THE GREENROOM DISCUSSIONS

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THE GREENROOM DISCUSSIONS - 1998

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entire contents copyright 1998 by THE THEATER MIRROR


The Greenroom Discussions is your forum for issues, commentary and reviews written by you, the theater-goer. It is arranged by the most current item first. Discussions are archived monthly. Please email us at greenroom@theatermirror.com for permission to reproduce or print any portion of The Theater Mirror.


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Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 10:51:25 +0900
From: Marvelyn McFarlane marvelyn.mcfarlane@gmail.com
Subject: Greetings from South Korea

Hello friends and family!

I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the Fall season where ever you are.
It's my favorite time of the year and the leaves are just as beautiful here in Korea as they are in Boston (but I'm still convinced that nothing beats a New England Fall).

Well, I have officially been in Korea for half a year! Time seriously flew by! My apologies for being out of touch, but know that I am doing well and think about all of you very often.

Life in Korea is sooooo different from life in the states. Everyone here looks the same, all the clothes, food, and restaurants are *cutesy*, and of course, I'm a novelty here and the children (and older women) all want to touch my hair and skin and tell me how pretty I am (that part I don't mind).

My actual job here is very cool. I work with a team of 15 Americans and one Korean to create English Musicals to teach English to Korean children and their families. The main stage show in our concert hall is 45 minutes long and our "Little Theatre Show" and "Game Show" are 30 minutes long. In each show there are ESL words we try to get the children to learn and repeat throughout the show. They do a pretty good job of staying engaged in the story, but they love when we come off the stage and interact with them!

While its fun doing the show for students and families, we know they can't understand half the things we're saying, especially the kids that come and can't be any older than 3 years old. We do have families that bring their children at least three times a week though. We call them our citizen. a.k.a. "stalkers". Crazy as it may be for them to see the same shows over and over again in the same week, their English noticeably improves! That is what makes this job rewarding.

Outside of work it is surprisingly easy to make your way around Korea with limited Korean language skills. Most people here know at least some English and being an actor definitely helps when doing charades. However, one terrible thing I have noticed is that as I learn more Korean, my English is becoming substantially worse because I try to simplify things when speaking to Koreans with limited English skills. So don't be surprised the next time I see you and I say things like "Ohhh! So happy to see you! Long time I have not seen you! You look very [handsome, pretty, sexy]!"

I just started taking a Korean class last Tuesday and I'm actually off to do my homework now!

I have a blog you can follow me on to see pictures and updates of what I've been up to:
http://marvelyn.wordpress.com/
and you can also find me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marvelyn.mcfarlane That's where I post all of my pictures!
Keep me posted on what's going on in your lives. I miss you all and send my love, prayers, and blessings your way.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy all the Holidays soon to come!
Peace and Blessings,
Marvelyn

Marvelyn McFarlane
Edutainer (EMC)
Gyeonggi English Village
Paju,South Korea

Web Sites:
marvelyn.wordpress.com
articulationworld.com

Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2010 18:00:15 +0000
From: "StageSource ENews" no-reply@StageSource.org
Subject: Today's StageSource postings

Nance Movsesian, 80
longtime publicist
Boston theater manager

Home / Globe / Obituaries

By Gloria Negri
Globe Staff / November 2, 2010

Nance Movsesian always dreamed of having a career on the stage. As a child growing up in the Bradford section of Haverhill, she appeared before church groups, women’s groups, and fraternal orders with monologues she would create and dramatize.

“She performed under the name Nance Marder,’’ said her brother, Albert S. Movsesian of North Andover. “She was a natural.’’

Soon after graduating from high school, Ms. Movsesian moved to New York City with dreams of appearing on Broadway. She took drama lessons and worked a time for Vogue magazine, but the death of her grandfather in her tightknit Armenian-American family brought her back home to Haverhill.

It did not end her love for the theater, described by all her friends as passionate, or her involvement in it. She became a theatrical publicist and helped keep Boston a hub of great theater.

Years later, she would be recognized as “the grand dame of the Boston theater scene,’’ said Tom Vartabedian, a Haverhill Gazette columnist.

Ms. Movsesian, who once managed the Wilbur Theatre for 12 years and operated the theatrical publicity firm Ideas Associates of Boston on Newbury Street for more than three decades, died of cancer Oct. 26 in her Haverhill home. She was 80.

Scores of celebrities who came to know her while appearing in Boston mourned her death. They were many, her family said, from Al Pacino to Carol Channing.

In the 1950s, Ms. Movsesian, Pacino, and Olympia Dukakis were among those who founded Boston’s Charles Playhouse.

Ms. Movsesian’s other loves, besides her family, were animals, and she was active in their defense. She once enticed a cat from under a trailer at the Wilbur Theatre into a humane trap. The Wilbur staff fed and housed Wilbur until a former actress adopted him.

Ms. Movsesian had a reputation for integrity and getting things done. When an award was established in his name, the late Elliot Norton, who was the dean of newspaper theater critics in Boston, insisted that Ms. Movsesian handle the press and program book; she did for 28 years, said the award’s president, Caldwell Titcomb of Newton.

Ms. Movsesian never married, but had 11 nieces and nephews and eight grandnieces and grandnephews in whom she instilled love of the theater. Sometimes she would use them as messengers to visiting celebrity actors or give them free tickets to a show.

Niece Pamela Talanian McGrath of Milton described her aunt as “larger than life.’’

“We called her Auntie Mame,’’ she said. “As manager of the Wilbur Theatre from 1964 to 1976, she got shows to come here and then publicized them.’’

In the 1960s, before the Wilbur, Ms. Movsesian got shows to come to the Charles Playhouse and then publicized them. At another time, she did the same for Trinity Square Repertory Company of Providence.

Promoting the show “Annie’’ was Ms. Movsesian’s favorite, mainly because a dog is in the cast, said her longtime friend, Karen Shepard of Braintree, a teacher of voice and acting and a former Broadway star.

“Nance was a consummate professional,’’ she said. “Her warmth, her joy, her humor, and her caring showed through everything she did. Her love for the theater was passionate. She was and is a light that will never go out.’’

During intermissions from the theatrical world, Ms. Movsesian enjoyed vacationing at the family home on Ossipee Lake in New Hampshire. She was an active member of the Humane Society of America, and two of her favorite companions were her Yorkshire terrier and her cat.

One of six children of Moses and Koharig (Mesrobian) Movsesian, who were Armenian immigrants, she was born Nancy but preferred Nance. After graduating from Haverhill High School in 1948, she went to New York to study drama and theater on a Ford Foundation Fellowship, her niece said.

“Nance was a dynamo,’’ her brother said. “She never slowed down. After her diagnosis with cancer in late July, she never complained.’’

She decided to forgo traditional treatment and to stay at home under hospice care, he said.

“Nance had three loves,’’ he said, “her parents and her siblings, her second love, her nieces and nephews, and her third love, the theater.’’

In his tribute to her in the Armenian Weekly in Boston, Vartabedian wrote of how the success of a show was always her top priority. “The sight of her in a theater lobby, distributing press kits to newspaper critics, left an indelible mark. Nance was at the top of her game.’’

He also recalled that she once had her chance to perform on Broadway. “Some years ago, she was in New York City scouting shows and drumming up her PR business when the power had gone out,’’ he wrote.

“Manhattan was blacked out as theater patrons rushed to the street in chaos. Nance happened to be outside one of the theaters in the midst of a crowd. No trains were operating. Hotels were in distress. Stores were dark. Pedestrians were roaming around in circles. That’s when Nance turned into a songstress and gathered the crowd about her.

“ ‘Come on,’ ’’ she told the displaced audience, ‘let’s sing.’ ’’

“And with that,’’ he wrote, "she led some 800 patrons in a medley of Broadway show tunes, one hit after another, right there on fabled 42d Street.’’

In addition to her brother, Ms. Movsesian leaves two sisters, Elinor Tate of Lincoln, R.I., and Lucy Talanian of Milton.

Services have been held.

Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2010 12:28:17 -0400
From: "Natalie Clements" nclements22@yahoo.com
Subject: Larry, an issue on your links page

Hello Mr. Stark,
I hope I'm not bothering you, but I wanted to tell you that I've been using your page: (http://www.theatermirror.com/websites.htm). I've been gathering resources and doing some research, so, I hope that's okay!

I also wanted to let you know of a link error I was getting (URL:http://pscinfo.psc.edu/~geigel/menus/Theatre.html). It says "Jogle's Favorite Theatre Realated Resources". Are you getting the same error? It won't open for me at all.

I found another page that I think you may like:(http://www.onlineschools.org/resources/performing-arts-degree/). I just figured you might have a use for it as a replacement for the bad link, or even as an additional resource. It has helped me a lot, so, let me know what you think!
Thanks for your help!
Sincerely,
Natalie Clements /H4>

Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 06:28:33 -0400
From: E Wayles Browne ewb2@cornell.edu
Subject: A puzzle

Dear Larry,
I was thinking about Martin Gardner and the puzzles that he compiled for so many years.

And in honor of him, I have a puzzle for you and your readers.

You know the tradition of saying "The Scottish play" instead of mentioning You-know-what by name?

Imagine if we had to do that with ALL the Shakespearean plays!

Some are easy to identify with an adjective, like "The Danish play" or "The Alexandrian play"; and some don't take place anywhere special, so we'll need to go beyond geographical adjectives and say "The meteorological play." There are two in Verona and two in Venice, so let's see... one of them could be "The fiduciary play."

Can you and your readers do the rest, and pick an adjective to identify each play unambiguously?
All the best,
Wayles
--
Wayles Browne, Assoc. Prof. of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics
Morrill Hall 220, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I tried to do the puzzle at first Without Research, and it took me a while to identify ANTONY & CLEOPATRA as "the Alexandrian play" MERCHANT as one of the "Venetian plays"; HAMLET is obvious, but it took me a while to remember THE TEMPEST as "the meteorology play"!

I can make a case, though for an "Illyrian play" and a "Bohemian play" and maybe "an Agincourt play" --- some of them on the strength of one line! You must know "the Arden play" --- but which of the several would be "the Roman play" (CAESAR for choice), and what would be most appropriate for the others?

On with the thinking-caps, gang!

Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2010 10:04:33 -0400
From: Robert Eagle reagle1@gmail.com
Subject: Sad News

Dear Members of the Reagle Extended Family,

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Frank Roberts, Reagle's director of public relations and special projects, passed away a week ago yesterday at Lahey Clinic. As many of you know, Frank, a frequent director and cherished colleague, was at the opening of Hairspray on Friday evening, August 20th, handing out press kits. Although he had not been in the best health, he went down hill very rapidly and eventually died of a massive stroke. There will be a private service later today; however, Frank's wife, Jo, and I are planning a memorial celebrating Frank's prodigious contributions to theatre sometime in the fall; and she would like to have it at the Robinson Theatre.

Frank had retired from Arlighton (MA) High School where he taught English, theatre and Spanish for 35 years. Frank directed many productions for Reagle including Mame starring Lee Meriwether, The Sound of Music starring John Davidson and Sarah Pfisterer, My Fair Lady starring Sarah Pfisterer and John Hillner, and Damn Yankees starring Stephen Bogardus and Dana Moore. He was in many senses an associate producer giving superb advice behind the scenes. He was a special confidante and friend for decades.

Way back, Frank was a member of Actors' Equity. Among his notable Arlington High theatre graduates are Dane Cook, the comedian, and Susan Hilferty, the Tony Award-winning designer of Wicked among many others. Susan is also head of the costume design department at NYU. He leaves his wife, Joanna, a sister, Phyllis Kyle, and a brother, Tom Roberts, and several nieces and nephews.
With deep regret,
Bob Eagle

Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 14:50:55 -0400
From: Sheila and/or Richard Barth mcast.net> Subject: Re: Review of Proof082510

I don't think you knew Frank Roberts at Reagle Theatre, but we are all shocked at his sudden passing. What a great loss to the theater community, to young aspiring actors, and most of all, to us reviewers, whom he treated with lovingkindness.

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 07:21:52 -0700
From: marketing@theatretruck.com
Subject: Momentum is coming back to Cambridge

Hi Guys
So, we have been invited back to cambridge for one more show on July 6th in the Cambridge Common. I've attached all the relevant information.
It was so great to see you there, and I am glad that you enjoyed to performance.
Thank you both so much for your time and help in getting the word out.
All the Best
-Jonathan Michael Anderson
Director of Public Relations and Stephano

Momentum Theatre Troupe rolls through town July 6 with their mobile theatre--a one-of-a-kind converted truck that opens into a multi-level jungle gym of a stage--performing a free show on the Cambridge Common. On the playbill for each evening is Shakespeare's A Tempest, a story of monsters and magic, revenge and redemption, power and love, as well as two short plays: Ionesco's absurdist comedy The Leader, and an adaptation of the surreal nightmare-scape of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. Momentum is dedicated to bringing bold, innovative theatre to as diverse an audience as possible with our traveling stage truck and internationally trained ensemble of teaching theatre professionals.

The performance is free. The show starts at 6:00 on the Cambridge Common, at the corner of Garden St. and Mass Ave in Harvard Square on Tuesday, July 6.

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 08:34:34 -0600
From: "michaelmeigs" michaelmeigs@austinlivetheatre.com
Subject: RE: Austin's comprehensive theatre listing

Larry, thanks for the kind words for AustinLiveTheatre (ALT). It's a one-man, non-commercial labor of love, and the payoff comes in the form of the appreciation from local artists, greater access to the arts scene and contacts with folks such as you.

As for finding you, it's the typical links-to-links-to-links story. The (unnamed?) proprietor of "The Mirror Up to Nature," a Boston theatre blog at http://mirroruptolife.blogspot.com/, put an ALT link into a long, long list on his front page. I have two daily automatic searches on Google: one for "Austin Live Theatre" (bing!) and another for "Austin Theatre." So, some time ago I put "The Mirror Up to Nature" into my Google Reader, which tells me when he has a new post. On Sunday, Feb 21 he mentioned your theatre calendar project.

My Austin theatre project started as a blog on blogspot.com -- freebie from Google -- because I was appalled at the lack of coverage and reviews for Austin-area theatre.

It has grown in complexity with my growing involvement. I retired from U.S. government service, so I'm not under pressure to monetize. Still, I find that I am key-stroking the admin stuff at least 30 hours a week. Add the creative writing time -- 3 or 4 reviews a week at about 2 hrs of drafting time -- and the theatre evenings, and I am a very busy puppy, indeed!

Yes, Austin is a single extended metro area. I recognize the same nasty commercial split that you mention -- those big-ticket traveling shows with splashy ad budgets, opposed to my real loves, the plucky and often very inventive home-grown companies performing for ticket prices not much more than those at the multiplex.
Best regards, and keep up your courage!
Michael Meigs

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 10:23:00 -0600
From: "michaelmeigs" michaelmeigs@austinlivetheatre.com
Subject: Austin's comprehensive theatre listing

For your information and comparison: AustinLiveTheatre has a similar project/facility underway for the greater metropolitan area of Austin, Texas. Our concentration is on making it user-friendly for a potential theatre-going public. There’s a full calendar of productions – in calendar format – at www.altcalendar.com and a “kiosk” column with poster images and info on the left of the website’s front page at www.austinlivetheatre.com . Takes a heck of a lot more organization and concentration that just listing titles and run dates!
Regards,
Michael Meigs

Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 07:15:16 -0500
From: Barbara Ruttenberg gammyflink@gmail.com
Subject: Theatre Reviews

I love the reviews on your website.
What does "Minority Report" mean?
Thank you.
Barbara Ruttenberg
Providence, RI

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Basically, it means what it mean in the U.S. Congress.
BOTH parties issue separate reports on every Committee Hearing; most of the time, the reports look identical, though sometimes there are sharp disagreements.
In The Mirror, I call all reviews of the same show, after the first one, the "Minority" Reports on it. Then, if they disagree --- and in the past some have! --- it sets up a conflict that the readers can decide only by seeing the show for themselves.
Even when there's unanimity of opinion, however, every reviewer will have an independent view of WHY they came to that conclusion, and will see a slightly different set of details.
I like that.
I wish more "ordinary theater-goers" would shoot me a paragraph or two of reaction whenever they come back from a play. I'm not one to want any "Critic" to tell me what to think, so differing angles add to my interest.
When I see a show with someone, if I can get a review written I nearly always try to ask
"Is this the show YOU saw?"
And if not --- or even if so --- we can talk.
I'm glad to hear you read The Mirror. I always thought Someone must be. Now I know who you are!
You can send me Your Own reviews of what you see at any time, and I'll get them into the mix.
Break a leg in any case!
Thanks for the question....
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a That Fat Old Man with The Cane )

From: ronny pompeo ronnypompeo@gmail.com
Sent: Sat, Jan 2, 2010 3:38 pm
Subject: NEVERMORE revisited- F.U.D.G.E Theatre

My name is Ronny Pompeo, I most recently played Edgar Allan Poe in Theatre's production of NEVERMORE. I am not sure if you have heard from Joey DeMita, but we will be remounting the show for two additional performances on February 13th at Stonehill College (times TBD). I remember you told me that you wished that the show ran longer than one weekend, as there were some friends that you would have told to come. Here is the chance that the cast and crew have been waiting for, a chance for those who were not available that November weekend to come experience a show of which we are so very proud. I hope you are able to spread the word of this remount and help us to be seen by the many wonderful "theatre folk" in Boston.

Thank you so much for your time. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season
Best
Ronny Pompeo Jr.

It Was The Best of Times...
It Was....

December 19, 2009

Dear Friends:

Some of you have seen me quite a bit this year. Some of you will be wondering, "Who the heck is David Costa?"

For those of you who don't know, I won the IRNE for "Best Actor in a Musical this year. It was without a doubt, the highlight of my year.

I wanted to send yopu all a quick note once again to thank you. 2009 has been a difficult year for me. Throughb it all, however, when something bad happened I could say "But I won the IRNE." I cannot tell you how many times winning the IRNE got me through a tough time.

I was driving today and thinking about the past year and feeling a little down. Then I remembered....the April 14th IRNE awards.

So rather than remembering it as the year I was "homeless," or the year the theatre closed, or the year I fractured 11 bones in my face, I will remember it as the year I won the IRNE. When I feel down because Boston theaters don't seem to want to hire me, I remember "I won the IRNE."

Thank you. You have no idea how much that has meant to me in so many ways. I greatly appreciate all of you.

Sincerely,
David Costa

Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2009 11:11:38 -0500 From: Debra Wiess djwiess@msn.com Subject: URGENT Call for Director !! Please Pass the Salt at Turtle Lane Playhouse Newton

Hi,
I just found out that my short play PLEASE PASS THE SALT, which was selected to be presented in the Teen Play Winter Festival at Turtle Lane Playhouse this Jan, needs a director. I wanted to see if you might be interested or know of someone who would be able to take on the directing reins of this 4-character comedy that makes fun of our high-tech society now so dominated by the presence of cell phones and other conveniences that are to improve quality of life. The 10-min play is about a "typical" nuclear family (ie. father, mother, and teen-aged son and daughter) at dinner time. It is an award-winning play that has gotten a number of productions around the country. It is a fun piece that should pose some nice challenges tho there are minimal props and simple set up.

Here are the details about the festival:

The Winter Festival runs from Thurs-Sat, Jan 21-23, starting each night at 7:30 pm at Turtle Lane Playhouse, Melrose Street, Auburndale (Newton), MA (near the Newton Mariott). All plays are performed the 3 nights. Tech rehearsals are January 19 and 20th. There is a stage manager, lighting person and audio person. These are the people who usually do productions at Turtle Lane. There will be full sound, with sound cues and music, if provided by the playwright/directors.

I think they may have actors lined up already for the play, but they may need assistance with that. And for those of you who are actors there may also be opportunities whether in my play or in others in the festival.

Anyone interested in this directing opp or in inquiring about open roles should contact Regina Ramsey as soon as possible at elram0416@comcast.net (my message is addressed to her). She can also answer any questions or respond to any concerns, as well as provide you a copy of the script to read.
Thanks for your help!!
Happy Holidays!!
Debbie

Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 23:48:30 -0500
From: Debra Wiess djwiess@msn.com
Subject: Call for submissions of short pieces by Boston-area Female Authors -
March Madness SWAN Day 2010!!!

Hi!
Hot off the press attached below is the call for submissions for the 2010 SWAN Day Boston! Regina Ramsey is producing the event for 2010 and I am lending her a hand. All the details are outlined in her announcement notice. Submissions of short plays/scenes/monologues should be sent to her email address, noted in her message. She is asking that submissions be sent after Jan 4 and by the Jan 16 deadline. Only ONE submission per author. This year Regina is going to try to have a short talkback for authors after the readings with a party of light refreshments capping off the afternoon.

Please share this notice with women authors you know to get the word out about SWAN!
Best,
Debbie

Dear Female Authors (sorry guys!)

SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) DAY IS BACK. SAVE THE DATE Saturday, March 27th at the Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Time of performance 2:00-4:15 p.m. This year, I'm going to try to have a talkback session with the audience after the performance, if time permits. I also plan on handing out evaluation sheets to audience members. Feedback is important.

I will be accepting submissions of short plays (running time no longer than 10 minutes) and monologues (no longer than 5 minutes). A scene or scene(s) from a longer work can be submitted but it has to stand on it's own. There will be no theme this year but the play must have a female antagonist or protagonist and there must be conflict. For monologues, there also should be conflict or tension of some kind going on and the speaker must be a woman. Humorous plays/monologues are encouraged.

Plays must be submitted in either Times Roman or Courier with a font size no smaller than 12 point. Samuel French submission style is preferred. Playwrights can submit only one play.

The submission must have been previously unproduced and unpublished. I want fresh material. It can and should have received a reading some place, either at the Platform, Write On, Shadow Boxing, or some other writing group.

These are readings, the level of staging is up to the playwright. We will have a stage manager and a lighting person but it's just lights up and down. There will be no audio or sound equipment. Please remember that. I also will not consider plays that require a lot of props or set pieces. Nor will I consider works that have too many actors. KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! There is no rehearsal space. Playwrights are responsible for finding their own directors and actors, as well as rehearsal space. We will run tech before the performance on Saturday morning, time to be determined.

The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2010. Please do not submit anything before January 4th, 2010. Selected playwrights will be notified by February 1, 2010.

Submissions can be sent to elram0416@comcast.net.

Happy Holidays to Everyone (and that includes the guys),
Regina

Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 22:12:28 -0500
From: Joseph Coyne
Subject: Theater Risers for Sale

Larry
Don't know if you know anyone who might be intersted in some very well built raisers, but if you do -
Joe Coyne
***********

With just four performances left at the Round Top Center at the Beneficent Church, thoughts turn to other projects and to the dispersal of the theater assets we have bought in connection with the production of Amadeus.

Through the generosity of so many institutions and companies we have been able to borrow a great deal of the costumes, props and theater items. We now are considering the storage of the remaining materials. Or their sale. We are working on a strike date of MON, November 23rd.

Items for Sale

4 risers painted black which are made up of four interconnected sections with steps holding as many as 14 chairs ) in our configuration only 13 chairs) in two rows with the first level 18” and the top level 36”. (with one row of seating on the ground level there would be total seating of 84 seats. Chairs are not included.

Asking price $800

6 sections of fire resistant red cloth 5’ by 18’ (two of the sections are split at the 6’ level

Asking price $200

1 a riser and steps used as Salieri’s apartment in our configuration it was a rounded section in front and second level: approximately 14' by 13' - good for making other sets

Asking price $50

Please take advantage to see this in their location and forward this note to other parties that might have an interest. Perhaps someone in your organization could purchase them and make a contribution of the materials.
For more information call 401-585-0468

Joe Coyne

Location
The Round Top Center
300 Weybosett Street
Providence, RI

Date: Wed, 04 Nov 2009 16:03:00 -0500
From: Art Hennessey arthennessey@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Brother Blue
To: Larry Stark

Hi Larry,
I'm afraid it is true.

http://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/29774

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of storyteller Dr.Hugh Hill, known as Brother Blue. Brother Blue, perhaps the original performance artist, has entertained generations of children and adults with his tales, often accompanied by tambourine and foot stomping. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Hill; together they produced hundreds of hours of storytelling in CCTV's studio, on Cambridge Community Radio, and BeLive.

Visiting hours will be this Sunday, November 8, at the Keefe Funeral Home on Massachusetts Avenue in North Cambridge, from 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm. Burial will be in Pittsfield."

Art

Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2009 14:23:10 -0400
From: Larry Stark larry@theatermirror.com
To: enews@stagesource.org

" the historic Colonial Theatre, Boston?s oldest continuously operating theatre in Boston Opened on December 26 1900..."

" Nestled in a residential area near Jamaica Pond, The Footlight Club, America's oldest community theatre, has performed every year since 1877. "

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

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 22:30:50 -0400
From: tenali rama tenaliorama@gmail.com
Subject: Question about Boston area theater

Dear Larry:
Love your website. I am planning to move to Boston soon and was wondering whether you knew of any blog or website that kept track of inexpensive theater opportunities in and around Boston -- previews, pay-what-you-cans, ushering opportunities etc? My appreciation of theater exceeds my ability to afford it!
Many thanks,
Rama

LARRY REPLIES:
Great question! Lame answer:
No one does a perfect job. Thursdays' Boston GLOBE Calendar and the Friday Boston PHOENIX have pretty good listings that note bargains. Then ARTS BOSTON sells half-price tickets, either on-the-day at a booth, or in advance through monthly subscription to their news-letter/list. And if you have e-mail, look into Rick Park's Actornews Boston lists bargains, and StageSource does a seasonal calendar, and TheaterMania BOSTON does as well..
No one as I say is a "best" central clearing-house for such information.
EVERYONE: Did I miss anything?

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 13:44:31 -0400
From: Kimmerie Jones kimmeriejones@gmail.com
Subject: Theatre humor...

Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Complain to the director at notes.
Q: How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Give a note to the stage manager to fix it!
Q: How many stage managers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Pull the technical director off a set installation to deal with it.
Q: How many technical directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Call the master electrician at home to fix it.
Q: How many master electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: We don't change bulbs, only halogen lamps. It's a props problem.
Q: How many props masters does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Light bulb?! When did they even get a lamp?
Q: How many theater critics does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: All of them - one to be highly critical of the design elements, one to express contempt for the glow of the lamp, one to lambast the interpretation of wattage used, one to critique the performance of the bulb itself, one to recall superb light bulbs of past seasons and lament how this one fails to measure up, and all to join in the refrain, reflecting on how they could build a better light bulb in their sleep.
Q: How many theater students does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Erm, what's the deadline? I may need an extension.
Q: How many audience members does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three. One to do it, one child to cry and another to say, "ROSE, HE'S CHANGING THE LIGHT BULB."
Q: How many interns does it take to change a light bulb?
A: It doesn't matter, because you'll have to do it again, anyway.
Q: How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 4... no, make that 3... on second thought 4...well, better make it 5, just to be safe.
Q: How many assistant directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One. But s/he has to check with the director first to make sure he wants the bulb there.
Q: How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Why do we need another light bulb?
Q: How many stage managers does it take to change a light bulb?
A1: I DON'T CARE!!! JUST DO IT!!!
A2: None. Where's IATSE?
A3: It's on my list... it's on my list...
Q: How many IATSE guys does it take to change a light bulb?
A1: One, once he puts down the donut and coffee.
A2: Twenty-five, and a minimum of four hours. You got a @!%#& problem with that?
Q: How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: LAMP! It's called a LAMP, you idiot!
Q: How many lighting designers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Where's my assistant?
Q: How many technicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two, if they can find a lamp big enough and figure out how to get inside it.
Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A1: None. "Doesn't the stage manager do that?"
A2: None. They can never find their light.

Date: Thu, 09 Apr 2009 14:20:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: thomas martin tmart42@yahoo.com
Subject: Lesley Chapman

Hello Larry,
Thank you for putting up Kim's lovely e-mail about Lesley. It came as a shock to us all. I am working on an announcement for Stage Source, that should go out tomorrow.

Kim has had to deal with a lot these last couple of days, and has asked me to ask you to remove her e-mail address from the posting.

If you would like to include a contact e-mail address, please feel free to include mine: tmart42@yahoo.com.

I also want to let you know that we are putting together a chance for people to get together on Monday at Rudy's in Teal Square in Somerville. It will likely start around 6:00PM on Monday. I will be there for most of the night, or at least as long as I am emotionally able.

Again thank you for posting Kim's e-mail. It is good that we try to let people know about Lesley's passing.
Peace,
Thomas Martin

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 13:45:18 +0000 (UTC)
From: John Greiner-Ferris johngf01@comcast.net
Subject: bad jazz

hi larry...just read your review of bad jazz...just a mistake i noticed all reviewers are making...it's in the script that audience members leave the theater at that point, then gavin says, we're getting somewhere...i love this play and production...that little bit is so sweet how it fools the audience, drawing them in in a very seductive way: audience members think, they left the theater, but i'm staying; i can handle this...see?...it's brilliant...

