A response to Pat Launer’s review of “The King of the Kosher Grocers” at the Old Globe in San Diego (“As Predictable as Corned Beef on Rye,” Sept. 10): We take issue with Launer’s negative phrase “a reheated multicultural (and stereotypical) smorgasbord.”
What is negative about honestly portraying the cultural diversity in most of our neighborhoods? What is stereotypical about a retired Chicano farm worker, an aging African-American who’s falling in love with a Jewish-American widow and an ailing Jewish-American grocer showing genuine affection for one another? What is stereotypical about two hip-hopping African-Americans showing concern and respect for the old-timers, wanting to help, not rob, them?
“Kosher Grocers” may seem contrived and predictable to Launer, but playwright Joe Minjares did not invent these characters. He met them while growing up in Minneapolis’ North Side. These are very real people with very big hearts whose humanity and humor resonated throughout the course of the play.
Watching the audience respond with a standing ovation, it was clear that we are sorely in need of bighearted plays.