THE GREENROOM DISCUSSIONS

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |


THE GREENROOM DISCUSSIONS - Summer/Fall, 1997

note:

entire contents copyright 1997 by THE THEATER MIRROR


.

Here's a blast from our past! One of our first Reviewers has turned pro, but as an ACTOR!

: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 20:18:01 -0600 From: "James and Caroline Dube'" omadubme@sprintmail.com
Subject: hello larry!

Hi Larry,
It's me, Jamie McGonnigal. Long time, no chat. I'm out in Omaha right now, rehearsing for a production of A Christmas Carol with The Nebraska Theatre Caravan.
I will be on the East Coast Tour which will leave Omaha November 21 for Elyria, Ohio. Following that we will perform at The Shubert in New Haven and on December 13 we will be in New Bedford MA. That's the closest we come to Boston. We will be performing at 2PM & 7PM at the Zeiterion theatre.
Please come if you can make it. It's really a very charming production. And it has been touring for twenty years now. So it has stood the test of time.

I am unfortunately not on email very often (as I have no computer and am now on the road) This is my host family's computer in Omaha. But my email address (if I ever get to check my mail is JamieCampbell@rocketmail.com so, feel free to reply (I can't say when I'll read it, but it's worth a shot. And if you think you can make it to New Bedford, leave a message on my voicemail at 212.591.0547 Nice writing to you. Best wishes!
love, jamie mcgonnigal

LARRY STARK ASKED: Jamie, last we heard you were a Bridgewater undergraduate. What happened? Can you give other aspiring actors some tips on how to do it? And are you keeping a journal of experiences on tour that might be seen in The Mirror? And Jamie replied:

Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 18:53:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Jamie McGonnigal jamiecampbell@rocketmail.com
Subject: Re: hello larry!

Hi, me again...
Yes I graduated from Bridgewater in May. Following that I did another summer of stock in Vermont with the Saxtons River Playhouse (a.k.a. "Summertheater.com") Directing Plaza Suite, playing Herbie in Gypsy, Sanderson in Harvey, Paul in A Chorus Line, Action in West Side and Andy in Love Letters. Kind of a good summer.
Probably won't return-three summers were quite enough...
No, I don't have my equity card --- its a non-eq. tour. I have been offered a card twice ant turned it down, because it would not be a smart idea for me right now. I still have a lot of places to go and things to do before I can be an equity actor. I'm too young as of yet. But I know that it is not difficult to get when I need it (i.e. - when I go to NY). In Boston I had been working at The Wilbur full time as an admin. ass't (before I came out here)
I am keeping a journal.
I auditioned for this at NETCs in Boston last March. It's just that there are very few "year-round" acting opportunities offered at NETCs, so per the advice of several other actors on this tour and producers at NETCs, I will be auditioning for UPTAs (United Professional Theatre Auditions) and maybe SETC's (the Southern version of NETCs).
I would love to see you in New Bedford if you can make it, please let me know.
Talk to ya later.
Love, jamie


From: "Richard" richard@edgenet.net
Subject: Guys and Dolls @ Bishop Feehan High School
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 17:10:22 -0500

Larry, my name is Justin Jutras and I'm a student @ Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, MA. I don't know if you pay any attention to high school theater at all or do any reviews on it, well here is the message anyway. Bishop Feehan will perform "Guys and Dolls" next year in April and May(April 30th, May 1st & 3rd), it is sure to be a great show with the array of unbelievable talent we have at our school. We just performed "Lost in Yonkers" by Neil Simon, and have only received good reviews. Yes, it is a high school but we have been known to put on shows that rival any community theater. Believe me, if you do decide to watch the show next year... you won't be disappointed. Thanks.
-Justin- jrjuice@aol.com

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I tried several ways to reply to this message.
I'll put up the sketchy and incomplete information here, but I'd like to know things like the street address of the high school, and a number for reservations or tickets or information.
I have no car, and few of my friends who do are as theater-mad as I am. I won't say "no", but don't get your hopes up, Justin.
Break a leg, though.....
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 09:59:34 +0800 (U)
From: Nancy Willis nancy_willis@qm.ir.lmco.COM
Subject: re: Deathtrap

Hi Larry . . .
Welcome back from your mini vacation. Any chance you'll get out to Deathtrap this weekend. We still have two performances on Friday and Saturday. The show has been extremely well received and I'd love to have you see it.

I also wanted to thank you for the posting on the Theater Mirror for my auditions for "A Few Good Men". We had a very high percentage of those auditioning who heard about it through the posting. We got most of the auditioners from either the Theater Mirror or the Stage Source hotline. I don't know how I would have found/cast 20 men who look and sound like the Marines without those two resources. Thanks again.

Have a nice holiday. Hope to see you this weekend.
Best,
Nancy Curran Willis

LARRY STARK REGRETS:
This will be a week of catching-up for me, so I'll have to miss it. Pity, because I've never seen the play, and I have liked your work and wish to see more of it. My major problem is no car, and no theater-mad friends who do have one.

It's important to know, though, that people are benefitting from things we do in The Mirror. Until now, I have ignored audition-notices unless they come to The Mirror directly by snail- or e-mail, so we're nowhere as complete as possible. But apparently those who chose to send us announcements and audition-notices are getting results.
Great!
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 04:03:56 -0500 (EST)
From: angel@antistatic.com
Subject: Re: Man.. Review and Free Speech Wisdom needed

Now, I have a serious question for you. What does one do - what do YOU do when you are told (and you must have been at least a couple times) that they don't want a review of the show done (especially on the (gag snort) Web!)???

I had this experience tonight when we attempted to get into the "Sound of Music" in Nashua this weekend.. I had called the person in charge of tickets three times over the past three days and left detailed messages. Basically I had said I was a reviewer for a theater site on the Web and I wanted two tickets for the show. I inquired about reviewers comps, but said I would be happy to pay for tickets if they didn't offer those. She did not return my call at all. We went anyhow as it was a show I really wanted to see. We ended up getting lost on the way and therefore being a few minutes late, had a terrible time getting parking and then were told we could not get in because they sold out. At the reserved tickets table I said I was hoping tickets had been reserved for us and explained the situation to the man at the desk. He asked me what paper I reviewed for. I mentioned your website and told him I had left messages with the ticket person (who then came over). He got rather shaken up and said that they hadn't reserved any and that they had not agreed to have a review done by anyone for the "World Wide Web" (sneer).

I was surprised that tickets hadn't been held anyhow and ticketlady then stepped in and said she was sorry she didn't get back to me but they weren't going to allow the review anyhow so she didn't- and besides they were sold out (despite her answering message which said there would be tickets at the door tonight). I told him that I still wanted to see the show and had indicated in my messages that I would purchase tickets if they didn't want to give any to reviewers. He insisted they didn't want a review - at all. I asked what he meant, why didn't they want a review? He said, "The Board hasn't agreed to any reviews for the Web and you can't just call a week or so before the show and expect that to be approved." (Apparently this theater group is run by a Board of Directors.) I was pretty shocked but I really wanted to see the show ANYHOW. The reason I DO these things in the first place is cause I love theatre so much.

Ticketlady insisted we couldn't get in cause they had no seats (meanwhile other people were still purchasing unreserved seats). I told the man I still wanted to see the show and I would be happy to pay for my seats (about the tenth time I'd said it.) He said they only had balcony seats left.. and I told him that was fine. Apparently I at least convinced him I sincerely wanted to see it since he did allow me to purchase two seats and then gave me a couple seats at the very back of the main level. At least it was an enjoyable show.

Do they have the right to refuse a review? What has happened to Free Speech?????? It's unfortunate since it was a very good show (some pieces better than others) and I coulda/woulda/shoulda done a very comprehensive review of it. It's ashame I can't do a review of their work. But in any case, what do I do to 1) prevent this problem - get the review or at LEAST the tickets if they don't want the review? and 2) educate these technologically backward folks? Why don't website reviews/reviewers get the same credit and respect that newspapers do? Have you run into these issues before? How do you deal with them?

If they don't want us to review them, do we have any right to do it anyhow or can we get in legal trouble? It seems such an injustice to the performers. I was thinking of writing a full cast and production list and then under the review area state, "Permission to review was declined as reviews for websites have not been approved by the Board." - Much like famous people who decline comment get published as saying, "No Comment" or "So and so refused to comment." That should be Legal anyhow, right? Grrrr. I'm SO irritated with this bureaucratic bull~! Suggestions Please

Looking forward to learning from your wisdom and inspiration ;)
~Kind Regards,
Angel

LARRY STARK SHRUGS:
I don't think there's anything we can do, Angel. The Huntington Theater sent us an E-mail announcing they have a web-site and asking for a link, but they only once sent us any press information, and the only time I was given seats for press-night it was up in the middle of the balcony and I had to chase their P/R bloke for a week to get those.
None of the flacks for the Broadway shows coming through Boston acknowledge our existence either. The tub-thumpers for "The Diary of Anne Frank" e-mailed us to proclaim they had a web-site for the pre-Broadway tour, but though I mentioned its existence and told them by return e-mail to deal with the indifference of the local flacks.
I didn't even get a reply to that.
And there was this experience from Don Gillis down in Connecticut:

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 22:37:51 -0700
From: Don Gillis dgillis@ici.net
Subject: October-November Reviews-RI

On another note, Diane(my wife) and I wanted to get to see Goodspeed's Musical "The Tin Pan Alley Rag", which opens Oct 30 - November 23. I called and explained to them about your theatre mirror and the fact that I reviewed a previous production of their's .."Lucky in The Rain". They asked me if I meant "press comps" and of course I said yes, and they said they were not interested in "internet reviews". So, I guess that ends that...too bad because I really like Goodspeed and LOVE Scott Joplin and Irving Berlin's music. Maybe I'll go anyway...we will see..
Don

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
As Dottie Parker is reputed to have said:
" You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. " Love, ===Anon.


From: "Sharyn" Sharyn@wolfenet.com
Subject: Fw: Theatre vs. Theater
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 09:42:37 -0800

Thought you'd like to read this. Hope all's well and the mirror is supporting you.
Haven't heard from the Papp yet.
All best,
Sharyn

----------
> From: Olga Humphrey Orhum@AOL.COM
> To: ICWP-L@LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
> Subject: Theatre vs. Theater
> Date: Monday, November 03, 1997 8:59 PM

I gathered the following from a friend of mine.

The original English *and* American spelling was Theater (although, of course, this was before spelling was standardized at all, so there were lots of personal variations). Almost all references in Shakespeare's day, for example, use the Theater spelling.
In the 1700s, the English switched to Theatre for two basic reasons: To make the etymology clear by being closer--well, identical in fact--to the French spelling, since the word arrived in English from French by way of the Latin "Theatrum" and Greek "Theatron". And, less important, but a side benefit, to make the relationship with words like "theatrical" more logical.