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Yes, brilliant. I was totally taken in --- and it DOES add to the effect of the play!

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 12:54:28 -0500
From: Etan Yang etan.yang@gmail.com
Subject: Hi Larry

Dear Larry,
I hope this e-mail isn't too forward, as you and I have never met. Nevertheless, I am a big fan of theater mirror and have endless admiration for your passion and vital contribution to our theater scene. I just read your "shortlist" for the upcoming IRNEs and felt compelled to write about one of my favorites that has fallen through the cracks. I'm talking about the singular Wesley Savick.

The first Savick play I saw was "The Man Who", at Boston Playwright's Theatre, about 3 years ago. I saw it with the expectation that this would be a straightforward drama,but was taken on a very different journey. I was just floored by the theatrical ingenuity, it was unlike anything I'd seen before. The actors were marvelous in very challenging roles, I will never forget Owen Doyle's heartbreaking monologue delivered in gibberish. The next day I ran out and bought the play and that's when I understood how much of what I had seen came from Mr. Savick. I was stunned to find out that our Boston reviewers felt differently about the piece, and that the show was largely ignored. In some respects, I was even more impressed with "Einstein's Dreams". Having read the book, I did not think it could ever work as a play. I was delighted to be proven wrong. Savick seems to have an affinity for vignettes, they give him license to experiment, to take chances, to play. Some risks pay off, some don't, but in the end what remains is the singular experience of his plays. With "Einstein's Dreams" he once again he surrounded himself with immensely talented actors, who flourished under his direction.

To be fair, I've seen other plays of his that I wasn't so taken with, notably "The English Channel", Robert Brustein's play about Shakespeare and Marlowe, and I had some issues with his recent Milwaukee play. But even at his worst I always find his work thrilling and imaginative.

I don't want to take up too much more of your time, I just felt compelled to write when I realized my favorite underappreciated Boston director would probably be once again be ignored at the IRNE awards. I will end with something I found before starting to write this e-mail, it's from one of your relatively recent reviews, in which you wrote:

"I once accused [Wesely Savick] of being the best director in Boston --- but four other people can justifiably lay claim to that distinction as well. Wes is, however, the most recognizable, inventive, and often exasperatingly incoherent director around."

Thank you for your time Larry, and especially, thank you for your site!
Sincerely,
Etan

Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2009 20:04:26 -0500 (EST)
From: OLDGRUMP79@aol.com
Subject: Re: Today's TIMES + today's THEATER MIRROR

Even though I can't get out of my home to see a show anymore, I am truly upset hearing about NSMT. I always thought this theatre gave me a wonderful day out, for a reasonable cost. I can only hope a miracle will drop enough money on their laps to keep them going.

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 14:46:14 +0000 (GMT)
From: "John Mac" john_mackenzie@netzero.ne
Subject: Announcement: Michele and I eloped!

Spreading the word: Michele had a snow day last week so we wandered into town hall, got a marriage license. We eloped 12/26 at 2PM. After 14 years we're finally married! Yea!
John MacKenzie

Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 08:20:53 -0400
From: "Linda Lowy" linda@shakespearenow.org
Subject: Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company

Dear Larry,
I read your beautifully written theater article with great interest. May I add a point in the category of "Hope for the Future?"

Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company is a perfect example of it. We perform for over 70 Massachusetts schools each Spring in our touring season (no theater to our name, but "found spaces" every day), and produce our stationary Fall play in Boston, thereby reaching countless thousands of youngsters every year.
Through our massive efforts, we are helping to create theater-going audiences of the future, and, we imagine, future theater-makers.

That is, indeed, "Hope for the Future!"
Best wishes,
Linda Lowy
Artistic Director
Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company

Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 23:54:38 -0400
From: "Kevin Fennessy" kevin.fennessy@gmail.com
Subject: Hi Larry

Larry,
Thanks so much for posting info about the benefit on Sunday August 3. It's really coming together.

I want to let the community know about what I think is the most unique auction item:
The chance for a knd of theatrical immortality, to have one's name mentioned, either in dialogue, as a character name or a location, in an as yet unwritten John Kuntz play, at the playwright's discretion!

Also many theater tickets including full subscription to the A. R. T. and the New Rep, an original dress by Boston fashion designer Cibeline Sariano, including 2 hours of fashion consultation, and tickets to a pats vs. Jets game.

All the info can still be found at www.bccaonline.com/amorystbenefit.html

We could use some volunteer help with the event.
Also donations for the silent and live auctions.
If you are interested please contact me(Trudi Goodman) at:
617-492-0526
It's fine to leave a message there and I will call you back ASAP!

If you can't come and would like to make a donation, you can make a donation at:
www.bccaonline.com/amorystbenefit.html

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 13:10:07 -0400
From: mmasmember@aol.com
Subject: Loss of Great community actor

Larry here is the obit for James Martin. It was great seeing you last night. Thanks for adding this to your website if it is possible.
Ken Butler

James R. Martin
June 14, 2008

In Taunton, June 14, 2008 James R. Martin son of the late Joseph F. and Mary (McGrath) Martin died suddenly at the age of 47. Born and educated in Taunton, James was a graduate of Taunton High School class of 1978, and North Adams State College class of 1982. James was employed as a systems analyst for AAA in Providence,RI before that he worked for Citizens Bank in East Providence and Eastern Utilities as a system analyst in West Bridgewater.
James also acted in many theater groups including the Black Box Theater in Mansfield and The New England Repertory Company. He found great enjoyment in films that he appeared in, Good Will Hunting, Fever Pitch and Blow Away.
He was known as the P.I. Guy for a local Providence Law Firm in a commercial and also for WB Mason and Hannaford Stores. James was an active member at the PPAC and Friendly Sons of St Patrick in New Bedford. James was the brother of Marita Lonczak and her husband Jim of Ludlow, Ma and Richard "Dick" Martin and his wife Nancy of East Taunton. Uncle of Amelie Lonczak of Boston, Jennifer Martin of East Taunton and Alyssa Martin of East Taunton and an enormous cast of friends who will always remember him and smile. Funeral from the O'Keefe-Wade Funeral Home, 70 Washington Street in Taunton Thursday, June 19th at 9:30 am. Funeral Mass will be at Holy Family Church in East Taunton at 11:00 am. Calling hours will be on Wednesday from 4-8 pm at the funeral home. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery in Taunton Donations in James memory may be made to a charity of one's choice.

Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2008 15:10:40 -0600
From: "Betsy Childs" betsy@ehc.ang-md.org
Subject: Looking for information

Hi,
I am not sure if you are where I need to be searching, but I am going to try. I am looking for contact with Josh Rudy, actor in the boston area. I googled and saw that he was in a play on the site (what happened to willie). I just couldn’t tell the date that the play was run or had ran. I would like to let him know about the death of a friend of his here in baltimore. If there is any way to pass on my phone number or email address, could you do that or could you let me know his? Thank you
Betsy Childs
Episcopal Housing Corporation
Baltimore Maryland
443-857-8009

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Well, I found the show: "SubUrbia" done by THE OTHER THEATER at the old Actors' Workshop .
But that was in 1997. The company broke up, most of the actors drifted away.
If anyone has information about JOSH RUDY,m please contact Bdetsy Child directly.
Break a leg...
Love,
===Anon.

Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 13:51:34 -0500
From: "Lincoln Purdy" lincoln.purdy@cvstarrco.com
Subject: Tony Annicone
What became of Tony’s reviews? It looks like he stopped around the end of November. Is everything OK?
Lincoln Purdy

From: Larry Stark [mailto:larry@theatermirror.com]
Sent: Fri 1/18/2008 5:40 PM
To: Lincoln Purdy
Subject: Fwd: Re: Message from Tony

Dear Lincoln Purdy:
I hesitated when I got the letter below, about whether it was only personal, and, I hoped, it talked of only a temporary, interruption --- or whether I should put it up in The Mirror. I had become a little busy (Or was it just that I didn't want to admit all he says is really true?).
Sadly, I now realize I must. T hank you for jogging my elbow.
I'm sure Tony will appreciate knowing his absence leaves a hole in people's lives and in their awareness of theater, and I suggest you write him personally, as I will again once your note, and his, go into The Mirror (Tonight, I hope).
Tony covered all the theater from Boston down to Connecticut like a warm, loving blanket and I met him only a couple times we saw the same shows. I regret losing his range and his energy.
Thank you BOTH
! Love, ( a k a larry stark )

Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 23:40:30 -0500 (EST)
From: TANNICONE@aol.com
Subject: Re: Message from Tony
I can only stay online a few minutes before bedtime so I think my reviewing days are over. Unfortunately. Don has a girl who is reviewing for him maybe she can handle some of my stuff. Her name is Kim Kalunian. Not only do I have diabetes I have terrible arthritis in the back and neck and can only sit in one place for a few minutes and need to pace around. Still on insomnia med.
Love to you and all my readers and theater people.
Thank you for everything!
Love,
Tony

Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 21:24:50 -0500 From: "Lincoln Purdy" Subject: RE: Re: Message from Tony
Thank you for the update. I am very sorry to hear that Tony is in poor health. Like you, I hope it is a temporary setback. Tony always had kind words for everyone and he was particularly kind to our son Andrew whom he singled out in the reviews of the productions my son was in. I will definitely reach out to Tony to wish him well.
Best Regards,
Lincoln Purdy

TO: "Everett Dance Theatre (Matt Kandarian)" mkandarian@everettdancetheatre.org
FROM: larry stark larry@theatermirror.com
DATE: 10 January, '08

Dear Matt Kandarian (of Everett Dance Theatre ):
I have two suggestions:

1) I have seen what I think of as "anthology programs" featuring several short plays by varied authors that have invited short DANCE pieces as well as plays. (The IMAGE Theatre out in Lowell has done it twice; I can remember two at what is now The Factory Theatre a short while back, but I can't remember the Company that produced the shows in that space); and one over at the Hibernian Hall (The Roxbury Center for The Arts) --- and again, I can't remember the producing company; and another company doing an anthology added a Dance Company when they performed at the Cambridge Cultural Center last year. These were usually shows for which Specific Dance Companies were asked or invited to do a short show.
This sounds like a great opportunity to share/expand audiences for everyone.

2) Improve Comedy Groups are so healthy some of them are using their own performing spaces on a permanent basis. And I know of one local company (using what is called "Long Form" Improv) worked with parodies of Musicals suggested by the audience. Has anyone though of using the Improv template to try DANCE Improv? I don't have much free time once the Theater Seasons start so I've seen too little dance, but if such companies or a company trying this might be working here I'd like to see what they come up with. [NOTE: I've never been to Everett because, with the time problem, I also don't Own or Drive a car.]

3) Probably most important:
Has anyone yet thought of starting a DANCE Mirror, similar to The THEATER Mirror?
I'm sure there would be enough serious enthusiasts And Performers involved in dance locally to make this Unifying Internet Locale a way of tipping disparate companies to other's work and to "The Big DANCE Picture" and, simply, telling audiences for One Company that others they never heard of Exist.
Right now, probably the only "single source" for dance information is the coverage in NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST, but in the unfolding digital age I don't think a monthly newspaper, good though it is, is enough. Think about it, at least. You're probably Overworked as it is with Everett's p/r, but maybe a "committee" could try? NOTE: Nicole Pierce's EGOart company [ http://www.egoartinc.com/new-show.htm ] has a website that lists only TWO other companies' performance info in a quirky web-site. Maybe you should talk about this? She's doing a dance program in Cambridge on 25 & 26 January, and I'll be at one of them. If anyone from Everett shows up, yuou or they should say hello.

I have learned NEVER to bid dancers "Break a Leg!", but I beam all the basic empathies involved in that phrase to you and yours. Love,
===Anon.
( a k a That Fat Old Man with The Cane also k a larry stark )

P.S. Hell, I might as well put this into The Theater Mirror's GREENROOM and see if anyone else salutes.

Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2008 17:15:47 -0500
From: "Vilas Sridharan" vilas.sridharan@gmail.com
Subject: Longwood Players' "A New Brain" Score Corrections

As you may remember we produced William Finn's "A New Brain" last spring. The materials for the show (specifically, the orchestrations) are in terrible shape -- there are inconsistencies (different notes, missing measures, etc) between various orchestra parts, the piano-conductor's score, and so on.

David Zych, our Assistant Music Director, put together a great document detailing every single one of these issues (it's 10 pages long) and he's told me that he would like to share it with others so they don't have to go through the same pain. (I plan on sending it to Sam French as well.)

Due to copyright concerns, I don't want to post the document -- it *should* be okay, but you never know -- but can you post a note suggesting that any group producing the show contact me at vilas@longwoodplayers.org? I can then send them the document, which will hopefully save them a lot of time and frustration.

Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 21:54:35 -0500
From: debbykatz@hotmail.com
Subject: Whatever happened to Norm Gross during the final days of 2007?

Open heart surgery at Boston's Beth-Israel Deaconess Hospital on November 14.
Successful 6 hour replacement of a malfunctioning aortic valve, with a similar cow's valve, plus a necessary mitro valve repair as well!
Recovery following at the hospital's I.C.U. until November 19.
Discharged and transferred to the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale, MA for R&R beginning at that time.
Discharged and transferred on December 6 to the home of son-in-law and daughter Steve and Alison Rosen, 3 Lantern Lane, Canton, MA (781-828-8088) for rehab, recovery and rest through January 2008.

Lastly as I snooze and repair, while you welcome the new year in, please pop the bubbly, don the funny hat, shake the noisemaker and explode all the multi-colored baloons for me.

And, hopefully, maybe this coming New Year I'll be celebrating the new dawn with you on the next Valentines Day!

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
We missed you, Norm.
Ihope you get back to work soon!
Love,
===Anon.

Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2008 17:14:22 -0500
From: "Jack Crory" jackcrory@gmail.com
Subject: The Lonesome Coyote Theater

Hello Larry, my name is Jack Crory. We have met briefly a couple times, at the Arsenal Center and at Boston Playwrights' Theatre. I am part of a new group (we're calling ourselves the Lonesome Coyote Theater) that is looking for places to put up plays in or near Boston. We have a lot of talent and great shows waiting to happen but we have very little money,and are looking for a cheap place to start out. Everyone tells me that you are the expert on fringe theater in Boston, so I wanted to ask you if you knew of any hole-in-the-wall places in Boston (or Waltham, where we are from) that we should check out if we are looking for a place to put up our first show. Any lead you can give us would be much appreciated!
Thank you and Happy New Year,
Jack

LARRY STARK REPLIES:

Probably the best opportunity would be the newly-named FACTORY THEATRE

[ http://www.thefactorytheatre.org/index_files/Page532.htm ]

It's a two-story brick-walled box where a lot of small/new companies have worked, so it's well-known to theater-Junkies.

The "Black Box" space at the Boston Center for The Arts is more of a crap-shoot, since the "resident" companies get first dibbs, and visitors have to use dates that may not be best for opening a brand new company,

[ http://www.bcaonline.org/venues_rentals/venues.php ]

There may be a scheduling problem at the Boston Playwrights' Theatre as well, but the staff there is charmingly positive about plays.

[ http://www.bu.edu/bpt/about/index.html ]

And the new kid on the block is in Watertown: The New Repertory Theatre in The Armory Arts Center has a Black Box Theatre under their main-stage

[ http://www.newrep.org/ ]

Again, there is a "Downstage Company" --- The New Rep's vest-pocket-plays series --- but outside groups are welcome there.

You might look at The Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain:

[ http://www.footlight.org/rentals.html ]

It's the oldest continually in-use theatre-building and it's Always renovating. Again, the ground-floor is a large-ish space with flat floor and folding-chairs, no real Stage, no risers.

In Charlestown is The Charlestown Working Theatre:

[ http://www.charlestownworkingtheater.org/about.cfm ]

And here's two more:

CAMBRIDGE FAMILY YMCA THEATRE
[ http://www.cambymca.org/theatre.html ]

And Hibernian Hall (Roxbury Center for The Arts)
[ http://www.rcahh.org/rental.htm ]

With ANY of these, plan on Heavy Advertising (post-cards, press-coverage if possible); none of them really have any "regular audience" --- people come to see either particular Plays or favorite Companies, so being new is a bit of a disadvantage; you will have to create your own audience.

But there are two interesting ways to reach lots of Theater PEOPLE:

ActorNews
[ Actornews_Boston@yahoogroups.com ]
Rick Park send this e-mail Bulletin whenever he has received information, and many people depend on it.

StageSource
[ enews@stagesource.org ]
Every Friday they e-mail a news-bulletin in which I think you can list your show for free.

If you don't mind, let me put all this, including your original letter, into The Mirror, so that people who know more than I do can get in touch with you.

Break a leg all!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2007 17:29:23 -0500
From: "Campbell, John[BOS]" JOHN.CAMPBELL@oliverwyman.com
Subject: Looking for Chris Connaire

Dear Larry Stark - I worked with Chris Connaire on a few productions at the People's Theater during the late 1970s and was wondering if she is still in town. Do you know where she works now? Regards,
John Campbell
john.campbell@oliverwyman.com

Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 11:11:19 -0500
From: "Reindeer in Boston" reindeerinboston@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Reindeer on Theater Mirror

Come see The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Jeff Goode's hilariously disturbing monologue play that shares the real dirt on Santa's perversions, Vixen's allegations, Rudolph's mental health, and why Dancer no longer dances. December 19-30 at The Piano Factory. Jump into the holiday spirit of giving by supporting this charitable production; all proceeds from the entire run benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

Check out the hysterical video trailer/prequel for the theatrical performance at http://www.reindeerinboston.com to see how the reindeer came to be behind bars. See if you can spot the cameos by all your favorite Boston theater scene faces

. LARRY STARK REPLIES:
If performances of "The Eight" are even Close to the fun of making this promo-teaser, it will be a winner!
It's the ultimate "A.B.C.C." show!
["ANYTHING But 'A Christmas Carol !"]

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 13:35:02 -0500
From: "Fell, Ed" EMF@epm-inc.com
Subject: Review Comment for "A Little Night Music"

Larry -
I read with interest Beverly Creasey's review of "A Little Night Music" at the Vokes Theatre, since I rarely get to do a show that appears on The Theater Mirror.

I would not normally comment on anyone's review, mo matter how much I might disagree - I believe that perception is truth to the perceiver. However, I would be greatly remiss if I allowed a factual error to go uncorrected at a fellow cast member's expense.

Beverly comments on my "gorgeous tenor voice" and my "meticulously manicured beard (complete with waxed mustache)". Honesty wins out over pride. I am compelled to point out that Evan Xenakis is the owner of both the voice and the beard, and he deserves the recognition.

I don't know your web site enough to know the proper forum for such feedback. I trust that you will give this information the dissemination it warrants. Thank you for allowing me to set the record straight.
Edwin Fell
"Mr. Lindquist" The baritone with the equally dashing mutton chops

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
just switched the eDWIN and eVAN names in her review.
I hope that's an adequate fix?
Thanks for catching the mistake!
I'll get this letter into the Greenroom in a bit; I think it's a good idea for people to be aware that Corrections Are WELCOME.
Break a leg...
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

NOTE:
During the month of September just about everything I do in The Mirror took a back-seat to
the daily attention paid The Boston GLOBE. Several people mentioned the series to me in
conversations before or after shows, and there was a trickle of letters. Here are the ones
I could rescue from the traffic in e-mail:

From: Robert Bettencourt rob_bett@yahoo.com
[Excerpt]

Hey Larry,
I wanted to drop a line to you and let you know what an interesting section that you have started with your experiment with the Globe. It is interesting for someone to take the Globe and dissect it in the way that you are doing, as way of seeing how the Globe is covering theatre. I remember last year when the Globe's Sunday section was entitled Arts rather then Arts and entertainment. At least I knew then I would get some sort of theatre coverage even if it was one review. Now, they don't even have to cover Boston Theatre and sometimes they don't. Although I can admit to the Globe being very powerful I don't think it can single handily kill Boston Theater, although combined with the fact that there is no one strong consistent theater community in Boston might just manage to kill it. Who knows?
Rob

Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 06:29:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Bettencourt rob_bett@yahoo.com
Subject: Your Globe Piece

Hey Larry,
As I have said, I have found your Globe piece this month in TheaterMirror to be very interesting if not surprising. But I was wondering a follow-up might be to see how other papers in other theater towns such as Chicago, Minnesota, etc treat theater in general but also if they support the local theater that goes on around them.
Rob

Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2007 08:31:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Bettencourt rob_bett@yahoo.com Subject: Bravo Larry!

Hey Larry,
Once again thank you so much for your coverage of the Boston Globe and there lack of coverage of the independent theatre scene in Boston. It was a very interesting month.

I think that you should start another page on theater mirror for anyone who wants to write an article about independent theater in and around Boston, perhaps someone ( a college student perhaps) would pick up one of the great ideas you have had for subjects and write about it. At least some coverage would get out there.

The true reality of the situation is that the lack of independent theater coverage in Boston will eventually lead to its demise.
Keep up the great work.
Rob

Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 16:29:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: Anngarvin4@aol.com
Subject: Hello!

Dear Larry,
I have enjoyed reading your day to day synopses of the Boston Globe coverage of the local theater scene... quite an undertaking and it makes for fascinating reading. Jerry and I are extremely happy and proud that you mentioned the exciting things that we are doing in Lowell ( and, in the next two weekends at The Skellig in Waltham, thanks for the plug!). I do feel it would be remiss however, if we didn't point out that Sandra MacDonald of The Globe did indeed come to Lowell and gave us a wonderful review in April for Jim's play "Distant Music". We appreciated the trip she made and sincerely hope that she, as well as you, and others will see our upcoming shows.

In many ways The Globe has been better to Image Theater than a lot of the smaller local papers. Denise Taylor will feature Distant Music in her West Weekly section tomorrow. Admittedly it's not easy to get coverage, it takes many phone calls, faxes and e-mails, but at least they were responsive and thought the show noteworthy.

Recently we were informed by your fellow IRNE voter and critic David Andrews that there is no money in the budget of the Metro West Daily News or The Tab to enable him to do any coverage of Distant Music, or any other local plays for a while. I find this staggering considering it's literally in their back yard, and that ours is more than likely the only play being performed in an Irish Tavern at this time, making it a unique story. We have found the smaller papers are owned by large conglomerates and local reporters have been laid off. It is sad when a local paper can't pay the $50 or so to a critic to cover a play. Wouldn't it be wonderful if good critics like you, or Beverly Creasey, or Mr. Andrews were able to freelance to fill in the gaps? Regrettably, I was told by the editors of these papers it just wasn't possible! And what about the Herald? Hello, let's get serious! If George Clooney blew his nose in Gloucester 2,000 lines would be dedicated to where he tossed the tissue, but if a great new play was being performed at the old Devanaughn space it would go unnoticed.

In the end, it comes down the money. Larger theaters can take out bigger ads and wield more power. So far, the Globe has been able to at least give us the time of day, as long as they feel it's a unique and a good story.

Larry, you are doing such a benefit to the theater community. You continue to shine a light on the smaller theaters companies who are worth noting and we all truly appreciate it, and appreciate you!

We felt we would be making a mistake if we did not at least let your readers know that Ms. MacDonald and the Globe have been there for us many times.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Ann Garvin
Image Theater

To read it all from the beginning, click here.

From: Robert Bettencourt rob_bett@yahoo.com
At 08:49 AM 9/19/2007, you wrote:

Hey Larry,
I wanted to drop a line to you and let you know what an interesting section that you have started with your experiment with the Globe. It is interesting for someone to take the Globe and dissect it in the way that you are doing, as way of seeing how the Globe is covering theatre. I remember last year when the Globe's Sunday section was entitled Arts rather then Arts and entertainment. At least I knew then I would get some sort of theatre coverage even if it was one review. Now, they don't even have to cover Boston Theatre and sometimes they don't. Although I can admit to the Globe being very powerful I don't think it can single handily kill Boston Theater, although combined with the fact that there is no one strong consistent theater community in Boston might just manage to kill it. Who knows? As for me I am done trying to carve a community from this petrified wood. My email project has failed miserable.

I recently got married and went to Scotland for my honeymoon, we were in Edinburgh for the tail end of the Fridge Festival. What an awesome energy there is in that city during the festival. I only managed to drag my wife to two plays because we also wanted to see the city and we had to catch a tour we had booked to the Highlands the following week. But I could feel the community through the city, people gathering to talk about when to see friends in shows. Other people going to shows of people they did not know. I was envious of the energy and the community. It was all around and it wrapped me up like a warm blanket. Maybe it is like that because the festival only happens once a year and is only a month long. Perhaps that kind of community that I wish Boston had cannot be sustained for longer, it could be too exhausting. I don't know.

But when I got back from my honeymoon, I did not get an email from a theater company interested in the fringe proposal, not one. I only got three emails back although they were very positive emails from individuals who were lending their support and encouragement. I was very appreciative to them for they confirmed that I am not indeed crazy and a support system of some kind is needed in Boston. No one was willing to join me although the replies all had great ideas no one wanted to join and get things started and I am too tired to be an army of one.

I was wondering how you were coming with your fringe section? Have you gotten any takers on the ad campaign? I know you got one enthusiastic company to join but was he the only one?

As for me I am going to focus on my writing (which I need to get back to) directing a play here and there and perhaps even acting in a play here and there. But I truly feel that the type of community that is sourly needed in Boston is unattainable simply because not enough people want it, perhaps they cannot see the vision or the possibly of what it could be and they fear change. Perhaps they can but still fear change. What I do know is that theatre being run this way presently cannot last indefinitely, only a few will manage to survive, the ones big enough to have a budget and get reviewed in the Globe. But even they will die out at some point, probably if and when they get big enough to compete with the road shows. It is too bad.
Ever your friend in Theatre,
Rob

Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2007 07:27:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Bettencourt rob_bett@yahoo.com
Subject: It is too Bad

Hi Larry,
The next time someone emails you about why the smaller plays and companies are not making it into the IRENE awards. Please remember your opening paragraph to your review of Simon Says.

"I learned last night that no one had written a review of this play --- unfortunately, not even myself. I must apologize to everyone connected with it, both for my own inaction and for my fellow reviewers' as well. I hear audiences have been spotty --- from fifteen to sold-out --- and the absence of any of my colleagues means, I regret to say, that there is no possibility that "Simon Says" can be even in contention for the IRNE Award as the best new play this year --- which I believe it deserves. I'm writing this at eight on Friday morning and there are only three more performances, but I would advise anyone to break any previous commitments in order to see this show before it closes. The experience will be well worth it, and unforgettable."

I understand that you cannot be everywhere and that you cannot review everything, there is only so much one person can do. It is too bad that a play that you enjoyed so much will go unnoticed not only around award time but because it did not get a lot of exposure I am sure not many people knew about it or had the courage to take a chance on it.

I think that a copy of your review of this play should be emailed to every IRENE reviewer.

It's also a reason why playwrights in Massachusetts send their stuff out of the state rather then trying to get a production here. There doesn't seem to be a point.
Rob

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Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 10:33:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Christopher Teague chris@metrostagecompany.com
Subject: Hello!

Hey Larry,
Thank you SOOOO much for the Metro ad. I will gladly give you whatever money you need from us. Our tickets are $20...so I can give $20. But if you need more from me, just let me know.
Cabaret is running two weeks (the weekend of the 7th and 14th) I'm hoping we'll be listed for both weekends. I'm happy to pay extra to make that happen. :)
This was a wonderful idea, and I'm so grateful you went ahead and did this. Should I just give you the money at Cabaret? Or do you need it faster (I can mail it or drop it off if you want)
Thanks again!-Chris

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Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 23:31:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: "E Wayles Browne" ewb2@cornell.edu
Subject: Plays

Dear Larry,
Once before, I remember, I asked your advice about plays, because our local group of Amnesty International was interested in doing one with a human-rights message. In the end, we did two: one was The White Rose, by Lillian Garrett-Groag, about a group of students in Nazi Germany who wrote leaflets against Hitler. The other was Coyote on a Fence, by Bruce Graham, about the death penalty, a thing which we're also against.
Both plays were well received by the local public, and they certainly energized us!

Now we're beginning to think of doing it again. Have you seen anything recently that deals with questions like genocide, persecution, arbitrary denial of rights, arrogance by the police or other government representatives, cover-ups.... good things like that?
Best,
Wayles
--
Wayles Browne, Assoc. Prof. of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics
Morrill Hall 220, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A.
e-mail ewb2@cornell.edu

LARRY STARK REPLIED:

Let's see what I might have reviewed lately:

"Two Rooms"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LS2rooms.htm ]
Hostage; wife; government; reporter. Brilliant play!

