Imagine if Wolfe & co. devised a 90-minute "riff" on Courage—fully updated to reference Iraq (instead of the safe, pussy-footing winks Kushner drops into the current script). Now that would have been an "event."
To which I'd respond: So you didn't really want to see Mother Courage at all.
The other point I'd make about Eisler's slam is that there's no reasonable way to defend a show against rubrics like "safe," "respectable," and "bland" without looking a conservative fool—in effect to say, "But I was positively shocked, I tell you!" You can always set the bar for what's sufficiently daring, experimental, or challenging far beyond your clueless, stultified, sentimental peers. I can't say I was shocked by this Mother Courage but I was shaken, stirred, and moved. I know one isn't "supposed" to feel at a Brecht show, but I'm so over being told how Brecht should be done and what he would have wanted. Expectations and orthodoxy are straitjackets and critics shouldn't be pedants, but something about Brecht brings out the cultural commissar in us. Perhaps it was Brecht's tendency to these faults himself that accounts for this, which is why I find Eric Bentley's clear-eyed admiration and contextualization of Brecht the playwright and poet vs. Brecht the man to be crucial to separating the riches this artist still has to offer us from the doctrinaire chaff some of his apostles seem to peddle in his name.
I will only add this: What other playwright's work inspires this much passionate kerfuffle? If I may speculate myself, I think the disputes would please him.