Calendar Feedback: City Council column belonged on front page
Front page contender
I was surprised to find, quite by accident, Carolina Miranda’s excellent and very informative column about the Nury Martinez scandal in the Calendar section [“Fault Lines in the City Hall Tape,” Oct. 17].
This article should have been on page A1. It is not a review of a movie or a concert. It contained valuable information all readers should know.
Other than references to the content from the leaked audio, most of the information in this article was completely new to me.
Murder, just the way we like it
I happened by chance upon the new “Magpie Murders” on PBS on Sunday night. It is a true delight on so many levels as Robert Lloyd so perfectly describes in his review [“A Love Letter to the Whodunit,” Oct. 17].
PBS has been our go to channel for years for the best dramas and mysteries, thought-provoking documentaries, entertaining musical performances and educational science and nature programs. And now we can’t wait to watch the next episode of “Magpie Murders.”
“Magpie Murders” looks to be a great series with potential spinoffs of other Conway works. But, as has been true of other recent new PBS SoCal shows, the broadcast was marred by repeated pop-up advertisements for other PBS shows (including “Annika,” which followed “Magpie Murders”).
In a dramatic show like a mystery, details matter. Advertising other shows disrupts not only the visual aspect of the show but intrudes on the viewer’s concentration.
PBS SoCal does not value its own programs by vitiating the viewer’s experience. We have reluctantly learned to accept pop-up ads for cars and burgers between pitches of baseball games, but why PBS?
A lofty tale rings true
Regarding “‘Rings of Power’ Is a Hit. Why Doesn’t It Feel Like It?” [Oct. 17]: Despite the flames, impending evil and violence, which are necessary elements of the story, I find “Rings of Power” to be magnificent. The tale rings true and is incredibly uplifting. Listen and watch closely and your heart will soar.
The theme of good versus evil presides, and since this presentation seems to shadow our “real-world” troubles, it also brings hope that good will out.
A personal insight
Regarding “Selling Stars’ Suicides as Some Mystery” [Oct. 4]: Mary McNamara’s own story of the descent into the disease of alcoholism, thoughts of suicide, etc. Then the decision to reach out for sobriety. Now living in recovery. It was revealing, brave and fearless — especially for a woman.
People can be cruelly judgmental. The whole story had heart and soul.
A sober sister in recovery,
A certain kind of ‘love’
Regarding: “Love L.A.? Funny Way of Showing It” [Oct. 14]: Perhaps Nury Martinez “loves Los Angeles” because she presumes she can say anything and get away with saying anything, here in the city of palm trees, ocean breeze and as-you-please.
She’s not the only one who thinks this way, of course. But I’m glad her political peers and the media have caught her up in the midst of this self-denying reverie.
One down, so many more to go.
Marina del Rey
Mary McNamara’s columns are always insightful, engaging, extremely well-written, thought-provoking and often entertaining.
The Oct. 14 column was superb.
Palos Verdes Estates
Musical can’t carry a tune
Regarding “It Puts Audience in a State” [Oct. 18]: My father was a vice president of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera under Edwin Lester for 41 years, so I grew up with musicals.
In reaction to Lee’s article on the new rendition of “Oklahoma!” I attended during the first week in sixth row center seats. Regardless of one’s reaction to the interpretation which reflects today’s aggression, bullying and angry attitudes, there is another glaring problem.
It is a musical. Most of the cast can’t sing. My friend (who is a voice coach) was literally wincing in pain. Aunt El was either sharp or flat, often in the same phrase. Curly’s voice cracked which he’d try to cover up by sliding up or down a half note.
Only the performer portraying Jud had real training and his was the only excellent singing voice in the show.
Half the audience left at intermission, and the ushers told us that had happened most nights, including opening night.
Meg Quinn Coulter
How to respect the integrity of classic stage musicals while keeping contemporary audiences interested is a topic too big to cover in a letter like this. Should a show remain frozen and risk becoming stale and insignificant? (A traditional production of “Oklahoma!” is unlikely to thrill audiences as it did in 1943.) Is the new geniuses’ take on the material a breath of fresh air or an unwelcome distortion?
Hopefully those who welcome brave new interpretations of yesterday’s Broadway realize that one day “Hamilton” will be considered a creaky old chestnut in dire need of revision to remain relevant.
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