"Still Life: A Documentary"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSstillAYTB.htm ]
A study of the returning soldier's attempts to shift gears

"Race"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/BEVrace.htm ]
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSrace.htm ]
ALL the racial epithets, voiced full-throat, and "reasonable" justifications of racism

"Emhanced Interrogation Techniques"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/TAeitgt.htm ]

"SIN: A Cardinal Deposed"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/TASINacdgamm.htm ]

"Fat Pig"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/BEVfpspeakeasy.htm ]

"Titus Andronicus"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/BEVfpspeakeasy.htm ]

"I have before Me A Remarkable Document Given to Me by A Young Lady from Rwanda"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/BEVrwanda.htm ]

"Hilary And Monica"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/CRgloucesterhilary.htm ]

"The Trial of One Short Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/KBtrial.htm ]

"Lost + Found"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSl+fqs.htm ]

"Home"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LShqsbca.htm ]

"Frozen"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/CRfrozennewrep.htm ]

"The Goat" or "Who Is Sylvia?"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LStgowislsobi.htm ]

"Talking to Terrorists"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LStttstc.htm ]

"Wake Up And Smell The Coffee"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSwuastctof.htm ]

"The Last Days of Judas Iscariot"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSldojic1.htm ]

"1776"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/CRlyric1776.htm ]

"The Women"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LStwsescbca.htm ]

"Almost Asleep"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSasmtpcwt.htm ]

"Stuff Happens"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/BEVstuff.htm ]

"Urinetown"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSurinetownTIII.htm ]

"Lysistrata"
[ http://www.portlandphoenix.com/theater/top/documents/04475493.asp ]

"Homebody Kabul"
[ http://www.portlandphoenix.com/theater/top/documents/04475493.asp ]

"Blue/Orange"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSboz.htm ]

"For Colored Girls Who Have Tried Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSfcg.htm ]

"The Trojan Whore"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LSttwm6d.htm ]

"The Ocean Room"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LStoc1111.htm ]

"The Story"
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/LStszsc.htm ]
The reporters get it wrong. Neatly honest!

Well, that should get you started, at any rate.
(Insert wry emoticon of your choice HERE.)
Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.

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Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 21:20:23 -0400
From: Cory Tomascoff ctomascoff@rcn.com
Subject: Screenplay Call Question

Hello, I'm a 16 year old filmmaker and I am currently looking for scripts that I can make into films. I have posted this on my website www.corysmovies.com and a friend of mine showed me your website because he thinks it's really cool. Anyway, I was wondering if there was anyway I could have a note posted that I am looking for scripts, even if it was really short, or a link or something, just to help get my message out there.

I was really just curious... I'm just trying this out to see if anyone will respond.
Thanks a lot,
-Cory Tomascoff

ctomascoff@rcn.com
website: corytomascoff.com and as above: corysmovies.com

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Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 15:45:47 +0000
From: Jbisantz@comcast.net
Subject: Re: Quotes and mis-quotes

Hello, Larry!
First of all I want to thank you for all the work you do for the local theater community and express my sympathy on behalf of all the Playwrights Platform folks regarding the death of Will Stackman. A great guy and a presence that will be sorely missed.

I am writing this short note to express my frustration with a recent article printed in "The Weeekly Dig" about our ongoing Playwrights' Platform Festival at BU (thanks to the generosity of Kate Snodgrass and Marc Olivere for allowing us to use their wonderful facility)

In the article by Julia Reischel (a very nice person, by the way) I am quoted as saying the following ridiculous statement, and I quote: "...I think it's a shame that Boston has not created great plays yet.."

HELLO? Why and how in God's name would I ever make that statement when I had spent the ENTIRE interview bragging about the great plays being created in and around Boston? What I had said was:

"I think it's a shame that no local plays have yet to receive huge national commercial success..." Biggo-differnce-oh! I went on to tell Ms. Reischel that we are getting there and mentioned great playwrights like Ronan Noone, John Kuntz, Melinda Lopez, etc...

I have sent a letter to their editorial department but I am not confident that they will print it.

The gist of the article was fine and she did express my frustration with many of my fellow playwrights that we should be considered by more local theaters for possible productions with the same measure of respect afforded a New York or Chicago playwright.

Thanks to many of our theaters and hard working people like Kate Snodgrass, Rose Carlson, Leslie Chapman, Playwrights Platform, Yellow Taxi Productions, Hovey, to name a few... I believe that we are getting there. If our work is up the the writing standards of others, (and I believe it is) I only ask that Artistic Directors in the area at least "give us a read".

Thanks so much for your time, and to my fellow playwrights who may have read that article and said to themselves, "Jeeze! How can Bisantz say that? What an asshole!" I assure you, I am still an asshole, just not THAT kind of an asshole!

Write On, my friend!
Jerry

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 13:13:10 -0400
From: "Lana Bornstein" lanaborn@gmail.com
Subject: help me Larry!!

Okay…
Can anyone shed some light!!??
I had a fabulous audition a few months ago for a company called The Contemporary Theatre of Boston.
Yes, I said fabulous, because even though I didn’t get the part and got called back three times, the directors were so nice and gracious that I really wanted to stay in touch and support them. However, I cannot find much information on them! I know the production is The Maids and I also know that they are doing something very unique called “salon” theatre. Can anyone shed some light??? Please Larry, he who knows all…..!!
Help me!!
Lana B.

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Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 11:49:44 -0500
From: leigh barrett LeighBarrett@comcast.net
Subject: Coaching available

Hey Larry,
So good to see you the other night at Souvenir. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. We are having a blast...
On another note.
I've been thinking of getting back into the "coaching biz". I've taught for NSMT and for Emerson College but what I really love is coaching a piece into the actor.
Is there any way to let your readers know that I'm available?
Thanks for your help!
Leigh Barrett

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Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 11:58:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Naeemah A. White-Peppers" nwp97@yahoo.com
Subject: It's a boy!!

Hi all,
we did it!! Sidney Orion Luckey was born on Friday. I stayed up all night last night and created a webpage for him (in between feedings). Check out the page and the pictures.

I'm home for the rest of the year on maternity leave.
Going back to work in January. hope you're well, and hope to hear from you soon...

Sidney Orion Luckey
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/sidneyorion
Steele Ocean Luckey
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/s/steele/
*******************
IT'S A BOY!!
Sidney Orion Luckey
September 15, 2006
8lbs;1oz and 20in

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Date: Fri, 05 May 2006 23:03:48 -0400
From: "Harvey Soolman" ballplayerHS@comcast.net
Subject: Sad news

Hello All,
I received some terrible news today that Jim Moran has passed away. Jim had been very ill with lung cancer, with which he was diagnosed a little over two years ago.

I first met Jim about ten years ago at Playwright's Platform and quickly learned of his sharp mind, down to earth kindness, intelligence and probably most of all his wit. In fact, his creative sense of humor was actually kind of warped, and I think that is what I will miss most about him. You could always laugh and have fun in his company.

Jim wrote stage plays and dabbled in performing himself. He reveled in an Improv group that used to descend on various public places until the police threw them out. He like to say the same about the Wildebeast of the Sarengetti - they also threw him out for insisting they barbecue the antelope before dining. He played in my shows "A Left Turn at Albuquerque" as the old, miserable drunk and in "Ballplayer" as the old, miserable coach. (Jim was certainly not an old, miserable person, however.) He also read for me in readings of "Peter Van" [Smee was made for him] and possibly "Flossy, Queen of Spades" too. He used to enjoy telling people I was keeping his mediocre acting career alive.

Some of you knew him better than others. Jim was great fun to work with, and he was a very good sport - such as willingly belching out a couple of lines from Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" in Albuquerque. We laughed about that one for a long time afterwards - couldn't believe people paid money and heard that. Jim was an accomplished photographer and enjoyed the outdoors - hiking and climbing. More importantly, though, he was simply a darn good guy with a lot of friends who will miss him.

I last saw Jim in February. He looked weaker, but his spirit was still strong. We joked and had a good time. Yet, about a month later he was too weak to attend a show he, Susan and I had tickets for.

He married Susan Fagen in 2004. Their address is 41 Unity Road, Belmont. There is tentatively going to be a service next Saturday afternoon. I don't have any details yet but I can let you know if you are interested in attending.
That's all.
Harvey Soolman

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Fri, 05 May 2006 20:38:44 -0700
From: "Rob Astyk" robastyk@fastmail.fm
Subject: Re: Sad news

Hi, Harvey, et al.,
Thank you, Harvey, for the news and the eulogy.
I first met Jim when Harvey asked me to play the bartender in "A Left Turn at Albuquerque" and was immensely glad I did. Jim was one of those sweet, gentle souls that most of us wish we could be, the ideal we never quite reach. I'm sure that Jim would not have seen himself that way, but I did and so did others. Perhaps that's enough: that we leave an impression of goodness and decency in our wake as we daily traverse this uncertain sea. The world is a little less bright without Jim Moran in it.
Take care,
--
Rob Astyk

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2006 19:31:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Achilles Vatrikas avatrikas@yahoo.com
Subject: IRNE awards

Dear Mr. Stark
I wanted to personally thank you for honoring our TAKE ME OUT team with an IRNE of Best Ensemble during your ceremony last Monday in Boston. What a fun night! I have to admit it was a first for me and it became even more exciting by being awarded along with my co-actors.

Thank you for recognizing our play and cast in this way and for giving us such a terrific night! I hope to see you again there next year, perhaps with another great "team" like that of FLESH AND BLOOD which we recently closed.
Thanks again.
Yours,
Achilles Vatrikas

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 16:29:42 -0500
From: "Aguillon, Michelle M." Michelle_Aguillon@dfci.harvard.edu
Subject: Many Thanks

To: "Norm Gross \(E-mail\)" norm@pmpnetwork.com,
"Stackman Will \(E-mail\)" profwlll@yahoo.com,
"Larry Stark \(E-mail\)" larry@theatermirror.com,
"Kay Bourne \(E-mail\)" kaykatze@aol.com

On behalf of Hovey Players, thank you for two IRNE-nominations. The 5Women ladies were happy just to have been nominated and thrilled to be part of the ceremonies. Our only disappointment was that Melissa Sine could not attend. She sent her regrets, because she is directing grade-school children in a play and she held rehearsal with them last night.

We all had a great time. I especially had a great time seeing old friends I don't see because we are all busy doing our own shows throughout the season!

Thanks again and congratulations another successful IRNE-bash. Best,
Michelle Aguillon

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 11:20:24 -0500
From: leigh barrett leighbarrett@comcast.net
Subject: Thanks!

Hi Larry,
I don't have emails for everyone on the committee and hope that you won't mind being the messanger. I just wanted to reiterate my gratitude to you and the rest of the IRNE committee, as well as all of the independent reviewers. You can't know how much we of the Boston theatre community appreciate your unwavering and tireless support of our work in all it's various capacities. I thank you once again for the honor you bestowed upon me last night and hope to continue to do work that you feel worthy of note.
Best,
Leigh Barrett

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 13:10:56 -0500
From: svgemma@optonline.net
Subject: Open Door Theatre

Hello Larry Stark!
In 1972 or 1973, there was a struggling little theater group called the open door theater, which you supported and helped sustain. I was just talking with Geralyn Horton, who told me of your web site, and of Susan McGinley's death. I've gone through the postings in the Greenroom and cannot find any mention of this, and wonder where I could find what Geralyn described as lots of tributes to her which were posted after the announcement of her death.

She was a friend, and my partner in the first years of running the company, and the reason it continued on for so many years, bringing many talented people into the it. We saw one another for the last time at the twentieth reunion of the ODT in the kettle bowl in JP. If you still have these postings somewhere, I would love to read them. Her life was entirely about theatre, and I'm sad about her passing, and wish to add my affectionate farewell to her spirit, which was indominatable.

Thanks for your continued support, all those years, and for looking after this request, if you can.
Yours truly,
Sally Gelling (Oliver-Smith in those years)

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 13:50:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Richard White fightdirector@yahoo.com
Subject: For "The Greenroom"

The "Open Audition" – Or "Bait And Switch"?

Scenario One: You are single, unattached and, frankly, lonely. You finally, at a friend's suggestion, look at the Personals listings on the Internet. You find an ad for someone who seems perfect – attractive, single, sharing many of your interests - and you write them an e-mail. They respond positively and you arrange to meet. Optimistically, you day-dream about the possibility that you might really hit it off and this first meeting might lead to a long-term relationship, maybe even a marriage. You meet, and they are everything they said they were – except they tell you that they lied about being single (they are actually married) but they still want to date you, now and then, when their spouse isn't available.

Scenario Two: You've spent most of your working life in the restaurant business. As a kid, you worked as a busboy, then a waiter, then as a maitr! e-de and now you've looking to continue in your career field. You see a classified ad for the position of restaurant manager - the job you have been training for and hoping to find. You apply and set up an interview. When you arrive at the interview, you are told that the position of restaurant manager really was never available – but the restaurant desperately needs part-time busboys and figured if they advertised for "restaurant managers" they'd get a better class of applicant.

Scenario Three: You've been looking for a new car and you see a classified ad for a great one that you'd really like – and it's on sale at a price you can afford! You go to the car dealer and he says, "We really don't have any of those cars available, but we knew that if we put one in our advertising, people would come and we might be able to sell them a different car once they got here".

Scenario Four: For years you have devoted yourself to the plays of Shakespeare. You've directed different Shakespearean plays and have played many Shakespearean roles. Like many Shakespeare fanatics, you fantasize about playing the role of King Lear when you are old enough and experienced enough. You come across an advertisement announcing "open auditions" for a community theater production of "King Lear". Your chance has come! "Open auditions"! Everyone has an equal chance for the role, based on how well they do at the audition and whether they fit the Director's concept! You drive to the theater on the night of auditions, having spent every spare moment of the past several days re-studying the script and your audition monologue. Upon arriving, you are told, "The Producer's brother-in-law was cast in the role of King Lear a month before the audition, but the smaller roles are hard to fill, and if we had announced that the role of King Lear had been pre-cast, actors of your quality wouldn't have! come to the audition. So it's really an "open audition" for all the other roles".

Any of these sound familiar to you? Scenarios Two and Three are violations of the criminal law statutes, whereas Scenarios One and Four are not, but all are unethical and all are wrong.

But since this is a website for people in the New England entertainment field, let's focus on Scenario Four and it's all too frequent occurrence in non-professional theaters in New England. (In the over-twenty years I was a member of Actor's Equity, I never encountered "Bait And Switch Open Auditions" in the professional theater.) Since my arrival in New England many years ago, I have encountered variations on this scenario many times. Some of those amateur theater companies are no longer in existence while others are still running. Should we, as actors, directors and stage technicians, continue to support these community theaters with our efforts, or should we boycott them until they are forced ! to either change their operating practices or go out of business?

In deference to Larry, I will not specify community theater groups past and present in this Greenroom posting, but I will gladly share specifics with anyone wishing to contact me directly.
Rich White
Rich White Rich White Fight Associates "Have Sword...Will Travel" (508) 733-8472

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Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 17:24:59 -0500
From: Subject: NEED article

Hi, Larry:
Great article in NEED... I agree that one of our chief functions is to REPORT... As I review NYC productions for NEED, vitually none of my readers will see the show... and I'm aware of that duty to DESCRIBE unique work...
- Steve Capra

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Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 11:57:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Johnwlynn@aol.com
Subject: Jake's Women

Larry, I need your help. Can you help me locate a theatre group who has done Jake's Women and has a tape of their production. I am slated to direct it with rehearsals starting on Nov. 1 and I'm having trouble getting a handle on it trechnically. Seeing what someone else has done with it will help enormously. With all your contacts, I thought you might be able to help0 me locate one that I can buy or borrow. Love your site. I wouldn't have thought Boston had 90 theatres, but it is a cool town so I'm not that surprised. I'm in Mundelein which is a far northern suburb of Chicago about half way between downtown Chicago and Milwaukee and I know Chi has a peck of them. I don't think anyones ever counted them but it's a busy theatre town.
Thanks for any help you might be in getting me a tape. John Lynn

=+=+=+=+=+=

Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2005 09:17:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Loann gsv_novel_identities@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Non acting job for actors listing at TheatreMirror

Dear Larry,
Here is an announcement regarding Useful People for the Greenroom.

"Are you an Artist or Performer Looking for Flexible Part-Time Work?

We are Looking for Useful People!

Useful People, a new kind of placement service, is looking to build its database of available administrative and executive assistants. Useful People provides small businesses and individuals with part-time (less than 20 hours), permanent independent contractors. Do you have strong word processing and office skills? Are you a creative thinker, with a strong work ethic, who can work independently? Would you like a steady paycheck while you pursue your art? Visit www.Useful-People.com for more details. Please send resume and cover letter stating times available and salary range to placement@useful-people.com.

Useful People does not guarantee work. Please DO NOT APPLY if you are looking for full time work or temporary work. MUST have proven experience in a professional office setting and references. References will be checked and you may be tested at the interview."

Thank you again!
Loann

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Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 14:54:56 -0400
From: Patrick M Brennan pbrennan@theworld.com
Subject: Playwrights' Platform Talent Database

Dear Theater Artist,
Playwrights' Platform exists to provide a home for our playwrights to network between themselves and with other talented people such as yourself. Our playwrights are always in need of the talents of other theater artists to help give life to their new works. We network with the Boston theater scene in search of actors, directors, and other talented individuals.

Playwrights' Platform members have been extensively produced in the Boston area, and many have gone on to great professional success.
Joining our talent list is a good way to make connections with new playwrights who have bright future prospects!

If you would like to allow Playwrights' Platform members to contact you, and ask for your participation in readings or performances of their new work, please fill out this form:
http://www.playwrightsplatform.org/addyourtalent.html

Your privacy will be respected!
Your contact information will be maintained on a secure, password-protected database which will only ever be available to Playwrights' Platform members. You will not receive spam by placing yourself in our database.

If you would not like to participate in the Playwrights' Platform talent database, please simply fill in your email address and select "No" where we ask for your permission to use your contact details.
Thank You!
Patrick Brennan
President, Playwrights' Platform

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Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 10:52:35 -0400
From: Robert_Deveau@harvardpilgrim.org
Subject: New "Old Theatre" Website

Larry,
Last summer a bunch of alumni from Somerville's short-lived but highly productive Theatre 369 met for a 30 year reunion. One of the results was this website. Its still in its beginning stages, but we have many more photos, posters and programs to post. My hope is that this may grow into a site to remember other Boston little theatres of the past.
I thought Theater Mirror folks might enjoy taking a look. Maybe you can add this to your links?
Bob Deveau
http://www.theatre369.com/

LARRY STARK AGREES!
Actors and Theater Companies, like Keats have names that are writ on water......
Something Should be done to keep alive the glow of aspiration and hope it Always takes to put on a performance and give it to people.
A while ago someone formed a committee to create a Theatre Museum for Boston.
Maybe, if people with memories send them to you Bob, we can revive the idea!
The small sliver of Boston's theatre history that I've lived through certainly deserves the attention!
Break a leg with it!

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Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 11:14:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jmcgonnigal@aol.com
Subject: my life has changed...

Hey there,
I've had some major personal things going on and this past weekend, I was thrown for a whole new unexpected loop.

Some of you may know that pimarily what I do in life is produce theatrical events and benefits. The larger-scale event that we do is the World AIDS Day Concert that started two years ago with Children of Eden and continued last year with a concert of Pippin. We chose this year to start working with a new charity that we felt may be able to be a little more hands-on with the event and came across the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation. We had selected The Secret Garden as our concert for this year, and I quickly met up with Mike and Carol, who run the foundation. You hear "Mike and Carol" and you think about the Brady's...this Mike and Carol are quite clearly closer to The Sopranos. Staten Island. Clearly "Family," and some of the kindest, hardest-working people I'd ever met.

Carol started the foundation along with her son, Joey, who contracted the virus through a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery. It was 1984 and he was four years old. When they discovered he had the virus (at age 8), Joey decided he needed to stand up and be a ray of hope for other children that had no one.

Now, in 2005, Joey is 26. Six years ago, Joey, his Mom, and her husband, Mike started Camp T.L.C.. TLC is a one-week summer camp program for teens living with the challenge of HIV and AIDS. Most are inner-city kids. Most are orphans who've lost their parents to AIDS during their childhood. Most are either foster children or live in group homes, never to be adopted due to their illness.

I do a lot of benefits, but for the first time, I had the unique opportunity to visit Camp TLC and see with my own eyes, (and ultimately my heart) exactly where the money raised goes. I'd expected to visit for a few hours on Friday and head back that night. Carol immediately started begging me to stay and see the talent show that evening, spend the night and return to Staten Island with them on Saturday for the counselor de-briefing with the therapist. I agreed and started seeing the camp for myself.

Kids being kids...for the first time in their lives. For this one week, they're not a red ribbon and they don't have to hide. Physicians going out in rowboats to deliver medication to them so as to not interrupt their day. Water fights, soccer tournaments, and a talent show...kids getting up and dancing in groups to hip-hop music. Kids getting up and reading poetry they'd written earlier in the week. Kids getting up and playing the piano-for the first time, unafraid of judgement and condemnation. Kids being Kids, instead of a disease.

I heard stories from children who nearly died this year, but chose to live...the most astonishing thing...they chose to live so they could come back to camp. Some children did pass away this year, and together, with a circle of friends who had compassion, they sent a boat into the middle of the lake. The boat had a phoenix-shaped flag with the names and pictures of the 3 young girls lost this year. The boat was filled with candles the living lit in hope for their souls. And together, they said goodbye. And together they chose to embrace life.

I'm forever changed. For the first time, I know why I've been doing what I've been doing. Not to say any charity I've worked with was worth less than another, but to see with my own eyes these children who need help, I'm changed.

If I could share my eyes and ears with you right now I would, because writing about it cannot possibly describe what I feel right now and what I experienced this weekend.

So...go visit the World AIDS Day Concert Website and support if you can. Under the Donate Now menu item at the top of the page, there is an easy quick and secure way to donate online.

Again, thank you for your patience with me and I wish you all the best the world has to offer.
Much Love, Jamie

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Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 14:28:02 -0400
From: "Jeff Poulos" Subject: Arts United for Hurricane Relief

Hello:
I received this today, and wanted to pass it along to you. We at StageSource are spreading the word to over 200 theatres companies and over 2000 theatre artists working in the Greater Boston/New England region about this Arts United for Hurricane Katrina relief. I thought you might be interested in story of the arts community across the country rallying.
Yours,
Jeff Poulos
----------------
From the desk of Kristin Sosnowsky,
Managing Director,
Swine Palace Productions,
Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

I am writing from Swine Palace, the professional theatre company affiliated with the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the Baton Rouge Performing Arts Alliance. I am hoping you can pass on to your constituent organizations information regarding an arts-related unified disaster relief effort. As the reports from New Orleans continue to come in, it is clear that South Louisiana faces a dire situation as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Here in Baton Rouge, we are expecting our population to double in the next few days as more evacuees and displaced citizens are relocated here.

Currently, we are working on a number of ways to service the many evacuees in Baton Rouge and further participate in the disaster relief efforts. As such, we would like to appeal to our fellow arts organizations across the country to participate in what we are calling the Arts United for Hurricane Relief program. We are asking that organizations consider ways to solicit hurricane relief donations. Some of the ways that they might participate is by placing a donation jar in the their lobby, including an insert or ad in the program, including a link on their website or possibly donating the proceeds of a special performance. There are a variety of funds to which the proceeds can be donated including the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), The Hurricane Katrina Displaced Residents Fund or the Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund both of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (www.braf.org), the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund of the LSU Foundation, or a Hurricane Relief organization of their choice. We are certainly not asking that any organization jeopardize their own funding efforts, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated. We are currently setting-up a link on our website (www.swinepalace.org) which will provide additional information, links and downloads as well as a list of all the organizations that participate. In the meantime, organizations who would like to participate can contact me at 225-578-9274 or ksosno1@lsu.edu.
Thank you for your assistance.
Kristin Sosnowsky Managing Director
Swine Palace Productions
Reilly Theatre
Tower Dr. - LSU
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
225-578-9274

225-578-3527 (Box Office)
225-578-9279 (Fax)

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Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 11:43:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jf3148@aol.com
Subject: Frank/Reagle A Swell Memory Piece, Larry

Larry!
What sweet reminiscences from your memory archives in Theater Mirror reprinted from NEED. I missed original so glad you reprinted on site. Such nice echoes awakened things within me. The Siobhan McKenna/Jason Robards - Macbeth. William Hunt was producer and I'd apprenticed at South Shore Music Circus with daughter Elise. In audience eve I saw that Macbeth was a gorgeous Marilyn Monroe with Arthur Miller in tow.

Such fun memories you recall. Theatre Company of Boston and their grand success with David.
I avidly look forward to installment 2.
Hope your poor legs are holding up for you.
(Yours in Bush bashing!) ; - )
Frank/Reagle

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Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 15:36:43 -0400
From: rinal@sc.rr.com
Subject: Dared Wright

Hi! You have absolutely no idea who I am, however, I am trying to find someone who has been in some shows with this theatre company. I know Dared from the days he used to teach a youth theatre camp at the Framingham Civic League. I was one of his students. He may not remember me, however, I have been trying to find a way to contact him for quite some time now. I want to let him know what a profound impact he's had on my life. I'd love to fill him in on my success as a performer...much of which is largely thanks to him. I don't know if you have any way of contacting him, and I understand that this email is excessively random. I just had no other way to get in touch. I appreciate your time. Thank you so much!
Rina BolducRinaL@sc.rr.com

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SnailMail from:
Judith McIntyre
to THE IRNE COMMITTEE % Larry Stark
13 July '05

Dear IRNE Committee ---
I am SO sorry this note has taken so long to reach you.
I just wanted to "thank" the committee for nominating me as Best Actress in Boston for 2004 season. It was quite an honor. I have my beautiful certificate smack center in the middle of my office bulletin board and I look at it daily. Considering the talent in Boston/NE it is especially nice to be acknowledged. Thank you all for attending all the theatre that you do and for putting it all out there for the public. We have so much competition in the entertainment field today that live theatre needs all the support it can get, Here's to another great season
Sincerely,
Judith McIntyre

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Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 10:40:59 -0400 From: Jerry Bisantz biz362@earthlink.net
Subject: Playwrights' Platform Festival

Larry, I wonder if you would post this "Thank you" note:

Just a note to thank all the wonderful actors, technicians and fabulous audience members who participated in our 33rd annual and MOST SUCCESFUL (and profitable!) new works festival ever!

The technical staff was amazing (our musical alone had 28 lighting cues and was expertly tech'd by Ann Garvin and her staff in ONE hour!)

We literally had no where to put audience members on closing night! The atmosphere was electric and the audience respose extremely positive. But most important: the playwrights had the unique opportunity of seeing their work in front of a live audience, and we now know how to "tweak" and improve our offerings.

Thanks so much to Kate Snodgrass and Mark Olivere of Playwrights' Theatre for offering their space to us...a wonderful place to perform. And kudos to Sandy Burns, and Steve Gilbane, winners of the audience choice awards, and Kelly DuMar, the winner of the coveted Playwrights Choice Award.
Thanks!
Jerry

Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 14:15:18 +0000
From: "poochini109" poochini109@yahoo.com
Subject: [Actornews_Boston] Actornews Back in Business!

Hey, Actor-Newsies!
Having missed my bi-weekly Actor News ever since the incomparable Sheila Stasack had to give it up, I finally decided to contact her and see if we couldn't transfer the duties over to me! And so, here I am, filling in as an understudy for La Sheila.

Please send any annoucements you have my way. I will be trying to stick to the same rules as Sheila (no audition announcements, unless it is an emergency, etc), but welcome announcements of shows you are in, shows you have seen and think we should all see, birth and wedding announcements, that sort of thing. You can send the announcements to me at my Yahoo email account of:
poochini109@yahoo.com Hope we can get the ball rolling again and hope that I have finally mastered this Yahoo Groups thingee!
Take care and hope to hear from you soon!
Rick Park

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Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 12:59:05 +1000
From: "Samsor Safi" samsor@sci-chem.com
Subject: Dawn Jenks( Tamming of the shrew)

Hi Larry,
My name is Samsor Safi from Australia, I'm an old friend of Dawn Jenks from Shakespeare and Company, trying to track her down, would you have her email details, or can you please forward my details to her, your help would be greatly appreciated. my email is: samsor@sci-chem.com.
many thanks
Samsor

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Date: Sat, 14 May 2005 01:37:50 -0400
From: Patrick M Brennan pbrennan@pbrennan.net
Subject: Please welcome Zoe Jean Brennan!

Vitals:
5/13/2005 10:40 pm
6 lbs, 12.2 oz
20 in
Mother and daughter doing fine.
Pictures forthcoming.

AT TIMES LIKE THIS LARRY STARK CAN THINK OF ONLY ONE TIRED CLICHE:

Happy
B I R T H Day!!!!!!!!
Love,
===Anon.

