UPDATE 11/29: The playwright responds to reader comments by posting one of his own on this post.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Dan Goggin, who wrote the book, music and lyrics for “Nunsensations: The Vegas Revue!,” was not pleased when he found my review online of the new Good Company Players production at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. And he let me know about it. I asked Goggin if I could post his response.
I had my say in my review, now I’ll let him have his:
Dear Mr. Munro,
Your review of Nunsensations happened to come up on my gmail and I felt I ought to respond. First of all, although you may think the Nunsense shows are running out of steam, they couldn’t be more in demand. There were 160 productions of the various shows running in the last six months! Even I am amazed (and thrilled) by the continued undiminished popularity of all of the shows. Nunsensations has been a favorite of theatregoers and has grossed several million dollars since it premiered. I’d love to send you a DVD of the television production of Nunsensations to see if you had the same opinion as you did of the local show.
There must be a reason these shows continue to sell and to gross millions of dollars. Could it be that audiences love them? My shows have saved over 100 theatres from bankruptcy and we are about to save another in northern California with Nunset Boulevard. I don’t know what your qualifications are when it comes to being a critic and I don’t know the quality of the production in Fresno. But your writing seems to express resentment that these shows are successful. Perhaps you would prefer more serious theatre even if most audiences didn’t.
A particular critic in Minneapolis (who was voted the snobbiest most pretentious critic in town by theatregoers) is always tough on me. But for some odd reason we have become friends. His review of the world premiere of Nunset Boulevard had some wonderful quotes but he always gets his digs in. When I asked him why he couldn’t have printed that the audience was howling with laughter on opening night and gave us a standing ovation his answer was this: “For me to write that audiences love your shows would be like writing that the sun is going to rise in the East. I know so many writers and composers who would kill to have your unerring sense of what an audience wants and your talent create it.” Probably the best quote I’ve ever received.
I laughingly pointed out to him that it was more likely that his job as a newpaper critic would end long before any Nunsense show would be out of business. And sure enough, the newspaper eliminated the critic’s position to try to save money and he is no longer a critic of anything but is working in a job fund raising. I only hope that your review didn’t hurt your local theatre’s ability to stay in business. I shall write to them now in case they need help.
Sincerely, Dan Goggin