Curtains open on controversy - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

Curtains open on controversy

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Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 12:00 am

Bless the protesters and pass the popcorn.

Tonight's opening of "Rent" at Lake City Playhouse will feature a cast of passionate characters. Most of them will be on stage, but a few will be standing outside, perhaps with signs condemning the play, the performers and maybe the audience, too.

This is America, thank goodness. In this land of the free and home of the brave - those brave enough to perform a controversial, critically acclaimed work of art and those brave enough to make a symbolic statement in a small sea of theater-goers who likely disagree with them - there's plenty of room for dissenting opinions, so long as everybody obeys the law.

Just as it is the right of Playhouse decision-makers to put on this sold-out production, so, too, is it the right of critics to say it does not meet their moral standards. The gray area is this: When is protest a legitimate disagreement, and when does it constitute outright bigotry?

That bad "b" word has been wielded repeatedly in advance of "Rent" coming to town. What's a bigot anyway?

According to Merriam-Webster, a bigot is "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."

Few words are more damning than "bigot," and we won't ascribe the term to members of the community we don't know. However, we do wonder what spurs some people to try to impose their will on others who are not like-minded, rather than simply decline to support or participate in something they disagree with.

With literature, the performing and the fine arts, we pay no heed to those who tell us what we should or should not be able to consume. We're eager to watch "Rent" and judge it for ourselves.

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  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 5:11 am on Wed, Jan 18, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    WOW, What a Bigoted Editorial!

    By your own definition you name yourself a Bigot of those preforming outside LCPH in their Constitutional right to speak their opinions. Just as those inside are within their rights. The intolerance is in the hatred of those willing to speak their minds, which seems to be coming singularly from those supporting the immoral behavior exposed and portrayed by the play Rent.

    You, my friend, Editorial writer are the only Bigot in this scenario. You have signaled out a group of people with an opinion you are intolerant of and are trying to oppress them with your hatred. Sad for you. Has anyone in the protesters(?) said anything against the performers of this disgusting Play? NO. It is only the supporters of the ideas and behaviors behind this play that have exposed their hatred and intolerance of those that find it obscene and immoral.

    The bigots are not the Protester or performers. The Bigots are the supporters and the writer of this editorials. Thanks for exposing yourselves. Just as we ridded NI of the Aryan Nations this Bigoted group will be ridded of our community also.

    On a side note, if this is really worthy of an editorial and there are sign holding "protesters" were are the pictures? Oh, maybe there are no protestors and this is much ado about nothing, for publicity and propaganda sake.
    No doubt this will be a sellout play , but just like the original broadway production it will be soldout for political reasons and not for it's artistic value or lack there of. Broadway had to reduce it's ticket prices from the $100+ per seat to $20 per seat to get seats filled. I'm glad LCPH is getting their full price and making a profit, off these self gratification sexual deviants that are portrayed and support this play..God Bless them.

  • DeNiles posted at 9:47 am on Mon, Jan 16, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Myers.... Given the logic of most of your posts I'd have to agree that you should avoid entering into any intellectual dust ups. As for English.... well his job performance speaks volumes for his competency.

    As for Rent..... Well when they have to add 6 months of additional shows then they can think about taking some bows. There are well over 100,000 people who live in this Spokane/CdA arena. 500 or so patrons does not a blockbuster make.

  • Randy Myers posted at 2:46 pm on Sat, Jan 14, 2012.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    DeNiles cannot let this drop even when the people have spoken and sold out the house for Rent.

    Cookie doesn't sound like a bigot to me. On the contrary I think Cookie gave DeNiles some great advice which surely he won't take. Dan English noted that he generally just skips past any posts by DeNiles. I think that may be my tack too.

  • DeNiles posted at 12:01 pm on Fri, Jan 13, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Garsh thar Cookie, you sound like a bigot.

  • Cookie posted at 9:17 am on Fri, Jan 13, 2012.

    Cookie Posts: 90

    Zip it, DeNiles. Your moralistic blather is really getting old.

  • DeNiles posted at 6:57 am on Fri, Jan 13, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Headline: Lake City Playhouse intentionally brings controversy to its stage.

    Is the controversy a function of our community or a function of this particular play? Rent has fostered controversy in many, many places so it seems that any controversy is seeded with the play itself. So will Rent be produced here uncut and unedited? I mean you are so thrilled that it won awards, etc that you must understand that it won those awards in its original and rawest presentation. Doesn't this community need to see the complete Rent to get the benefit of its award winning content? I would not want them to see a watered down version of this award winning play.

    And so CdA gets the opportunity to see Rent. Do we need a nightclub featuring live sex acts just for those so inclined to attend? The play "That Ain't No Lady" is winning acclaim right now on off-Broadway, when will Lake City produce that here locally? Do our high schools need after school cursing clubs? Where are the boundaries of civil behavior or are those boundaries just now passe?

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