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Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2005 21:02:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ross Clay capfunder@yahoo.com
Subject: The Boston Pocket Mime

Hi thar!!!!!
My name is Ross Clay I worked with the folks at the " pocket" there enfluance was emence!

I am a stunt coordinator in feature films and television. J, Anna,Mikeal,Kate were perfouned enfluance on my work and my life , please responed and give them my love!!!!!!!!!

NOTE:
If you have never read "Life Upon The Wicked Stage...", J Tormy's excellent history of THE POCKET MIME THEATRE, DO It NOW! (It's a gem!)

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Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 15:51:59 -0400
From: "Mark Sickler" msickler@EmpireResorts.com
Subject: FW: Massachusetts is Seceding - don't miss it!
Hey guys-
Look what my friends are doing in NYC (I was in the original workshop production 2 yrs ago)! Yeah, it’s “wicked freakin’ awesome”!

And to celebrate the premiere, I’m moving back to Mass.! The job came through!!!!! I’ll be in Mass sometime in May!!! Dates are to be determined!

-----Original Message-----

theatreflective is wicked excited to present Massholia, a new rock 'n' roll musical comedy about: unrequited love, diehard Red Sox fans, disgruntled pilgrims, misguided Duck Tours, conniving Salem Witches, President John Kerry, John Kerry Jr., a magical turkey, misunderstood Massholes, and the year Massachusetts secedes from the Union.

The Flamboyan Theater at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center 107 Suffolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington. (F to Delancey. JMZ to Essex) in NEW YORK

We can't wait to see you in May!

The Complete letter in Thanks!Jeremy G.

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
You must be right. I'm seventy-two and read the TIMES on Sundays. It was probably a big article on the PLAY when it got the Pulitzer than I remembered as being in the Book Review.
Frankly, I wish it WERE a novel; there's Much too much Subtext that the actors have to handle for a stage show.
Sorry for the lapse!
Love,
===Anon.

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Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 14:12:04 -0500
From: "Sandra Myatt" s.myatt@comcast.net
Subject: Theatre/Theater

Hello Larry,
"A note of pure obstinant pedantry:
THEATER is an art.
It is practiced in THEATRES."
At the risk of being even more obstinate (not obstinant), is it not the other way around?
Have a great day - enjoyed your website.
Yours,
Pendant Visitor 676201 : )

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Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 11:14:03 -0500
From: BILL DOSCHER Subject: at least I didn't send an Indian maid

Hi Larry - just a brief belated THANK YOU for the IRNE's Best Director award for RAGTIME - needless to say, it was an honor sharing the nominations with such esteemed directors but to tie (and with Spiro!) was completely unexpected. Please relay my thanks to the rest of the committee and hope this marks the beginning of quality community theatre recognition ( have to plug VIOLET @ the Footlight Club 4/1 - 4/16 ) -
Thanks again!
Bill Doscher

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Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 00:24:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Bakerbobbi@aol.com
Subject: Hi

My heart is still beating too fast. I am so proud and Happy looking at that AWARD, How can I thank all of you. And you, with your cute pussycat face...you are a darling man. Can you let everyone know how my sister and I feel about this whole fukakta piece of paper and what it means to us for our 60 years. I truly luv ya...
Bobbi Baker

NOTE:
DOLLY AND BOBBI BAKER (THE FABULOUS BAKER SISTERS) were honored with a Special Award for OUTSTANDING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN CABARET by The Boston Association of Cabaret Artists, and the award was announced at this year's IRNE Award Party.

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From: "Ellen F. Goldberg" EFGold1@comcast.net
Subject: Looking for....
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:58:38 -0500

Hi Larry,
I am looking for an old friend of mine. I was searching on the internet and located a review of a show she was in. Her name is Marilyn Mays and she and James Walker were / are (?) in "A Gardener in Love". Would you have a contact number for her? I have no idea how long ago the show was produced... so forgive me if it;s been a longtime.
I appreciate your help.
Blessings,
Ellen F. Goldberg

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Found the review:
[
http//www.theatermirror.com/gills.htm ]
It's dated 1999, the company no longer exists, and the director is about to move to Canada!
I can put this in the GREENROOM and see what other people know......
Thanks for thinking of The Mirror!
Break a leg...
Love,
===Anon.

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From: "Linda Lowy" linda@shakespearenow.org
Subject: the amazing YOU
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 08:11:17 -0500

Larry,
You are amazing. Truly amazing. I think you are the HEAD THEATER ANGEL of Massachusetts. Your list is beautifully organized and very clear. Congratulations.

BTW, for Shakespeare Now!, our touring season dates are:
(February through May) A Midsummer Night's Dream
(March through May) Romeo and Juliet
(April through May) Macbeth
Thank you for all you do.
LInda
_________________________________
Linda Lowy
Artistic Director
Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company
www.shakespearenow.org

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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 16:02:18 -0500
From: chelsea girl ogygia.ave@gmail.com
Subject: help identifying play

Hi there, Mr Stark --
I'm trying to remember more details about a play that came to Boston in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The play was called "The Phantom Of the Opera" and it played a very abbreviated run at (I believe) the Charles Playhouse. It WAS NOT the Andrew Lloyd Webber production (obviously), nor was it the Kopit/Yeston "Phantom". I don't remember the playwrights or actors involved, but all of the advertising contained a large disclaimer stating that it WAS NOT the ALW production. It got terrible reviews and seems to have sunk without a trace.
Do you remember anything about this?
Best,Chelsea Spear

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Nope. Nothing comes to MY mind, and I of course leaped to the Yeston PHANTOM as what I thought you meant.
Was It A Musical???
Jill Hobgood's musical web-site is still kept up
[ http//www.saintmarys.edu/~jhobgood/Jill/musicals.html ]
and you might get something there.
I'm putting your letter into The GREENROOM right now, and I hope someone salutes....
The Yeston PHANTOM did play TURTLE LANE PLAYHOUSE, but in 2000
[ http//www.turtle-lane.com/showlist.html ]
(It was perhaps the silliest thing I have ever seen; I haven't seen the even sillier Sir Andrew version in any of its incernations yet. I suspect that were I to try, both IT and I will disappear in a big flash of sulpher&brimstone at the first downbeat of the oveture.... [Insert wry emoticon of your choice here!] )
I wish I could help, and I hope someone can!
Break a leg ....
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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From: "Sharyn Shipley" sashipley@comcast.net
Subject: StarCrossed by Sharyn Abramhoff Shipley
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 17:33:29 -0800

Hi Larry,
Happy New Year! My new play, StarCrossed, is going to be performed in Portsmouth, NH opening Feb 4. I'll be there. Any chance you can make it?
Here's all the info - If you have a moment, tell me where else to send the release, will you?
Hope the New Year finds us all well, warm and well-fed.
Sharyn

January 1, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sharyn Shipley, sashipley@comcast.net or (425) 391-1189

Rolling World Premiere performance of STARCROSSED – the prequel to Romeo & Juliet

STARCROSSED, a new comedy by award-winning playwright, S.Abramhoff Shipley, will premiere at The Player’s Ring Theater in Portsmouth, N.H., February 4-20 and will be produced by Soul Soup Productions and directed by Billy Butler. For information or tickets, call (603) 436-8123.

The play is next slated to be produced by Steinbeck Presents at San Francisco’s Phoenix Theater from May 13-June 5. Directed by Jeffrey Hartgraves. For information or tickets, call (414) 820-1565 or (866) 811-4111.

STARCROSSED takes a hot blooded and wildly romantic perspective on the misadventures that led to the tragic vendetta between the Montagues and the Capulets. With bawdy humor and extraordinary consequences, lives hang in the balance as love, fortune, and honor are risked on the turn of a card, the edge of a sword. A tale of friendships gone awry and unforgivable acts committed in the name of love, this bawdy adventure of young lovers and fine swordplay is a prequel to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

For more information on STARCROSSED, visit www.angelfire.com/in2/mywork.

S.A. Shipley, a Seattle-based playwright, is the author of more than twenty plays. She received the Dramalogue "Play of Year" Award for her comedy, CARYATIDS, and was a nominee for an NAACP Image Award. For more information on this play and about the playwright and her works, visit www.angelfire.com/in2/mywork.

Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 12:00:12 -0500
Subject: Results
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com

Hi Larry -
Haddon Kime here. Just wanted to let you know that since my banner has been up on your site (5 days now) I've received 25 hits from your site and I've sold 12 CD's. Of course, I can't tell which theatermirror viewers are the buyers, but I'm sure some of them are...
Thanks again! Sincerely,
Haddon

AN EXCHANGE ABOUT A BANNER-BUTTON AD

Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 13:49:52 -0500
Subject: MAtter Familias Review
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
Hey Larry -
Haddon Kime here. How are you this holiday season?
I of course, am checking out your site for feedback on our latest outing at BPT, and found the link for Beverly's review is not working
The link on your site is thus:
http://www.theatermirror.com/mfbpt.htm
Would you be able to fix it, or perhaps email me the text of the review?
Thanks so much.
Haddon

[ LARRY ---
I CHECKED AND, YEAH, I HAD DONE EVERYTHING BUT Upload THE REVIEW! SO I FIXED IT...
BUT BEFORE I COULD SEND A COPY TO HIM, I GOT THIS: ]

Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 19:18:08 -0500
Subject: Thanks
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
Thanks Larry.
Happy Holidays!
Haddon

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At 0413 PM 12/10/2004
Subject: Advertising?
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
Hi Larry -
Haddon Kime here. I hope as always this note finds you well. Thank you for your feedback on Matter Familias.

In a recent venture, I've put together a collection of sound effects and environments that I've recorded over the years. This first collection will be called "Haddon Kime's sounds of New York City and Boston Volume 1." Please see my website for it here
http//www.haddonkime.com/sfx_cd.html

I'm wondering what the advertising fee would be for me to put a small ad (say 450X250) on the front page of your website for a few months to push it out to the Boston theater scene?

I don't even know if you do this kind of thing, but it never hurts to ask...
Thanks so much,
Haddon Kime

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DATE: 06:21 PM 12/10
TO: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
FROM: Larry Stark larry@theatermirror.com
Re: advertising?
COPY TO: lee@easterncomputer.net

We can do a "banner Button" ad of some sort, and try to charge you $75.00 for six months.
If not, we can dicker.....

Break a leg....
Love,
===Anon.

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At 0646 PM 12/10/2004, you wrote
Great. That sounds fantastic!

Let me know how big you'd like the banner to be? I think they're usually 750X250 or something like that, but whatever will work on your site the best is what I'll design.

Thanks so much Larry, can I pay you through PayPal?
Sincerely,
Haddon

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Yeah, PayPal works.....
Love,
===Anon.

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DATE: 07:45 PM 12/10
TO: Haddon Kime FROM: Larry Stark Re: advertising?
COPY TO: lee@easterncomputer.net

Okay, for fabrication and et cetera I must wake up Lee VanderLaan who does all the Hard work around here.

LEE?
We got a Live One here......!
(Insert wry emoticon 0f your choice here!)

You and Lee have to talk, and he'll set everything up.
(He Consults, so where he is when is a bit chancy...)
But as soon as he tells me it's up, I'll press the magic button!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a Mere Content-Provider also k a Anon. )

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Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 12:53:40 -0500
Subject: Re: advertising?
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com

hahaha Thank you Larry -
I'll go and check out the donation button now.

Just so you know there's no sound on my SFX CD page just yet. I hope to have a sample or two up within the week, but, that page in paticular wouldn't be that great a way to check your sound system.

Here's one with some working sound clips:
http://haddonkime.com/producers.html

I'm off to make a donation!
Sincerely
Haddon Kime

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Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 13:54:22 -0500
To: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
From: Lee Vander Laan lee@easterncomputer.net
Subject: Re: advertising?

Haddon,
I see your $75.00 Paypal deposit has come in, thank you very much.

You have a very interesting website with much creative work. If you have a banner posted I would be happy to mount on our server and link to your site. If not, please send me by attachment a banner you have worked up. Some examples of the sizes we think work best are: 300 x 170 (Yates House Productions), 400 x 80 (NEED), 243 x 190 (Story Foundry). Banner ads that do not overwhelm the page are best, I think.

Please indicate where the banner should be linked (your main page, sub page, special page, etc).

Thanks again, and I look forward to working with you.
--Lee Vander Laan
Web Head, Theatermirror.com

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Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 14:05:39 -0500
To: Larry Stark larry@theatermirror.com
From: Lee Vander Laan lee@easterncomputer.net

Larry,
I just CC:ed you with a message to Haddon Kime that his $75.00 Paypal had been received. On looking at the Paypal account (which I hadn't for some time), I see there is EXTRA MONEY in it from two other admirers.

May 8, 2004 $5.00 from Sharon Shipley (sashipley@comcast.net)
July 16, 2004 $5.00 from Sharon Shipley
Oct. 25, 2004 $35.00 from Paul O'Shaughnessy (frommage@comcast.net)
Dec. 11, 2004 $75.00 from Haddon Kime

Minus the handling fees (about 3%) the total comes to $115.30.
I shall forward to your Citizens bank account.

Concerning the above deposits: If you haven't acknowledged them (Sharon & Paul) it might be good to do so. You didn't know, I didn't know until now, an oversight which should not have happened. I thought we'd get notification when an amount was deposited. I will see that this is corrected, and an email notice is sent when a deposit is made.

Cheers, and Happy Solstice!
--Lee

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Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 14:35:37 -0500
Subject: Re: advertising?
Cc: Larry Stark larry@theatermirror.com
To: Lee Vander Laan lee@easterncomputer.net
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com

Hi Lee -
I'm going to design a banner now specifically for your site. Is it possible that I could go just a bit wider than NEED? Say 450X80?

I'm going to be advertising a CD of sound effects so I will need it to link here:
http://www.haddonkime.com/sfx_cd.html I'll send you a URL of the banner by the end of the day...

Thanks for your work on theatermirror. As you've no doubt seen and heard, It's an incredibly resource for the Boston theater community.

Sincerely,
Haddon

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Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 15:00:50 -0500
To: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
From: Lee Vander Laan Subject: Re: advertising?

Yes, that would be OK. Looking forward to it.
Thanks again,
--Lee

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Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 19:45:44 -0500
To: Larry Stark larry@theatermirror.com
From: Lee Vander Laan lee@easterncomputer.net
Subject: Haddon Kime banner

Hi Larry,
I just finished posting Haddon Kime's banner on default and welcome. Be sure to copy from right to left before modifying.
I hope you agree with the placement. I gave him choice billing just under the Company Theatre in "default.htm". In welcome I inserted it just under your daily headlines. (also later on before Yates House). He was such a gem to work with, I wanted to give him a "top spot" to help promote his special.
Regardz,
--Lee

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Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 20:01:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Your banner
From: Haddon Kime haddon@kime.com
To: Lee Vander Laan lee@easterncomputer.net

Wow! Thank you so much Lee. It looks great!
Happy holidays to you. I'll be in touch after the first of the year, as I have to up the price to 19.99 then, so I'll need to update the banner then.
It looks really wonderful. Money well spent!
Sincerely,
Haddon

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From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: Papa, could you please post this Gaiety notice? Thank you! Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2004 17:22:51 +0000

The most important contribution you could make right now in the ongoing battle to save Boston's Gaiety Theatre would be to call and/or email Mayor Menino's counsel, Merita Hopkins, and demand that she urge the Mayor to save the Gaiety for the following reasons:

1) The Gaiety was designed by celebrated architect Clarence Blackall and is the last remaining vaudeville theatre in Boston (the birthplace of American vaudeville in 1840).

2) The Gaiety's acoustics have been tested and found to be finer than any downtown Boston theatre or concert hall save for Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall, on which it is par.

3) The Gaiety Theatre presented the first integrated shows in Boston and is a chapter in both the Harlem Renaissance and African-American history.

4) Many Boston area theatre companies and chamber groups need a concert hall of modest size (1,500 seats) as Jordan and Symphony Halls are booked to the maximum.

5) According to engineering experts commissioned by the Friends of the Gaiety Theatre, demolishing the Gaiety will cost nearly as much to demolish it as to refurbish it and build over it.

6) It is illegal to tear down a theatre in the designated Theatre District.

You can contact Merita Hopkins by phone and by email:

MERITA HOPKINS
Phone: (617) 635-4020 V E-mail: merita.hopkins@cityofboston.gov

From: BarstowP@aol.com
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 10:37:17 EST
Subject: MEMORIAL FOR PAUL R. BARSTOW

Dear Friends of Paul,
Thank you for all the e-mails and cards remembering Dad, they have been both comforting and inspiring. Many of you have asked for details about the Memorial on Sunday, December 12th. It will be in the Alumnae Hall Auditorium, on the Barstow Stage, Wellesley College starting at 1:00. We are also having a reception in the ballroom afterwards for those of you who wish to stay for it. If you associate any particular music with Dad, please bring a cd to share at the reception.

Wellesley College Campus is accessible from Rte. 16 and Rte. 135.
From the 135 entrance, the parking garage for Alumnae Hall will be the first right you take off the College Road. Park in the multi-level garage and walk across the circular drive to Alum.
From the 16 entrance, you will wind through campus, staying on the main College Road. After passing a construction site on your left you'll see the sign for Alumnae Hall, also on your left. Pull in and park in the big garage.

From: "Urs A. Reinhardt" To: "Larry Stark" larry@theatermirror.com
Subject: Re: Paul Barstow
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 10:30:03 -0500

Larry,
Paul passed away exactly a week ago from today.
There will be an obituary forthcoming as soon as Vicky, one of his two daughters, has submitted it to the news organizations..
There also will be a memorial service on Sunday, Dec. 12th at Wellesley College.
Regards,
Urs

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 11:49:22 -0500 From: Bailey & Mort Kaplan vze2vht3@verizon.net
Subject: Paul Barstow

Larry,
I read the 'travel letter' re Paul Barstow and gather that he passed away? I don't remember seeing anything in the papers about it.

I tried getting info from the Globe internet obits but to no avail.

Just curious. When did he die?

I haven't spoken with Paul in many, many years. Last time I spoke with him was 10 or 15 years ago at a NETC convention, I think. At the time he was promoting a book.

I first met Paul in the middle fifties. I had returrned to Emerson in the spring of '55 after being in Korea for a year and got a job that summer as the only technician [carpenter and electrician] and bit player at the Eastern Slope Playhouse in North Conway. An Equity company in its 7th season. The pay was room and board and $25.00 per week.The producers were Edward P. O'Donnell andW.F.Halpin. We seldom saw Halpin who worked in the box office or in some office we couldn't find and Mr. O'Donnell worked at the Boston Veterans' Administration as some sort of clerk. You might say that O'Donnell ran the company by long distance because he only showed up on weekends, late Friday through early Sunday. Most of the company stayed at one rooming-house in North Conway and we all ate dinner and breakfast together. Being theatre folk, the din at the table was usually cacaphonic and boisterous and the conversations lively. O'Donnell came every other Friday night through Sunday afternoon. O'Donnell, it was reported, had been a Trapist Monk for many years before he became a theatre producer. The woman who owned the house we stayed in told us that while as a monk he had taken a vow of silence and at one time had not spoken for 17 years. Every so often on a weekend, he would bring with him to dinner some pale young man [different one each time] who, rumor had it, was contemplating becoming a monk. Needless to say, whenever O'Donnel came to the table, there was never any conversation. The young guests never uttered a peep: always looked down at their plates. We all ate our food and got out of there as quickly as possible. The silence was breathtaking. [Looking back at it now, the whole scene could have been out of a Woody Allen movie.]

Zeke Berlin who taught at Yale many years and later directed a lot of Off bway shows was the director for the whole season and directed all the shows. Russ Whaley who later chaired the drama department at Carthage College was the designer. Lyle Dye who later became the executive director of the Equity Library Theatre was the stagemanager.

Barstow had been at the theatre for a few shows the summer before and came in that summer to do one show: a silly little "sophisticated English farce" by Leslie Stevens called "Champagne Complex." Paul played the role of Carter Bowen "the worldly, good-natured psychoanalyst" [words right out of the program which I have saved in one of my scrapbooks!] I think Paul was there for three weeks: two weeks of rehearsal and one week of the run.

Since my room had two beds, and I was the only one in the complex who did not have a room mate, Paul was assigned to my room.

Paul was married at the time and his wife, who was home in the Boston area, was in the final weeks of a pregnancy. The first morning Paul was my room mate, I remember awaking to the sounds of Paul running down the hall to the bathroom and then to further sounds of someone throwing up. This continued for almost the whole time Paul was there until about two days before the end of the run when Paul got the news that his wife had delivered, I believe, a baby girl. Then the retching stopped. It seemed that Paul had morning sickness. The morning sickness I found interesting and amusing. What I thought strange was that he was away in NH doing some silly role while his wife was in Boston going through child birth. Other things I remember about Paul was that he was tall, lanky, rather skinny and moved around that tiny stage in loping movements, sort of like a giraffe in a confined space.

At the time, Paul told me he was an Anglophile. He loved everything British, expecially the monarchy with its tradition and pomp, and he affected an English dialect even off the stage. I actually thought he was English. He often told me that he believed that America should have royalty. I was young, impressionable, volatile---still had not fully adjusted to civilian life and peppered my sentences with four letter expetives... and was from a mill town in New Jersey across the river from New Yawhk.. You could cut my accent with a knife then. I thought Paul who was self-confident, regal [taught at Wellesley of all places!!!!], who peered down reservedly at my 5'7", was the epitome of New England culture. I ran into him years later in Boston at an audition and he had modified the accent to uppercrust New England. He sure fooled me. Then! That was fifty years ago. Time sure changes people...or does it????
My best, have a good Thanksgiving.
Mort Kaplan

From: "Urs A. Reinhardt" To: "U.A. Reinhardt" urs@swisstek.com>
Subject: To my Friend Paul Barstow in Memoriam V Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 20:27:03 -0500

Dear Friends,
Below is Paul's last report from his previous trip to the Black Sea as well as some pictures I took on my last visit to Uxbridge:

This was typical Paul, a man with an acute recollection and vivid wonderment to make no story ever dull.

I had the fortune to have met Paul in his favourite city, Budapest, in the spring of '73 and was again fortunate enough to have been in contact with him in his latter years until shortly before his passing.

Anybody who knew him will miss this man's amicable and relentless considareration, kindness and gratitude. I'm saddened to have lost such a dear friend, but am content to know that he had lived his life the fullest.

Godspeed Paul, and Oh Joy unbounded, wherever your sojourn may take you...
Your Friend Urs

From: BarstowP@aol.com
To: Thomas.Abbott@t-online.de
Sent: Saturday, September 04, 2004 7:32 PM
Subject: EASTERN EUROPE TO THE BLACK SEA

Here, oh patient ones, is another travel narrative. Nowadays, it is all that people associate with me. "Where have you been? And where are you going next?" is the opening conversational gambit. Travel has become my modus operandi and my Raison d'etre. So be it. With my hearing poor and my dentures undependable I am reluctant to act because I cannot place my voice with proper assurance. No complaints -- I had a good run and I am content. I'm still up for workshops and coachings but reluctant to take on the full responsibility of directing. So I rest between travels.

2004 is becoming my Black Sea year. My last voyage was with Grand Circle Travel [a very favorite agency with me] and consisted of a cruise from Budapest to the Black Sea. Lufthansa flights are always good, and I was glad to experience the new Munich airport en route. At Budapest we were met and taken to an excellent hotel. But this was unfortunately equidistant from the tourist venues in Pest and from Hero's Square and the museums. But very near was the Pasta Dost Restaurant/Grill. an Italian eatery where everything hot or cold imaginable was served with unlimited wine for about $12,00 - The only restriction was of time: three hours maximum.

As most of you know, Budapest is one of my favorite cities. I now think of it as the city of fascinating facades. As we strolled the area around our hotel the buildings displayed an astonishing variety of styles, side by side but somehow harmonizing. Gothic, Renaissance, Art Nouveau, modern and eclectic -- one might be in Rome, Florence, Barcelona or the Arabian Nights. One of my favorite new buildings is sheathed in reflecting glass panels. From across the boulevard one can make reflected buildings dance simply by moving one's head.

I was delighted when we toured the elegant Opera House and were treated to an excellent piano/soprano recital.

The 153 travelers were divided into four color-coded groups, each with its own tour leader. My, can I say, traditional good fortune [portable karma] held as we had the most congenial group and the best tour leader. I also found a delightful travel companion, charming, witty, energetic enthusiastic and engaging. Traveling solo, I always hope for such a happy circumstance, and so far I have always found a kindred spirit.

Our cruise ship was the latest version of the Grand Circle model, both comfortable and luxurious. Habituated to comparable vessels, I kept heading for my previous cabin. Blessedly, there were a dozen or so of us who enjoyed dancing to a marvelous duo of keyboard and electric violin. I danced every night of the cruise, with great delight

Our first stop was at Osijek, Croatia, a destroyed and rebuilt city where a sub-set of twelve joined a local family for lunch. Their modest home was backed by a farm area (geese, pigeons, pigs, chickens, etc.) amid a garden which supplies most of their food. This was a charming interlude of gracious hospitality, though the father was unemployed and the family's circumstances precarious.

Our introduction to Serbia was at Novi Sad, a university town and commercial center. I was eager to see Belgrade (not visited by me since 1973) and to assess the damage from the NATO bombings. Much has been reconstructed, and temporary bridges cross the Danube. St. Sava Orthodox Cathedral is huge and empty.

We proceeded to Rousse, Bulgaria, and from there to Veliko Tarnovo, the country's ancient capitol. There we enjoyed another home-hosted lunch. This time we were in the elegant household of a very prosperous family in Arbanassi, an historical district scrupulously maintained. If the facade is right, owners can do what they like within the walls, so there were elegant lawns and gardens, cum swimming pool. The father owns two pharmacies in the city.

Then it was on to Constanta, a charming and elegant resort with casinos and all the accouterments of elegance. From there we had an exciting ride on a private train of real elegance en route to Bucharest.

The Romanian capitol is an elegant city, where the classical severity of the former Royal Palace is overcome by the extravagant Peoples' Palace -- second only to the Pentagon as the largest building in the world. Again, not having been there since 1973, I could wonder at it all. Contrary to general assumptions, I think the People's Palace actually a rather handsome structure, though one must lament the historical structures and areas which were destroyed to make room for the monument.

For our final dinner we had superb cuisine and service in a garden setting and a last chance at dancing before an early morning flight back to Boston.

This was my last choice and least favorite of the Grand Circle river cruises, but only because the river's sites were less interesting than those of the Rhine, the Main and the upper Danube. But one could easily and wisely take a "Cruise to Nowhere" on a Grand Circle ship.

I am now awaiting October 8 for departure on Swan-Hellenic MINERVA II, sailing the perimeter of the Black Sea, Istanbul to Athens.

May all your journeys end in joy. Paul Barstow

From: "Jackie Davis" jdavis@roxmulti.org
Subject: RE: Spell #7
At 03:23 PM 11/18/2004
Hello Larry! I just read your week that was, regarding Spell, and thanks for your great comments, however, Sunday 14th was not our last show! We close Saturday, November 20 so there's still time to fill the house!
Jacqueline M. Davis, Executive Assistant
Roxbury Multi-Service Center

From: Larry Stark [mailto:larry@theatermirror.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2004 5:44 PM
To: jdavis@roxmulti.org
Subject: Re: Spell #7
WEEEEEEhawken! ! !!!!!!
Sorry for the stupidity, GLAD I was WRONG!!!!
I love you all......
Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a That Fat Old Man with The Cane )

From: "Jackie Davis" jdavis@roxmulti.org
Subject: RE: Spell #7
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 09:15:38 -0500
No stupidity at all! We actually had a very full house last night, so I'm giving ALL the credit to you!

From: "Rik Pierce" RikP@pobox.com
Subject: Re: SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 19:06:41 -0500

HI Larry!
I don't know if you've heard from anyone. I forwarded your review to the cast and crew and they were thrilled this afternoon at the matinee. It's such a sorrow that so much work is going to be gone, torn down, and buried in two more weeks. But that's the case with community theatre. I'm pleading for us to do "The Fantasticks" next. We all need a physical break here! Thank you for your generous words. They were very welcome.
Rik

From: Jmcgonnigal@aol.com
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 23:17:50 EST
Subject: Pippin In Concert!!!

Dear Friends,
As most of you may already know, I am producing a concert version of the musical PIPPIN in NYC on Monday, November 29, 2004.

This concert is a benefit for The National AIDS Fund as well as for the Storm Theatre. I cannot tell you how excited I am about the way this event is shaping up! Gabriel Barre, one of the city’s hottest directors, as well as up-and-coming choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler are both heading up my artistic team, with the incomparable Mark Hartman musical directing. Once again, I am producing the event along with Ms. Kate Shindle, who is not only (scientifically proven to be) one of the hottest women in the country (Miss America 1998), but a mastermind at all things producorial.