Joe Papp, by the way, was vehement about using "er."
Olga

From: "InFocus Publications" ifpub@shore.net
Subject: theater vs. theatre
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 16:28:05 -0500

Dear Larry,

First, Larry, you have the ne plus ultra of New England theater web pages. I rely on it and am a loud supporter of your work.

But, Larry, why oh why did you tell innocent people that Theater is an art practiced in Theatres? As an overworked editor with some experience in thespian trenches, I maintain that the only difference between Theater and Theatre is the passport of the writer. With all due respect to Anglophiles everywhere, "theater" is the only standard spelling of that venerable edifice north of Tijuana and south of Quebec. At Proscenium, we certainly follow the spelling of any venue that opts for "Theatre," and I understand the historical precedent for that. Just, however, because a brewer labels a product "Lite Beer" does not make "Lite" a legitimate alternative to "light."

Please, Larry, give up the dark side and return to American orthographic rectitude.

JD at Proscenium magazine

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
In a word:

N E V E R !!!!!!!!!!!

Obstinance only makes the heart grow harder!
Even if first my old friends and then my new friends ridicule my stand, The Theater Mirror will forever be the one place on this continent where that oh so subtle distinction reigns supreme. (even The Oxford English Dictionary gets it wrong, you know.) You can't make me give up my convictions just by proving they're an out-and-out lie.

(And if I were you, JD, I wouldn't be casting aspersions on this kettle's darkness. I mean, you who can't even spell PROSCENiUM without getting your fonts mixed up, and that on your front page too!)

It's enough to make a man switch from Bass Ale to porter it is!
And one more word out of either of you and I'll be drinking Stout!


Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 23:34:15 -0800
From: David Lieberman 102545.2324@compuserve.com
Subject: Les Mis. in Boston

Could anyone tell me if Les Miserables is going to come to the Boston are in the near future? ...or if it is already in Boston and I just missed it on the list?
thanks,
Chris Mauro
cmauro@bu.edu

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Nope.
I'd list it under "L" because I am a strange old man, but it's not there.
Its not in Boston, nor coming to Boston.
It's due in Hartford in 1998, in Rhode Island in 2000, and in New Haven in 2002.
Like to know how I found out?
Jill Hobgood's website on musicals called "Theatricopia" http://www.saintmarys.edu/%7Ejhobgood/Jill/theatre.html has several websites for "Les Miserables", and the first one I tried had a search-thingie to find out where tours worldwide might be on any given date. That web page is: http://dbase.lesmis.com/scripts/lesmis/asktour.idc. Love,
===Anon.


From: MBGJ85A@prodigy.com (MR STUART R HAMILTON)
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 16:48:44, -0500
Subject: Dining

Could you suggest a good restaruant to take a ten-year-old after Annie at the Wang Center next Sunday?
Thanks

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Frankly, no.
I'm retired, and eating food-stamps. I can't remember how long ago I bought a restaurant meal.

However, there is a "New York Deli" just across the street from the Wang that serves big sandwiches and similar foods. If you walk down Tremont to the corner of Stuart Street, across Stuart to your left there are several eating places, one of which serving very good hamburgers; and there was a joyce Chen's too, I think.

I'm sorry I can't go much farther on this topic, but I'd be interested in hearing what your decision turns out to be.
Perhaps readers in The Greenroom will give better answers.
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 00:07:37 +0100
From: "Nancy E. Gertz" gertzn@tiac.net
Organization: Portal Theater Co.
Subject: MAIDS Review

Would that every theater-goer had your knowledge and appreciation of the art! Thanks for the wonderful review! You are welcome anytime--just yell!
Nancy E. Gertz (Claire)

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Is the "Women Play" workshop still active? If so, I might like to "review" one of your workshop sessions. I'd like to see the part of the iceberg that supports the visible tip which is the performance.
I really like your work.....
Love,
===Anon.

Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 13:58:52 +0100
From: gertzn@tiac.net (Nancy)
Subject: Re: MAIDS Review

The story:

Womenplay was a workshop that Rachel started when she could barely speak English about two+ years ago. It was a beginner's acting class at the JCC in Newton. We met For 3 hours weekly and did improvisation and some technique work. In June of that year we had a workshop "recital" so to speak, and that was Scenes From the Family Album (from The Three Sisters-Chekov). We started working together again in the Fall of 96, again at the JCC, with new students, a combo of beginners and advanced students. It didn't work for a variety of reasons, primarily the various levels of skill left people feeling dissatisfied. In the Spring of 96 we split up and Jane, Rachel and I sparked the idea of starting a new group of our own, separate from the JCC. In the spring of 97 we launched Portal Theatre with our own investments and some generous donations from supporters of Rachel's previous work in Israel. (By the way, she is absolutely brilliant and any credit for the show is hers--it is entirely her vision.)

So we started analyzing the text and continued our acting training with her at own of our homes and slowly came to understand THE MAIDS (which Rachel selected). After 2-3 months of study and workshop, we began working more intently on Claire and Solange--character development, biographies, movement, voice, etc. We had a voice coach and a movement instructor. We auditioned many actresses for the part of Madame and finally found Deborah about 2 months before opening night. We rented studio space in a church in Newton and worked endlessly on bringing more and more understanding of the text to the life on the stage. The play is nothing without the total understanding of Genet and the lives of the characters, as you know. Over time we stripped away layer after layer of illusion, only to find more. As we moved through each scene study we realized we now understood more and needed to re-shape the scenes we had already finished. It was always evolving, and remains so now. Every night, as I drive to the theater and review lines, I am struck by another revelation in the text. Genet may not be everyone's favorite, but he was brilliant nonetheless and the play is amazingly rich, even after doing it for months.

Rachel tok enormous risks with this production, not the least of which was using two inexperienced actors in the lead roles. I hope we have done the characters and the play justice, and I think we have. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it. Rachel has said all along that the more someone knows Genet and THe Maids, the more they will appreciate this production. I think she was right.

Thanks for your support and passing along the good words. We hope to use this as a launching pad for Portal Theatre, and any advice or assistance you can give us as we move along this path will be greatly appreciated. Hope your cold is improving!
Best, Nancy Gertz


From: HowardSB@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 09:25:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Vokes City of Angels Review

Larry,
Thanks for taking the time to see and review our show. As always, I appreciate your comments, be they thumbs up or thumbs down, as they act as a litmus test for me for future theatrical endeavors. And as you pointed out, the production doesn't stop growing on opening night!

I just wanted to clear up one factual point you mentioned in your review. Although it may have sounded like an army of musicians, there are only ever 12 musicians playing at any given performance, not 24 (4 in the rhythm section, 4 brass, and 4 reeds). The reason there are so many names listed in the program is that musicians often cannot commit to playing every performance of a 4-week run of a show due to previously existing commitments at the time I hired them, so they will "split the book" with one or more other musicians. Sometimes, in fact, a player will "sub in" for only a single performance. So that's why so many names were listed. I suppose this could have been made clearer in the program.

Anyway, I'm continually working on the balance problem between cast and orchestra. In fact, as of last night's performance, I've cut some musicians out of certain musical numbers and repositioned the orchestra to face the stage left wall rather than facing the audience directly, just so as not to drown out the lyrics in places where I've gotten feedback that they were getting lost. This is an ongoing problem that I'm faced with, and I hope to achieve the right balance as soon as possible. Of course, I'd someday love to work in a theatre that could afford body mics, but the economics of community theater tend to preclude that option.

Thanks again for your comments and your support.
- Howard Boles, Music Director, "City of Angels"

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Actually, Howard, I stayed after the curtain-calls Friday watching you and the gang go through a driving ensemble passage, and you could have been Herman's Herd for my money! But I admit I wasn't counting faces. I was really looking for Harlan Feinstein, and now I know why I didn't see him.
Some shows really ought to be reviewed on opening and on closing night, because of the growth during performances.
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 00:44:42 -0500
From: "denny J Huber,Writer" djhuber@hotmail.com
Reply-To: Pittsburgh+@pitt.edu, PA+@pitt.edu
Organization: University of Pittsburgh
To: greenroom@theatermirror.com
CC: djhuber@hotmail.com
Subject: Tour-act "Poe"

Please have actor Norman George get in touch about booking him here, as Edgar A.Poe, (read review from Tennessean..& great Photo!) Seeking touring acts for 4 restored theatres) Huber,Box-10749 Pittsburgh PA 15203

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
???????????
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark)


Date: 28 Oct 97 13:14:47 -0500
From: Susan Cassidy scassidy@cadmuscustom.com

This has been driving me crazy and finally I had to give in and send you a note. Your point about the confusion re. theater/theatre is well taken, but I think the word you want is "obstinate" pedantry, not "obstinant." I don't think there is such a word as "obstinant," at least not in Webster's dictionary.
I'm an editor, so unfortunately I notice this kind of thing.

LARRY STARK CONFESSES:
[ gulp! ]
Red-faced embarrassment......
I wonder when we got it wrong?
I wonder why we never Read it?????
I wrote a story once in which a very uppity, pompous person waved away some objection to his words by saying
"I was just speaking hermetically!"
But this makes me feel as though my entire life is really a short-story by Jorge Luis Borges!
Thanks for noticing!
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 12:17:51 -0400
From: Katie Woo kwoo@emerald.tufts.edu
Organization: Tufts University
Subject: noise/funk

hi! love the site! i heard a rumor...maybe you can help...
i heard that bring in 'da noise, bring in funk is coming to boston. is that true? please let me know when you get the chance. thank you.
love, katie

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Yes. I've been told it MAY be here in the Spring, but whether at the Shubert or the Emerson Majestic is not yet decided. Glover won't be part of the cast, though.(This is all not confirmed and released yet)

You should call DANCE UMBRELLA, who will be a sponsor.
Love,
===Anon.


From: BradWalt@aol.com
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 01:43:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mystery play at the Wilbur

Is it Quentin Tarentino in Wait Until Dark?
Do I win something if I'm right ?
Brad
PS: My second guess is Ben Kingsley in Waiting for Godot but I don't think I'd run out to buy tickets for that one.

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Shhhh! Shhh!
Let's not guess F. Murray Abraham in "Oliver!" again, Brad!
But "It will come when it will come.
The readiness is all..."
Love,
===Anon.


From: edy@tiac.net
Subject: Happiest of Birthdays!
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 19:28:07 -0400

Larry,
Love your site! Glad to see it is entering the "terrible twos".
Seriously, you know my views on what a terrific service your web site provides.
Keep going, keep growing!
Russ


Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 09:52:04 -0700
From: marc bauman mbauman@sirius.com
Subject: Thanks For Signing!

