Deb Karner
via Internet

Past and Present
I've got no beef with Lee Williams's comments on the Great Caruso production of The Fantasticks, but I think your reviewer went overboard in savaging the play itself.

Lee, if you're going to carp about a plot in which the hero is callow and easily disillusioned by the evil in the world, and in which the heroine has no dreams more risque than going to town to have her fortune told, then why not just write off the entire body of American musical theater before, say, 1970? If you want to pretend the musical was written this year and criticize the heroine for falling for her abductor on political correctness grounds, then you ought to give the playwrights credit for describing a case of "Stockholm Syndrome."

And since the point frequently needs clarifying with this musical, the term "rape" in Fantasticks is used in the sense of the Rape of the Sabine Women -- an abduction, not an assault.

Richard Polunsky
via Internet

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