Included among my cast, (and I can't rave about all of them, as there are 130 of them) are some Broadway legends (Terrence Mann, Charles Busch), some Tony nominees (Laura Benanti, John Tartaglia), some amazing newcomers (Michael Arden) an amazing surprise or two (do you really think I’m going to tell you what they are)? This is truly going to be an evening to remember.

I am telling you about this for two reasons…1) you shoulld buy a ticket NOW if you can and 2) you should go to www.pippinconcert.org and make a contribution NOW if you can-however small, $10 would be WELCOME. $10,000 would be more welcome, but do what you can. If you'd like to make a contribution by check, it can be made payable to The Storm Theatre, 145 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036 and is entirely tax-deductible. All the information can be found on the website under "Sponsorship Opportunities." It has been a very difficult year for these organizations, so ANY help you can offer would be fantastic!

I sincerely hope to see each and every one of you at the show and thank you for all the support you have given me in my work up until now!

Much Love at the start of this holiday season!

Jamie xx

From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: Papa, could you please post this in the greenroom?
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 20:30:20 +0000

Fellow Artists:
I am attaching a petition on behalf of the Friends of the Gaiety Theatre for members of Boston's theatre community to sign to support the preservation of our historic Gaiety Theatre on Washington Street. Town Hall needs to know that our theatre community is aware that a valuable part of Boston history risks demolition in the name of gentrification.
Please read the petition and contact me saying that you will allow me to attach your name, your title, any theatre(s) with which you are associated and, if willing, your e-mail address.
Example: Carl A. Rossi / Playwright / carossi54@hotmail.com
On 15 November, I will draw up a list of accumlated names, attach it to the petition and e-mail it to the Friends of the Gaiety who will then forward it to Town Hall.
Whether or not you plan to sign this petition, please alert other artists who would be interested - the Friends of the Gaiety need as many artists' names as possible. I was told a similarly-signed petition helped to save the Opera House; if so, then lightning could possibly strike twice for the Gaiety.
Thank you!
Carl A. Rossi

* * *

To Whom It May Concern:
We, the artists of Boston’s theatre community, do hereby declare that the Gaiety Theatre located at 659 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, deserves to be preserved and re-established as a performing space for the following reasons:
1. The Gaiety fulfills three criteria for landmark designation as specified in Section 4 of Chapter 772 of the Acts of 1975: (a) the Gaiety is Boston’s last remaining example of a vaudeville/burlesque house; (b) the Gaiety has the distinction of being the only remaining one of two Boston theatres that regularly presented African-American performers during the Jazz Age and is thus a vital chapter in African-American history; (c) the Gaiety is one of Boston’s few remaining theatres designed by noted architect Clarence Blackall who set new precedents with his engineering and acoustical designs.
2. The Gaiety’s auditorium has been tested and found to be structurally intact with excellent acoustics that would be perfect for chamber ensembles, small-to-mid-scale productions and jazz concerts.
3. The Gaiety’s preservation and reestablishment would serve a need for those companies desperately in need of performing space who cannot acquire bookings in Boston’s established houses and would preserve the character of its immediate neighborhood (i.e. Chinatown). 4. The Gaiety was designated by Boston's Midtown Cultural District zoning and Boston Landmarks Commission as, “...worthy of preservation.”
Affixed are our signatures/titles as of this ____ day of ___________, 2004.
[signature list]

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Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 09:06:12 -0400
Subject: Note for the Greenroom
To: greenrm@theatermirror.com
From: "Marc Miller" mmiller@jff.org

Hi Larry (or whoever is handling the Greenroom),
Would it be possible to post the note below in The Greenroom?
Many thanks.

Marc Miller, co-editor, THE SOURCE
***
StageSource is preparing the 2005-2006 edition of THE SOURCE: THE GREATER BOSTON THEATRE RESOURCE GUIDE (our 20th Anniversary edition). We’d like your help in making THE SOURCE an even more comprehensive resource for everyone in the Boston-area theatre community. Please send us your suggestions for people, organizations, and companies that we could add to the new book. In particular, we seek information on these types of resources: venues for performances or rehearsals; organizations serving the theatre community; people and places to get training; casting directors; talent agencies; audio, film, and video producers; places to perform improv, comedy, or cabaret; and suppliers professional services or materials for the theatre community. Also, contact us for advertising opportunities! THE SOURCE will be read and continually referenced by thousands of theatre professionals. Please send all suggested listings, with contact information whenever possible, to thesource@stagesource.org.
Thank you.

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Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 08:30:55 EDT
Subject: Seeking Submissions: NEED's Annual Casting Issue

Do you...
... Look for work in the entertainment industry?
... Cast or hire individuals in the entertainment industry?
... Train individuals in the entertainment industry?
... Coach individuals in the entertainment industry?
... Represent individuals in the entertainment industry?

Then YOU should participate in New England Entertainment Digest (NEED)'s Annual Casting Issue! Whatever your talent, for

NO FEE

, you can...

- Get yourself seen by casting directors throughout the region!
- Get yourself or your agency noticed as someone who can help NEED's readers better and best their craft!
- Get promoted in NEED's Annual Casting issue (deadline 7/10/04)

NEED is a fully promotional entertainment publication, so we believe we should be promoting those who are effected by what we cover. Ergo - once a year, we dedicate an issue to getting cast or hired - be it from the performer, the trainer, the photographer, the coach, or the agent/agency point of view. We include profiles on individuals and groups, as well as features on the entire process.

Here's where you come in!

We want to feature YOU! Put you in front of the eyes that need to see you. All we need is biographical materials about you and what you do. (Resumes are helpful, but a biography is much MORE helpful). Again - the cost is nothing. We'll take it from there! We place as many profiles in as possible (though we cannot guarantee all will get in)

Then, NEED will sending copies of this issue to our list of over 250 casting directors and agencies throughout the northeast (and beyond!)

To submit information for this issue, or to get more information, PLEASE CONTACT US! That's why we're here! Deadline for requests is 7/10/04.

NEW ENGLAND ENTERTAINMENT DIGEST
P.O. Box 88, Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: 781.272.2066 or 978.772.2545 - Fx: 781.229.2676 or 978.772.2989
.jacneed@aol.com

Advertising is also available in this issue.
Would you like a guaranteed space in the issue? If you advertise in this issue, we are offering ad spaces at the 6-ad discount rate - so, if you purchase a business card ad (3.25" x 2.25"), it's just $20. A 1/10th page ad (4.75"w x 3.25"h) is just $35. A 1/4 page (4.75"w x 8"h) - just $85! A full page (9.5"w x 16"h) is just $250!

For the smallest, you can promote yourself to the fullest. A full table of options is available at www.jacneed.com. Check it out, or give us a call to help plan!

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Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 20:09:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Joseph Coyne Subject: Press Release

HCC/LMDA Grant Recipients

Haymarket Community Corporation (HCC) in conjunction with The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) is pleased to announce the 2004 recipients of dramaturg grants. The program is designed to assist theaters in utilizing dramaturgs in their productions. Because of the funding source, the program is currently limited to Massachusetts.
Additional sources of funding are being sought to expand the program to other areas.

$1,500 Boston Theater Works (Boston, MA) production of “Homebody/Kabul”. Bridget Frey will be their dramaturg.

$1,500 Double Edge Theater (Ashley, MA) work in progress and workshop production of “Master and Margarita” Jennifer Johnson will be their dramaturg.

In addition to the funding of the productions, the dramaturgs have been invited to the annual convention of the dramaturgs which this year is happening in Philadelphia.

HCC has extended the program and granted additional funding of $500 to two other dramaturg/theater combinations who had applied to the program:
$500 Nancy Vitale and the Williamstown Theatre Festival
$500 Elizabeth Wightman and Shakespeare Now!

Based on the response, the program will be continued for an additional year.

HCC is a nonprofit corporation which funds in several categories including the arts.

LMDA is an international network of dramaturgs, literary managers and theater artists, with a mission to affirm the role of the dramaturg, to expand the possibilities of the field to other media and institutions and to cultivate, develop and promote the function of dramaturgy and literary management.
Maxine Kern
Joe Coyne
lmdagrant@yahoo.com

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Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 15:30:45 -0500
From: "Stephane Shellenberger" SShellen@snu.edu
Subject: Westside Story - Waltham, Massachusetts

Do you know where I might see a review of Westside Story in Waltham, Massachusetts (Reagleplayers)? My son is Action and I live in Oklahoma....thank you so much
Stephane Shellenberger

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
I have a short squib in my "weekly journal", but beyond that I have no idea.
THE REAGLE PLAYERS is a group that falls in the cracks. The daily newspapers in Boston have declared them a "Comunity Theatre", which they are not, and then declared them a "suburban" group and sneered that they only cover shows on their urban turf. I'll bet the Waltham paper(s) --- if such exist! --- look at all the New York/Broadway/touring "stars" and the bus-loads of patrons from outside the city and declare "This is a Major Regional Theatre, and our pages cover only Local events!"
And so Neither the local nor the metropolitan even send reviewers, who would see a major regional theatre doing professional-level productions (old-style Summer Stock!) of great classic musicals for huge audiences every summer.
Frankly, I think none of these newspapers feel the slightest compunction to find and evaluate good theater.
Love,
===Anon.

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From: "Arthur Hennessey" norfolk1a@hotmail.com
Subject: Always Welcome!
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 14:56:58 -0400

Hi Larry,
I tried to send you this earlier, but I think I got bumped off line so I apologize if you are receiving it again.

You are always welcome at Essayons Productions. Consider the gratis tickets to be paid in full through your sweat equity in the Boston Theatre scene.

I hope that you realize what a unique contribution the Mirror is to theatre. Most sites out there are either straightforward reviews, straightforward listings, or a combination of both. The Mirror is a true meeting of the boston theatre scene's professionals, amateurs, dilletantes, fans and critics.

Any other theatre community in the country would probably die to have a forum like yours. And theatregoers would flock to it like mad.

All this to say, thank you. Take some time off, enjoy.

Remember, we all accept the fact that professional or olympic athletes need recovery time and we admire them so much for their accomplishments , but we rarely relate that need for recovery to our own lives, we think somehow that we can run a sprint for several months straight, or a marathon for decades.
Thanks,
Art & Amanda

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From: MaggeeDD@aol.com
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 09:03:26 EDT
Subject: Re: 'Bad Seed' grows in Allston

Thank you, Larry. I have put the New England 411 in my favorites and I will do it myself from now on. Thank you very much. This is my first time doing the publicity.
Maggee Davis

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From: "Jeff Poulos" jpoulos@stagesource.org
Subject: RE: Hard Hat Concert at Opera House!
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 09:11:28 -0400

Thanks - I'll be sure to do posting to 411 myself now. Thanks for doing it for me in the past.
Jeff
-------------------
Jeffrey Poulos
Executive Director
StageSource

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From: "Mill 6 Theatre Collaborative" mill6theatre@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Mill 6 press release for June production!!
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 10:34:54 -0400

see! honest! we use NE Theater 411!
Yep, their entry screen is very easy to use, we used it for R&J as well.
http://www.netheater411.com/attractions_cdetail.asp?ID=303
Thanks Larry!
Irene

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From: "Events at Leddy Center" events@leddycenter.org
Subject: SUMMER CAMPS AT LEDDY SCHOOL!
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 10:29:11 -0400

OPENINGS STILL AVAILABLE IN LEDDY SUMMER CAMPS!
EPPING, NH - Leddy Center School still has openings in summer camps starting June 21! SING OUT with Mary Gatchell, a fun singing camp for 9 to 15 year olds, runs from June 21 through June 25, 10:00am to noon. MUSICAL THEATER CAMP for ages 9 to 15 with Elaine Gatchell, Mary Gatchell, and Dan Beaulieu runs from July 5 through July 16, 9:00am to 1:00pm. HALF-PINT ACTING CAMP #1 for ages 7 and 8 with Linda Carter runs from July 19 through July 23, 10:00am to 11:30am. HALF-PINT ACTING CAMP #2 for ages 7 and 8 with Jennifer Cardin runs from August 2 through August 6, 10:00am to 11:30am.
Call 603-679-2781 or e-mail leddycenterschool@leddycenter.org for more information. Visit www.leddycenter.org for the schedule and all the details!
Leddy Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit NH Arts & Education organization.

AND LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Nothing personal, but, no, I won't put this up in The Mirror.
However YOU can put it up Yourself into NEW ENGLAND THEATER 411
Just click to get there, and follow instructions.
After this transition-week, I will link The Mirror DIRECTLY with ther proper NET411 pages.
Break a leg all!
Love,
===Anon.

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Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 12:37:43 -0400 Subject: Re: auditions From: "Zinnia, aka Nancy Politzer" Thank you, Larry. We appreciate it.
I confess my techno clutz status.( But have other redeeming qualities)
Alas!
I went to the link you provided, but did not understand how to create a listing.
What is "NET411?
Thanks.
Zinnia (aka, Nancy Politzer)

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From: "Matt B. Pedersen" matt@daimi.au.dk
Subject: Re. Michael McNeal
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 22:24:26 -0800

Hey there,
I have been searching the internet for an old friend from Boston named Michael McNeal... a black guy who used to go to either Hardvard to BU. I know he used to do theater back in 92, but I have lost touch with him and am trying to locate him ... I was wondering if you have any pointers to where he might be found ?
Thanks
Dr. J. Pedersen

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[ NOTE: this arrived here yesterday by snail-mail]

THE BOSTON
PLAYWRIGHTS'
THEATREBR> at Boston University

March 30, 2004

Thank you for continuing to recognize and support new plays. Aside from the playwrights and theatre companies who take a chance with new works, the audiences would never know about new plays in our community without your reviews. Your investment in the play development process continues to make new works interesting to producers and sexy to Boston audiences. The playwrights and theatre companies engaged in this enterprise are in your deby.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Kate/Jake
Boston Playwrights' Theatre

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From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 21:58:15 +0000

Hello!
I have just learned that my play YELLOW TO LAVENDER, about actress Laurette Taylor in THE GLASS MENAGERIE, was one of seven finalists in this year's Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Competition in New Orleans; the winner was "Loose Hog in the House of God" by Thomas Christopher.
So....woo-hoo! (Sort of.)
C.R.

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Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 04:02:30 -0500
From: Kelley Spada Subject: boston theaters

Hi Larry,
I just found your website and am excited to hear that there are 39 theaters here! After New York, Boston's scene has felt very dry to me. Thank you for the encouraging information... I plan on sending you ten bucks for the complete list, but until then I wanted to ask you if you have thought of keeping a record of theatres and festivals that are currently accepting submissions. Seems like you would have a lot of the leg work already completed...
Thanks, Kelley

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 04:02:30 -0500
To: Kelley Spada From: Larry Stark
Subject: boston theaters

Well, Kelly, there aren't 39 theatres here. I found NINETY-THREE of them inside the Boston City Limits alone a while back.
You're a playwright, right?
I haven't separated-out the script-calls for short-play festivals aroiund here, but there are a lot of them:

Boston Playwrights' Theatre will be looking for 45 new plays for the 2005 Boston Marathon just as soon as the 2004 Marathon ends ... about 19 April of this year.
The Hovey Summer Shorts (this year at Turtle Lane Playhouse in Newton) may still be looking for 10-minute plays for this year.
The Acme Theatre in Maynard does a Winter festival of new plays
The Playwrights' Platform reads new plays every month, and holds a Festival of promising plays from them every Summer.
The Theatre Cooperative in Somerville does a set of Ritalin Readings each fall, with workshops and then full-productions arising from them as the year progresses.
Shadow Boxing, based in Cambridge, does much the same.
The Arlington Friends of The Drama announced a new play festival a short while ago.
And the Huntington Theatre has scheduled readings of New Plays at Studio 210 before opening their two new Theater-Spaces at the Boston Center for The Arts next fall.

Those are what dripped from my mind on a moment's notice.
I expect others in the six New England states who were left out of this list will tell me about my memory lapses.
In the meantime, you can look up those people's websites here in The Mirror and see what their rules and deadlines might be.

In any case, break a leg.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 15:22:04 -0400
From: Amy Hill amyhill@earthlink.net
Subject: looking to contact John Quinn
Dear Larry:
I am an old acquaintance of John Quinn's from Charlottesville. I worked with him years ago as a publicity person for Offstage Theatre. Do you have a current e-mail for him or Beth? Myself and a C'ville "townie" (currently a neighbor) realized the other day that we both knew John from many years ago, and both wanted to see if we could contact him to say hello and see how he is doing.
Best,
Amy Lowenstein Hill (434) 979-2878
and (on the behalf of) Carol O'Connor (434) 296-6908

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From: Geralyn Horton g.l.horton@mindspring.com
Subject: help, please! (for greenroom, or??????)

I've had a huge increase in the number of visitors to my web site, WWW.STAGEPAGE.INFO Almost all of the visitors came in looking for free monologues-- but most were leaving right away, before going from the monologue index to look at any of the individual monologues.

I don't know where these crowds are coming from-- though a lot seem to be coming through aol-- but with all this traffic I feel it's worth the effort to try to make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. I've been working with my friend the web designer to try to make the monologues page "user friendly". Some of the changes seem to be working-- traffic, and page views, are still going up. But I'd really appreciate it if you auditioning actors and acting teachers would take a look at http://www.stagepage.info/monologs/_monologs.html and tell me if the navigation works for you, and how it might be improved so it would work well for a fairly clueless kid.
I have another 20 or so monologues to add, but it'll be less work if I get the design right before I add more.
Geralyn Horton, playwright
Newton, MA
http://www.stagepage.info

From: SWhiteJB@aol.com
Date: 2004/01/03 Sat AM 09:14:22 EST
Subject: Rex Smith at Company Theatre

Hi Larry

I just wanted to follow up with our conversation about replacing our ad on your website for A CHRISTMAS STORY with an ad for Rex Smith coming to The Company Theatre on January 31, 2004.

Fresh off the 2002 national tour of KISS ME KATE, Rex will be presenting an evening of his many BROADWAY hits.... certainly something your theatre-hungry readers will want to know about.

Can we move forward on this?

Best, STEVE WHITE
781-982-9029

THIS IS WHAT LARRY STARK REPLIED

In a word.....................NO!

If you need to Advertise, but a banner-button.
Lee VanderLaan is the Banner Expert. lvanderlaan@adelphia.net
What I handle are the Free SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS, not Paid Ads

You're asking me to out myself and The Mirror behind exactly the things I find WRONG with theater in this area.
There is adoration rife here of Big Broadway road-shows simply because they are expensive; It has pissed away one of the most intelligent audiences the country Used To Have. There is a good reason why the kids that go to Emerson and steal time for smokes only Yards away from the Colonial Theatre Never Go there. The fact is that, were they to pay the big bucks for the expensive seats, the experience would not live up to the overblown reputation.

So what the moneymen in New York do is hang the NAME of a "Personality" from the markee, and when that name walks onto the stage everyone dutifully applauds BEFORE they have seen any reason to do so, and they bound up from their seats for a big Standing-O once the Personality comes on for final bows, because --- well, apparently because of the FAME, not because of the Performance.

Personally, I've never heard of Rex Whoever.
I heard of Nathan Lane, though.
And then I saw him in "Butley" and remained Unimpressed in my seat after his misunderstood interpretation of the show --- even though I couldn't see him bow from there because people enthusiastic over His NAME were standing in front of me.

Some years back I had the opposite experience when a famous lady took her bows at Ye Wilbur after she had starred in something called "Wit".
I stood for that lady --- and, honest, at this moment I can't even remember what her name is. But,
Before she or anyone else in the cast stepped onto that stage, they --- not S H E ... T H E Y --- got the only real compliment any show gets from that audience: a tenth-of-a-second Silent Pause of appreciation before anyone in that house remembered they weren't alone with a beautiful PLAY and thought Then about giving recognition to the people who had made it.
And don't tell me that appreciative pause can't happen in a musical; You were in the audience in Foxborough when any performance of "A Chorus Line" came to its finale, weren't you?

Look, I know what's going on here. You've got a big name coming here to fill an audience with people who'll pay to listen to him do his hits and some of his misses and a couple things he wishes he'd gotten a chance at. He'll probably get paid for it, but there's only one of him and the more paying people you can pack in the more this Benefit will raise for your company's real work.
But first you'll have to tell everyone who the hell Rex Whoever is and why anyone should pay to listen to him.
And, honestly, he may be the best performer of the past three decades --- much, much better in everything he's ever done than poor old Nathan Lane. That's not my point.
The Theater Mirror is still mine, and as such it does reflect my belief that Theater consists of people Reacting To One Another on a stage in front of people --- mostly MAKING STORIES, with or without songs. For me, Opera ain't theater --- it's just a Concert With A Plot. And a famous person's solo appearance ain't theater either; it's just an overblown Cabaret Act --- and cabaret is just a Concert WITHOUT A Plot.

I didn't call my website The CONCERT Mirror, did I?
You know, there's a bar right across the street from The Wang where people do exactly what Rex Smith will be doing for you at The Company Theatre.
But I don't put Special Announcements of them into The Mirror.
So: sorry.
The word is ............... No.

But, since I know you need money for your next Real Theatrical Show, buy a Banner Ad and get the same result.
And break a leg.
Break a leg all --- Rex Smith too.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry Stark )

From: Vanessa Torres VTorres@roxburyprep.org
Subject: theater space for school performance
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 13:50:41 -0500

Hi Larry,
I was browsing the internet for Boston Theater resources, and came across your website, so I need to enlist your expertise. I'm a teacher at Roxbury Prep Charter School in Mission Hill and my students and I are trying to stage our very first school musical. The kids are rehearsed, we've got costumes, but we need a space to hold the show! We're not looking for much. Just a stage, enough space to seat about 75 people, and basic sound and lighting equipment ( a few mics and a spot would do in a pinch). Do you know of any theaters that are willing to donate space to a middle school (or at least give us a really really cheap rate)?
Thanks,Vanessa

From: "Russ Greene" rrgreene@hotmail.com
Subject: Thank you!
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2003 15:04:03 -0500

Larry,
Just a short to thank you and eveyone else for your good wishes for my health. I am happy to report that I am now out of all hospitals and am now home with Eddie and our cats (the BEST medicine:-)).

I will be taking it easy the next few weeks as I prepare for my next project STOP KISS by Diana Son for the Burlintgon Players which is scheduled to audition Jan 5 and 6. I 'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks again to you and all the TM readers who have sent me their positive energy and well wishes.
Cheers,
Russ Greene
www.rrgreene.com

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From: Pseudol@aol.com
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 22:33:22 EST
Subject: DOUG FORBES

Dear theatre friends,
For those of you I haven't talked with directly (and I believe you are all people who may have known Doug...I apologize if this was received in error), I am sad to say that Doug Forbes passed away on Thanksgiving morning. His friend Judy e-mailed me on Friday. Apparently, he had been in a great deal of pain from his cancer for quite awhile, and was on such strong medications for the last few days of his life he almost seemed like he was in a coma......all in all, it was amazing that he lasted as long as he did, but it is a complete blessing that he is at peace now.

There was a death notice in today's Sunday Globe, noting a Service of Remembrance to be held at the Fellowship Bible Church at 71 Center Street in Burlington, 1:00pm Wednesday, December 3rd. Friends are welcome, but his funeral and interment will be private. Depending on my own work schedule, I am going to try to attend the Service of Remembrance. The listing also states that "in lieu of flowers, memorials in Doug's name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701.

Please share this information with anyone you may not see on my mailing list...and I apologize if you get this e-mail more than once. His obituary is available online at: Sullivan Funeral Home of Burlington Massachusetts - Obituaries

Shalom,
Craig Howard

From: "Russell Greene" rrgreene@hotmail.com
Subject: Hit tunes a requirement?
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 17:38:49 -0500

Hi Larry,
I guess I missed the point at which 'hit tunes' became the barometer of the success of a musical. In his most recent reviews, Mr Rossi has decreed at least three times that the scores of the shows were not very good mainly because there are no 'hit tunes'. From The Girl in the Frame to A Man of No Importance to anything by Sondheim (it seems) -- no hit tunes, must not be a good musical score.

In my experience, most artists actually working in musical theater (actors, singers, directors, choreographers, etc.) would prefer that composers and lyricists continue to write well-crafted songs that fit the moment and/or the character not simply another hit tune. If a song developed that way should happen to catch the ear of the public outside of the show and become a hit. good for them, but it should rarely be the point.

Recent well-received local productions of new shows by Flaherty and Ahrens, Desmon, and of existing shows by Sondheim, Brown, Finn, would seem to indicate that Mr Rossi's yardstick is, at best, a few inches short to be used as a meaningful measure of musical success.
Cheers,
Russ Greene

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 16:28:12 -0500
From: "David R. Stinemetze" dstine@arkcity.com
Organization: Arkansas City High School
Subject: Shows for a Student Group

Mr. Stark,
I am a high school teacher from Kansas who is planning a spring break trip to Boston for a group of about 20 students and sponsors. We always include at least 2 evening shows, usually musicals, in such excusions.
We will be in town the evenings Monday, March 22, Tuesday, March 23, and Wednesday, March 24, 2004. I have been having trouble locating shows for our group during that period and while looking I stumbled across your web site. I thought you might be able to make some suggestions. If you can, I would certainly appreciate it. You may reach me via return e-mail. Thank you in advance for what ever assistance you are able to give.
David R. Stinemetze
Science Department Chair
Arkansas City High School

Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2003 13:29:38 -0500
Subject: theatre rental question
From: "Theresa Foster" tfoster@newtoncountryday.org

Larry,
My name is Terry Foster and I work at Newton Country Day School in Newton, MA. We are interested in renting our new state-of-the-art theatre this summer to a potential group for summer programs, a summer camp etc. John Tierney recommended I contact you, as you may know groups that would have an interest in this, or how we might proceed in the search for a group. We appreciate any input you can offer.
Thanks,
Terry Foster
617-244-4246x4761

From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: Another response to my BUTLEY review....
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2003 13:12:38 +0000

Here is another response to my BUTLEY review where I bring up the topic of New York vs. Boston actors in local productions:
* * *

Hi Carl - This is [name withheld] here. I'm glad that you brought up the fact that local theaters won't cast local actors. It's something I've been moaning and groaning about for years! I'm not concerned about myself, I'm perfectly content doing what I do. It's just that I know so many gifted actors right here in the Boston area that get overlooked by local theaters simply because they don't have a New York address. The North Shore Music Theater rarely uses local actors anymore, especially if they're Equity. I have a few friends who did ensemble parts for NSMT for quite a few shows. But once they got their Equity cards NSMT wouldn't hire them, not even for ensemble, even after they made trips to New York to audition. I wrote a letter to Jim Kimball at NSMT (not on their behalf, I was just curious) asking why he didn't hire local Equity actors, and he gave me some lame excuse that he couldn't hire them because there was no Equity office in Boston! That's a load of bunk! How about Reagle Players in Waltham, they bring in "names" for their shows who get paid at least $1,500 per week! Yet they will not hire local Equity actors, unless of course you happen to be a local newscaster who can generate publicity and ticket sales. Even the local nonequity actors who manage to get supporting roles get paid NOTHING!

Really now, don't you think they could offer them something, even a lousy $50? They don't even get offered a free ticket! . Reagle, like NSMT and most other theaters, sends out flyers looking for contributions, yet when it's time for them to support the Massachusetts economy by hiring local talent, they refuse. I think that any company that refuses to hire local actors should not be included in the IRNE awards. Personally, I would love to see local Equity actors picket NSMT and Reagle. I don't know why they haven't. Just thought I'd give you my input. Thanks for bringing it up in your review.
[Name Withheld]

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Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 22:24:42 -0500
Subject: Response to Carl Rossi
From: Robert Bettencourt macguy2001@earthlink.net
This is a response to Carl Rossi' review of Huntington Theater's production of Butley. Mr. Rossi I have six words for you: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Not only was your review enjoyable to read but you hit upon an issue that is near and dear to my heart. An issue that I think the Boston Theater Community will have to face sooner or later. The issue is New York actors being used while talented Boston actors sit on the side lines on their own turf. I read the article from the Tap as well. I was appalled at the quotes from the Artistic Director's that were used for the article. I think that if area theaters are going to use New York actors, designers and crew then they should not get any grant money from Massachusetts. Thank you for addressing it in your review. I hope that every member of the Boston Theater Community reads your review and takes it to heart.
Thank you and keep up the good work,
Rob

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Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 15:04:36 -0500
: Thread-Topic: Looking for Information
From: "Soucy, Michael" msoucy@stubbins.us
Dear Mr. Stark,
While not an actor, I am a great admirer of old theatres (as well as good new ones). I have been desperately trying to find the original address of Boston's now demolished "Plymouth Theatre". I've been told that the building and main entry were on Stuart Street but I seem to recall a rather grand entryway on Boylston Street. I am hoping that you may know this off the top of your head.
Thank you in advance for any information.
M. Soucy

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
In his book "Broadway Down East" Elliot Norton mentions that "On Stuart Street the Plymouth was erected in 1911" and the index lists the address as "131 Stuart Street. Near Tremont. Became Gary movie theatre, 1958."
He noted that in 1934 "the seven commercial theatres in Boston were all owned or operated by the Shubert organization" but in 1956 the Shubert monopoly got rid of all but one. The Opera House was demolished, but "the Plymouth, the Majestic, and the Copley were turned over to movie exhibitors and so taken out of the live theater altogether."
When the film was new in America, I saw "La Dolce Vita" in what is now (again!) The Majestic --- but the box-office was on the corner of Tremont and Stuart Streets.
Love,(BR> ===Anon..

