CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 1990
"Who decides issues of censorship in the arts?" you ask (editorial, "Sister Mary Ignatius Isn't Happy," Sept. 13). But is censorship the only issue here? What of those who feel that their beliefs and values are being mocked and demeaned in the guise of art? In your words, "Sister Mary Ignatius" will offend some because of its harsh handling of Catholic beliefs. Yet, when one thus offended takes action, you raise the charge of censorship in order to divert discussion away from issues of virtue and sensibility.
March 6, 1989 |
"Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" has the feel of a searing class reunion skit in which an angry but witty writer made a composite of all the nuns he hated most and showed how, in the name of God, she bullied and injured those she taught. Because the writer is Christopher Durang, some of the jokes are wickedly funny: - If eating meat on Fridays is no longer a sin, then will those who ate meat on Fridays before the ruling have to stay in hell? (Yes.
August 14, 1989 |
To laugh at something isn't to make light of it. Playwright Christopher Durang specializes in a kind of cancer-ward humor, where the thing most feared becomes the object of the most ferocious joke one can think of. Laughing at Sister Mary Ignatius and all her works--to name Durang's most famous heroine--is the first step to getting out of her grip. You need to be tough on her; she was tough on you. Once you have pulled free, however, it's possible to start admiring the old bat.
June 9, 1989 |
Set designer George Suhayda chooses birthday-party colors for Christopher Durang's "The Marriage of Bette and Boo" at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. Its characters are always celebrating something: a wedding, a birthday, another dead baby. Durang's heroine, Bette (Rosina Widdowson-Reynolds) insists on having babies, even though she and her husband Boo (Bernard Baldan) are RH negative--or did the doctor say RH positive? Anyway, Bette knows that it's God's will for her to be a mother, because she has always liked children better than she liked people.