We must be in some sort of theatrical bizarro-world when Broadway
Across America announces an innovative, exciting season --
and the Vexler does exactly the opposite. Yes, the
same company that brought us last season's The Rimers of Eldritch
turns back the clock for some truly retrograde programming. The Vexler
starts off with Neil Simon's Odd
Couple (does anything scream 'overdone amateur theater'
more than the Odd Couple?); continues with Mark Medoff's 1980 opus Children of a Lesser God
(a tolerable choice, though one suspects fond memories of the film
helped in the selection); chases this with a revival of 2001's Noises Off (just
what San Antonio needs: another theater dedicated to reviving its own
productions); and, appalling to say, ends with a revue of selections
from previous Vexler musicals. With that last choice, the Vexler now
joins the ranks of all its lesser San Antonio brethren in producing
plot-less entertainments for mass consumption. The Muse weeps.
The thing is, Ken Frazier has proved himself a shrewd, and occasionally
surprising, selector of plays in seasons past (does anybody remember
Helen Edmundson's The
Clearing from six or seven years ago? That production
rocked.) With the current season, however, the Vexler has taken a giant
step backward -- and how vexing is that?