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From: Jlombaman@aol.com
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 15:38:57 EST

HI I WAS A MEMBER OF THE WINTHROP PLAYMAKERS IN 1982 AND 1983 I WAS IN TWO PLAYS HEIDE AND DRACULA DOES THE THEATER HAVE ANY VIDEOS OF THOSE TWO PLAYS I WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE THEM THANK YOU VERY MUCH JOHN LOMBA 772- 340 -12 17 190 N. W. HEATHER ST. PORT ST. LUCIE FL 34983
JLOMBAMAN@aol.com

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From: "Kim Carrell" cyrano3112@hotmail.com
Subject: BU in the Kennedy Center ACTF
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 15:16:47 -0400

I read Will Stackman's review of "Pictures of Patty Hearst" on the Theater Mirror site today. It's very gratifying to see these BU productions being noticed.

Mr. Stackman also points out that "Incidentally, the year before's entry, Ronan Noone's "The Lepers of Baile Baiste" won him top honors." That is certainly true, and the play richly deserved it. However to be specific, that was in 2001-2002. Last year's entry, "Training Wisteria" by Molly Smith Metzler ALSO won top honors at the KCACTF. For some reason, however, it seems that "Wisteria" - the play and its subsequent honors - flew completely under the Boston theater press' radar. Too bad...it was quite a good play. (And not just because I was in it).
Sincerely,
Kim H. Carrell
Actor/Fight Director
New England Shakespeare Festival
http://www.kimcarrell.com

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Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 10:28:03 -0400
From: Kim Anton kimanton@MIT.EDU
Subject: Actors Theatre of Louisville Finalists: Jim & Jean Anton

Below is an excerpt from a letter to Jim & Jean Anton from the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Kudos to my Mom & Dad! and Kudos to the Hovey Players for presenting FREAKS at Summer Shorts 2002!

"Dear Jim and Jean:
"Thanks for your patience while waiting to hear from us regarding your submission to the 2003 National Ten-Minute Play Contest. This year we received 1500 entries and your play, FREAKS, has been selected as a finalist for the 2003 Heideman Award.
"The Heideman Award winner will be announced in December 2003 or January 2004. While you're waiting to hear from us, why not write your next ten-minute play? We'll look forward to reading it.
"Thanks for your interest in the new play program at Actors Theatre of Louisville and for sending us your excellent ten-minute play."
Signed: Tanya Palmer, Literary Manager and
Amy Weener, Dramaturg/Director of New Play Development"

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From: "Larry Coen" larryc8@hotmail.com
To: larrystark@theatermirror.com
Subject: Everything Was Possible

Dear Larry-
I was so excited to see that you are mentioned in Ted Chapin’s new book “Everything Was Possible: the Birth of the Musical FOLLIES.” There you are, on page 192, as Chapin quotes from your “Boston After Dark” review of the show’s out-of-town Boston tryout in 1971.
Here is the actual paragraph:

“Boston After Dark’s review, by Larry Stark, was titled 'Fantastic Follies,' and although he had some concerns about the show’s length and the quality of the songs ('there is a sort of nostalgic sadness ­the same sort of sadness that is evoked when grandparents or an old maiden aunt does a stiff-limbed polka at a wedding'), he felt that Prince 'will be hailed for making another significant advance beyond COMPANY in the field of the ‘new’ musical.”

Congratulations!
Larry Coen

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From: Kay Bourne
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 10:00:01 EDT
Subject: Fwd: November 4 election, please forward
To: larry@theatermirror.com
Can you put in Theater Mirror with a comment from you as to his support of theater and attendance at our IRNE awards (he stayed the entire time - I've never seen a politician do that). Thanks, Kay

Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 09:51:08 -0400
From: "Felix D Arroyo" fdarroyo@lycos.com
Subject: November 4 election, please forward

Hi I am Felix D Arroyo and I am honor to serve you in the Boston City Council. This November 4 I need one of your at large city council votes. Please check our e mail at http://www.felixarroyo.net/ for more information and to learn what is going on in our campaign in a weekly base report. To contact us for campaign support dial 617-522-8683. If you need my service as a Councilor, please dial 617-635-3115, this phone number is not for campaign issues. PLEASE FORWARD THIS E MAIL TO ALL YOUR LIST, THANK YOU.

LARRY STARK AGREES:
The IRNE Award Committee has invited The Mayor to "legitimize" our efforts by coming to the Awards Party and opening the program with a short speech. Mayor Mennino has always found himself "too busy" --- But Felix Arroyo did indeed come last year.
CONSIDER:
In an economy that is shrinking public grant-money out of existence year by year, theater needs Friends in Places of Power.
It may be that politicians never think to help us because they've never had any evidence that We can help Them!
So do two things:
ONE: Vote for Felix on 4 November, and then
TWO: Send him an e-mail TELLING HIM YOU VOTED FOR HIM!
Ghod knows, we need all the friends we can get!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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From: BatJay@aol.com
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 09:53:07 EDT
Subject: An Open Response to Mr. John Hoyle

Dear Mr. Hoyle;
I have just read your questions at "The Theatre Mirror" and thought that I might be able to offer a little insight.

I am a conductor and musical director - and have done many professional shows - including several shows for Theatre by the Sea. I am currently the musical director and pianist for "Always, Patsy Cline" at TBTS.

The questions you raise are good ones, and have been brought up many times by audience members the world over.

The basic issues here are copyright and artistic control.

When a theatre decides to do a production of a show - say, The Secret Garden, they enter into a contractual agreement with the creators of the piece. This agreement gives them certain rights and priviledges (such as how many performance of the show they can do - how many tickets they can sell etc.) and excludes various other things (such as the right to rewrite the book, alter the songs, record and sell the piece, to film it etc).

The reasons are these:

If a theatre was to record and sell a recording of a show - where would the money from the CD sales go?

One immediately thinks of the performers - but how about the people who put up the money to make the Cd? Should they get a return on their investment?

Of course the author and composer deserve their royalties, but they are not the only people with financial interests in the piece. There are the original backers, who have invested large amounts of money in the original production, and without whom the show would not exist - they understandably expect to see a percentage of any profit.

There is the licensing company who controls the rights, the musicians involved in the recording - and how about people who are not artistically involved with the musical end of things, but have in many ways contributed to the success of the piece - i.e. costumers, box office managers etc. Shouldn't they each get a cut as well?

To say "it gets tricky" would be the understatement of the year. ...and then there's the sorry issue of honesty. Who is going to do the financial accounting for all of these people?

All of these things do not even take into account the fact that professional performers expect to be paid professionally for their work. If I go into the studio to record a show, I get paid union wages - and that ain't cheap. The same is true of the actors. The truth is, It costs a lot of money to make a professional quality recording - literally tens of thousands of dollars. A small theatre company is never going to sell enough of the CD's to recoup their costs.

People say - "Just record the show, and sell that"
Well, of course we get back to rights and royalties issues right away - but we also get into "quality control" issues. Not every performer is at her best every night. If there are 20 people in the cast and ten musicians, getting each of them to 'sign off' on any given performance is unlikely. Also - the owners of the piece have a legal right to control what gets put out with their names on it. We may think that the Theatre by the Sea production of "The Secret Garden" is brilliant - but what if the owners disagree? Shouldn't they have the right to stop the marketing and distribution of a product that they see as mediocre - especially if their name is on it?? Who's job is it to monitor all of the Secret Garden productions around the world?

In the end, This is a business, and unfortunately, the 'fan' doesn't get much of a say in it.

The same is true about 'Fan' web sites. It takes time and money to run a site. While many well-known "Hollywood" actors make millions, and have extensive support and marketing networks (none of them actually run those sites themselves, you know) most theatre performers feel fortunate to get their bills covered.

In a Playbill poll last year I read that a large majority of full-time, professional theatre actors reported made less than $30,000 total for the year. When you factor in how much they travel, and all of the expenses involved in the industry - it doesn't leave much for vanity expenditures like fan sites. The same is true of the amount of time it takes to create and manage a fan organization. It's a lot of effort, and who has the time?

As a performer, I cannot stress how important the audience is. Without you, there would literally be no show. If you've ever seen a dress rehearsal without an audience, you know that the spirit and the energy that an audience brings makes the show. But live performace is an ephemeral thing. Unlike a movie that is the same each time you watch it, an evening of theatre is here and gone. Each performance is a new experience, and In some ways this is the beauty of the art form. It demands that both performer and audience member be truly present, to experience the moment in the fullest way possible - so that the memories live on in us, rather than in a recording.

May you continue to enjoy theatre for a long time to come.

Peace;
Jay Atwood
http://www.go.berkleemusic.com/jayatwood

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Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 14:43:43 -0400
From: Bailey & Mort Kaplan vze2vht3@verizon.net>
Subject: Re: My Own Review

Thank you, Larry, we needed that... please do not print this until the run is over...
Ed and I knew all along that this isn't a prize winner YET. We knew it has a way to go. It still needs bits and pieces of work to make it 'commercial' and whole. And that will be done in the months to come. We didn't come in to Boston expecting raves or undeserved support. We thought that doing it in home territory before taking it elsewhere--off-broadway, Tampa, Arizona, etc--, would get us some encouragement from the local community, small and large.

No support from the theatre community and no help from the various ethnic, social and financial communities was forthcoming. We did do our best to market this: print ads, mass mailings, feature stories, radio spots, posters, telephone contacts to sr. citizen organizations, churches, etc. No go. No audiences. Little help from the media.

I've been in this town long enough to know that Boston, for some reason is indifferent to its own until its own get recognition from outside the area.

Talk about civility. The major media in Boston is vicious, cruel, full of invective and vitriol, especially to those of us who are not within their circle of favorites. [Am I being paranoid? Don't think so.]

Thank goodness for those of you who comprise IRNE. You all know what it is to live the theatre life in a town like this. And most of you seem to love the theatre and understand how thin and wavering the line of survival here is. Why can't the Globe, the Herald, the Phoenix grasp that? Where are the Elliot Nortons and Sam Hirsches? They wrote for the big papers... they were truthful and often unflattering about the work they saw when it was flat,,.they never allowed themselves to give in to the ad-hominem,and it was clear in their writings that they loved the theatre and those who live the life and they called it fairly and constructively and wrote to educate an audience and help us to better do our jobs.Those guys respected the effort and never belittled it and understood that careers and money is on the line. They understood what power they held in their pens and seldom wielded that power to destroy.

We shall survive this, Ed and I. The play will go on and it will find its niche.
Mort

From: "John_Ct" john0959@netzero.net
Subject: Questions from a Theatre Fan.
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 12:36:31 -0400

Mr. Stark:
I am not a performer, cast member of any sort, nor writer, etc. I am only a person who has enjoyed many very fine productions; most recently Secret Garden.
My question is:
\Why can't they allow or sell cast photo's, or even better a tape of the show?
It seems so unfortunate to have such a number of incredibly wonderful and unique shows simply go into the air from which they came, leaving no trace but memories.
Is it because of the Actors Equity Assoc?
But couldn't the actors be given a portion of such sales?
Also, why are these stage actors so aloof to their fans?
by which I mean - "Hollywood" performers have websites, fansites, where people can complement them or just see shots of their performances, none such seem to exist for these real Theatre performers.
All fan's can do is stand and applaud and gradually let the memory of a show fade.
We can't even see a picture of the show, or hear a tune again...
I really don't understand the reasons why not?
Thank You for any time replying;
Sincerely;
John Hoyle
Newington Ct.

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From: "SA Shipley" sashipley@attbi.com
Subject: Re: Theater Mirror
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 08:39:00 -0700

Larry,
One more thing - How about setting up a place on your home screen where we can make donations via PayPal? I'm sure it's easy to do (I use PayPal all the time to pay for things) and we all support what you are doing so strongly I'm sure you'd collect a surprising amount of money.
www.paypal.com
Go for it.
Sharyn

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From: "sas" sashipley@comcast.net
Subject: Sharyn's new stuff
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 17:09:40 -0700

Hi Larry,
Glad to see your up and going at it. And I see many others are contributing to the site. I hope it's supporting you at last.
I just workshopped my newest play "StarCrossed" (prequel to Romeo & Juliet).
Can't believe I'm still at it too.
Check out my website when you can. Most of the links work (amazing).
http://www.angelfire.com/in2/mywork
All best,
Sharyn
sashipley@comcast.net

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From: Jennifer Condon JCondon@ctnet.com
To: "Larry Stark (larry@theatermirror.com)"
Subject: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday!!! I wish you much happiness and health! No more stints in the hospital!!!
-Jennifer
You're never too old to become younger. -Mae West

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Date: Sun, 03 Aug 2003 11:51:30 -0400
From: Patrick M Brennan Subject: Plagiarism in the West End

My wife and I went to the Arts Theatre http://www.artstheatre.com last night to see The Madness of George Dubya http://www.themadnessofgeorgedubya.org/index.html. We had heard and read so much about the play, and we were very excited to see a satire on our current Buffoon-in-Chief, not to mention his lapdog Tony Blair; a satire which is desperately need in the States but which, apparently, can only be done in London. The theatre was packed and the excitement was palpable as we waited for the play to open. We were very pleased to see so many people who shared our excitement -- and a lot of them seemed to be Yanks as well.

Let me just say before I go any further that "The Madness of George Dubya", alas, is not a very good play. In fact, it seems to me that it's not a play so much as a publicity stunt. The actors, who wade through this material with professionalism and aplomb, are not to be blamed for this plane wreck, either. The fault lies entirely with the playwright. But I can't even get to the point of posting a review of this play, because as it wore on, I realized (to my astonishment) that "The Madness of George Dubya" is a plagiarism of Doctor Strangelove http://us.imdb.com/Title?0057012!

The play's website http://www.themadnessofgeorgedubya.org/background.html says: "playwright Justin Butcher has decided – like a mad fool – to fling together an anti-war play in a matter of days, rehearse it in a week and bung it on in London. " That sounds like an awful lot of work in an incredibly short period of time. Actually, these days it's easy. All you have to do is find a script that already exists, like, say, this one , and cut and paste your way to a West End premiere!

"Butcher's basic narrative is borrowed," says The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/reviews/story/0,11712,875852,00.html. The flyer I have for the play indicates that it's "based on" Doctor Strangelove. This play, unfortunately, isn't "based on" Doctor Strangelove, nor is the material "borrowed". It's stolen. In very large measure it is a word-for-word ripoffof Doctor Strangelove, with only the most inconspicuous mention -- not even a proper credit -- given to Stanley Kubrick, no credit whatsoever given to Terry Southern, who co-wrote the script with Kubrick, and no credit whatsoever to Peter George III, who wrote the original novel Red Alert, upon which Strangeloveitself was based. (Kubrick, unlike Butcher, believed in giving credit where credit was due.) There is nothing on the marquee or the program to indicate any other writer, or any other source, other than Butcher. If you didn't know the movie, or you didn't know it well, you'd think that Butcher had written the entire thing himself, and I believe that was the intent. To add insult to injury, the program (which costs an additional £1.50) actually includes the following sentence: "Respectfully dedicated to the memory of the great Stanley Kubrick."

Perhaps by now it should go without saying that I know Doctor Strangelove really well. Well enough, in fact, that I was whispering the next line of dialogue into the ear of my incredulous wife in order to persuade her that the dialogue was, by and large, purloined.

Incredibly, not a single review I have read has mentioned that the play contains entire paragraphs of dialogue lifted verbatim from the movie. Only the names have been slightly modified: General Ripper, for example, becomes General Kipper. Group Captain Mandrake becomes Windbreak. Other name changes are similarly clever on the part of the playwright. Instead of the President in the War Room, we have the Prime Minister. And so on.

The overall plot is exactly the same: General Ripper, er, Kipper, orders his bombers to attack the enemy, using a coded order to which only he has the key ("OPE" in the movie, "PBF" in the play). Exactly as in the movie, the general is obsessed with the purity of our bodily fluids. Exactly as in the movie, the chain of command tries desperately to recall the bombers before their attack is successful, which would precipitate a worldwide nuclear war.

Oh, wait -- he changed the ending. In the play, they succeed at stopping the holocaust.

Look, if you don't believe me, just try this: Go see the play, then rent the movie. Or see the movie first, then go see the play. You'll be astonished. You might be a little disgusted.

One review after another which I found on-line has approvingly quoted the assessment of one general on the number of deaths to be expected in the impending war: "I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." That came straight from the movie -- and it was even delivered better. By George C. Scott.

There is some original material in this play (including some moderately clever songs, one of which is by Tom Lehrer, who is credited). By and large, the original material falls flat on its face, especially an overlong lecture about the history of the Middle East's oppression by the West. This lecture was mind-numbingly boring and redolent of the dullest kind of amateur theater (I've written enough boring theater to know). But this is only a minor sin, especially since Butcher commits it with the best of intentions. It's the plagiarism that really burns me about this production.

If you took out all of Kubrick's words, all of Southern's words, and all of George's words, and all you had left were Butcher's words, you'd probably be left with about one-third of the play intact.

I don't yet know whether the producers of this play actually secured the proper permissions to use Doctor Strangelove. I doubt that they have -- otherwise there would be a conspicuous credit -- but it's actually beside the point. If The Madness of George Dubya had truly been based on, or inspired by Doctor Strangelove, it could have used the same ideas, a similar plotline, and similar characters, all without violating the original text. It could have treated the original material with the respect that it deserves. Inspiration is not the same as Duplication. Even getting the formal permission to use someone else's words is very different from writing them down verbatim and claiming them as one's own. You'd think a man who read Classics at Oxford would know that. You'd think.

Later

More on the "Madness of George Dubya"

In my last post, I documented what seemed to be an open and shut case of plagiarism. Since then, I've spoken to the production's press relations person, who doesn't know if they have the rights to the Strangelove script, but has passed the question along to the producer and the playwright. However, she did mention that the Kubrick family "has given their blessing to the production".

Does this mean that there's nothing wrong with the production of "The Madness of George Dubya"? No! As I explained in my previous post, the playwrights' responsibility does not end at securing a legal permission. Copyright infringement is not the same as plagiarism; one may commit infringement without plagiarism, and one may, incredibly enough, commit plagiarism without infringement. I wouldn't have thought that possible, but it seems to be what's happened here: Butcher most likely is not guilty of infringement, but he is definitely guilty of plagiarism.

When a playwright is not the sole author of a play, he is under a moral and artistic obligation to point that fact out, whether he has the rights to the material or not. As it is, Butcher is explicitly claiming to have written every word, when this is manifestly not the case. Why should I need to call the play's PR rep in order to get some sort of grudging acknowledgement that Kubrick et al. had something to do with the dialogue?

Butcher doesn't reference Doctor Strangelove in the play. Butcher doesn't quote a paragraph or two. Butcher lifts entire scenes from the movie, all without the slightest hint of attribution!

It would be much more appropriate, and honest, for the writing credit to read, for example: "written by Justin Butcher, Stanley Kubrick, and Terry Southern; based on the movie Doctor Strangelove and the book Red Alertby Peter George III." In that case, I would have had nothing to complain about, except, as I noted, that the material is actually pretty dull once you take Strangelove out.

The point I'm trying to make is just this: if Justin Butcher wants people to regard him as a brilliant playwright, then he should write his own brilliant play.

Update: Their PR person never did get back to me.

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From: "jerry bisantz" jbisantz@comcast.net
Subject: Carl Rossi
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2003 01:30:29 -0400

Just to add a little note of interest on Mr. Rossi... he reviewed my production of Kate Snodgrass' "Observatory Conditions" at Hovey. One problem... he left fifteen minutes into the show to catch a train. Oh, by the way, he didn't like what he saw, and said so (but never had a chance to see the resolution of the plot.) Oh, well, it must be lonely on top, doesn't it?
Jerry Bisantz
PS: I know I'm dead meat now!!!

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From: "Richard A Davies" radavies@verizon.net
Subject: Some info for your Hovery Players Summer Shorts review...
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 08:39:54 -0400

Larry,
I attended one evening (July 26th) of the Summer Shorts Festival of New Works program at The Hovey Players' Abbott Memorial Theatre and enjoyed every minute of it. I’d like to fill in a couple of blanks that I discovered in your recently posted summary of Ginger Lazarus' "Artist's Anonymous" which was featured the night that I attended. You write:

Ginger Lazarus' "Artist's Anonymous" is a confessional talk by an A.A. member on his
kicking a life-long art habit to find wealth, happiness and peace of mind as a C.P.A. The man
is ________________ , and he's directed by _________________.
The confessional was done by local up-and-coming actor Alexander Albregts, a recent Emerson grad. The director was Darren Evans, Managing Director at Centastage, who also recently directed Alexander in "For the Team” at the Boston Theater Marathon. Ginger’s writing, along with the winning combination of talent that Darren and Alexander bring to the stage, resulted in that wonderfully entertaining piece.
I enjoy your site – keep up the great work!
Thanks,
Richard Davies of Boston

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Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 17:05:03 -0400
From: Brian C Fahey fahey.b@neu.edu
Subject: Correction

From C.R.'s recent review of Our Country's Good - "Mr. Wertenbaker carves a lean, compelling tale out of Mr. Keneally?s rather dense novel..."
Just thought it was worth noting that MR. Wertenbaker is actually a MRS. Wertenbaker. Or perhaps a MS. Nevertheless, she is in fact female.

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From: "Russ Greene" rrgreene@hotmail.com
Subject: Rossi strikes again
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 17:17:15 -0400

Wow, has any TM critic in recent memory so annoyed more people than Mr. Rossi? First, he repeatedly writes lectures masquerading as reviews, now he is unclear on the basic ettiquette of being a critic. Gee, when a staff person connected to a show says to me "the press opening is on Wednesday" I would think that "the press opening is on Wednesday and if I am only here to review the play, the least I can do is mention the fact that I am seeing the show before the press opening in my initial review".

But Mr. Rossi afforded no such qualifier to his 'review'. When this omission was noted and questioned, instead of saying "oh, ok, I'll update my published review and hope that I can find a way to see the 'finished product' to complete my opinion of the production", he responded in his usual petulant manner with "well, there is nothing on their website about that" instead. Nyah, Nyah!

Mr. Rossi, a playwright by his own admission, would no sooner welcome anyone reviewing his plays before he felt they were ready to be critiqued. I cannot for the life of me figure out why he would get so pissy and entrenched when someone else dares to have the same expectation.
Russ Greene

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From: "Daniel Kells" artsmanagement@verizon.net
Subject: A bit disappointed...
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 14:03:37 -0400

Larry, Daniel Kells here, fka Managing Director of Comm. Shakes., now simply freelance producer.
I am writing about Carl Rossi's review of MacBeth.

While every reviewer is entitled to their opinion, it has always been a practice of critics to acknowledge when they are viewing a production before the producers deem it ready for viewing by the critics. The preview process is extremely important to creating a final product. Yes, it is free, in a park, and no press tickets are required. But please request that your writers at least hold a modicum of respect for the company of actors, designers, directors, administrators, interns, etc. that labored over the production. Mr. Rossi reviewed a show that wasn't done cooking. At the very least, he could have acknowledged this in his review.

Hopefully you or another of your critics will attend this evening's official press opening. Love it or hate it, is will be the production they intend on presenting to you and the rest of the critics.
Kind regards,
--Daniel Kells

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From: "Douglass Flynn" bowfly@earthlink.net
Subject:
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 10:12:34 -0400

Dear Larry,
How is it that your website has a review for Commonwealth Shakespeare's production of Macbeth, which hasn't even opened yet due to bad weather? Surely your critics don't have the bad form to review a tech run-through simply because the outdoor space allows them to watch. I look forward to reading a genuine review after the show has actually opened.
Doug Flynn

CARL A. ROSSI REPLIED:

From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
To: larry@theatermirror.com
Subject: Re: Your MACBETH Review
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 16:14:26 +0000

The CSC website and the Boston Phoenix both advertised MACBETH as opening on Friday, 18 July; neither source said "Tech Run-Throughs" during the run; I assumed the show was ready to play to an audience and since there was no charge, it never occured to me that I needed to ask someone when I would be allowed to attend - I have reviewed past CSC shows on the nights that I could make it and there was never a fuss. I would have attended on Friday night, but the performance was canceled because of rain. I attended Sunday night's performance - lovely weather, and the lawn was packed with people. In his opening statements to the crowd, Mr. Maler welcomed us, thanked his sponsors, etc.; other than mentioning that his actors would perform some onstage warm-ups for the battle sequences, I don't recall him saying what we would be seeing would be a tech run-through. I'm assuming what a good many people saw on Sunday night is what others will be seeing for the rest of its run.

AND HE ADDED THIS NOTE:

At 04:29 PM 7/24/2003 +0000

I forgot to mention that a member of the CSC staff sought me out in the audience on Sunday night (how did she know who I was?); she told me that Press Night was on Wednesday night but she would gladly bring me a press kit if I needed one. She, too, said nothing about Sunday night being a tech run-through; her offering me a press kit was her acknowledgment that there was a critic in the audience that night. I also saw at least one local television personality in the audience as well; no doubt, she will mention the production on her show.

What if I had raved about this MACBETH? I doubt no one would have minded my showing up unexpected.
C.R.

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From: TANNICONE@aol.com
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 22:53:25 EDT
Subject: Elliot Norton

Hi Larry,
Elliot Norton spoke at Assumption College when I was a student there. He was a very charismatic person. I loved reading his reviews and found them to be close to my own views of the shows.
Tony

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Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 12:36:34 -0400 <>BR> From: Patrick M Brennan pbrennan@theworld.com> <>BR> Subject: Crazy Rebecca

Larry: re: http://www.theatermirror.com/rfmccbcc.htm
I read Crazy Rebecca's letters. There's something about them that makes me wonder if there's really a "Rebecca" behind it. People on the Internet aren't necessarily who they claim to be, and apparently a clueless young girl is the online persona of choice. This person seems to be giving you a lot of personal information without any prompting whatsoever, and to my eye her spelling and grammar are just a little too poor ("The lady doth misspell too much"). I correspond with my 12-year-old niece on email, and while this is an admittedly small sample, her emails are at least legible.

Who knows who Rebecca is? Who knows what this person is really after?

My advice is to ignore "Rebecca". If she's real, and she really wants to act, she'll figure out how to. She's in New York (so she says)! (She's probably better off not acting, anyway -- there are far too many people chasing far too few gigs in this world.) If you really want to reply, keep it simple and professional: "Thanks for writing. Stay in school. Study hard. Go to a college with a good acting program. Network. Practice. Save your money. Audition like crazy. Steel your ego. And get a day job that pays the bills. Good luck."
Patrick

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From: Alex Savitzky alex@savitzky.com
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 5:19 PM
To: Jennifer Condon
Subject: Review

Jen,
The review mentioned the voices perform "without any amplification". The fact that the sound system was not even noticed is about the best compliment I could have gotten.
- Alex

From: Jennifer Condon JCondon@ctnet.com
To: "'Alex Savitzky'" alex@savitzky.com
Subject: REview

I thought that was interesting too! especially since we struggled with the blend the night before but it was a great mix on Sat. and the voices our the focus verses the sometimes overpowering "canned" sound that can sometimes happen when the band is behind or under the stage! Thanks for your considerable talents my friend!!!!
-Jen

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From: "AMA Boston" theoffice@amaboston.org
Subject: Question for Larry
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 17:00:10 -0400

Hello Larry!
I am a meeting planner in Boston who is looking for new and unique space for a 200 person reception. We will be launching a new brand for the American Marketing Association in September. Do you know if any of the local theatres have meeting space that they rent out? (Or have you been to a 200 person party at a knock your socks off location recently?) If you have any ideas, please contact me at theoffice@amaboston.org or by calling 781-647-7555. I am interested to hear your reply.
Thank you very much.
My Best,
Andrea Caldwell
AMA Boston

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From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: For the Greenroom?
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 13:00:05 +0000

A talented, well-known actress in our area has responded to my PERICLES review, especially when it comes to directors. My reply follows her paragraph:

Subject: Re: My reviews of PERICLES and THE WINTER'S TALE (both at A.R.T.)