Dear Larry,
Thanks for visiting my website, and for taking the time to sign the guestbook. I just posted the first part of an interview with Marco Barricelli. I hope you will visit again soon to check it out... So, you're in New England. I'll be teaching an acting workshop in New England (Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA) in December. "Que le monde est petit..." Thanks again for visiting...
Best wishes,
Marc Bauman

P.S. I visited your site. Congratulations on having one of the most comprehensive sites on New England theatre that I have ever seen -
Bravo!

--------------------------------------------------------
Bauman Theatre Forums
http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/1723/
mbauman@sirius.com
"risk and respect…"
--------------------------------------------------------


Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 22:37:51 -0700
From: Don Gillis dgillis@ici.net
Subject: October-November Reviews-RI

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y TO YOU !!!!!!!!!

YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY !!!! BABE!!!!

2 candles - finally out of diapers!!!!!!

On another note, Diane(my wife) and I wanted to get to see Goodspeed's Musical "The Tin Pan Alley Rag", which opens Oct 30 - November 23. I called and explained to them about your theatre mirror and the fact that I reviewed a previous production of their's .."Lucky in The Rain". They asked me if I meant "press comps" and of course I said yes, and they said they were not interested in "internet reviews". So, I guess that ends that...too bad because I really like Goodspeed and LOVE Scott Joplin and Irving Berlin's music. Maybe I'll go anyway...we will see..
Don

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
As Dottie Parker is reputed to have said:
" You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. " Love, ===Anon.


Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 14:33:45 -0400
From: aseltine aseltine@sover.net
Subject: My Favorite Obstinent Pedant and His Technical Wizard

Happy, Happy, HAPPY Birthday!!!
Your site has been a god send in so many ways and getting to know you a bit has been a true, personal pleasure. When I visit the MIRROR I am entertained, enlightened and sometimes enraged, but never, ever bored. May this be the first of many happy returns of the day.
Love and appreciation,
Rosann


Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 20:35:55 GMT
From: eAds
To: eastcomp@theatermirror.com;
Subject: Microsoft Sponsorship Request

We will pay you a nickel per click ($.05) to place an ad for Microsoft's Boston city guide on your site http://www.theatermirror.com/. The guide is called Boston.Sidewalk. It is full of current event information, restaurant and nightclub reviews, maps and information, and other news that people living in the Boston area will be interested in.

To get started, simply cut and paste the HTML below onto the page where you would like to run the banner. You start generating revenue when the first click on the banner occurs. To see other ads available for placement and register for payment go to http://www.eads.com/bostsoci
Please feel free to email me with any additional questions.

Best regards,
John Nail
Ad Buyer
eAds
http://www.eads.com

LARRY STARK IMMEDIATELY REPLIED:

Hi John. This is larry stark. What nakes you think we do NOT have a banner-ad for boston.sidewalks on our THEATER MIRROR website? Haven't you been keeping track of the thousands and thousands of nickels you've had to pay us for hits on that banner?
hundreds and hundreds?
dozens and dozens???
some, maybe?
Well, it could be that the banner is on a page from our website that reprints my column-entry in the monthly NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST that talked about the boston.sidewalks site. We put it there so people could use the banner to prove to themselves that boston.sidewalks does NOT even now have a front-end method of going from your first page to the THEATER coverage. That's a little short-sighted, in my opinion, and I said so. But we put your banner up, because a nickel is a nickel after all, and even nickels from the gullible are nickels, after all, so what the hell.

It doesn't mean we think boston.sidewalks is a good thing.

We think e-Guide is a good thing. That's e-guide:
http://www.e-guide.com/lists/venues.htm
check it out. When you get there, click on THEATER and see what we mean.

If you want to give us a banner for the e-guide that would give us a nickel a click, you'd see it on every damn page The Theater Mirror puts up. We think it's that much better than boston.sidewalks .

e=guide is on our list of USEFUL links.

boston.sidewalks isn't.

Know what you should do?
Tell Bill Gates that he should buy e-guide, and put boston.sidewalks into the dustbin of history where it belongs.
He can afford it.
And if you do that, every time people jump from our Links-list to the e-guide, instead of using your banner, YOU will save a Whole Ghoddamned N I C K E L !!!
That's a bottom line you shouldn't ignore, right? Right???
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


From: laserman1@ibm.net
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 1997 10:02:59 -0400
Subject: seating plan for Boston theaters.

Hi, My wife and I go to the theater 4 or 5 times a year and we get our tickets from Show Of the Month Club. I'd like to know where on the net I can get the theaters seating plans. I'd like to have the seating plans so i know when i get my tickets where i will be seating and to also buy tickets base on the seats at the theather that I like. Thanks for any info, David Polizzotti

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
In a word, David:

N O W H E R E

None of the big Broadway barns who use Show of The Month even have web-sites.
IMPORTANT NOTE:
You can find seating charts for The Lyric Stage or The New Repertory Theatre, because we, The Theater Mirror, made their websites for them. They're not Show of The Month theatres, but we like them. We happen to like seating charts too, truth to tell.
Maybe you can get a seating-chart from TICKETRON or some other on-line ticket-agency. Frankly I doubt it.
Part of the reason that the only seating-chart you can see is physically in the theatre lobby is that the bigger the theatre, the more complicated ticket-selling becomes. Many seats may have been kept off-sale on specific dates, for instance --- reviewer's comps, house-seats, ARTS/mail, Show of The Month, or seats reserved for the star, the producer, the artistic staff, and for other peculiar reasons. The ticket-sellers know what's available and what's not, they can get you the best possible combination of date/price/location THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE, and they can confer with you personally about what aspects of that formula are most important when deciding on other seats than those you have your heart set on. The computer that will make mechanical decisions about these things is not in Boston, it's in Peoria, and it doesn't know you very well.
Why don't you call the Wang and ask THEM why their seating-chart isn't on the Internet? If you do, please tell us at The Mirror what their answer is.
Love,
===Anon.

From: MNWillers@aol.com
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 18:44:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Will Rogers Follies

I knew I should have looked sooner to find the great review on Scott Wakefield. We just got through doing a run of the follies here at Diamond Head Theater in Honolulu Hawaii and Scott was amazing. I had the honor of being his dresser and he was just a joy to work with and y'know what...he's just as funny off-stage as he is on-stage. That Will Rogers banter comes natural for him. We ended up extending for 2 more shows which is rare for a DHT production. The only one we extended recently was Crazy for You- our season closer a few months ago. In fact, Eileen Grace came by for 9 days to teach the girls the Tommy Tune choreography and they nailed it, especcially "Campaign" - so people out there..don't underestimate theater here in Hawaii.

Thank you for such a fantastic review of him and the show by Beverly Creasey. We had a patron who had seen the Keith Carradine version and liked Scott much better. I never got to see Keith's version or anybody else's version, but I do admit it will be hard to better Scott at this point - of course, working closely with him I am a bit biased.

He should be home today. He left last night. Keep him busy...more people need to see his work.
Aloha,
Mindy Willers

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
What a wonderful letter to find in my electronic mailbox!
I didn't make it to Waltham to see the show, but I've learned to trust Beverly's eye. How amazing to get a confirmation from half a world away!
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 16:30:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Doug Kirshen dkirshen@fas.harvard.edu
Subject: CABARET at Hasty Pudding

Dear ART-list Subscriber,
The A.R.T. has nothing whatsoever to do with the production of Cabaret now at the Hasty Pudding Theatre except that one of the stars, Jonathan Hammond, is a graduate of the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. Ed Siegel was nice enough to mention this in the Globe today (review follows below). It's nice to get some credit, but you can't teach talent!
-Doug


/Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 03:20:20 -0400
From: Fernando Paiz fpaiz@MIT.EDU
Subject: Theater Mirror

Hi,
Firstly I wanted to say that I think the web page is great.
And since, I am the web master for The Shakespeare Ensemble at MIT, I was hoping to add our web page to your listing, since you have such a nice list that includes an MIT section anyway...
The URL is:
http://www.mit.edu:8001/activities/ensemble/
Thanks,
Fernando J. Paiz
(The Bastard in that production of King John you liked so much :) )

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Well, as one Bastard to another, I should point out that the Shaxpy Ensemble did indeed have a link on our list when it started out. Then, roughly a year later, I cruised through taking out URLs that didn't work anymore or hadn't been updated, and the Shagsper Ensemble fitted that latter description perfectly.
But you changed all that, didn't you?
And now it's back.
If you send me a little more about the production of FUENTE OVEJUNA I'll put it into SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS; and, unless you bar the door, I'll probably even review it! Break a aleg all.....
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 19:16:32 +0100
From: Nancy Gertz gertzn@tiac.net
Organization: Portal Theater Co.
Subject: Portal Theater Co. presents THE MAIDS

Larry,
I'm a reader of your website and also an actress and founder of a newly established theater company in Boston. We are Portal Theater Co., directed by Rachel Rahav Shatil, and we are opening at the BCA Black Box Theater on October 30 with THE MAIDS by Jean Genet. Our press kits have gotten around but I was wondering how we get listed on your webpage. And can we get you to review the show? Please respond to me personally at the address listed. Many thanks!!
Nancy Gertz

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
But, Nancy, you ARE listed on our webpage, under COMING ATTRACTIONS; look:

30 October - 16 November
"The Maids"
PORTAL THEATRE
Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617)426-0320 [TTY 1(617)348-2926]

If you want a squib in SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS on our front-end page, send it to us. I put a short precis there, and then quote your entire press-release at the top of the ANNOUNCEMENTS page. Same for audition-calls.
All that's required is getting the words to me, by e-mail, or snail-mail, or by the flier I found in the lobby of the BCA when I saw "Merrily We Roll Along".
As for reviewing, give me a call at 1(617)277-5573 and tell me when to come.
I don't have a car, but I think I can find my way from the MBTA stop to the BCA again ... unless the damn crows have eaten the crumbs again..
Break a leg all!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


meganbell1@juno.com At 03:56 PM 10/7/97 -0500, you wrote:

I was just wondering how I could find out about future auons in the New England area. Any info. you could give me would be helpful. Your web site is an excellent resource and very well organized, Great Job !!
Megan Bell
meganbell1@juno.com

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Sorry to be so late with this.

For New England, I've been told that NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST is the biggest and most reliable spread of audition notices. Problem is, it's a Monthly.

The Boston GLOBE's Thursday Calendar publishes audition notices, and perhaps the Boston PHOENIX (and their regional clones in Providence and Worcester) carry them as well, and they're all weekly.

