Calendar Letters: Brian Wilson, Mary Poppins and more

God only knows where we'd be without Brian Wilson and his memorable music, readers write.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

‘Christmas’ present

Thank you for the fair and balanced review of Brian Wilson’s concert in Thousand Oaks [“He Came Home for Christmas,” Dec. 22]. My wife and I got to sit in the front row. It was quite a show. I paid a lot of attention to the music coming from the back line. Those guys are incredible. If I were in charge, all reviews by Randy Lewis would be right where this one was: front page, top.

Jeff Traintime



Your review of Wilson’s performance of “The Beach Boys Christmas Album” brought back wonderful memories. In ’63 or ’64, the Beach Boys played in the boys gym at Taft High School, and all of my surfer friends or make-believe surfer friends gathered to listen.


I loved the Beach Boys because they recorded songs that required close dancing (for those of us who knew how to dance after that great leveler of dance skills called the Twist). “God Only Knows” and “In My Room” were my two favorites.

Bob McMullin

Los Angeles


I don’t know how many fellow baby boomers have a bucket list, but high on mine was to see Wilson in concert. I grew up in Southern California, and the Beach Boys’ music was the soundtrack of my summers. I attended ’ Wilson’s concert in Thousand Oaks, and I enjoyed Lewis’ comprehensive review of the show, but I disagree with his take on Wilson’s performance of “God Only Knows.” To hear one of the greatest songwriters of all time gamely sing lead vocal on one of the most romantic songs ever written made my 50-year wait worthwhile.

Michael Duffy

Simi Valley

Nanny’s return is old-time fun

Did Times critic Justin Chang see the same movie I saw [“Magic & Havoc,” Dec. 19]? I watched “Mary Poppins Returns,” and all I can say is that it was “practically perfect in every way.” An old-time musical done with respect and fun. Walt Disney would have been proud.

Stephen Mirkin

North Hollywood

Not a fan of ‘Roma’

Regarding “All in the Family,” film critic Kenneth Turan’s review of “Roma.” A self-indulgent, boring movie.


Gene Touchet

Palm Springs

Hey, you forgot design ‘bests’

“Year in Review” and “Best of” lists [Sunday Calendar, Dec. 23] are always interesting, and good fodder for conversation about the quality of creativity, as well as spirited argument about those overlooked. Architecture and design, the one creative expression that affects all, is a glaring omission.

Julie D. Taylor

West Hollywood

More laughs in living color

Regarding “A Treat for Every Fan of the Classics” [Dec. 22] and a comment that “The Tree in a Test Tube” was Laurel & Hardy’s only color film. The comedy duo’s 1930 movie “The Rogue Song” was also in color — it was shot in two-strip Technicolor.

Mrs. William Bell

Los Angeles

Points of order on Kavanaugh

Regarding “TV’s Highest Drama” [Dec. 23]: The Kavanaugh hearings were important. What they were not is entertainment, so why is The Times featuring them in its “Year in Review” in the Calendar section? Unless, of course, the accuser’s testimony was scripted and she was acting.

Stephany Yablow

North Hollywood


I watched Christine Blasey Ford’s wrenching testimony and was appalled but not surprised that the Senate committee sided with Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the position of Supreme Court justice.

It has become apparent that during the Trump administration, only those least qualified can be considered the most qualified.

Bunny Landis


Royal treatment for today’s artists

Regarding “Quick Takes: Carpenters Go Orchestral” [Nov. 2]: Ah, the Carpenters. Loved them, and yes, we all played their music. But that was 35 years ago. Let others have a chance. I wish Lady Gaga would get the royal treatment from the Royal Philharmonic.

David Tulanian

Las Vegas

‘Welcome to the party!’

Regarding “Wrap Your Mind Around This” [Dec. 22]: IFC is correct: “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, as is “Die Hard 2: Die Harder.”

However, the other two sequels are not. I think at least one of those time slots could have gone to the greatest Christmas movie of all time, “Lethal Weapon.”

Lee DeRaud


This movie covers familiar ground

Regarding Jen Yamato’s article “Writers Give a Queen Her Due” about the movie “Mary Queen of Scots” [Dec. 22]: Not one word about Antonia Fraser’s definitive biography “Mary Queen of Scots” or the 1971 movie “Mary, Queen of Scots,” starring Vanessa Redgrave? How about the word “remake”?

Alexa Smith Maxwell

Los Angeles

Editor’s note: The 2018 film “Mary Queen of Scots” is not a remake of the 1971 film, nor is it based on the 1969 biography. The screenplay was adapted from the book “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart” by John Guy.

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