Enjoyed your opening remarks about directors - SERVING THE PLAYWRIGHT -

I sometimes worry that I'm too narrow in my thinking - afterall- what is art, blah, blah - & isn't everything open to interpretation, etc.....and theatre is a collaboration, etc......BUT - there is a meaning - of some sort - inherent in a script - that a playwright has geared all actions/thought/ characters towards - and that everyone involved should be searching to unearth, no? - And for that to be LOST by everything that goes on around it -or by whatever is imposed upon it - or worse - belittled by "camp" - well, then for me - all heart exits from the piece.
[Name withheld]
* * *
Thank you for your comments.

As you may have gathered from my reviews, I am a playwright and thus I start and end with the play that is being produced. Not only does each playwright have his or her own voice, but he or she writes in the conventions and the stagecraft of the time, and the director must realize this - directing a Greek tragedy with its ritualized stylization (whew! big words in the A.M.!) is completely different from the subtle shadings and delicate balancing of Chekhov's tragicomedy - and those directors who cannot tell the difference are simply blind or pigheaded.
Imagine that a famous painter, in big demand, is hired to paint a portrait of the one who has hired him. With a flourish, he produces the canvas:
PAINTER: There you are!
PATRON: That's not me.
PAINTER: But it is!
PATRON: I don't look like that at all!
PAINTER: But I have painted you from the "inside"! PATRON: I would have been happy with my "outsides", thank you!
etc.

Don't get me wrong - those productions which I have enjoyed since I've started reviewing have been successes primarily because the director was in sync with the playwright's vision. A good director can be a great asset to the playwright if he/she senses that what the playwright is trying to say is not quite in focus and can help develop it. But if the director says, "No! THIS is what you're REALLY trying to say!", well, then, the director should write his own play, then.

What saddens me in today's theatre is that so many directors no longer have an opportunity to work with a living, breathing playwright to mutually guide each other along to a finished production. When a director is hired to direct an established script, what he/she gets is a freeze-dried product; everything has already been tried and tested and now the new director has to soften it up and bring it back to life as if it were all fresh and green again. This is where the new director NEEDS to know his/her playwright and the circumstances and era that particular play was born in. And if the playwright has long been dead, they must strain even harder to hear that faint heartbeat which still sounds down the halls of time....

Take Shakespeare, in particular. I am not so much the purist if a Shakespearean director changes the locales and clothings to another time and place, PROVIDED he/she can find a corresponding parallel between this and that time. What is far more important is to consider Shakespeare's HEART.

Everyone points to the three Golden Ages of Tragedy: 5th century Athens, Shakespeare's era and Racine's era. Each period was one of triumph, expansion, prosperity; each one a Renaissance, of sorts, when Man explored all facets of his nature, free and courageous and unashamed. In other words, the human heart was pumping warm, rich blood into the theatre. (No one writes Tragedy these days because the times dictate we must not soar, we must conform, we must now be afraid. BAH!) In other words, Shakespeare's heart, even in his darkest moments, never lost its heat - he couldn't have written his Four Big Tragedies all in one spurt if he didn't have an affluent era that allowed him to expand and experience all of the life that Elizabeth's growing empire held out to him.

A good Shakespeare director will know this in his bones, and the best Shakespeare productions I've seen are those with little or no stage trappings - the focus was completely on the actors, and those productions were WARM. A director who freezes up Shakespeare's heart with his/her own cold vision and swamps it in high-tech stage design goes against the very nature of Shakespeare. Opera suffers the same fate all too often; I worked at the Metropolitan Opera 1982-87 and saw some very weird, off-the-wall productions that would have had Verdi and Wagner spinning in their graves....

One of my plays, the autobiographical P'TOWN CHRISTMAS '99, was part of this year's Boston Theatre Marathon. The director and two actors were chosen before I came on board, so of course I was understandably concerned about how my play would be presented, especially since I was one of the characters. The director and I got along well; she wanted to do the best job she possibly could at serving the play. She called me one night to say we would have to make cuts to get under the 10-minute deadline. I was wary at first, but her suggested cuts were good ones - so good that I have kept my script pretty much the way it was "cut". The director did me a great service - she directed my play as I had written it and her suggested cuts made the script even better - she did it because she wanted the script to work, not because she, as director, had to make a personal statement or stylize my play beyond recognition. And the actors enjoyed performing in it, too; we were one happy little family for two performances (they also benefitted by having two tension-free parents!). And the audience was moved by P'TOWN CHRISTMAS '99; frankly, the production of my play was one of the better offerings at the Marathon.

So, yes, directors can be of invaluable service to a playwright, provided he/she are in sync with the playwright's vision.

I read in the A.R.T. program that the PERICLES director will next go here to direct and then go there to direct, etc. In other words, he will undoubtedly continue to stamp his own signature on every play or opera that comes his way, which is too bad. If each Super-Director was made to stick with one theatre for a season and forced to direct Euripedes, Marlowe, Congrieve, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Neil Simon, he/she may not have time to think up all their high-tech, clockwork orange visions and have to fall back on the two things that they tend to ignore: the Playwright, and the Actors.

Remember: the Theatre has gotten along for thousands of years without directors. Audiences come to be told a good bedtime story and to marvel in the human body in speech and action. Those directors who keep popping up to say, "Don't forget me, too!" is the worst kind of upstager. And how many of them would tremble like Scroogle before Marley's ghost if they were confronted with the spirit of whoever they're misdirecting, especially when said spirit solemnly intones, "No....that is NOT what I was trying to say...."
C.R.

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From: "Charles Walsh" chucksue@attbi.com
Subject: Carl Rossi and "Mr. S.S."
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 01:14:37 -0400

Hi Larry - I must say I was amused AND confused at how Carl Rossi managed to make a review of "Side Show" all about Stephen Sondheim. Judging by the sold-out houses at New Rep for "Sweeney Todd" not all theater goers think Mr. Sondheim is responsible for the so-called ruination of American musical theater. If you want funny, entertaining stuff, what about "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"? Certainly there are some very funny moments in "Company" and "Into the Woods". Anyone who doesn't laugh out loud at "A Little Priest" or "By the Sea" or the shaving contest scene from "Sweeney Todd" must have absolutely no sense of humor! Hey, I enjoy good old-fashioned musicals too. Why else would I be playing Aunt Eller in "Oklahoma" at TLP this summer? I admit it, I've always loved the show! I do think it's possible for audiences to be entertained AND intellectually stimulated at the same time. One last thing; I really cringed when Mr. Rossi kept referring to the brilliant, award-winning American composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, as "Mr. S.S.". I thought it was very disrespectful. Whether or not you like his music, you have to admit the man is a genius. I wonder, would "Mr. C.R." call Leonard Bernstein "Mr. L.B." or Mozart "Mr. W.A.M."?!

But then again, Mozart would probably have laughed!
Hugs,
Susan Walsh

P.S. Congrats to NCP on "Captain's Courageous"! I saw it in Gloucester last year and it was wonderful!
BRAVO!!!

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Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 11:10:22 -0700
Subject: Re Reviewing for Theater Mirror
From: Paulette Idelson paulettei@attbi.com

Hi Larry,
I am a writer who is particularly interested in theatre. At present I am a reviewer for the New England Theatre Conference Moss Hart Awards. During intermission at a recent play I met Carlo Rossi and he informed me that he does reviews for Theater Mirror.
Could you use another reviewer? If so, please let me know your requirements.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Paulette J. Idelson

LARRY STARK REPLIED:

How much would you like to do?
How much would you like to write each time?

I don't have a "stable" (ugly metaphor, now I think of it!) of reviewers.
I take reviews from ANYONE, but I don't "send" reviewers.

SO, what you should do is, first, see a show.
(If you'd like, you can ask for a pair of Reviewer's Comps; tell the p/r person or producer or the people on the other end of the phone or e-mail that whatever you write W I L L appear in The Theater Mirror; they usually comply. If they give you guff, tell ME and I'll straighten things out.)

Then write about it.

If you haven't much time, a paragraph or two that will go into the QUICK-TAKES page is fine.
(You should include the play's name, the company's or the theatre's name, the opening and closing dates, the street-address of the play-space, and the phone for reservations/info --- in case it's a theatre I have no information about.)

If you go further, it will go up as a Full Review.
(That same Listings Info is important there, too.)
(If you want, you can suggest a Headline; otherwise, the name of the play will serve as well.)

Then when you're done, send it to larry@theatermirror.com

I take it from there.

HOWEVER, if you wait patiently for your check to come in the mail .... it won't.
I'm retired, living in elder-housing, and make no money from The Mirror.
All I can offer you is 800 eyeballs a day. Every day.
Ain't fame enough???

If you want to do a LOT of reviewing (and I hope you do!) I can send you a "frame".....
See, there's a lot of boilerplate stuff at the top and bottom of each full review, and a lot of what I call " HaTeMaiL-code" that has to go in to make the review Readable in The Mirror.
The "frame" is all of that, with all the code in place --- so what you can do is paste your review in where it belongs, then tweak a couple lines in the boilerplate, and re-write the Listings Box.
If you do that, you save ME the time of doing all that myself, and you save YOU from my incessant typo's in the HateMaiL-Codes that make it Not work. (I spent two days searching once for a Second quote-mark in a URL before I caught it. I'm a Content Provider, not a computer geek.... )

About style --- that's really up to you.

If you want any editing-tips, you'd best ask for them; the first reviewer I had did ask, and when I sent them he never sent another review.
But I will say this: My Own PERSONAL View is that a Review is meant to be read by people who Have NOT Seen the show in question. Though the readers here are usually familiar with theater and with many shows, basic information is a lot more important than (in my phrase) "MERE Personal opinion". When I was theater editor of BOSTON AFTER DARK I would caution new reviewers that "I don't really Care what you think; what did you SEE?"
That said, your style and approach are your own. I may disagree, but that's what makes horseraces. I Will Not Change what you send me. I don't edit.

Have I left anything out?

Carl does a Lot of reviews; and he does such a Complete "frame"-job I can often put his review up in ten minutes or less, and read it at leisure later.
The more angles from which shows are seen, the more the playgoers have to base their Own opinions on.
In my mind, a review is supposed to tell the readers enough about the show so that the READERS can have an opinion as to whether they would like to see it themselves.
"But I am a strange old man."

So, go see a show, and get busy!
Break a leg....
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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From: "jerry bisantz" jbisantz@attbi.com
Subject: Re: Ten minute Festivals
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 00:03:03 -0400

Hello, Larry! And, hello, Harvey! I am so sorry I missed "Ballplayer" as I think that it's quite an achievement to write and produce a full length play, and I like to see as many as I can. Believe I've been there... done that... would love to have my full length's done, along with every other playwright I know. So... we look on our computers, see the full length's that we have written, shrug, say to ourselves "should I send them out again? Maybe there's somewhere I missed... there's a festival in Ohio somewhere.."

The problem with writing ten minute plays is that you can get stuck in the "ten minute rut". That doesn't mean that crafting a GOOD ten minute play is easy... just different. Most playwrights I know have full length's, one acts, and ten minute plays that they have written. I have three full lengths DARING me to finish them every time I turn on my computer! And I'll bet you do too... so.. yes, Harvey, I see your point. I believe that more full length original plays should be produced, but I believe that Mr. Mattson has a point about "putting fannies in the seats".

At Hovey this summer, we are shaking up the ten minute festival by adding original music by local composers between the original short plays. There are so many talented song writers who never get to hear their work performed, and we want to showcase the best of them. No one theater company can do EVERYTHING. We can all benefit from your forum here, Larry. I think the key is that we all should strive to keep original, fresh work on the local stages, no matter the length.

Rob Mattson has a wonderful website called "Storyfoundry". ANYONE can peruse a huge list of playwrights and story synopses... for free! Would that our local theaters could look in their own backyards first... is it so hard to at least look? (sigh) Aaaahhh... what the hell, so we continue to write. It's fun, it gets us out of our element, and once ina while, if we're lucky, SOMEONE leans forward in their seats and actually LISTENS and REACTS to something we wrote. And, Harvey, that is heaven no matter the length! Keep on writing, buddy!
Jerry Bisantz

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From: "Harvey Soolman" ballplayerhs@attbi.com
Subject: crowds
Date: Sat, 3 May 2003 23:34:34 -0400

Hi Larry,
Just wanted to let you know that we finally have drawn some people to see Ballplayer. Last night we had 45 and tonight we nearly filled the place (capacity 85) and brought in 78 people. Sixty-seven were paid.
Harvey Soolman

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From: "Robert Mattson" rmattson@charter.net
Subject: Response to Harvey's comments
Date: Sat, 3 May 2003 17:32:28 -0400

Dear Larry,
I had to drop you a line concerning the recent letter by Harvey Soolman. Let me first say that I know Harvey, who is a truly nice person and another of the hard-working Boston area playwrights that is striving to create good theater in an environment that often makes that difficult.

But, I have one disagreement with his comment about the crutch of 10-minute play festivals, and how theaters should be producing full shows by local playwrights. I do agree that it would be great to have every major, minor and community theater in the area devote one slot to the work of a local author each year, but there are reasons that doesn't happen. The major one being that we need to bring in an audience from the general populace that are hard enough to draw with a "name" playwright, never mind someone, who might have written a brilliant play but, who's name they have never heard.

Harvey just dealt with this reality when he, no doubt, put in tremendous effort in doing the near impossible, writing and producing his own full-length play. Writing a full-length is tough enough, and I applaud just going from idea to fully realized script. However, that more or less pales in comparison to producing a play from the ground up. In this case finding a space, director, actors, technicians, house managers etc. Then, the toughest part of all. Getting people to come to a show that is being done by a group with no built-in audience. Ask any established community theater and they'll tell you that they still have nights where they have to call family and friends to fill the house on the odd Friday. So, for just attempting this and getting his show up and running Harvey deserves a gold star and a round of back slaps.

Now on to the 10-minute festival issue. I agree that the 10-minute genre can be limiting. It's tough to tell a full story with depth in 10 minutes. It's much easier to produce something that is a "skit-ish" comedy in that time. That's not to say that dramas can't be done in 10 minutes that have real depth and emotion. I've recently seen great 10-minute pieces by Ronan Noone and Bill Doncaster that accomplish heartfelt drama in that time frame. So, while not everyone likes writing to a page limit, it can be done and done well.

But are 10-minute festivals a crutch? I don't think so. Full disclaimer here, I run the Acme New Works Winter Festival, which is a short play festival. In the past festivals we've done 20 - 30 minute pieces, this year we are limiting shows to 12-minutes to try to get more playwrights' works on stage. I personally love all the shorts festivals that go up each year, Hovey Summer Shorts, Playwrights Platform, Arlington Staged Reading Festival, Theatre Coop's Ritalin Readings and the Boston Theatre Marathon. While they might not be full-length and fully produced, these festivals get 100 to 150 new works by local authors in front of packed houses each year. There are even more programs such as the Theatre Coop, which then picks three authors to do a full one-act the following year, and even tries to do a full production of one of those author's works in subsequent years. That's a phenomenal program. Plus, many shows from the Marathon get published by Baker's Plays, getting many local authors their first publishing credit.

I mentioned that most of these festivals are sold out. Most of that is simple theater math. More people on stage equals more people in the seats. They do act as fund raisers for many theaters. So, in that case I do agree that they act as a crutch. But that crutch is being used to keep theaters walking with doors open and producing shows that involve local actors, directors, techs and hopefully, appreciative audiences.

So the next time I see Harvey, I'm going to give him his due for doing something great, but I'll also encourage him to write a great 10-minute short so more people can see his stuff.
-R

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Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 13:12:40 -0400
From: Maria Brandt brandtm@bc.edu>
Subject: Fool For Love

Hi Larry,
I'm writing to ask you to come and see Sam Shepard's FOOL FOR LOVE, produced by Industrial Theatre. This is a special show. The cast and full design staff are bursting with talent--perhaps award-winning talent. And yet, we have not yet had a single reviewer come to see the show. Do you have any advice? Why is it so hard to get reviewers to come?

Anyway, I've attached below the e-mail announcement I sent out to family and friends. Of course, I can't promise any specific reaction. But I do feel strongly that something transformational happens on that stage during that hour and twenty-five minutes.
Also, it will be good to see you. It always is....
Best,
Maria Brandt

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From: ACMEACTOR@aol.com
Date: Fri, 2 May 2003 20:49:23 EDT
Subject: RE: Harvey Soolman's letter

Dear Larry,
I just finished ready Harvey Soolman's letter in the Green Room and it left me ... unhappy to say the least. I agree Scott Heller's response to him was offensive and narrow minded but Mr. Soolman's comments on the 10-minute festivals and short plays was equally offensive. I would expect better from someone "in the trenches". As the Executive Director of one the local theater's that sponsors a festival of short pieces I think Mr. Soolman doesn't seem to understand that not everyone can or wants to write a full length, 2 act show. These festivals give new playwrights the chance to test the waters with their material and learn their trade. The festivals also gives so many more playwrights the chance to actually have their work produced. A short piece is no less a "show" than a longer one -- it's just shorter.
Also, while I'm sure The Charlestown Working Theater has no shortage of funds, these festivals provide a good income for the theatre's that produce them and contribute greatly to help keeping the doors open which is getting harder everyday with funding disappearing. I feel bad that Mr. Soolman felt he had to belittle other people's work to publicize his own. He does a disservice to the many groups, directors, actor and playwrights that take part in the short festival.
David Sheppard
Acme Theater Productions

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From: "Harvey Soolman" ballplayerhs@attbi.com
Subject: in appreciation
Date: Fri, 2 May 2003 00:21:46 -0400

Dear Larry,
On behalf of my cast and crew and me I would like to express our growing appreciation for your attending our play Ballplayer and bestowing us with a review.

And with each performance that goes by it has become not so much that you gave us a favorable review - though certainly we appreciate that - it is that at least someone was out there who gave a damn.

This has been quite an education for me. Through five performances we have attracted literally zero - zip, nada - tickets from the numerous press releases to papers (dailies and weeklies), radio and TV outlets, tourist guide, hotels and the Charlestown pizza shop who was inserting a flyer in his delivery orders. Much to my amazement, the resulting calendar listings have not produced a single ticket for us over five shows.

So earlier this week I re-followed up on my heretofore futile efforts to get our big papers to give us a review. Got nowhere with the Herald and Phoenix. Had also been getting nowhere with The Globe; so I contacted someone I knew down there in the Arts. He is a former baseball player I had coached in high school, and he scooted down the hall to see Scott Heller, the Arts Editor.

I'm pretty hard to offend, but I did find the response pretty offensive. According to him, Heller said that we would probably not get reviewed, but that if new Red Sox GM Theo Epstein (who I also coached) had attended to let him know, and they might list some blurb in Names and Faces.

My response to Heller was as follows:

Dear Scott,
The first weekend of Ballplayer (Charlestown Working Theater) went off great artistically. The Theater Mirror called it "a relentless examination of obsession." For it is not what I would call a "baseball" play.

But the audience size was disappointing. Should our numbers be your concern? Not necessarily. Certainly, indirectly, a thriving art community is of benefit to us all.

But what you may find newsworthy is that this is an independent production that is tired of the tin cup mentality of local theater and went about this with no public arts funding support. I feel the actors and I have devoted ourselves to getting a good show out to the public, and now have to see about getting the public there.

There is a second aspect of this, too, a line I am most proud of in the Theater Mirror review: "How many Boston playwrights can boast a full-length play this well-crafted?"

This brings us to another issue I have with local theater - the constant crutch of relying on 10-minute festivals and other short plays when we need to develop a more complete product, a show!

I feel we have done this with Ballplayer. I think it is worthy of your attention not because I wrote it, I think it is a good play and we need more people in the seats. I firmly believe, as a former newspaper person myself, that this play is newsworthy.

I really hate writing short plays.

And I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and hope you will accept my invitation to Thursday night's performance to see the product for yourself.

I hope you will also consider having someone review this play.
Yours truly,
Harvey Soolman

Well, Larry, not surprisingly I have not received a response. You really stand out, and I thank you.
Harvey Soolman

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From: "Giagrando, David M." David_Giagrando@dfci.harvard.edu
Subject: Reviews
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 15:24:03 -0400

Hi Larry. While I love your site, I have become more and more concerened along with other theatre colleagues about the reviews you write. We hope for them to be constructive and CRITICAL and also praising of those deserving praise. However, as of late the reviews you write seem to be nothing more than synopsiswith a line or two of "it was a good show". Do we have misguided expectations?

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
In a word, YES, you do.

I'm not in the business of "improving" anything.
I do try to tell people what is there, not what Isn't or Should be there.
I don't know enough about directing, or acting, or designing to presume to try. I am very clear when people introduce me and say "He's a theater critic";
I say "No, I Review Plays."
If you want "criticism" invite Carl A. Rossi or Bill Marx or Sally Cragin, or the EMACT adjudicators.
What makes you think that I know any more about your work than your director, or your acting coach, or your fellow performers? I'd trust any of them over ANY critic any day; they DO know something you can rely on and understand.

And that does Not mean "He Likes EVERYTHING" --- something you Can say, I think, about some other reviewers.
My threshold IS fairly low, and I AM finding that it takes longer and longer to get reviews written these days, but when I really Don't like a show, that show is Not reviewed publicly. Instead, I do try to send a letter to the director or producer giving good reasons why I couldn't recommend that readers of The Mirror see the show.
And my rule of thumb is simple: If anyone as ill-equipped as I know I am thinks he can see how to improve a show, the show must obviously suck dead mules..... !
But that's a reason to tell the creative staff, privately, to go into some other line of work, not a license to roast their tripes in public.
I mean, what if I were WRONG --- as I do believe many critics really Are; poor deluded souls, they take their little brief authority as not simply a justification of their shooting at actors who cannot shoot back, they all too easily become blind to their own elephantiasis of the ego.

I review plays.
That means I tell people who Have NOT Seen Them what is there --- I give them enough information about a show to make up their Own Minds whether they'd want to see it. I think there are enough other people monging opinions elsewhere.
But I Know I'm not Eliot Norton.
The best CRITIC at work around here is Geralyn Horton, who HAS acted in and directed and written enough plays for her opinions to Mean something. And, she takes more time than have for each of her reviews.
Me, I'm just a reporter......
and I like to Like theater.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a That Fat Old Man with The Cane ) TO WHICH CAME THIS RESPONSE:
From: "Giagrando, David M." David_Giagrando@dfci.harvard.edu
Subject: RE: Reviews

Thanks so much for the response. I reallya ppreciate your taking the time to respond. Your candor puts it all into perspective for me. Keep doing what you do. It is great to know your angle. And we all share the common love for theatre...what a wonderful thing.

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From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: Awwwww.....thank you, Papa. Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 12:39:07 +0000

Thank you for your kind mention in your Marathon review. You were the only one to mention my play in print. I was very pleased with what Melissa, Jim and John did with it. It was a wonderful birthday present.

As for TEN MINUTE DAD: the Father (in mime) is watering his lawn and his Son comes in to announce that he is leaving to enlist (there's a cab waiting offstage). The Father uses various bullying tactics (including roping in the Son with that invisible hose) to keep his overly-patriotic child at home. The punchline (of sorts) ends with the Son still going off to enlist and telling the Father that he is the 2nd Son in the Family; the Father believes he has been talking to his 1st Son all along. (Is Dad MAD?)
C.R.

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 17:15:25 -0400
Subject: Kushner......library
From: Geralyn Horton g.l.horton@mindspring.com

from playwright Monica Raymond

Just to add on about the Sunday event Geralyn wrote about.
The most shocking thing I learned was about the Clauder prize. Vogel says she won for "And Baby Makes Seven" in the first or second year of the prize. But part of the first prize was that the Huntington Theater here (large subscription non-profit Boston theater affiliated with Boston Univesity) would give the winner a reading.
The then-head of the Huntington refused to give her play a hearing, and so she received second prize instead. (For those who don't know it, "And Baby Makes Seven" is a very funny and wonderful and, in my view, much underproduced, piece about the prelude to lesbian parenting. Well, that makes it sound like some health ed piece. It's really about all the sub-personality imaginary kids the lesbian couple have created in their relationship, and what happens to them as the birth of a real child becomes imminent.

The play Vogel talked about that was a brilliant study of white liberal racism in the theater was Kermit Frazier's "Kernel of Sanity." She read it first in the 70s, and, so far, it has not been produced.
(Seems to be a three-character play for two white males and one African American man, if anyone wants to hunt it up and try to do it.)

She talked about scripts, many by young women, that are not getting done. They are passed from hand to hand "like samizdat" she said and teachers, other writers, directors, speak of them breathlessly "Have you read THAT one?"

Lucas talked about self-censorship, the kind that occurs when topics are not even brought to the fore, like the absence of gay characters in most American plays prior to the sixties, the unwillingness of gay producers in Hollywood initially to make films about AIDS, etc.

Enlightening, bracing, honest--I was glad to have been there.
Monica Raymond

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Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 18:27:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Kushner, Lucas, Vogel at the Boston Public Library
From: Geralyn Horton g.l.horton@mindspring.com

Sunday afternoon I attended one of the New Center for Arts & Culture's WORDS ON FIRE events at the Copley Square library.
A sad beginning, when we walked up to what would last month have been a bustling beautiful public library, the oldest in the nation, and discovered guards at the door announcing that the library was closed Sundays from now on due to the budget shortfall. The lecture series-- "conversations" about censorship re: the Nazi book burnings on May 10th 1933-- carried on, however, and attendees were allowed to walk through the darkened galleries to the basement lecture hall, where Robert Brustein moderated a discussion on censorship in the contemporary American theatre featuring playwrights Tony Kushner, Craig Lucas, and Paula Vogel.

This event may be shown soon on weekend or late night c-span: the previous one, with William Styron and Henry Lewis Gates, was broadcast-- stumbling into Gates while channel surfing 1am is how I discovered that Kushner, Lucas, and Vogel would be appearing in Boston next.

All three playwrights were abundantly articulate and the notes here are only a fraction of the ideas, issues, and experience on offer-- I wish you all could have been there!

The event began with introductions listing the plays and books written by and honors bestowed upon all the participants--- which was so long that it threatened to take up all the time available and eventuated in embarrassed squirmings from the panelists and giggles from the audience.

Kushner was pretty upbeat. He listed various instances in which his plays-- "Angels In America" and "Homebody Kabul" had run into trouble, and the brave people at theaters and colleges who had stood up to censorship and pressure; and asserted that the ticket buying public and a few rich benefactors had rushed to the rescue, providing production funds and new venues when the scheduled ones were denied. Encouraging, that. But afterwards entire city or state arts programs might be cut from government budgets in retaliation. Most discouraging is the censorship that happens simply because the government support that makes it possible for theatres to take risks with new material has dried up. The NEA was founded to supply this support, which has been available in every era when there was great theatre-- the classic example is the way the Athenian state supported Aristophanes' satiric criticism of the war with Sparta in "Lysistrata" and Peace" et.al. during the time the war was being fought. 20 years of attacks on the NEA by the right have narrowed the range of what enters the public arena, and shifted the whole public dialogue rightward. Kushner urged everyone to work to restore and expand the NEA.

Lucas said he was discouraged and embittered-- though not about his personal situation, as he has recently found a nurturing home at Intiman Theatre in Seattle. He recounted instances of pig headed idiocy and insane censorship from his experiences in Hollywood and in theatre-- including one in which the central-to-the-plot kiss in "Prelude To a Kiss" had been snipped out of an airline's in flight showing of the film. Lucas despaired of critics, and of cowardly ADs pandering to boards filled with bankers, but was satisfied that in spite of critical hostility his published plays such as "The Dying Gaul" continued to get productions from venturesome small theatres. But he said that theatres are dying every day across the country, and the survivors are becoming ever more conservative and fearful. Authors look around and see what is "permitted"-- what is being produced-- and begin to censor themselves. It isn't necessary to burn books that don't get written.

Vogel was even less optimistic, and as passionate about the suppression of women's voices politically and the attacks on women's human and civil rights as she was about the dumbing down and flattening out of exciting-- and disturbing-- new voices in the theatre.
She gave the horrible example of an African-American actor turned writer she discovered when working as a play reader: everyone she took the script (about race relations) to agreed that it was brilliant, important, terrifying, and wonderful-- and everyone also said that they could not possibly produce it at their theatre. "Some one will do it, because it is so good. But not this theatre."
Some places did give it a "reading", and in response to post workshop "feedback" the writer over 20 years draft by draft took out everything that made his play brilliant, important, terrifying, and wonderful.

Vogel said that the men who are in positions of power in the theatre are not willing to let "others" in. She has "watched scores of women who have been turned away from theatres, and no one can tell me their work isn't brilliant: I've read it and seen it and I know that it is."
Selling out and working at screen writing or TV isn't an option for these women playwrights, they aren't welcome there either, and they must turn to teaching or some other career to support themselves. She believes in the principle that theatre's business is to bring us face to face with what we hate and fear, and that this function is failing out of theater managements' desire to do what "works' and what is "likeable".

