The Drink Not Taken | Letters | Chicago Reader

The Drink Not Taken 

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To the editors:

I saw Hospitality Suite on opening night at Victory Gardens. While I do not dispute Adam Langer's opinion of the play--an opinion to which he is entitled--I wish to call attention to a rather significant error in his reporting. Langer states: "A reformed boozer, Phil is back on the bottle by play's end. (Playwright's maxim 407: 'Introduce a reformed alcoholic in act one, and he must take a drink in act two')." But Phil, the character whose fall off the wagon Langer makes so much of, does not take a drink at any time in the course of the play--he picks up the bottle of scotch and contemplates it, in the scene to which Langer refers, but then he rejects the temptation.

There is no harm in an audience member bringing his own experience and imagination to the theater, but it should not be allowed to rewrite the script.

Mary Shen Barnidge
W. Dakin

Adam Langer replies:

You're right. A convenient phone call stops Phil from going back to the bottle. I was trying to criticize the play's corny setup and probably wound up misleading some people. Sorry.


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