There is a Subscription Phone Service maintained by STAGE SOURCE that is the only other good, reliable source I've heard of. You must pay to learn their phone number, and that number is changed periodically. As I said, subscription service. But changes go up there immediately, so it's the most current list of auditions Which They Have Found Out About.

That last line is important, because all these services have the same problem The Mirror does: people don't always publicize auditions as widely as possible. There were listings in last week's GLOBE Calendar, for instance, that never got to The Theater Mirror, and there were LOTS in N.E.E.D. that never got to us either. Community Theatres may only notify members, by mail, and then rely on "the grapevine"; and often the grapevine will be the only way a director will look for actors for a one remaining part not yet cast, or for suddenly needed replacements when an actor quits.

Frankly, that grapevine is really your Best source --- for several unpleasant reasons. One of the unfortunate realities of the theater job-market here is that most of the parts are for men, and most of the actors are women. Women who know about casting for a part they would kill to play would rather keep the audition-pool for that part as small as possible, so they don't share. And very often directors know before the audition who they'd prefer to cast, so an "open" casting-call is actually a fiction. And the only way to know what's really going on in such situations is that grapevine.

I wish it were easier.

The Theater Mirror only lists audition-notices that come directly to us, and we pass on casting-calls that come through the NETC electronic bulletinboard. We don't steal notices from N.E.E.D. (though we do steal performance-listings!) because their unique completeness in this area is a major selling-point for them, and we'd like to make certain they stay in business because of the benefit to theater they provide acorss the board.

I don't know about STAGE SOURCE, but I don't think a serious actor can live without it, regardless of cost.

I wish it were easier!!! Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 13:42:38 -0400
From: Matt Leavitt mleavitt@jimmy.harvard.edu
Subject: Obstinance

WOW...I actually found someone who agrees with me:

"A note of pure obstinant pedantry:
THEATER is an art.
It is practiced in THEATRES."

How true you speak! I'm impressed. Thank goodness there are anal people like us in the world!
--Matt Leavitt
--Webmaster, The Footlight Club
--mleavitt@jimmy.harvard.edu

LARRY STARK'S REPLY:

"We few.........
We happy few.............." ===Anon.


From: EAHInc@aol.com
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 00:53:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: FYI

Larry,
Just some good news from the source. Maryann Zschau, this summer's "Adelaide" in the Publick Theatre's production of "Guys and Dolls", and Steven Bergman, composer of Centastage's "Jack The Ripper : The Whitechapel Musical" were married on September 7th on Cape Cod. They will be on a professional honeymoon as both are involved in the National Tour of "Sister Amnesia's Country Western Nunsense Jamboree", which also played in Boston last spring. Well wishes can be sent to Email : EAHInc@aol.com.
And just a word of thanks for providing a wonderful service to the theatrical community online.
Sincerely,
Steve Bergman

LARRY STARK ADVISES:
By all means Have FUN, guys! That's what marriage is For!!! Love,
===Anon.


From: Merritt101@aol.com
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 20:32:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Correction

Hello Larry,

There is a glaring error in Ms. Creasley's review of AS YOU LIKE IT. She states that Rosalind is "Shakespeare's longest role."

Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest role in a single play, while Falstaff is Shakespeare's longest role period, appearing in HENRY IV PTS. 1 & 2, and THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

Am I becoming a curmudgeon?
Hope all is well.
Todd

LARRY STARK INSISTS:
A pedant, perhaps, Todd; you're much too young to be a curmudgeon.
(I speak with authority!)

Will you have any reviews for us, or are classes too taxing this season? Love,
===Anon.


From: "Sharyn Shipley" Sharyn@wolfenet.com
Subject: Hope - that dreadful beast
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 17:58:46 -0700

Papp Public Theatre asked the producer for a play.

She sent mine.

I'll keep you posted, of course.

Sharyn Shipley

"Felicity" is being featured in the Theater Mirror at http://www.theatermirror.com/reflect.htm

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Oh, be still my beating heart!!!!
Love, ===Anon.


From: edy@tiac.net
Subject: Thank you!
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 1997 16:41:08 -0400

Larry,
Just got a chance to read your review of our production of FALSETTOS, and had to write and thank you for your kind words. Although, when I heard that you were coming on OPENING NIGHT (the scariest night in a show's life), I was more than a bit nervous.
FALSETTOS is one of the most challenging pieces it has been my honor to direct. I have an excellent and courageous cast of actor/singers that trusted in the material (and in my vision) and to see it fully realized and appreciated it a singular joy known only to those in this business.
Thanks again!
Russ

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 11:15:49 -0400
From: Don Baillargeon dbaillar@psgroup.com
Subject: Re: wow.

Dear Larry,
I am so happy you were able to attend the production this past weekend. It was nice seeing you once again. I was rather overwhelmed by the audience response when we all got into the lobby after the show. The WERS show this weekend was incredibly fun. I really appreciated you review of the show.
I think this is truly the epitome of an ensemble! Sorry, I wasn' table to chat with you longer. I am so blessed to be working with a cast of such talented performers. Thanks for sharing in a fantastic theater experience!
Kind Regards,
Donnie Baillargeon

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
These aren't here because they flatter me. People who waited after the show opening night and talked to cast or crew at The Footlight Club would have seen the feelings they all had for one another.
But I don't think that was necessary. Those felings were obvious in the performance --- in the sincere commitment each actor brought to the realization of the lines, the unfolding of the dialogues, the way the pieces fit into the whole.
I was glad to see both the director and one of his actors crediting the success for the show not to themselves but to everyone. I heard once that a jazz musician and teacher said that the job of a jazz player was to try to make everybody else in the ensemble sound better.
Good theater is the same thing.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 17:58:41 -0700
From: Don Gillis dgillis@ici.net
Subject: Now We All Know- WHO IS LARRY STARK!

Thanks for the information and biography. It was interesting to me, and I'm sure a lot of other readers. Thanks for sharing your life, and especially those wonderful memories that NO ONE can take away!
Don


From: "Sharyn Shipley" Sharyn@wolfenet.com
Subject: Felicity synopsis
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 1997 08:20:03 -0700

Dear Larry --
The play's changed so much, would you like a new synopsis?
Got my first call from a theatre group in LA that may want to do the play.
How's it going?
Sharyn Shipley

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS: Sharyn's play --- initially called "Hamlet: The Women" has gone through several workshops and re-writes. An episodic history of its many permutations can be found in The Theater Mirror's "Reflections" section. Take a look!

From: edy@tiac.net
To: greenroom@theatermirror.com
Subject: Mr. Marx's Comments
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 00:35:34 -0400
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-MimeOle: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE Engine V4.71.1008.3

Larry,

While I do not dispute Mr. Marx's rights concerning ownership of his thoughts and opinions, I strongly dis-agree with his "jab" at your website as being merely designed to "publicize Boston theatres" and are afraid of discomforting them. Your Web site does a great deal more in one week to enlighten and inform the public as to what is happening in the New England theatre scene than Bill Marx, and the rest of the print media in the Boston area, will in their entire "blinkered" lifetime.

I have noticed that many of your reviews are "tempered" in their criticism, and I don't always agree with some of your opinions. But I DO respect your willingness to take productions at face value and understand that things like budgets and time commitments have an effect. I also respect the fact that you realize that most people are involved in theatre at whatever level they can be because they love it and are giving it their all.

The fact that the "official Boston theatre scene" is currently in such a lamentable state, is that they do not support the "outer circle theatres" with any kind of consistancy. Your web site and NEED are the only ones that have remained vigilant. It is through efforts such as this that the theatres outside of the "golden circle" will continue to thrive, and have a place to share and build a community of theatres.

Sorry to have sounded so passionate, but, it touched a nerve, ya know?!

Russ

NOTE: Russ is referring to the the letter below:

Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 15:52:06 -0400
From: Bill Marx WMarx@compuserve.com
Subject: Use of Globe review
To: Larry Stark greenrm@shore.net
Content-Disposition: inline

August 28, 1997

Dear Mr. Stark,

You have every right to criticize my reviews, but you don't have the right to reproduce them without my permission. If you would like to put my work on ``The Theater Mirror'' you can. But we must agree to a reasonable fee: the Globe buys first publication rights,s to the paper would probably want you to remove ``Globe Correspondent'' from underneath my name. Pay me a fee and I will also send you a correct version of the piece to replace the messy representation you have now.
I am amused, but slightly puzzled, by your takingmy ``Guys and Dolls'' review without contacting me. Since your avowed purpose is to publicize Boston theaters, why include any critical material that may discomfort them?

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
As you must know, Mr. Marx, I don't have any money.
What I ran was obviously badly "scanned" and sent to me (I don't read the GLOBE as a general rule), and I do apologise for misrepresentations of your work. I ran it for comparison's sake along with every review I could find.
But since it obviously discomforts you, I am removing it at this moment.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


From: edy@tiac.net To: Subject: Falsettos at JP Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 18:33:56 -0400 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-MimeOle: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE Engine V4.71.1008.3 Larry, We have cast the role of Jason. We were fortunate enough to find Jonathan Randall Silver who recently played Colin for Arlington's SECRET GARDEN. He is terrific! Thanks for putting up the listing for us. We really hope that you will be able to make the show! Also, the Footlight Club's web site (http://www.angelfire.com/ma/jas1/footlight.html )is now up and running. Can you add it to your listings?
Thanks again!
Russ

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Whew! Don't you just LOVE happy endings!!!!! Love, ===Anon.


From: LSwerd999@aol.com
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 11:51:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: J Tormey Feature

Thanks so much for J's e-mail address. I'll try it today.

Although the Pocket Mime was originally my idea, I only stayed with the company the first year. J and Anegrette and the others deserve the credit for sticking with it so many years. Many times I wondered if I made the right choice leaving the company.

I dropped out of Emerson in my junior year and spent two years kicking around Boston as an actor, doing musicals at the Rose Caberet and some legit work at the Charles Playhouse. In '72 I moved to San Diego and did 2 years of stock work, mostly as a stage manager. After that, I got to the point where I couldn't stomach another Niel Simon play, so I took a pay cut and went over to the Old Globe Theatre where I stage managed 2 Shakespeare festivals and the first educational tour the company produced. I then returned to school at UCSD where I studied directing stage and film. After graduating, I spent 2 years directing shows in San Diego theatres including the San Diego Repertory and the Globe.

In '79 I moved to L.A. and broke into television. I've directed and produced a few TV series for children and eventually got into writing. I won a National Emmy Award for my writing on Jim Henson's Muppet Babies. I've also worked on "Winnie the Pooh" and the Simpsons. A couple years back I wrote and directed a children's feature film titled "The Skateboard Kid". Currently I am directing live music concerts that are broadcast on the internet with Billboard Live. But lately I've been thinking seriously about returning to Boston with my wife and children -- if I can find the right employment opportunity.

