They’re ALL Great Reviews, but there’s this one (“This Odd Couple Soars”) that’s begotten a Facebook colloquy

Lisa Traiger was surprised to like Theater J’s “Odd Couple” as much as she did. Even so, another Neil Simon?

“For all its ubiquity, this ‘Odd Couple soars’. Even the bit-part players are D.C. theater heavyweights.” http://washingtonjewishweek.com/main.asp ?SectionID=27&SubSectionID=25&ArticleID= 13753&TM=69618.46

Here was my first response on my Facebook Wall (and sorry for all the bizarre formatting!)

Ari RothAri Roth

So here’s an important proponent of our theater – a critic who gets the mission and the body of work – who appreciates the artistry of our “soaring” production, yet chafes that we chose the play to begin with. What she doesn’t say is that I knew we were going be playing through a sucky election month and that this was

now let’s continue the conversation on Lisa Traiger’s wall (reposted with her permission)

Ari Roth Me thinks the critic’s gotta give it up and give in – Neil Simon and Stephen Sondheim have a lot more in common than the fact that they’re both Jewish octogenarians! They’re masters at what they’ve been doing for more than half a century. Give the credit! (and thanks for writing truthfully, and supportively)
Lisa Traiger:  Ari, I have no quarrel with Simon, nor Sondheim. Read the review: I question why a specifically Jewish theater needs to spend its resources on what we can easily get from our mainstream theaters.   Leave [the evergreens] for mainstream houses. Resorting to another Simon so soon, when those works are done so regularly by nonspecialty theaters, detracts from Theater J’s mission to produce envelope-pushing plays.’
Ari Roth:  And the last “mainstream house” to professionally and proudly produce Simon? Don’t tell me Silver Spring Stage. Simon is professionally neglected in the nation’s best shops. He’ going to die soon. Then what? Encomiums for his might legacy in community theater?  “What next?” you might ask”  “FIDDLER ONTHE ROOF?”  
My answer: give me a bigger stage and room for 25 to 60 actors – I’m exploring the value of the canonical while still pushing the envelope – tent poles and tent flaps – modern classics to help grow the base and pay in part for the New that doesn’t play as broadly as it should.
In either case, just wait for our Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival in January (RETURN TO HAIFA) with 6 additional staged readings and several solo performance pieces too celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Peace Cafe. And all I get for that — behind the scenes — is GRIEF & TZURIS (either the name of a new item on the menu at Katz’s or a musical in the making at some SCHMALTZY JEWEY THEATER — like mine, ha!)
Lisa Traiger
I am, indeed, awaiting “Return to Haifa”…my husband’s hometown, where he’s returning on Thursday. I suspect it will do what theater should: raise hackles and draw attention to long-fomenting issues.
Ari Roth yes yes yes!  Would actually love for you to be a respondent to some of the new Israeli plays we’ll be reading aloud
Lisa Traiger email me particulars …
Ari Roth I shall…