vexler starts off with Neil Simon's Odd Couple (does anything scream 'overdone amateur theater' more than the Odd Couple?); continues with Mark Medoff's 1980 opus Children of a Lesser God (a tolerable choice, though one suspects fond memories of the film helped in the selection); chases this with a revival of 2001's Noises Off (just what San Antonio needs: another theater dedicated to reviving its own productions); and, appalling to say, ends with a revue of selections from previous Vexler musicals. With that last choice, the Vexler now joins the ranks of all its lesser San Antonio brethren in producing plot-less entertainments for mass consumption. The Muse weeps.

The thing is, Ken Frazier has proved himself a shrewd, and occasionally surprising, selector of plays in seasons past (does anybody remember Helen Edmundson's The Clearing from six or seven years ago? That production rocked.) With the current season, however, the Vexler has taken a giant step backward -- and how vexing is that?



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