It's nice to see that the Boston theatre scene is still flourishing. I was delighted to discover your web site earlier this week. I'll be logging in frequently.
Larry Swerdlove


Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 23:06:15 -0700
From: Don Gillis dgillis@ici.net
Subject: Biography of Larry Stark?

Hello Larry:
Since I have been doing theatre reviews, I have a lot of people asking me about the theatre mirror(especially...WHO IS LARRY STARK?) I know that you and I have talked on the phone, and you are a reviewer for the Boston Phoenix( which I tried to pick up here in Rhode Island...and was unsucessful...if you know where I can get a copy let me know)....but back to LARRY STARK ... how about a nice bio of you on the theatre mirror? I am sure a lot of people are interested in knowing (especially those of us out-of-state(ers) would be interested.. How about it?
Don Gillis
Pawtucket Community Players

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Well, oddly enough the necessity never occurred to me, but why not?
Let me work on it a while...


From: LSwerd999@aol.com
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 13:15:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: J Tormey Feature

I read J's feature about the Pocket Mime Theater with interest, as I was one of the founding members. I'd like to get in touch with J. Do you have his e-mail address, or is it possible to e-mail him here.

Larry Swerdlove

LARRY STARK REPLES:
Took a while, but I found it! to whit:

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 23:16:20 -0500 From: J Tormey 70511.1513@compuserve.com

You know, if we work it right, maybe we can reunite the entire POCKET MIME THEATER troop once again!
Failing that, people can relive the glories of their past in the historey we call "Life Upon The Wicked Stage..." Love,
===Anon.


From: MajorTom18@aol.com
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 1997 18:31:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: mistake in web page

Theatre is the art
Theater is the placed where that art is practiced
just thought I'd let you know,
Melanie

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Do you have a reference for that?
Seriously. It was Joe Hanlon's speculation, and I've nevr gone to the Boston Public Library and delved into the O.E.D. for any back-up information. Every six months or so someone questions me on it, but you're the first one who's Agreed with the dichotomy.
Most editors decide, dogmatically, on one; and people who do NOT spell it that way are often miffed that the name of their group or playspace is being misspelt. Since I've forced myself, by the pedantic quip, to think about how I'm using the word each time, I've remained sensitive to how other people spell their name. In that one sense, it's a useful quirk.
But I'd really love to tell the entire Theater Mirror audience that I've been 180-degrees Wrong all these months!
Not that I'd conform, you understand....
But where did you find out?
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Sun, 17 Aug 1997 16:29:31 -0400
From: Christopher Foran : cforan@world.std.com
Subject: Spamming me.

Wish all the spams which I received were this good! Thanks for the link, I just got around to link back to you. I will try and keep you informed about Oddfellows current productions. Thanks again.
http://world.std.com/~cforan/op.htm
cforan@world.std.com | Christopher T. Foran

The Theater Mirror wrote:

Hi. This is larry stark, from The Theater Mirror, and I apologise for what must look like SPAM to you.

The Theater Mirror [ http://www.shore.net/~greenrm or http://www.theatermirror.com ] --- in case you hadn't noticed --- has a link to your very website on our quite selective links-list, and we probably list information about your productions, updated once a week,. ((If you'd like to e-mail information about current or planned productions directly to us, any time, we'd certainly like it, since it might save time getting the information into our pages. But we'll do it the hard way if we have to!))

But at the moment I have something else in mind:

Reviewers.

Including me, we have three people reviewing plays in and around Boston, and for a while we had a reviewer in Connecticut, until he had a baby and ran out of time.

But there's a lot going on in the six-state New England area we cover, and though I'd love to see it all, the next best thing would be to get reviewers to tell us what's going on at your theatre and any others in your neck of the stage. It's one thing for me to know from your listing what you're doing, but quite another to have a sensitive pair of eyeballs report to me (and the to 80 or so people who look into The Mirror every day) what they saw you do.

Now, I don't make any money out of this, and I certainly can't pay reviewers anything either, but I'd certainly like to give them a by-line and exposure, and to put up their reviews uncut no matter how tempted I might be to edit a sentence or argue with an opinion.
All we can offer is worldwide fame, and 80 readers every day.

And by "reviewers" I don't really mean professionals. People who see a lot of theater and can tell other people about what they saw --- I am, personally, much more interested in what a reviewer SAW than what they thought about it --- are exactly the kind of people I'd like to hear from regularly.

And we're not committed exclusively to E-mail either. Beverly Creasey send her reviews by snail, and I re-type them. (I'm retired, and the Mirror keeps me off the streets)

This is going to web sites that are NOT in the immediate Boston area, in the hope of giving our readers a window on the state of theater in other states.
I'm certain there IS theater on the other side of Route 128, and I want to know what it's like!

So, if you can scare up anyone interested, have them get in touch with me.
The e-mail you know.
By snails it's
LARRY STARK
117B Thorndike Street
Brookline MA 02146
and by phone
1(617)277-5573

And, break a leg on YOUR next show too!

Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark)

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
Yes, that "spam" message might be familiar to the all-too-few theater groups that have web-sites. I hate, detest, and abominate SPAM, and apologise for resorting to it, but that was the best way I knew to get the word out.

The word, though, is important to the expanding curiosity of The Theater Mirror. Don Gillis down in Rhode Island took our bait, and you've read his reviews right here in The Mirror. He's seen shows I didn't even know existed, and because he did those 80 people a day know about them too.
So if you'd like to send in a note about the next show you see, anywhere in New England, I'll turn it into a review, and you'll become, instantateously, just as famous as Don Gillis.
Give it a try!


From: "Sharyn Shipley" Sharyn@wolfenet.com
Subject: site
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 08:20:40 -0700

Dear Larry,
Your website is getting pretty spectacular these days. Is it supporting itself ( and you) now? I hope so. It sure looks good, is easy to get around and is chock full of interesting info.

I'm on the List of women playwrights on the web (and so is GL Horton, lucky us).
I was wondering if the theatres would let us know if they are interested in seeing new works, what criteria etc? Is there room in your site for this info?

I'm hard at work on the rewrite.
Am very happy and seem to be adopting a horse.
Love
Sharyn

LARRY STARK HOPES:
Well, that may mean some more SPAM, but I'll see what I can do.
The plight of the playwright, script in hand and eager for fulfillment, is one that the companies in our links-list should contemplate. So I'll see what I can do.


Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 10:16:32 -0400
From: ewb2@cornell.edu (E. Wayles Browne)
Subject: shaggy dog

Hi Larry! I typed my own name into a search engine on the World Wide Web, and it found your retelling of the Three Russian Musicians shaggy dog story. So I see that you are doing the same thing you always loved, just better and more technologically. Or let's say that you have found a way to combine fanzinedom and theater reviewing.
And I'm doing the same old things: teaching people languages and lin- guistics. But now, when I introduce them to Serbo-Croatian, I have to explain how there is Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian, each in its own area. We've been aiding a lot of Bosnians: refugees and students coming here, also contacting Bosnians around the world by e-mail, and I was invited to Tuzla, Bosnia, for 10 days last fall to visit the new university there and talk about linguistics.
Best,
Wayles

Wayles Browne, Assoc. Prof. of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics
Morrill Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A.

LARRY STARK REMEMBERS:
I met Wayles Browne while crewing the second play performed in the new Loeb Drama Center at Harvard --- "Peer Gynt" I think it was. Ordered to plug something into one of the onstage sockets, I dutifully un-plugged the first one I found, only to hear a gruff, gutteral, offended "Hey!" from a bespectacled undergraduate with an electric drill in his hands. We met, backstage and elsewhere, for years after.
Wayles was one of two stage-managers for a production of "Ajax" done at Loeb later that year. They needed Wayles to keep track of the book, and my friend Jean Young to call cues, because the play was done in Greek and only Wayles could read or understand it. I remember a train-ride coming back from New York or New Haven when, to while away the time, Wayles taught me the Russian alphabet. I forgot it almost imediately, but not because learning it wasn't fun.
It was while I was busily setting props for an original play in the Loeb's Experimental Theatre that Wayles followed me about the empty stage for what felt like hours telling me the tale of thoseThree Russian Musicians. I learned that evening a corollary of Aristotle's dictum that tragedy fills the soul with fear and pity, then empties and cleanses it. A good pun does the same for the inside of your skull, and Wayles' story left me speechless. I have always credited him with its origin --- mostly out of self defense.
When I met Wayles, I was beginning to become who I am.
Apparently, he was too.


From: maryann_zschau@putnaminv.com
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 97 11:44:37 -0500
To: larrystark@theatermirror.com
Subject: Thank you...

Dear Larry,
My name is Maryann Zschau and I am currently playing Adelaide in the Publick Theatre's production of "Guys & Dolls". I have just had the pleasure of reading your review and had to write to thank you for noticing the little details we (Spiro and the actors!) incorporated into our production to make it unique from all the others.
As you must know, when you are playing a character that is so classic, you search long and hard to come up with something just a little different to make "her your own" and the glasses for Adelaide were Spiro's idea but I made it fit so it was a combined effort as you indicated.
I also have to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of my fiancee Steven Bergman who wrote the music for the April production of "Jack the Ripper: The Whitechapel Musical" produced by Centastage. Your kind words were greatly appreciated and worthy of thanks.
Again, I really appreciate your mentioning our hard work and you will be happy to know that I have blown up the last line of the review "Maybe it's just that Spiro Veloudos happens to know a hell of a lot of good, imaginative actors..." and put it in Spiro's office at the Publick!!!!
Thanks again,
Maryann Zschau - MZtheDiva@aol.com


Guilty Children Comedy company
guilty@cybercom.net
www.cybercom.net/~guilty

WOW!
That's all I can say after finding your website. Thank you for creating this great reference!
I'd be thrilled if you added a link to Guilty Children's new web site.
Also, may I inform you about upcoming productions? Should we email a press release?
Thanks again, keep up the fabulous work.
WOW!
Brian Jewell

LARRY STARK'S STANDARD REPLY IS:
If you'll get basic info to us bt E-mail, it might get into the listings faster. This is Standard Form:

Opening - closing DATES
" title "
GUILTY CHILDREN (i.e. name of either Producing Company or Theatre)
Street Address
1(area code)phone-number

And your link is up Right Now!
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 09:34:48 -0500 (CDT)
From: sharyns@ix.netcom.com (Sharyn Shipley)
Subject: Re:Reading of "Felicity" Aug 3 Skirball Museum LA

