Calendar Letters: A true angel in America
Playwright a true angel in America
I read with interest Times theater critic Charles McNulty’s interview with Tony Kushner [“Tony Kushner, Thinking Aloud,” April 1]. It captured Kushner’s personality quite nicely while getting out the facts in McNulty’s all-too-brief piece.
I had a ringside seat to the creation of “Angels in America.” Kushner was my writer-director for two pieces I did while in grad school at New York University.
Now, “Angels” is back, and it is still as exciting as ever. I just rewatched the HBO version, which holds up very well.
So much changes and so much remains the same.
Tim Glenn Roberts
Insert distinctive Roseanne laugh
I am the antithesis of a Trump supporter, but I loved and watched — except for the last, lame season — the original “Roseanne” in the ’80s and ’90s, and everything Times TV critic Robert Lloyd said about the reboot rings true … about the original version (except for the last, lame season) [“Don’t Bother Trying to Box Her In,” April 6]. Back then, the show was complicated, and the characters did have multiple traits and viewpoints. This iteration, however, is a two-dimensional wannabe.
Thanks for Lloyd’s thoughtful description of both the show and the phenomena surrounding it. I think his best and time-honored suggestion is to take the show as a piece of art itself, without investigating the artists behind the scene. The diversity of the characters speaks for itself.
It’s a shame Lloyd couldn’t rise above the political fray as he says Roseanne does. She’s quite clear and comfortable where she’s coming from, and Lloyd’s review tried to twist issues that shouldn’t be issues, as The Times does so frequently.
It’s a comedy TV show looking for ratings, like “Murphy Brown.”
Mahler lost amid the distractions
Re: “Mahler Learns to Let Go of Life” [Mark Swed, April 7]: In the L.A. Philharmonic’s April 5 performance of Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde,” try as he might, Gustavo Dudamel’s efforts with the orchestra and soloists were at once undermined and overwhelmed by a gigantic black frame surrounding an almost as enormous projection screen, superimposing what I can describe only as gratuitous and pretentious visual distractions on the music. These distractions ranged from abstraction to surrealism, but all with the same end result: destroying the sublime effect that Mahler and the musicians were trying to achieve.
Mahler deserved better.
Death too good for this sequel
Re: “‘Phantom’ Sequel Is a Scant Reflection,” [Daryl H. Miller, April 9]: Actually, no, “Love Never Dies” was horrible. We were part of the tide of audience members who left at intermission.
No memorable songs. No chemistry between the Phantom and Christine. Ridiculous, puerile lyrics. No amount of wonderful sets and beautiful wardrobe could ever save this dud.
Creativity: The winning play?
What’s the point? I watched the much touted “Paterno” starring Al Pacino and directed by Barry Levinson [Review: “Pacino Is at His Best as Coach,” Robert Lloyd, April 7] and was left wondering: Are there any fresh, uplifting stories out there? It seems creativity’s gone out of fashion.
Amid the details of accident ...
I just finished reading Amy Kaufman’s interesting interview with Jason Clarke [“Pursuing a Dark Turn,” April 8].
Much has been said of the film “Chappaquiddick,” in which Clarke portrays Ted Kennedy. Kaufman quotes Clarke: “It would have been very scary to be upside down in a pond at 12:30 at night.”
Has no one read or even heard of Joyce Carol Oates’ 1992 novella “Black Water”? It chronicles the thoughts of Mary Jo Kopechne as she drowned.
Believe me, the creativity of Oates is far more credible than the desperate imagination of Kennedy — or the feeble one of Clarke.
Pretty pathetic all around, if you ask me.
Regarding Kaufman’s excellent article about one of my favorite actors, I have a question. How does she know Chappaquidick was an “accident”?
Enough with ‘gun violence’
I’m tired of the phrase “gun violence” [Review: “How Can Poetry Help Us Talk About Gun Violence?,” Adriana E. Ramírez, April 8] when no one addresses the root cause of the increasing “violence” — it’s not the gun that causes an individual to act violently, it’s the person’s inability to cope with what life has thrown at him — a sense of self-esteem fostered in childhood by the handing out of gold stars for showing up instead of for accomplishing something has given him a sense of superiority and entitlement.
It’s all about the tone of review
Katie Walsh damns “The Miracle Season” with faint praise [Review: “It Makes Errors, Still Wins,” April 6]. Too bad she sounds so snarky in her dismissal of the movie.
‘Yellow Sub’ passes acid test
Re: “The Beatles’ ‘Submarine’ Is Resurfacing” [Randy Lewis, April 5]: I have a special connection to “Yellow Submarine.” Fifty years ago, a friend and I each took a tab of that potent 1968 LSD and went to the Hilltop theater in Tujunga and watched the movie (as I recall, the admission ticket was $1.50). It was, shall we say, a rather intense and unforgettable experience.