Writes and Wrongs

It's quite obvious from William Waxman's eloquent letter ("Criticism Directed at Reviewer's Remarks," Calendar April 22) that he, like myself and untold other Orange County residents, has become an undeserved victim of the poison pen of the Dan Quayle of Orange County theater critics, The Times' Mark Chalon Smith.

How Smith ever achieved such a position of prominence is beyond me. Even more perplexing is why The Times persists in letting this sterling example of the Peter Principle lay waste to the local theater scene. I'd dearly love to know exactly what credentials of Smith's convinced the powers-that-be to hire him. One gets the feeling he was drafted right off some community college campus.

He obviously aspires to one day fill the shoes of Frank Rich or Dan Sullivan or John Simon. Charles Manson has a better chance of becoming President.

I urge other concerned theater folk who are wronged by the ambitious Smith to fight back with letters, like Waxman's. If The Times won't pull the plug on Smith, maybe it'll at least transfer him to a department for which he's much better suited. Writing obituaries.



Riley is a playwright.

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