City Paper Follow Up: Prelude to Saturday Night’s Dueling Letters

Here’s a very cute headline, if you remember the title of Deb Margolin’s Madoff-Wiesel play:

Imagining Horowitz v. Holtzman: What a Debate at Theater J Might’ve Sounded Like

Gotta hand it to the young guns at City Paper. We pretty much shared this info with the Post first, but it’s a busy world out there, I guess. So this is the first part of what’s turned out to be an exciting news day (not to mention Simcha-Torah, for which I’ve done shamefully little — hell, nothing, except facebook, email, and yogic breathing).

There are some questions that we’ll actually discuss tomorrow night after the 8 PM performance of SOMETHING YOU DID. I’ll be joined on stage by Ron Radosh which should be an interesting discussion in its own right. Ron’s on stage with us because of his appreciation of the play, even while hewing much closer to the Eugene Biddle perspective of the play. Ron brought the play to David Horowitz’s attention, and that’s how we got to the disputation we’re currently reading about.

Reading Ron and David is a reminder of just how bracing, and dramatic, and theatrical, reading energized, swaggering rhetoric can be — especially when you disagree with it! Should be a fascinating discussion.

There’s more news to share — and Ron’s posting of today on his site gives us a taste of it. But we’ll refrain from jumping into the mix for a bit.

See? We give voice to all sides. And we’re discreet!


3 thoughts on “City Paper Follow Up: Prelude to Saturday Night’s Dueling Letters

  1. Dear Ari,

    The “After-play” was excellent, the actors great, and the conversation interesting. You can be proud of the whole production this Saturday night. And I agree with the person in the audience who thought it was essential that the “duelling letters” from Horowitz and Holtzman should be “add-ons” to any production of the play.

    Like I said in public and then in private to you, the most shocking thing I learned from the conversation was that Holtzman took Cathy Boudin and Bernadine Dohrn to see an early production of the play, and changed the play as they wished. THIS is not in the Playwright’s Notes at the beginning of the playbook, and it is something people should know. You emphasized that Holtzman visited prisons, etc., to get things right. Well, he consulted Cathy Boudin to get things right, and as if that weren’t enough, Bernadine Dohrn too. He didn’t do David Horowitz the same courtesy. This is a matter not of artistic freedom but indeed (as was said) of artistic ethics.

    It should also be clear that many many people in the audience accepted that this was pretty much a depiction of the real David Horowitz, because Holtzman said as much in the Playwright’s Notes. (It was disingenuous of Holtzman in his letter to say that this was merely narcissism on Horowitz’s part, to think the play was in good part about him.) Indeed, you and I both saw the very intelligent guy say to you that he actually thought that the real David Horowitz had slept with the real Cathy Boudin, as occurs in the characters in the play. How many others of the hundreds who say the play were misled about the real history of Boudin and Horowitz, and went away thinking something that wasn’t true–not out of stupidity, or lack of understanding of theatre, but because Holtzman intimated what he wrote was based on fact?

    Again, all of this is hugely interesting, but for me it does not take away from the high quality of the production. And this last Saturday night with the add-on was REALLY creative and something you can really be proud of. Congratulations on it!

    Warm wishes,


  2. That should be: how many others of the hundreds who saw the play were misled [Not “say the play were misled”]…

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