Ready for a revival
Yes, please, more Mathis ["Chances Are, He'll Be Back," March 29]. Johnny Mathis is one of the greatest pop singers, and I am very grateful he has taken care of himself and has excellent health. I would immediately buy anything he records solo.
Johnny Mathis is a musical treasure and at 79 sounds quite amazing. I am so grateful he is still out on the road and recording CDs. I offer a suggestion for Clive Davis: For the next Johnny Mathis CD, it's already recorded — "I Love My Lady," his 1980 collaboration with the group Chic. Many fans have been patiently waiting for it, thank you.
Been loving Johnny for decades. I have and still play my vast collection of his LPs. I welcome his "return." However, I fear the new album will be all duets, which is an immediate turn-off! I wish John all the best with whatever is coming his way.
Paul M. Mock
More than worth weight in 'Gold'
I was shocked to read that the reviews for "Woman in Gold" have been "mediocre to negative," since I went to a screening with three friends last week and not only did we all love it but all want to go again and take others ["All Aglitter," March 29]. This story is so inherently fascinating and truth-is-stranger-than-fiction personified, that there simply could be no way to mediocritize it. Add a brilliant director and locations, wonderful acting from everyone and the incomparable Helen Mirren — it's absolutely inconceivable that the majority of reviews could be "mediocre to negative."
That said, no matter what the reviews are, everyone who sees this film will be riveted and fascinated and will immediately want to order the book upon which it is based, which I did as soon as I got home ("The Lady in Gold" by Anne-Marie O'Connor).
With the assistance of L.A. Times reporting I've been very interested in following Maria Altmann's legal adventures over the years in recovering this great portrait and now reading your excellent description of Steve Mitchell's reproduction of it for the film "Woman in Gold."
Here's a sidebar of possible interest: In 1952 I was living in an apartment on Camden Drive in Beverly Hills. At the time the nearby Beverly Wilshire hotel had a Brentano's bookstore at street level. Just before Christmas, while thumbing through some books at Brentano's, I spotted the great Swedish actress Liv Ullman checking out 10 books of Klimt prints that were most likely intended as holiday presents. Being a great fan of Ullman's, I purchased one copy of the book for the lordly sum of $24.95.
The book was published by the New York Graphic Society LTD and written by Werner Hofmann, director of the Kunsthalle, Hamburg. The book is a gem consisting of 42 color plates, 55 black and white plates, and 45 text illustrations with background narrative. With this book serving as an introduction, my being entranced by Klimt's work continues until today — some 63 years later!
Moreover, I ultimately located an excellent print of another of his masterworks, "The Kiss," at an art shop on La Cienega Boulevard, which vanished from business many years ago. And could you believe, ever since my wife and I married some 25 years ago, and despite several moves, it has always been hung in our bedroom over our bed?
A fair conclusion over 'Mad Men'
Many, many thanks, Chris Barton, for your assessment of "Mad Men" [Overrated/Underrated, March 29]. Though I've watched every single episode and will watch it to the end, I am in full agreement: "not half as important or impeccably crafted as it often presents itself," indeed! I still struggle to find a third dimension to most of the characters — '60s good-looking but two-dimensional nevertheless.
A revealing look, but not at book
I never understand why a book reviewer reviews a book on what it isn't ["A Dive into L.A.'s. Water," March 29]. That tells me little about the book and a lot about the reviewer. But a new book on William Mulholland is good enough for me to take a look despite this.