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Randy Lewis

Shakespeare? You Can Just Take That Bard and Shove It : These Grove guys oughta think about doing some more musicals or real good shows like they have over at the Crystal Cathedral or down in Laguna Beach.

June 26, 1988|Randy Lewis

Dadgummit, it's about time. This week some of the boys over on the Garden Grove City Council decided to pull the rug out from under that Grove Theatre Company--the bunch of deadbeats who put on those goofy Shakespeare plays and other uppity malarky every year--by not givin' them a plugged nickel of the city's money this year.

Not a blasted minute too soon, I say.

Why, those Grove people have been tapping the city's till for years just to do all that highfalutin stuff that they used to try to make us read in high school but that only put me to sleep. No wonder it took me five years to get through.

And they was asking for the city to kick in something like $80,000 to help 'em do it too.

But finally someone got the gumption to pull the reins in on those freeloaders. We can all thank three guys who decided to just say no to this so-called high culture. It was the mayor, Mr. J. Tilman Williams, and councilmen Ray Littrell and Bob Dinsen that wouldn't buckle under to those two lily-livers Milt Krieger and Walt Donovan, who voted for the handout.

Those bleeding hearts actually wanted to dole out the taxpayer's money to this good-for-nothin' outfit instead of doing somethin' useful with the city's money--like restripin' some parking lots.

I been wonderin' how long it was gonna take somebody in City Hall to wise up to the scam they got goin' over there at that Grove.

I mean, they're actually paying guys to dress up in those girlie leotards and get up on stage like blamed sissies, saying things like, "For that I know an idiot holds his bauble for a god" and "Either thou art most ignorant by age or thou wert born a fool."

Heck, they can't even talk right.

I don't think it makes a hill of beans' difference whether the city has $45 million to spend on other stuff, either. It's the principle.

Good ol' Ray Littrell knows it. He's the council member who I read about in the paper callin' a spade a spade. He told the truth how these Grove guys ain't doing anything the hard-hats in Garden Grove really want to see and that instead of this Shakespeare stuff they do every summer, they oughta think about doing some more musicals or real good shows like they have at the Crystal Cathedral, or down in Laguna Beach for that pageant where people dress up and hold still and pretend like they're famous art paintings.

Bob Dinsen is another clear-thinkin' council member who sided up with Ray, and he talks a lot of sense too. He said he thinks all theaters should pay their own way and wonders, "Why should my next-door neighbor, who never goes to any of these plays, have to put in money towards them?"

Damn right, Bob.

The mayor--Mr. Williams--had been kinda pussyfootin' around makin' up his mind. But he finally came in line with Ray and Bob once he heard about the kinda shows they mostly do there. Not just that summer Shakespeare stuff, but other plays by guys named Harold Pinter and Dylan Thomas and other guys with names I can't remember. I don't know who this Pinter guy is, but wasn't Dylan Thomas a rock singer?

'Course, it's not like they're bad folks at the Grove or anything. I even kinda like that show they got at that Gem Theatre now, called "Pump Boys and Dinettes," 'cause it's about guys who work in a gas station and a coupla pretty little ladies who serve up pecan pies in the coffee shop. Real people stuff.

I read that Ray went and saw the "Pump Boys" show, but mostly he and Bob and the Mayor want to see more dinner-theater plays in Garden Grove. 'Sides, seems to me anyone who likes that brainy entertainment stuff oughta just go over to Costa Mesa, where they have that Preformin' Art Center and South Coast Reporter thing.

I heard that the boys on the council might be kickin' things around with the Grove folks some more, and maybe they could even change their minds and give 'em some money at a meeting they're havin' Monday night. What do you wanna bet a lot of people who like actors that talk funny will show up and flap their gums about how this culture stuff is important or about how it makes the city look good?

'Course, that's what those Grove people said when they first got started. Said if there was more stuff like Shakespeare, people would stop callin' it "Garbage Grove" like they used to. Thought they'd add some class or something.

I agree with Ray, who can't see how it's made much difference anyway, so why not just stop pretendin' it does and turn the theater over to someone who will bring in a few bucks for the city instead of asking for a handout every time we turn around?

I'm not worried that Ray and Bob and Mayor Williams will back down. From what I been readin' in the papers this week, I betcha they'll see things straight.

Stick to your guns, boys. Let's get that Shakespeare fella outa Garden Grove, like a damned spot outa my dungarees, and ride him off into some other town where he belongs.

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