From the Archives: Easily the best bad review I’ve ever gotten.

Sent to the Woodward Shakespeare Festival (WSF) one whole year after I directed The Merchant of Venice there. I came across it in my archives today and it made me crack up. – Heather

Written to WSF through the contact form on their website and forwarded to me by the darling Laura Vogt, who “just didn’t know where to begin”. . .

June 24, 2011:

There is no place to give reviews, so I am going to use this space here. Last year, I took my children and four children of my friends’ to see The Merchant of Venice. It was the most horrible experience because the actors kept kissing on the stage. It is just absolutely disgusting for the children to see live performances with sexual connotations. I am not a strict nor religious person, but enough is enough. I have been a patron of the Shakespeare theatres at Woodward Park for a few years and I have to say that The Merchant of Venice by far is the worst live performances. The children thought that it should be rated R for all these obsessive kissings. I am afraid to even attend the Romeo & Juliet performance this year. My question to you is : During Shakespearean times, all the actors were MEN – Shakespeare wrote his plays with that in mind and so how come so much kissing/physical contacts in Shakespeare’s plays TODAY between a man and a woman? Shame on you! Bard would NOT have approved.

~A****a K**g

Yes, she held onto this for a year. And she’s absolutely correct: All of the murder, witchcraft, patricide, regicide, fratricide, suicide, bigotry, and dick jokes are not the problem. The kissing is. I am ashamed.



  1. That’s the US for you. Do whatever kind of violence you like to the characters but G-d forbid they kiss.

    1. Oh, yeah, exactly. I remember saying at the time, “Nearly carving out a man’s heart while he’s alive had no affect on her, but the kissing. . . the kissing. . . ” Ugh.

  2. What always gets me is the absolute outrage with which such judgments are pronounced. How dar you! 🙂

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