Dear Larry,
Then are having a dinner in my honor. Oh my.
All best,
Sharyn


Date: 24 Jul 1997 15:49:46 U
From: "Nancy Willis" nancy_willis@qm.ir.lmco.COM
Subject: RE: Your review of "Lips Together, Teeth Apart"

Larry . . . Just wanted to drop a line and thank you for the very supportive and encouraging review of our production and for getting it out in record-setting time! How do you do it? It was a pleasure to finally get to meet you in person and to share a little discussion on our differing opinions about "Company."
I saw your comments to Jim Shea regarding writing a review of what he liked or didn't like about "Other People's Money." I would love to have more "just audience folk" take the time to give their opinions of shows. After all, they're the ones who buy the tickets and pay the bills! Let's hope he takes you up on your dare!
Again, thanks for your kind words about our production at Vokes. The entire experience has been a pleasure . . . see you at the theatre! Love,>BR> Nancy CW


From: "Sharyn Shipley" Sharyn@wolfenet.com
Subject: "Felicity"
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 19:08:46 -0700

Dear Larry,
This is the most interesting time. Waiting for the first staged reading. I'm really pleased with the script. And it's almost here. I'm a little intimidated by the fact that Judaic and Shakespearean scholars are coming to see it, and I'm expected to talk after it. But I imagine it'll be great fun to say me, mine, ours. Wish you weren't so very far away.
The dramaturg says it goes like wildfire now (I can't take credit for that, it has that incredible "Hamlet" engine under it) and I like the fast pace.
Here's the blurb, and I'll send you the very impressive flyer put out by the Skirball if you like (in hard copy, with a stamp.) They've done serveral mailings and news etc. but I'm so far away and they don't send them to me. I guess they figure I'm going to be there, so what the hell?
Anyone in LA you want to send to see it? Let me know.
All best,
Sharyn

My new work "Felicity" will be presented at the Skirball Cultural Center on Aug.3,1997 at 1:00 PM.

Notes from the program:
"In playwright Shipley's extraordinary re-investigation of 'Hamlet' a young Jewish girl gets mixed up in the intrigues of the world's most dyfunctional family, with an ending that's sure to surprise!"
If you'd like to send a representative to attend the staged reading, or would like to read the script please contact me via email. Sharyn@wolfenet.com Please see notes on "Felicity" (previously "Hamlet: the Women") at the Theatre Mirror in the Reflections section.


Date: Mon, 21 Jul 97 08:18:17 PDT
From: jshea@buckey.ssd.loral.com (Jim Shea )
Subject: theatre mirror

Thanks for the reply. All worked out well, as I booked tickets for "Other People's Money," at Deco Boston Dinner Theatre in Woburn. Nice show! And at a good price, although there was a very small turn-out, probably since it was Sunday afternoon.
It wouldn't have been possible to arrange this without the Theatre Mirror, so thanks so much for the service! (Well, last year I made similar arrangements by having a friend to fax pages from the Globe to me.) The only drawback was that, since I got the title and number from the list of currently running plays, there was no review with it. Thus I had to go on the title itself and from whatever description that I got from the front office - not the best way to go aout this! But as I say, we all had a good time and enjoyed the show.
All best,
Jim Shea

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I'm really glad everything worked out, Jim, and thanks for telling us about it.
But let me expand on your problem --- because it's a problem with me too.
In the past two weeks, I saw nine plays, and I have yet to write my review of the last one. (Thank Ghod Beverly Creasey already did!)But that means there were 399 other shows that were NOT reviewed in The Theater Mirror at all.
But think about this: "Nice show!" is now the ONLY review that show has had so far.
Why didn't Y O U review it?
I'm serious. You know what you saw, you know what you liked, the show is still running, and you know our e-mail address. What else do you need?
When I started The Theater Mirror nineteen months ago, I expected that "Minority Reports" would be the most active page it had. Think of it: anyone who reads the Mirror and sees plays has the opportunity of telling the whole world what they saw and what they thought about it --- even agreeing or disagreeing with previous opinions, reviews, and reports --- even telling people about a show they may never get to see.
I don't read reviews to find out what reviewers loved or hated, but what they say --- what you just said --- gives me more information about the show than the bare-bones listings ever can.
How 'bout it, Jim?
I dare you!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark)


Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 15:21:42 -0400
From: Edward Yasi
Subject: Footlight Club Casts Falsettos

Larry,
Thank you for posting our audition notice for Falsettos; I know that more than a few of our "auditionees" heard about the show from your web site.
We have recently completed casting the show and are extremely excited. The cast is as follows:
Marvin: Donnie Baillargeon
Trina: Maria Wardwell
Mendel: David Berti
Whizzer: Peter Adams
Charlotte: Candace Hopkins
Cordelia: Isabel Davis
We are still in search of a boy (age 11-13) to play the role of Jason. If you know of anyone interested, they can contact me via email at "edy@tiac.net" or by phone (617) 893-2693.
Performance dates are set for September 19, 20, 26, 27 and October 2, 3. We hope that you will be able to make it!
Thanks aain,
Russ


From: Harlan Feinstein harlan@cie.cuc.com
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 23:55:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: howdy & Carnival question

Hi! Legend has it that you're going to be visiting us at Turtle Lane's Carnival sometime soon. Since the pit can't be seen at all there, you'll have to tell me when you're there so I can come out and say hi! :-) Or send word back to the pit. We're actually the first show in a while (I understand) not to use the underground pit they've got; we're actually off-stage to the left, up on a platform.
But, the show's starting to gel, and I'm looking forward to finding out what it looks like and sounds like from the front.
--Harlan


From: Playomatic@aol.com
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 11:36:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hey Larry!

Hey Larry!
I loved the review of Whoa Nellie! Thanks for what sounds like a big endoresement. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I think you've really captured the essence of my work in a very succinct fashion too, by the way. The whole "living cartoon" and "satire" bit is very accurate in my estimation.
Hey, thanks!
- Steven Stuart

AND LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Aw gee, Steve, you don't have to thank me --- you'll get my bill in tomorrow mirning's mail! (Insert wry emoticon of your choice here!)
Stick with the "living cartoon" concept; I think you can really say a lot with that framework. And with more rehearsal-time to explore the physical possibilities of these situations, actors should really have a ball with plays like these.
It's also good to see a playwright getting his ink-stained fingers dirty actually doing the work of bringing a play or two of his own to the stage. Yes, it's good to give a show to actors and directors who are Not the playwright --- plays have to live outside the theatre inside the writer's head --- but plays get written better when the writer's personal experience of what Can and Can't be made to work on stage comes out of practical experience.
End of sermon.
Now, Steve, get back to the damn keypad and finish some more plays!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Date:Tue, 08 Jul 1997 09:03:48 -0700
From:Jim Shea jshea@buckey.ssd.loral.com
Subject: reviews

I've just been browsing through your reveiws of plays in the Boston area. They're interesting & informative. But in the list of "Reviews of Current Productions", I only found a couple of plays that are actually still running! All the rest have finished their runs, according to the 'til ___' date at the end of the review.
I'm trying to arrange for a night at the theater when I go into town. Since I live nowhere near there, I thought that I could read through your list, find some interesting shows, and call for ticket prices, etc. But all the shows on your list are over!
I ended up wasting a lot of time - maybe you could move the old reviews off to another list.
Jim Shea

LARRY STARK SYMPATHIZES:

I'm really sorry to have wasted your time.
I keep all references to reviews of Currently Running shows on our front-end page, so that's all you needed to read.

Every review is "archived" when it goes up, and the list of reviews is actually by DATE, with the newest review added at the top of the list each time. I'm really sorry that wasn't clear.
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Wed, 02 Jul 1997 23:28:31 -0400
From: Michael L Howard mlhoward@erols.com
Subject: The Secret Garden

I'm looking for an upcoming production of The Secret Garden and/or the name of the company that holds the rights.
Also, does anyone know of a source for pictures of the Virginia Rep or New York production?

AND LARRY STARK REPLIED:

31 July - 16 August
"The Secret Garden"
ACADEMY PLAYHOUSE
120 Main Street, ORLEANS
1(508)255-1963

Hi. Sorry to be so long in answering, but every time I looked at your message I was doing something else and didn't have the time, and most often when I did "have the time" I used it to get som sleep.
I just flipped through the COMING ATTRACTIONS list, and that's the only listing So Far for the show.
HOWEVER, my copy of NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST hasn't arrived in my mailbox yet --- which is odd --- and there may be some production still unrecognized.
As to rights, maybe the Academy Playhouse people would be able to answer your questions. If not, BAKER'S PLAYS deals in rights, and so does TAMS WHITMARK. (I hope I've spelled that right!) Baker's at least is:
http://www.bakersplays.com/
and they might even arrange the rights for you via E-mail, if they can.
About pictures of productions in those two sothron states, I can't help you at all. Phone the theatres directly and they may have more information.
I hope the delay hasn't inconvenienced you.
Break a leg...
Love,
===Anon.

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 22:54:30 -0400
From: aseltine aseltine@sover.net
Subject: Scrambling!

Dear Larry,
I've been madly scratching for work--a fall & 2 summer prospects now in the works. Finally had a chance to read THE MIRROR.
Loved the whole simplictic (or should that be simpliktick?) thing. Todd O made me laugh, Bev Creasey made me jealous that I don't live closer to all that theatre. The budding playwright made me -- hmmm... I don't know, want to pat him on the head?
Congrats on the SPONSOR!
Would it be okay to use the spinning globe icon/gif on my page for your link? If I ever get around to that kind of fine tuning. Right now I just struggle to get some updating done once a week, but things should settle down soon. Think lovely thoughts about me getting the Adamant & Cabot jobs.
It truly is midsummer here; the sky is not fully dark until almost 10PM. And the fireflies are about.
Love, Rosann

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
Rosann Hickey is webmaster for THE LAMOILLE COUNTY PLAYERS, in Hyde Park, Vermont, a director and actor, and a warm friend of The Theater Mirror.
And she can use our spinning globe any time she wants!
Love,
===Anon.


From: Gaston28@aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 18:39:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Company Review

Thanks for your reply!

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Your original letter, Gaston, elicited two specific comments quoted below.
Your original letter is several inches or screens down below, and it gave me a chance to explain again my own philosophy of reviewing --- to myself, among others! It's always useful to have to think about what I'm doing.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity. Love,
===Anon.

Date: 26 Jun 1997 09:47:18 U
From: "Nancy Willis" nancy_willis@qm.ir.lmco.COM
Subject: RE: It's been a while!

Hi Larry . . .
It's been a while since we last communicated. I got really busy getting the Quannapowitt Player's production of "Stye of the Eye" ready for the EMACT festival. Thanks for the great listing in Special Announcements. What an incredible experience it was for all of us. We were proud to be chosen to perform in the finals with the likes of Vokes Players, Concord Players and Hovey Players.

