To the editors:

I’m always amazed when by sheer power of wishful thinking a theater tries to turn a pan into a rave by egregiously ripping words out of context. In 18 years of writing theater criticism I’ve never seen anything as flagrant however as Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s creative quotes from my slam of Beyond Mozambique [Theater, July 16]. In an ad that appeared recently in, at least, the Chicago Tribune I’m quoted as saying: “Vintage Walker . . . a comic gem . . . a deliciously skewed and overgrown jungle retreat . . . This one is hell onstage.” Those quotes refer, respectively, to my contempt for a hack playwright, one performance out of six, Robert Smith’s set, and, in the most outrageous citation of all, the theater’s lack of air-conditioning.

Talk about your silk purse from a sow’s ear!

Lawrence Bommer