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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.

—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