The only disappointment to the entire weekend was the lower than expected attendance. We (EMACT) are at a loss as to how to create more interest in attendance both from the groups entered in the festival and the public in general. Any ideas your audience can suggest would be greatly appreciated.

On a different note, a reminder that my production of "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" opens on July 17th and runs through August 2nd at Vokes in Wayland. I think Donnie Baillargeon who's doing the publicity will be getting in touch with you regarding a review. Hope you can make it. The rehearsals are going really well and the set is BEAUTIFUL! We're thinking of renting it out as a summer vacation spot for $750 a week!

Also, just read the comments in the Greenroom regarding your review of "Company." I was happy to see that someone else agreed with my feelings about the show.
I also felt that the relationships were diminished by the flash (literally) of the directorial concept. Until the Greenroom comments, my friend and I thought we were the only ones in Boston who didn't like the show. In fact, we left at intermission. Although, she didn't tell me until the next day that we missed a "hot" love scene and some nudity!!! In "Company?"

Hope to see you at "Lips."
Nancy Curran Willis


Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 16:51:41 -0400
Reply-To: pkatz@bedford.progress.com
Subject: Mistakes

Regarding "Gaston28@aol.com" little, nasty commentary to you dated June 23, about the Company Review, may I point out an error that this self-expressed "expert" has made, while being so quick to correct your error. Donna MacKechnie was NOT a member of the vocal minority. She played Kathy, one of the trio of Bobby's girlfriends who sing "You Could Drive a Person Crazy", and she also danced the "Tick Tock Dance" in Act II (which was cut from the revival). In fact, she had been Michael Bennet's girlfriend for some time already, and many say that the Tick Tock Dance was inserted into Act II (it took place while Bobby and April were having sex -- a descriptive dance) to showcase her dancing.
The vocal minority, on the other hand, were never seen. They were basically members of the orchestra pit.

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
As I said to Gaston in a much longer letter, I did see "Company" at the Shubert Theatre before it opened on Broadway, but that was 27 years ago and I didn't save either the program or the lp record. And Gaston was correct that she was NOT the one singing "Not Getting Married" which would have been a stretch for an excellent dancer.


Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 11:09:11 -0400
From: Arun Mammen Thomas arun@alum.mit.edu
Subject: Hello

I'm writing in response to:

"A note of pure obstinant pedantry:
THEATER is an art.
It is practiced in THEATRES"
While this MAY once have been true, I doubt it holds any longer.
Webster's Dictionary being my source.
Or have I missed the point entirely?
-Arun

LARRY STARK REPLIES:,BR> Arun? Haven't I actually TALKED to you once or twice before?
Let me go back into this in some detail: When the building called "The Theatre" was built, people who could write spelled somewhat phonetically and quite creatively. I take sniggering delight in spelling the name "Wilm Shaxpy" or "Shagsberd" or "Shakesper" because those are spellings he used at different times when he signed his name. And, frankly, my spellings are usually consistent whether they are right or wrong.
Newspaper Style Books often settle on only one spelling, and copy-editors use that one consistently no matter which one it is.
But other people, not knowing the local dogma, send in their listings as they spell them --- and linotypists like my father or computer- compositors today are often brainwashed by the paper's style-book so that a company calling itself a "Theatre Company" will find their name MISspelled in some papers and right in others.
MY Style-Book on the subject is as you've quoted it --- and I put that bald statement of dubious fact into the first Theater Mirror manifesto as a wqay to defuse the sneering complaint that "Larry Stark can't be much of a critic; he can't even spell the word 'theater' the same way twice!"
Well, I'm careful to spell a company's name exactly the way they want it in all the listings, but in things I'm writing, when I speak of the art I love, I call it "theater" and when I refer to places where I have spent many happy hours watching or working on shows, I call them "theatres".
And I giggle a little deep down inside when I do!
Have you seen any good plays lately, Arun?
Love,
===Anon.


Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 14:01:16 +0000
From: Mort Kaplan mrex9@erols.com
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS

Good luck on your new website. Keep up the good and great fight and may your work, like the universe, keep expanding. By the way, whatever happened to the web page you were gonna give the Lyric? Ciao. Mort

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Thank you, Mort.
"TheaterMirror.com" is a "domain name" --- and, frankly, Lee VanderLaan can tell you much more than I can about what that means. It's certainly easier to type and easier to remember than the old URL!!
We will be spending the summer making web-sites for local companies, but some of us at The Mirror don't know beans about computers, and some of us have to make a living --- and Both of us thought it would be a much easier job than it's turned out to be! We're impatient too.
Love,
===Anon.


From: "Dean O'Donnell" dodo@world.std.com
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 03:11:58 -0400

I have had a bit of an adventure. I got invited to a "World Literature Conference" in Washington, DC. It was sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation, which is a front group for Rev. Sun Myeung Moon's Unification Church (better known as the Moonies). It was a hoot! They flew me down and put me up in a 5 star hotel (along with a lot of other writers), and then preached to us all weekend. Since I'm a whore, I took the trip and skipped most of the indoctrination to do touristy things. I also got a chance to see the national touring production of "Chicago", and DC's Shakespeare Theatre's production of "Mourning Becomes Elektra".

Seeing "Chicago" was just like wandering into the Colonial or the Wilbur, another hit Broadway show on its national tour. My neighbors and I commiserated over the lack of legroom in our mezzanine seats, but agreed that for seeing everything onstage the seats were fine. The little girl in front of me (yes, a nine year old was there to see "Chicago" with her parents) kept turning around to look at me when I laughed, because my laugh is rather loud and distinctive. I waved to her.

At "Mourning Becomes Electra" they sat me with two other "single ticket holders". We struck up a conversation and talked about the play during the intermissions. I knew about the original Greek tragedies O'Neill based the play on and talked about that. One of the others had seen a lot of the Shakespeare Theatre's other productions and told us about the actors that he had seen before-- which ones he liked and which ones he didn't. I think we made the show much more enjoyable for each other.

I found out something great--
when I'm alone in a strange town and surrounded by bizarre people, I can head to the theatre and feel right at home.

>As soon as I get the pictures developed, I'm going to put together a web page about the whole thing. And something makes me think that I won't be invited to the next one...
Dean


From: Gaston28@aol.com
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 09:11:25 -0700
Subject: Company Review

Interesting, I have been reading your reviews for awhile now and yet I have yet to read a bad review. I would like to note an error in your review of Company, which I myself found lacking in "believable" relationships. You mention that Donna MacKechnie sang the "marriage" song, while in actuality it was Beth Howland. Donna M. played one of the vocal minority.
I guess anyone with a webpage can review anthing they want, I just wonder what credentials you have to be reviewing these plays with such a simplictic viewing.

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
You're mostly right: I don't review bad shows.
I print what other reviewers say (Beverly Creasey's review of CHESS was the antithesis of my own; which of us do you think was "Right"?
Sometimes, I've written reviews that are in the REVIEWS archive, but didn't advertise them on our front page. Look at my reviews of THE CRUCIBLE, and THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE for instance.
I didn't print a review of (Pirandello's) HENRY IV or THE SUPREME MINISTER'S EDUCATION or MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL SYLVIA or some other productions, but I did talk to either the playwright, the director, or an actor or two about those shows. I figure it's better to close a show with my withering silence rather than --- as some reviewers seem to do --- standing on a streetcorner yelling "Read all about it! Really shitty theater being perpetrated right down the block from here! What a story!"
My negative reviews (and those of A.R.T.'s world premiere of David Mamet's THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD and Tina Packer's production of KING JOHN at MIT were as negative as I ever get) are usually up front on our front page because I had expected to enjoy the show, and was really surprised when I didn't.
But you're right: I like theater, and I like to talk about theater I like.
What's wrong with that?

From: Merritt101@aol.com
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 02:40:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Could you use another reviewer?

Hello Mr. Stark:
I must say that after having just found you on the web, I am blown away by the service you provide and the information you have gathered. You are instantly on my favoraite places list.
My name is Todd Olson and I am a directing student and teaching fellow at ART. I have written reviews for Baywindows, The Worchester Telegram-Gazette, and NEED. I noticed you have guest reviewers. Could I review for you? How does that work actually?

AND LARRY STARK REPLIES:
In a word, Todd, YES!!! The Theater Mirror can use SEVERAL new reviewers --- in particular anyone in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, or west of the Newtons! --- but the more reviewers the more people will know about what happens on the many active stages in New England.

How it works is: go see a show. Write a description of what you saw, and maybe what you thought about it, and send it to The Theater Mirror, either by E-mail or snail-mail.
That's it.
If you say you're reviewing for us, you may be given free tickets; taking reviewers comps, though, obligates you to stay long enough to applaud the performers, and obligates you to write a review, though it does NOT obligate you to say you liked something you really didn't.

11:53 PM 6/17/97 -0400,
Charles Maynard
CMayn41163@aol.com

Dear Larry,
I am an experienced stage actor and have written a new play called "Henry Miles". It is unusual in that only one character is onstage- an 86 year old male, but the protagonist is never seen or heard. The dialog of the onstage character is such that the audience can construct the words and action of the protagonist in their head.
How do I start to get this play produced?
Charles Maynard

AND I REPLIED:
Hi. I am forwarding your plea to Dean O'Donnell from CentaStage and G.L. Horton from Playwrights' platform. (Geralyn is actually in Ireland until 6 July, so be patient.) They can tell you more than I can.

But that won't stop me from blathering anyway.
Questions:
What do you mean when you say "produced"?
The people at Firedog Theatre, for instance, can probably offer you a bare room with seats, and some advertising and a primitive light-plot. YOU would have to arrange a producer, a director, a cast --- but you could go just as far as you'd like in that line.
The result would be a week-end of performances before a couple dozen curious individuals in Allston, and maybe a review from me.
Would that be enough for you?
At Playwrights' Platform, you could probably get a script-in-hand reading from a handfull of people, perhaps with a director's advice, and a discussion of the show and what might need re-writing by a collection of people who are involved in writing their own plays and talking about others' plays.
Would THAT be enough for you?
CentaStage does only new plays, and last I talked to someone there a stack of NINETY scripts was on the producers' desks waiting to be read. Some of these might be so amazingly finished they will go straight into the "Produce this as a full-up play next season" stack, some into the "Let's do a one-night Dark-Night READING of this", and some will be returned to the playwright.
Would you want to enter this lottery and take your chances?

