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Calendar Letters: A stiff price for arts plaza

A rendering of the Music Center which received Los Angeles County funding to makeover its plaza.
(Rios Clementi / Hale Studios)

The recent article “An Arts Plaza for All of L.A.” [Dec. 20] reported on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ approval to spend $30 million (plus an additional $10 million directly from the Music Center’s purse) for the renovation of the Music Center Plaza. This shows the very wrongheaded approach that the supervisors and others at the Music Center have taken for the past half-century regarding a public complex built with and largely supported by taxpayer money, turning it into a second rate bus-and-truck company stop.

With the cheapest ticket for a seat way up in the rafters for the current production of “Something Rotten!” at the Ahmanson, the price for a family of four, especially when one adds the absurdly high cost of parking, is beyond what most families can afford.

Daniel Sherkow

Los Angeles

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Avoiding the ‘casting couch’

I was reading some of the letters in Feedback [Dec. 24] re: “Not Business as Usual” [Dec. 17]. I wondered, if so many women and some men have come out and identified themselves with the #MeToo movement, why didn’t they get together and do something about it earlier? People who had been victimized, especially celebrities, could have created organizations (production companies, talent agencies) that would have helped others avoid the pitfalls of the legendary “casting couch” syndrome. I understand they needed the backing and parts in movies and TV to boost their careers, but when they finally “made it” why not help others? Why not bring these issues to light years ago? Perhaps all this could have been minimized if people in power knew they were being monitored or turned in to the authorities.

Sandra Shields

Palmdale

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A dancer also falls, but why

Regarding “Quick Takes: NYC Ballet Dancer Resigns” [Dec. 22]: Marcelo Gomes, principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, was accused of sexual misconduct. Although nothing was proven, he resigned his position. For many years, he gave his heart and soul to his employer, the ABT. This is how they repaid him: “ABT does not tolerate this alleged behavior.” I wish a group of high-profile donors would tell ABT: We do not tolerate closed minds and your view that Gomes is guilty until proved innocent.

David Tulanian

Las Vegas

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Considering a maestro’s life

Re: “Artistry Is Under a Dark Cloud” by Mark Swed (Dec. 24): Mark Swed describes James Levine as the ultimate maestro at the Met and around the world. His brilliance has contributed beyond measure to the world of music as well as to his mentoring of newer conductors and musicians through the years. He also has flaws, which unfortunately hurt others years ago.

Swed’s article asks whether we can let those lapses diminish the awe, admiration and respect he has earned for unparalleled artistry for almost half a century. Perhaps if maestro Levine can find redemption, in his own meaningful way, it would be easier to move forward in today’s climate. We may have to acknowledge that for better or worse, life sometimes seems to be a package deal.

Roberta Beierfeld

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Los Angeles

Women of color were missing

As an Angeleno, white woman and film fan I was deeply upset to see only white women grace the cover of your latest issue and be interviewed as leading actresses of Hollywood [“The Envelope: A Shift in Focus,” Dec. 21]. Was Salma Hayek not available? Mary J. Blige? Zoe Saldana? Tessa Thompson? Penelope Cruz? The cast of “Girls Trip,” the biggest comedy of the year? These are just the obvious recent ones...

In today’s conversation about the importance of diversity in film (remember the backlash to the Oscars?), why would you perpetuate the position that only white women can hold places of power

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Wendy McClellan? Anderson

Altadena

Critic nails movie’s failures

Regarding “How’s That for a Con Job?” [Dec. 20]: Plaudits to Justin Chang for his dead-on panning of “The Greatest Showman.” He aptly concludes that the film’s failures stem from “a dispiriting lack of faith in the audience’s intelligence and a dawning awareness of its own aesthetic hypocrisy.”

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Who wouldn’t agree that Chang’s powerful take applies beyond the big screen’s realm? Surely most readers feel that one or the other (or both) major political parties today have lost faith in voters’ intelligence yet barely have begun to perceive their own peremptory hypocrisy.

Betty Turner

Sherman Oaks

A Hedy Lamarr film to catch

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Regarding “Hedy Lamarr’s Heady Life” [Dec. 13]: What an enlightening and terrific documentary. Not only was she a knockout, but a brilliant inventor. Let’s hope the academy rewards the filmmaker with an Oscar.

Robert Stuart Richards

Canyon Country

calendar.letters@latimes.com

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