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BEHIND ‘GREEN CARD’

It is all too indicative of the ongoing trivialzation of popular culture that the Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum should drop from its planned season a production of Frank Wedekind’s “Spring’s Awakening” in favor of the trendy, unfocused mish-mash, “Green Card.”

“Spring’s Awakening” is one of the seminal plays of the modern theater, and one of the most penetrating examinations of the onset of sexuality in Western literature. “Green Card,” on the other hand, is . . . Well, what is it?

Abou the only definition that fits it is a “musical revue without music,” which would make it noteworthy unless we pause to consider that musical revues usually had some kind of point of view.

“Green Card” lacks any but the most banal point of view. What does this work say, as it jumps from subject to subject, all too often running off on tangents to fight the Central American wars, re-fight the Southeast Asia wars and take a one-sided poke at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service?

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Searching frantically and with more charity than it deserves, we could say that “Green Card” reminds us that we are a nation of immigrants, that we must endure the sacrifice of our own native cultures as we undergo the assimilative metamorphosis into the emerging American culture, and that we had better discard our stereotyped thinking as we learn to live with one another.

All well and good, but any halfway decent Fourth of July orator can, and usually does, say as much in five minutes--and without “Green Card’s” above-mentioned lengthy digressions.

RICHARD E. ESHLEMAN

Los Angeles

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“Green Card” and its message are scrutinized by Dan Sullivan et al. on Page 3.


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