Joseph Treviño’s story about the Universal Church [“Demons on Broadway,” June 29–July 5] was very well done, except for one rather important point. He reports that Universal Church backers will “steal” even more Catholics from parishes that will be closed once the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is completed.
For the record, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has no plans to close any parishes in the downtown area. In fact, we are having to add more Masses in the churches that we have in order to accommodate the nearly 5 million Catholics — the majority of them Latino — in this, the largest Catholic archdiocese in the U.S. Visit any of our churches in the downtown area, and the vibrancy of our inner-city parishes will be very apparent.
Media Relations Director
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Re: “Congressman Condom” [July 27–August 2]. It is not surprising Marc Cooper is all for the sleazed-up gossip on the Condit story; in Cooper’s world, ethics are for politicians, not the pillars of virtue who cover them in the press. Since Cooper is still working off the lazy assumptions made in the first week of Monicagate, one doubts he will ever get to the facts concerning Condit when they do roll in. Until then, since he doesn’t like Condit’s politics, he feels free to treat the Levys’ family agony as a mean-spirited hoot. How creepy.
I’m with Marc Cooper on the Chandra debate. The 24/7 spotlight on the missing intern is far more entertaining, and — as Cooper suggests — proof that the First Amendment ain’t the first for nothin’! If Congress won’t throw the bum out, at least the media can and will.
Is Steven Mikulan smoking crack? I think he must be chasing the dragon after that marshmallow review of Contact[“Musical, Schmusical,” July 13–19]. He gives it a flippant title, but seems to have lost his critical aesthetic by accepting this piece of crap as a legitimate musical. It has no singing, no original music (and what music it does have is on tape), canned soap-opera dialogue . . . and that’s okay with Steve? Just because the Tony Awards are so desperate to give something an award that they choose a dance recital that could have been produced by any decent dance company is no reason for critics to go soft in the head. I used to think Steve had some cojones, but it sounds like he sold them to ensure his front-row seat. C’mon. Steve. The emperor has no clothes, didn’tja notice?
Alas, the famous yellow dress must have so overwhelmed your reviewer that he did not see Contact for what it really was: an opportunity for fashion-faux-pas yokels to come to town and laugh and cheer and clap on cue. In Act 1, they roared maddeningly over a man and a woman maneuvering sexually on a swing. In Act 2, they were beside themselves as a stereotypical chauvinistic male yelled at his stereotypical submissive female about dinner rolls. In Act 3, they could not contain their gusto as some guy pined for nearly an hour over said yellow dress, all to unoriginal music. While enduring Contact’s inanities, I kept thinking how terrible it would be to be caught in an earthquake with that easily amused crowd.
Re: Alan Rich’s “Carrying On at the Atreus Motel” [A Lot of Night Music, June 29–July 5]. I think one reason why choral compositions are flourishing is that there are still plenty of groups to perform them, although not as many as there used to be. I sing and am involved in the music program at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, and, in both weekly worship and special concerts, we usually sing 20 or so new works each year. Rich should consider doing an article on James Hopkins and Morten Lauridsen, two local composers (both professors at USC) who have written a great deal of excellent new music, both in the choral vein (“Songs of Eternity” and “Lux Aeterna,” respectively, for example) and in other genres as well.