Those seem to ME to be the possibilities available to someone with a new script, the ink still wet, clutched in their hands.
And it's bleak.
But then I've been writing short-stories for 51 years and I've had them published exactly TWICE.
My feeling is that, since you are an actor, you could perform your own one-character play somewhere like Firedog, and I'd certainly come to the production --- it's a short walk down Harvard Street from where I live.
Of course, as someone experienced in theater, you know that very little comes to the stage without others cooperating --- even if it's just a lights- operator, and the owners of the hall. And those people might need to know things like how long is your play, and what any audience might get out of experiencing it.

Obviously, I have no concrete answers to your questions. A good friend of mine has been preparing to produce a one-man show entirely himself; he is incredibly experienced, informed, and connected --- yet he has been at this for over a year, and the kinds of problems I've heard about him tackling are staggering to my mind. Then again, he's hoping eventually to make money enough to live on from this show.
So I come again to the basic question:
What do YOU mean when you say "produced"?
Seriously, let's turn this into a dialog. I learn a lot that way.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

AND, this is what Dean O'Donnell had to say:

From: "Dean O'Donnell"
To: , "The Theater Mirror"
Cc:
Subject: Re: New Play- HELP
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 02:56:00 -0400

Larry's pretty much already explained the opportunities in Boston. As for Centastage, if you submitted the script right now, it wouldn't be read until next year. The deadline for Centastage scripts is March 1, and anything that comes in after that date gets put in the "next year" pile. On March 1, they clean out the box and put it on the desks to start reading.

If you want the play produced anywhere (which is usually fine with most people), I'd suggest getting a copy of the Dramatist's Sourcebook, published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG). The whole book is just listings of opportunities for playwrights, with appropriate due dates. They'll also tell you if listed theatres accept unsolicited manuscripts, and they have listings of playwrighting contests around the country. The big local one that has a due date soon is the Clauder Competition (June 30). Some places will send you critiques of your script even if they don't produce it. The Dramatist's Sourcebook is available at most bookstores (I know Wordsworth in Harvard Sq. has it) in the drama section. The new edition comes out in Sept., and, since things change in the theatre world, it's best to get a new one every year.

It also describes correct things to do when submitting scripts (like bind it, send a SASE with it, include a brief cover letter, don't pester the theatre, etc.) It's all good advice, I know when reading scripts for the DarkNight series I've rejected scripts because they're submitted in hard to read fonts, or the playwright has sent just a loose stack of papers (which I think shows poor planning, and a bit of contempt for the theatre).

The best advice is send it out everywhere you can, wait patiently to hear, and while you're waiting start writing your next play.
Dean

NOTE:
When I sent her a copy of Dean O'Donnell's discussion of new plays, I got this reply:

04:24 PM 6/17/97 -0500
From: sharyns@ix.netcom.com (Sharyn Shipley)
Subject: Re: Putting one foot in front of the other.

Dear Larry,
Thanks for copy of the interview. It was impressive.
Last night I dreamed I was talking to a producer about my play. That we were looking for a director. And, what do you know, I woke up, and it was true!
Fun
All Best
Sharyn

AND NATURALLY I REPLIED:
Finally a Full Production?????
Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!
How the hell did that happen???
Love,
===Curious

Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 11:21:18 -0500 (CDT) From: sharyns@ix.netcom.com (Sharyn Shipley)
Subject: Re: Putting one foot in front of the other.
Dear Larry,
This is how rumors get started. Wishful thinking on my part and inaccurate reporting. No, just the staged reading, so far. But Everyone is being paid. I figure that's a step up. So, not yet, but soon, soon.
Loved the excitement.
It made me laugh.
Sharyn

EXPLANATION:
The Theater Mirror got this notice through the NETC bulletinboard:

Subject: NHCTA 26th Annual Drama Festival
From: jwhite@mail11.mitre.org (Jerome V. White)
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 97 08:16:24 -0400

The New Hampshire Community Theatre Association 26th Annual Drama Festival will be held on Sunday, June 29, 1997 at the historic Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH. Six companies will participate, with performance time limited to one hour each. Performances will be followed by public adjudication: adjudicators are Bob Shea, formerly Artistic Director of the the New Hampshire Performing Arts Center, and Craig Foley, free-lanch director and drama Professor at Emerson College and Norhteastern University.

First production starts at 8 AM, and there will be exciting theatre all day long. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. There is also a $5 special student ticket, available in advance only. Tickets are available from Jerry White: phone (603)673-1691; FAX (617)271-6131, e-mail jwhite@mitre.org.

AND I REPLIED:
Hi. larry stark here, from THE THEATER MIRROR [ http://www.shore.net/~greenrm/ ]
We list every theatrical event we can find in New England every week, so we'd look foolish if we couldn't give our readers a complete rundown of the scheduled participants in the New Hampshire Community Theater Association's Drama Festival. (We did it for "EMACT" about a week ago, and we're carrying a complete list of awards-winners in out SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS section right now. We'd hate for all our readers in New Hampshire to get the impression we're chauvinistically impaired!)
If you can get me a schedule, it'll be reflected in The Theater Mirror.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Regrettably, to date (this date is 24 June) no further information has come to us out of New Hampshire.
We did try...

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 14:25:31 -0600
From: Ed Haggard edhaggard@mindspring.com
Subject: URL link submission

We'd be pleased to have a the link to our site, Theatre on the Brink in Nashville, TN, a professional alternative theatre company. The URL is http://mindspring.com/~edhaggard The email Address is bigmoose@mindspring.com

LARRY STARK REGRETS:
Ed, your company's work looks interesting, from what I can gather from the website, and I note that you tour. If your tour ever includes any of the New England states, be sure to contact The Theater Mirror as soon as dates and places are firm, and we'll do our best to get you listed, and maybe even reviewed.

And you're right that we try to find and make a link to every website for individual theatrical groups anywhere in that six-state area.
But we don't do that for companies Outside New England. (If we did, we'd have a file as huge and confusing as that of THEATRE CENTRAL!)
What we do link to are sites that try, as The Theater Mirror tries, to cover ALL the theatrical activities within their area. If you were listing all the shows playing in Nashville this week, you'd have a link in a minute.
I hope you understand.
Break a leg --- and give us E-mail when you visit New England.
Love,
===Anon.

Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 09:57:35 -0500
From: Jeff Gardiner jeffg@osf.org
Subject: USITT - New England Web Site
Hi,
Can you put the following announcement on your Web Site and the link on your Theatre Links Page?
Thanks,
Jeff
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
USITT New England announcement.
USITT New England finally has a presence on the web.
Check us out. Send suggestions.
We can be found at:

http://grace.it.emerson.edu/acadepts/pa/usitt_ne/

Special Thanks to Jeff Gardiner for his help in uploading and improving the page.
And to Emerson College and Russ Swift for hosting the page.>BR> Enjoy...

Crystal Tiala
Chair, USITT NE
Crystal Tiala
Scene Designer
11 Hunting Lodge Road
Storrs, CT 06268
email tiala@neca.com
Phone: 860-429-0494
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Jeff Gardiner ____ ___ ___ Voice: (617) 621-8710
The Open Group / / / / / Fax: (617) 225-2782
11 Cambridge Center / / / / __ Pager: (617) 765-8865
Cambridge, MA 02142 / /__/ /__/ >BR> E-Mail: j.gardiner@opengroup.org
WWW: http://www.opengroup.org/~jeffg/
"What if, there were no hypothetical situations ..."
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

AND LARRY STARK HAUGHTILY REPLIES:

No WAY, Jeff!!!
I can't POSSIBLY put your URL into The Theater Mirror's links-list this afternoon!
No Can DO!!!!!!!

((It's been there about a week already!!!!!!))

But I'll put in a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS squib, and quote you in The Greenroom.
That'll hafta do!
Love,
===Anon.
(a k a larry stark)


Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 21:02:59 -0400
From: "Edward J. Yasi" edy@tiac.net
Subject: Music Director needed

Larry,
I have been hired to direct a production of FALSETTOS for JP's Footlight Club this fall. Could you please post this notice (below) on your site for me.
Your site is getting so much traffic these days (deservedly so, I might add) that I am sure that it will be a great help in finding the right person to work on this project.
Thanks,
Russ
***********************************************************************
A Music Director is needed for the Footlight Club's fall production of FALSETTOS to be directed by Russell Greene. The show will audition in mid/late July with performances slated for mid September/early October. This is a paid position. If interested (or for more information), please call Russell at (617) 893-2693 or reply by email with a way to contact and a copy of resume.
***********************************************************************


Date: Mon, 2 Jun 97 17:21:33 UT
From: "Paul Daigneault" SpeakEasyStage@msn.com
Subject: Chess

Larry,
Thanks for your coverage of Chess. Your comments were very constructive and insightful.
I am glad you enjoyed the 2nd Act more. I have always thought the 1st to be the stronger and I worked real hard to get the 2nd act to where it is.
Once again,
Thanks
Paul Daigneault

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I can't remember when a director has ever acknowledged a review of mine --- certainly never so promptly! And I'm so glad you did, because my printer refuses to feed itself, and I hadn't yet found a friend who could print a copy and mail it to you.
I hope you know that my reviews of LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART and LOVE!VALOUR!COMPASSION! were shamelessly adoring raves. And I have resolved to do a better job in future of getting to SpeakEasy's work at the BCA next season. (I can't wait to see what you'll do with MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, and I had given up hope of Ever seeing a local production of COASTAL DISTURBANCES.)
Thanks so much for the note!
Love,
===Anon.

Paul Daigneault


Return-Path: From: Torkanas@aol.com
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 19:31:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Review question

Dear Mr. Stark;
I just want to drop a line saying what a great site the Theatre Mirror is. I have turned a lot of other acting friends to the site, who find it a great place for the type of info they need. I was just wondering if there were any plans to review the current production of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" by the Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain?
The reason I'm asking is that representatives of that show as well as the Speakeasy's "Chess" were both on WERS' Standing Room Only show plugging their respective efforts, and the "Chess" group was reviewed. My question is, does there have to be a certain number of scheduled performances to make a review practical, or is it just simply a case of not enough hours in the day? Thanks for your time, and keep up the good work!

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I'll call The Footlight Club to make certain I can have a ticket to EDWIN DROOD this week.
Actually, I had planned to use that "free Saturday" between "Chess" and "Dirt" to see "Drood", but decided last minute to go see G.L.Horton in what I discovered was a fine, unpretentious production of "Awake And Sing" with The Actors' Playhouse.
But "Drood" is something I really want to see, and the Footlight Club is always a reliable group doing serious, meaty shows. Their "Follies" was a delight, and "Six degrees of Separation" better than the Jerry Zachs production at the Shubert.
Let me know where you're working next, and I'll see if I have a night free...
Love,
===Anon.



THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |