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LOST THEATERS, SACRED FOOLS

I applaud Steven Leigh Morris’ “Destiny Manifesto” [cover story, April 25–May 1]. It provided the kind of coverage the largest creative community in the media and entertainment capital of the world needs on a continuous basis. Also, the accompanying article by Erin Aubry Kaplan [“Tough Act To Follow”], attesting to the fact that there is theater and creativity south of the 10 freeway, was most welcome. However, I must take issue with Morris’ somewhat misleading characterization of the Los Angeles Theater Center (LATC) as being “lost.” He may be right to suggest that one of the “many miseries of that decade was watching Bill Bushnell run LATC into the ground until the city seized it from him,” but it is misleading to state that “We’ve lost LATC” in the same breath with the Shubert and Tiffany theaters.

Those theaters are gone. Not so LATC. Although our mission and budget are different from that of the old operating company, our facility is far from being lost to the L.A. performing-arts community. Along with other theater and art facilities owned and operated by the city’s Cultural Affairs Department, LATC remains an important and significant part of the creative and cultural fabric of Los Angeles.

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—Ernest D. Dillihay LATC Performing Arts Director Los Angeles

Bravo to Steven Leigh Morris and his continuing support — against so many odds — of the local L.A. theater scene. Upon attending the rousing and lively L.A. Weekly Theater Awards last night, at which I was honored to be a nominee, I was reminded of both L.A. Weekly’s and Mr. Morris’ too-often-unheralded role in helping to keep L.A. theater lively, important and more popular every day.

Astoundingly, everyone I spoke with who made reservations for awards night received their confirmation phone call from Mr. Morris himself — and I know there were at least 500 people in attendance. (I guess you don’t keep him busy enough as theater critic and editor.) I’m nearly sorry that we took a shot at him in Sacred Fools’ production of Dracula, A Musical Nightmare last year, which included Morris’ name over one of the tombs on the painted graveyard drop. Luckily, the Weekly didn’t seem to hold it against us in its review of our show.

—Brad Friedman Sacred Fools Theater Company Los Angeles

GET SERIOUS

In her recent article concerning the Israeli crackdown on wanted Palestinian extremists [“Till Peace Do Us Part,” May 2–8], Nancy Updike appears baffled as to why the Israeli government wants to destroy the peace process by killing certain Palestinians. She writes, “The Israeli government is not serious about working with the new prime minister or supporting the peace process. Demolishing a house and targeting and killing Palestinians — even wanted men — on the day of the PLC vote seemed to many Palestinians like deliberate sabo.tage.” The reason these men were targeted was that they were dangerous PLO terrorists whose mission was to destroy as many Israeli civilians as possible. As recently as a few days ago (April 29), a bomb blast killed three and critically wounded 49 in a crowded Tel Aviv nightclub. New Palestinian government or old, should Israel stand idly by as her citizenry is demolished?

—Ted Raimi Detroit, Michigan

 

VETERAN MEDICINE

Re: Sara Catania’s “Dr. G’s Hard Medicine” [May 2–8]. I’m a VA patient, son of a doctor, have a degree in English from UCLA, and I want to say a few very positive things about the “new” VA medical system, things that even the VA employees don’t seem to appreciate. I wish you had interviewed Dr. Ilona Sylvester, who runs the VA clinic in Oxnard, lives in Westlake, teaches at UCLA Medical School, was born in Romania and is, for my money, the best doctor I’ve ever encountered. She really believes in the new system at the VA and will not return to outside practice — because, she says, this is the best system in the world.

I believe she’s right.

—John Stewart Ventura

DARE TO COME

Re: “White Noise” [April 25–May 1]. Perhaps Holly Myers would consider traveling to a studio somewhere other than the Westside — or Laguna Beach, as in her latest review. She should drop the latte and hit a Winchell’s for a change. Highland Park and other neighborhoods around here have a lot of art showings, for those who dare to come.

—David R. Bloom Highland Park

NOT AS WE KNEW HIM

Re: Stephen Lemons’ “Busting the Black Dahlia Avenger” [April 18–24]. George Hodel, whom Lemons identifies as the egomaniacal murderer in the Black Dahlia case, was a loving caregiver, generous in heart ‰ and mind, not only to his family, but to all the people he cared for as a medical doctor and psychiatrist.

—Diane Hodel Winter Beach, Florida

RAZZ DAZZLE

Re: “Fizzle, Puzzle, Dazzle” [A Lot of Night Music, April 25–May 1]. Alan Rich’s uncontrolled emotional reaction to the music of Gerald Levinson, as performed by the L.A. Philharmonic last weekend, suggests a critic who does not understand his role. Criticism of the arts should not be a destructive endeavor, but one of objective appraisal (to the degree these things can be objective), and certainly not a mano a mano hissy fit. Mr. Rich does harm to others and himself with his undisciplined rant, whereby he also casts, by implication, criticism on the musical knowledge of several music directors who have chosen to play Levinson’s work. Mr. Rich could have disliked the piece and still retained professionalism in his criticism, as well as the respect of his readers.

—Felice Holman Del Mar

COACHELLA

Re: Lina Lecaro’s contribution to “Miracle in the Desert” [May 2–8]. There was actually more than one unscheduled performance at Coachella, and I’m not even including Kelly Osbourne. In fact, Perry Farrell played an unannounced DJ set late Sunday afternoon in the open time slot.

Did Lecaro notice the gap in the Coachella schedule? “TBA” is not an upstart electroclash group.

—Troy Cok Los Angeles

HE OUGHT TO KNOW

I read Sorina Diaconescu’s story [“Tangled up in Blue,” April 25–May 1] on the Swedish duo consisting of Martin Hederos and Mattias Hellberg. Nice, as Swedish music is so damn good nowadays.

—Kalle Malmstedt Göteborg, Sweden

TERRIBLE TWEENS

Contrary to David Chute’s review [Film New Releases, May 2–8], The Lizzie McGuire Movie is unbelievably good — in contrast to the shows on Nickelodeon, which teach kids absolutely nothing and are not funny at all. Lizzie McGuire is a widely popular show well beyond the tween age group. Just look at the ratings! Chute and his jaded middle-school graduate should get over themselves.

—Cub Emory Philadelphia

THE INESCAPABLE CONCLUSION

Re: Penelope Trunk’s “Lab Coat Revolutionary” [May 2–8]. This is from an article about Dr. Cunningham. Be careful, these are not sentences. Everywhere. In piles on the floor, on the sofa, on the countertops, and if I peek around the corner, I see they have, in fact, taken over a whole room.

—Thomas Hughes Clearwater, Florida

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