Vogel also said that she is neglecting her own writing (her "How I Learned To Drive" won the Pulitzer) to spend 20 hours a day working with and for her students so that there will be a new generation of playwrights who (and this isn't how she put it, I didn't take down her exact words) respect and protect their individual voices.

As if in illustration, white men lined up at both the audience microphones and would have used all the time allowed for comment: except that when "last question" was announced some of the audience protested "Let at least one woman speak!"

Geralyn Horton
Newton, MA
Go see my SHORT PLAYS
http://www.stagepage.info/oneact/_oneact.html
Geralyn Horton
Newton, MA
Check out my FREE MONOLOGS
http://www.stagepage.info/monologs/_monologs.html

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Reagle Players
617 Lexington Street, WALTHAM MA
to Larry Stark

Dear Larry
Enclosed is a dollar. May I have a copy of your THEATER-LOVER'S GUIDE TO THE NINETY THEATRES IN BOSTON

Also, Larry, may I take this opportunity to thank you again for your great support of Reagle Players. What I failed to say at the IRNE ceremony (I was tongue-tied.), was that the support and encouragement given by the IRNE reviewers have been heart-warming and are deeply appreciated. We'd be waiting forever, if we had to look to the Boston critics for any kind of encouragement. The IRNE reviewers help theatres grow!

Please write Friday, June 13, in your calendar. It is the Grand Opening of our 35th Anniversary Season with "Singin' in The Rain." My hope is to imitate the trappings of a Hollywood premiere with red carpet, kleig lights, and elegantly dressed stars and audience.

Have a wonderful spring, Larry!
Sincerely,
Bob Eagle

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From: Juree2269@aol.com
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 01:19:27 EST
Subject: Crickets Notebook

Hi Larry -
First, thanks for sending along a copy of this Cricket's Notebook entry. I had already read it on your site, but I appreciate the fact that you forwarded a copy.

I would like to volunteer to match the production listings to the website listings - making sure that company information (websites) is up on your site. I just need to know what guidelines you have. I can simply take a copy of the existing page and rework it (no changes to format, of course, just to content) and send it back to you if this works - just let me know.

I do want to clarify a point with you and respond to your Cricket's notebook entry. The main motivation behind the development of NETheater411.com was to create a user-friendly, easy to search, discover, and submit website that would provide YOU the opportunity to take back your time to focus on those elements that first led you to create the Theater Mirror - namely the reviews, editorials, and Cricket Notebook entries. I wanted to replicate the announcement service of the Theater Mirror (auditions, productions, emergencies, and the like) without duplicating the workload that you face with the Theater Mirror.

I did not want to duplicate the "human", as you refer to it, element of your site. My site is solely designed to provide static information to people who want to get the latest details available about auditions, productions, etc. as a compliment to your site. It was not designed to be a duplicate of the Theater Mirror. It is an information portal - that's it. I intentionally left the "human" side of it (reviews, greenroom letters, etc) to the Theater Mirror. In our discussions, we talked about how these two websites would compliment each other - and would specifically be a benefit to YOU and the website visitors by taking the time consuming task of posting and removing static elements (current info up / old info off) by letting the computer do the bulk of the work. You would have more time for your writing and the website visitors would have a current and up to date website to visit.

I am disappointed that my 100+ hours of development work on this project has, apparently, been in vain. NETheater411.com did not accomplish it's goal of giving you the opportunity to get back to what you wanted for the Theater Mirror - it appears that what you wanted 2 years ago is not what you want today. But that is your choice. Regardless, I am committed to NETheater411.com and will continue to provide a searchable, sortable, user-friendly website for all those users who have come to know and count on the information NETheater411.com provides.

Again, if you will have me, I'd me more than willing to update your theater websites page. Please let me know if you would like my help.
Juree

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From: "fourthwallproductions" fourthwallproductions@theatermail.net>
Subject: Thank You Larry
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 11:01:07

Hi Larry,
I saw your letters and your input in the Cricket's Notebook. I just wanted to tell you how important your Theater Mirror is to me, I who am now a theater producer. If it was not for you and your website I would not have gotten people interested in starting my theater company. I don't think it would have gotten off the ground. I have also used the emergencies section on the website which is an invaluable tool to producer who are left in a bind esspecially if opening night is less then a week away. I am thrilled that you have found someone who is able and willing to help you sort out and go though the tons of e-mails that you get. You are indeed a theatre saint. I appreciate all the tiring and endless work that you do. I wanted to say thank you.
Sincerely,
Rob Bettencourt

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From: BarstowP@aol.com
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 17:19:41 EST
Subject: Pleasant memories of Richard Gere

My daughter Robyn Chase, the banker, called me this morning to report that one of her customers had told her that, in accepting the Screen Actors Guild award for CHICAGO, Richard Gere said he hadn't enjoyed work so much since his early days in Provincetown. I didn't see the SAG awards show on TNT Sunday night since I was watching SIX FEET UNDER and QUEER AS FOLK. If anyone did see the awards show and remembers what Richard said I'd love to know more precisely.

At any rate, I'm glad if Richard has happy memories of the 1969 season at the Provincetonw Playhouse, where I was Co-Artistic Director / Actor / Director, and Richard had been hired by us for his first professional work as an actor. We had been greatly impressed by his audition, and he more than fulfilled our hopes with his performances.

He played:
Abdullah and Lord Byron (I was Cassanova) in Williams' CAMINO REAL
Dion Anthony (I was Mr. Brown) in O'Neill's THE GREAT GOD BROWN
Tom (I directed) in Shaffer's THE WHITE LIARS
Bill (I was Harry) in Pinter's THE COLLECTION
Rosencrantz (I was The Player) in Stoppard's ROSENCRANTS AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

The CAPE COD NEWS had its season awards in the August 28, 1969 issue:
Best Young Actor: Richard Tiffany Gere --- Provincetown Playhouse
Best Performance by a Resident Actor: Paul Barstow as Harold Gorringe in BLACK COMEDY --- Providence Playhouse

I've had fun today looking at pictures and reading reviews from my files.

Again, does anyone recall what Richard Gere actually said Sunday night?
Cordial best wishes, Paul

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From: Jmcgonnigal@aol.com
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2003 15:49:41 EST
Subject: blast from the past...

Hello Larry,
I've been very busy since last we emailed...a few years ago. I rarely leave the city, but to do a regional production here or there, but predominantly I have been workshopping new musicals here in the city. Upcoming, I will be performing in Jack! A new Jack and the Beanstalk musical at Off Broadway's prestigious York Theatre. I also am in the planning stages for a concert that will be going on back in MA. It will be a fundraiser for the Family Performing Arts Center in Marshfield. I'll certainly send you a press release about it, when we get closer to the May dates.

I'm also in rehearsal for another workshop called Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell for the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, moderated by Stephen Schwartz (and rumor has it, Sondheim as well). I will be opposite Alison Fraser, star of Broadway's The Secret Garden as well as Falsettos, Lizzie Borden and dozens of others-also the wife of the late Rusty Magee, an incredibly talented writer who Bostonians would remember from his work composing A.R.T.'s Ubu Rock! as well as the tour of The Irish...and How They Got That Way at the Wilbur a few years back.

I've also continued working a great deal in voice over, primarily doing animated features. I will be a guest at Anime Boston this April (www.animeboston.org) at the Park Plaza Hotel, speaking on panels and such. So, I'm looking forward to a few visits back to beantown in the coming months and do certainly hope that you can make a visit at some point!

Hope all is wonderful in Boston! I look forward to my visits!
With Love, Jamie

[NOTE:
JAMIE McGONNIGAL sent The Mirror it's first "outside" review (of the Boston premier of "Rent" --- for which he had auditioned locally). He went from Bridewater State College to The Apple, and has kept in touch periodically from then on! ]

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EXPLANATION:
I saw the NEWTON COUNTRY PLAYERS' production of "Our Town" on the first of March --- the third show I'd seen in three days, after both the LIBERATION!FILMS' "Seagull" and THE NEW REP's "No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs", and two days before the IRNE Bash. That was a week of conferences with the IRNE Committee and re-working The Mirror's list of nominees to reflect who had been voted awards. That work took precedence over even the e-mail for Auditions and Announcements which are the real heartbeat of The Mirror. I had little mind left to think; I try, though, to get reviews that have been Sent To Me up as soon as possible.
Two days after I saw "Our Town" and partied with some of the cast, this string of e-mail exchanges began:

Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 10:28:47 -0500
From: BILL DOSCHER crysbyl@usa.net
Subject: Our Town
Soooooooooooooooooooooo.....................?
Bill Doscher

At this point Carl A. Rossi's review arrived, and I sent Doscher a copy along with this:

>Larry Stark's Theater Mirror larry@theatermirror.com wrote:
>EVERYTHING is backed up here.
>I'll get this up just as fast as I can....
>Love,
> ===BeMILdered
>( a k a Anon. )

BILL DOSCHER:
At 01:02 PM 3/10/2003 -0500:
>Thanks for the peek - will be looking forward to YOUR take as well -
>(we closed well, by the way - selling out the entire weekend!)
>later, Bill
>

LARRYSTARK:
>
Bill, there may not Be a review from me.
I've seen the show too often.
And, quite frankly, your Emily was the only Compelling actor on the stage. I think your concept would have been fine if the actors were up to the text. I saw a lot of external acting, a lot of Expecting Reactions from the audience rather than Interacting with other actors --- a lot of amateur work by people who may have Looked the part but never Sounded it.
But the real reason is time.
I've been at this now since noon, and all I've managed to do is put up Other People's Reviews.
I only skimmed Carl's review, but though we probably disagree Again (That's often these days) I don't feel a duty to protect the show from the kinds of things he has in the past said about others.
This was a case in which most of my reactions were to the PLAY and to things Other People had done with it elsewhere and elsewhen. The break-up of the scenes was a good idea --- but putting people in our laps only served to make me wonder "now What does that hand-gesture mean she's doing there?"
I don't think your cast needs my review, to you?
Love,
===Anon.
(Now I think I need a nap!!!)

Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 06:53:10 -0500
From: BILL DOSCHER Subject: Re: [Re: [Re: My review of OUR TOWN (Newbury Country Players)]]
Larry Stark's Theater Mirror wrote: Bill, there may not Be a review from me.

Sorry to hear that, old chum ..... and equally sorry you had such a "bad" experience (at least your acting talents haven't waned in years, considering your jovial attitude with us afterwards) -- BUT I feel you're copping out a bit -- I've come to accept your "Thumper's mother" attitude ("if you can't say something nice .....") but to use the excuse of time? - Even considering the IRNE event and your exhaustive rebuttal with Carl, why wait a week to put pen to paper? (you certainly wasted no time with your CHICAGO review; which I thought was a worthwhile effort but nowhere near the orgiastic triumph you seemed to experience) - and, once again, to "blame" the play and other productions? - How can you evaluate Shakespeare (although I'll have a hard time dragging myself to Hovey's TWELFTH NIGHT because of overfamiliarity; even though I love the theater and the people involved) or OKLAHOMA?
Sorry I'm being a mite defensive but your criticisms sting a bit (especially as I value your comments and you seem to be a minority of one in terms of audience response: "Better than Newman's" - "loved the intimacy" - "I could feel the bean's texture")
But, most importantly, I mourn the continued lack of critical response to community theatre (Hovey and Turtle Lane excluded; but that's another discussion); do you realize that, before ARCADIA, there were no reviews of community productions since last June??!? - The SWEENEY nomination meant so much because it was the ONLY community theatre mention across the boards. I know, you can't see everything and more reviewers are needed but these dentists and real estate agents need some public feedback too (apart from fawning friends and family).
WHEW!! - ..... and as far as being protected, please take a few moments and peruse Carl's review; I think we'll survive.
Still friends?
See you (I hope) at FOOL FOR LOVE.
Bill

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
What can I say in my own defense?
That I like to review new companies and new plays --- but I try to get to shows I've Been Invited To See, and I see What Plays I Can Get To?
Or that I perfer NOT to review plays or productions I didn't like?
I didn't review the BOSTON THEATRE WORKS "Our Town" because, for me, only the Graveyard sequence (There were no intermissions there) caught fire, and only the apparent "teenage-ness" of their Emily seemed new.
I didn't review SUGAN's "Howie The Rookie" --- even though I may nominate its two actors to share Best Actor acolades at the IRNEs next year --- because I understood less than 2/3rds of the impennitrable accent in what was actually not a play but two barely integrated monologues.
I didn't review "The Will Rogers Follies" at WHEELOCK because, even in the best attempt I've seen, this production never made me believe this limp, unfinished pastiche had anything to justify either its time on Broadway or its attraction from community theatres.

I spent several days hoping a legitimate "lead paragraph" about the NCP 'Our Town" would jell, and all that came to mind were objections, qualifiers, and negatives.
When sold-out houses and praise from satisfied customers come along, what value would a wishywashy-negative review hold?

Publicity, apparently.
But I repeat: I go where I'm invited, and to shows I can get to.
I got to the NEWTON COUNTRY PLAYERS because it's at the Waban D-line T-stop (and I stayed after because I love the good conversation of fellow lovers of theater, and because I'd been promised a ride home).
I've been to THE WINCHESTER PLAYERS because they're not far from CummuteRail stop.
I get to THE FOOTLIGHT CLUB with a one-stop ride on the Orange Line and a longish walk.
I've been to THE VOKES PLAYERS when Will Stackman, Beverly Creasey, or Geralyn Horton drove me there, and when they don't go, I CAN'T go.
I get to THE FOOTLIGHT CLUB with a one-stop ride on the Orange Line and a longish walk.
I got to THE GLOUCESTER STAGE only when I was driven by Nancy or Heidi from and back to the train station; last time it cost twenty bucks in cab-fare when they couldn't, and I doubt if I can afford to go back next summer.
I get to the BCA and the TREMONT THEATRE, the LYRIC and the NEW REP on the T, but often (as with NORTH SHORE MUSIC THEATRE) public transportation will allow me to get TO a show only to find at final curtain that there's no way to get back to Boston in time for the last Orange Line train back home.
I don't get to the WANG/SHUBERT or COLONIAL/WILBUR or HUNTINGTON or A.R.T. because they never ask and I'm too haughty to beg for seats.
I get to THE ABBOTT MEMORIAL for three very good reasons: I am usually impressed by the quality of the work The Hovey Players have shown me there; because before each show I get a personal call inviting me; and because whenever I've had no fellow-reviewers to accompany me, the Hovey has arranged a ride --- usually with a theater practitioner I enjoy talking with.

I'm sorry I didn't like the NCP "Our Town" as much as its audience did. But for that very reason I don't think I should inflict my bad taste on a company that worked so hard to make the show a reality.
Love,
===Anon.

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From: "Charles Anthony" gnosis46@hotmail.com
Subject: comments to the greenroom
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 21:51:01 -0500

Greetings, I'd like to respond to both Mr. Rossi and Mr. Stark's comments. First off, thank you for providing this forum for the public. I enjoy reading the reviews on this site and the chance to react to what is written. I'm not a reviewer nor a playwright nor an actor. Just your average "joe" who likes theater. Being a transplanted New Yorker I crave for the kind of experimental and/or serious theater that I saw there. I enjoy going to the theater and I rely on critics that can help me make an informative decision. Mr. Rossi for example. And I have gone to a number of those out-of-the-way shows that were recommended by him - yes even the Ramrod! (which, by the way, was filled with college-aged kids to see Scarrie.) If there is something that I know would appeal to me (that is not in the Big Barns, as you call them) I'd like to know about it. I don't care where good theater is as long as it's good theater. Medea (currently on Broadway and an IRNE award winner) first played in an "out-of-the-way" area of Brooklyn. If the NY critics didn't go there and review it you can bet it wouldn't have even made it to Broadway, let alone Boston. Why should it matter where a play is performed? If a tree falls in the forest it's not heard unless someone is there to hear it! Boston don't let those trees fall without being heard! NY has a lot of good theater. Why? Because NY'ers won't stand for mediocrity. If Boston does not promote Boston who will?

I've seen many "Broadway" caliber shows here and your home grown actors and playwrights are just as deserving of awards as those on Broadway. Seek them out and encourage them, please! That means thinking outside the box (Tremont St.). And it would be great to see more categories that recognize those talents when it's time for those back-patting award ceremonies.

I was very happy to find that my theater "itch" can get thoroughly "scratched" here in Boston. However, I'd like to see the day when Boston doesn't have to live in the shadows of Broadway.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this and providing such a great theater website.
Regards,
Charles.

LARRY STARK RESPONDED:
Thanks you for taking the time.
You know, what YOU can do to accomplish the Very Same Thing is simple
Every time you see a play --- no matter Where it is --- when you get home just e-mail me, in as little as a paragraph or two, YOUR Comments on that show.
I'll get every oje of them up as a QUICK-TAKE (Or as a Full review, if it's longer!)
I try to get up Everything that comes in, and I don't buy the silliness that I or anyone else happen to be "The Official Voice(s) of The Mirror".
If you really believe (as I do as well) that more Bostonians pought to know more and more about more local theater --- Tell Us About It!
I expect to see Lots of reviews from you this year.......
Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.

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From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: Papa: please put this in the Greenroom or wherever it will cause the most grief
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 13:58:03 +0000

4 March 2003
Good morning!
First, I would like to congratulate all of the 2002 IRNE winners; it's always nice to know that one's work does not go unnoticed by one's peers.

Second, I would like to suggest that the IRNE committee broaden its categories into Comedy, Drama and Musical. There were many, many artistic achievements in 2002 that got left out because everything was crammed into two sizes: Large and Small.

Third, the IRNE committee should cast a wider net and include Ryan Landry & The Gold Dust Orphans, Ablaze Theatre Initiative and the college productions of Boston University,, just to name a few. These companies turned out innovative, entertaining and, yes, brilliant evenings of theatre, and they are largely ignored by the public because so often they are not aware of them (no reviews; no word of mouth; nothing). A promising company, Ubiquity Stage, folded last year because it lacked said coverage and encouragement.
How many more theatre companies in our area will suffer the same fate? If it means IRNE keeping its "Large" and "Small" categories and adding new ones --- "Most Promising [Whatever]"; "Best College [Whatever]" --- so be it: audiences love awards as much as the winners; they will flock to whatever has a "Best" attached to it and will be supporting the arts without being aware of it.

Fourth, I cannot see the reason why imports (i.e. road productions) should be eligible for IRNE awards. What is the point? The focus should be on local productions, planted in our own soil, not on shows where Boston is only one of many stops on a cross-country tour. Believe me, road companies won't be hurt at being left out of the IRNE awards - they'll be busy, playing in another town.

"What Happened in Boston, Willie?" Well, to answer that question, sometimes one has to go looking for it --- one can't always travel the same well-worn paths to the Big Houses and think that is what Boston theatre is all about.
There is a lot of good, good, GOOD theatre out there and it can't always come to you. Theatre companies --- especially the up and coming ones --- perform in whatever space is available and what they can afford.

Hopefully, next year's IRNE's awards will better reflect the variety, the diversity of our theatre scene. It is THAT good - you just have to know where to dig for it. And digging for it is half the fun.

Carl A. Rossi
Playwright and Critic

LARRY STARK REPLIES: First, I speak as myself, an individual, in no way an Official Voice of the IRNE Steering Committee.

Second, I must ask the same question Baron Muchausen used to ask of the straight-man who criticized his lies:
"Vas you DERE, Charlie????"
I expected to meet you last night face to face for the very first time; you nominated and you voted --- why didn't you show up?
If you had, you'd get to see the people who WERE there, mostly because they or their fellow actors had been nominated. You would have heard the speeches and seen the speechlessness that came from the honorees. You'd have learned a little more about How and Why the IRNEs are as they are --- and you'd have had an opportunity to confront other reviewers and Steering Committee workers about your concerns.

For that matter, please come down off your olympian Critic's seat and Get Involved with that committee at its next meeting. We listen to criticism. We also may be able to explain why good ideas have been rejected in the past.

For instance, I agree with you that Big Barn touring shows are anomalies at the Awards ceremony. At the initial meetings my position was "We mean to Sing The UNsung; Broadway, in Boston or anywhere, is really The Enemy. What we should do is give One Award to One Broadway production; let's call it 'The Token Carpet-Bagger Award' okay?"

Well, Jules Becker shot that idea down. He said, essentailly, that unless the Big Barn shows are included, no one will ever take us seriously, and what we need most is Credibility.
He was right, and I was wrong.
Let me tell you what really changed my mind:
There's a delightful man living down the hall from me who, when he discovered I reviewed plays, kept coming to me and asking "What did you think of -----?" And there he invariably named a show at The Wang or at The Colonial. Now, he is a retired deadbeat just as I am and never Saw any of those shows, but even He knew about them --- from t-v ads. For him, Theater in Boston WAS the Big Barns and nothing more. And if the IRNEs leave them out, we look silly in the eyes of the general public.

However, look at the NOMINEES! We get nominations from about twenty-four reviewers, and yet every year we can't find the five final-ballot nominees we'd like to see in every category when it comes to "Big Theater" productions, whereas many categories are "over-subscribed" in the "Small Theater" categories. And, frankly, those are the people who actually Show Up and who Care who's won and who's nominated. But then, they're all Theater People, who Work here.

Third, your complaints about reviewers seeing too few shows at too few theatres are both valid and short-sighted. For one thing, reviewers are often Sent to ONE Show A Week by their editors. And many Arts Editors feel it necessary for THE PODUNK WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER to cover in that limited space the show everyone is talking about --- and that means either "The Full Monty" or the Podunk Library Thespians' annual production. And reviewers cannot either nominate or vote for productions they haven't seen.

But, you reply, if you Really Love Theater you should See More Theater! And it's true that none of us have to have reviewed a show in order to nominate or vote for.
But you ignore the fact that reviewers are people, who have husbands and children and Real lives, day jobs and Significant Others and Alzheimers-inflicted mothers they have to deal with. Not everyone who reviews plays has as much free time to get to The Ramrod or the Newton Country Players as you or I do.

In that world,a lot of shows fail even to make final cut because it takes Three nominations to ensure a final-cut berth. Geralyn Horton moans every year that No One she has nominated has ever won Anything. My own nominations this year included these "lost" shows:
The set for THE UNEXPECTED MAN @ Gloucester Stage; costumes for DIRTY BLONDE @ Lyric Stage of Boston Inc.; choreography for The Ego Show's THE DEATH SHOW; Patrick Chibas as suport in SPINNING INTO BUTTER @ Theatre COOP; Adrianne Krstansky & Augustus Kelly in BUG @ Boston Playwrights' Theatre; THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA @ Arlington Friends of The Drama for Best Ensemble; Bill Doscher & Candace Hopkins as directors of SWEENEY TODD & THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE both @ Footlight Club; WIVES OF THE DEAD by Todd Hearon @ the Bridge Theatre & Israel Horovitz' SPEAKING WELL OF THE DEAD by @ Gloucester Stage, as Best New Play; THE WILD PARTY @ SpeakEasy Stage & SWEENEY TODD @ The Footlight Club for Best Musical; and both TARTUFE @ New Rep and HAMLET @ Ye Publick Theatre for Best Production.
None of these fine productions even made the Final Cut, and other of my nominations did, but were voted out-of-the-money. That's par for the course, even though I'm Independent as a Reviewer enough to think I was right and the world was wrong. You adjust to it.

Finally, let me respond to your call for more IRNE categories.
When was the last time you heard "the media" cover the OBIE Awards down in The Apple? Some years back the Obie's did exactly what you propose, and those multiple categories became a joke.
I remember a walk-on Phil Silvers had on someone else's comedy show --- back in the old black-and-white-only days. He came on telling the show's star that he'd one a Best Comedian award --- then asked him to Pay for the statuette. His capper was to look off-camera and say "Oh, there's Danny Thomas!He won an award as The Best Comedian...Who Happens to Be Lebanese!"
Inventing new categories Just to include people devalues both the new categories and the old ones. BEST ought to mean BEST, not "Best Satirical Show Performed in A Gay Bar". And adding a Best Comedy of The Year may look odd in a year when less than five productions of any substance were funny that year.

But remember, I am only one voice here --- though I've tried in the past to attend as many Steering Committee meetings to give my opinions and suggestions and have them discussed. Come to the next meeting, Carl, where saying the same things you said in this letter might get adopted for next year. And that invitation to voice your opinions goes for Anyone who has ideas on how we can improve . Things change every year. Anyone, just tell me you'd like to talk to the Committee, and I'll make certain you're told when and where to show up.
What you find out about how the IRNEs work will probably astonish you!
Love,
===Anon.

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From: KATHYSTG@aol.com
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 13:40:12 EST
Subject: Greetings from Reno

Dear Larry,
Hello, helloooo! Just wanted to send my best wishes to you and Beverly and everyone who will be at the IRNEs tomorrow night. Oh I wish I could be there, I know it will be a fabulous evening. Bob Saoud will be there to represent our "Much Ado About Broadway" and we are delighted to be nominated!

I'm in Reno with the nat'l tour of "I Love You, You're Perfect..." and we'll be playing here thru March 30th. The show has been adapted for the casino crowd, and it is now one act, just 75 minutes long. :-)

Hope you are happy, well and positively thriving, dear Larry. Would love to hear from you anytime.

Fondly, Kathy St. George

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NOTE FROM LARRY STARK:
In the week before Valentine's Day, we all may find this bit of delightful fluff Very Useful!
Thanks Birgit!

From: BirgitKH@aol.com
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 11:31:35 EST
Subject: (no subject)
Friends - please go here - it's takes a second. My friend sent it along to me. It is sweet. http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~geoffo/humour/flattery.html
Have a great day!!!!
:)
Birgit

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Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 23:02:59 -0500
From: Jeff Gardiner jeffg@erols.com
Subject: IRNE Nomination and my Name
Hello Larry,
I want to thank you and the other IRNE Reviewers for the nominations for "Jekyll & Hyde" at Turtle Lane Playhouse.

This was a truly an inspiring production for those of us who worked on it and I am glad that the reviewers felt that way about it also. We know from the packed houses and the audience reactions that it was an artful presentation.

Having the show nominated as "Best Musical" and for Lighting and Set Designs is a tribute to the creative energies that went into this production.

I would especially like to thank Jerry Bisantz who directed "Jekyll & Hyde" for his insight and creative vision. Also, for his permission for me to create the dark and dismal environment that Mr. Hyde deserved.

I have built a Web page of images from the show at: http://pages.emerson.edu/organizations/usitt_ne/jg13.html Please check them out.

Also, please fix my name in the list of Nominations. My last name is spelled with an "i," not an "e." That "gardener" grows flowers. This "Gardiner" designs theatre.

Thank you, again, for this great honor. Regards, Jeff

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From: "Neil Anderson" neil@outsiderinc.com
Subject: Please post. Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 10:37:23 -0600

STAGE MANAGER DIES

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- Wendy Beaton, who managed stage shows in Hartford, Conn., and Houston, has died. She was 46.
Beaton died at her home in South Hadley Wednesday after a long battle against cancer, The Hartford Courant reported.

Beaton followed Michael Wilson from Houston's Alley Theatre to Hartford Stage when he was named artistic director in Hartford five years ago. She stage-managed his first show in Hartford, "A Streetcar Named Desire," along with "The Death of Papa," "Enchanted April," "Camino Real," "St. Nichols," "The Glass Menagerie," "Necessary Targets" and three "A Christmas Carol" productions.

In Houston, Beaton oversaw Wilson's "Angels in America," "Orpheus Descending," "Dancing at Lughnasa" "Other People's Money" and "The Mystery of Irma Vep."

She also stage-managed shows at regional theaters such as Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Mass. ("Picnic," "Speed-the-Plow"), American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass. ("The Wild Duck," "The Bacchae," "The Master Builder"), Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Conn. ("St. Joan of the Stockyards," "Edward II," "The Beauty Part," "On the Verge"), La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, Calif. and Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. ("The Little Foxes.")
Her last show was the Cambridge, Mass., production of "Tea at Five," which originated in Hartford.
She leaves her husband, Paul Charette.
Burial will be private.

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From: "Nicole Jesson" njesson@hotmail.com
Subject: 2 upcoming shows
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 16:12:25 -0500
Greetings all:
To complete my requirements for my MFA, I am taking part in the Annual Third Year Cabaret--Wednesday December 18th. They haven't set the start time yet because there are so many numbers, (each of the 52 potential graduates is required to sing some sort of solo), that they will work backwards from the time they want it to end once they figure out which pieces actually made the cut. I'm in two (under-rehearsed) choral numbers, back-up on two solos and performing one of two songs myself.
Tishman Auditorium, 66 W. 12th btwn 5th and 6th, Wednesday December 18th.
(Once I know the show order, I'll give you a more specific time frame.)

My Thesis, Riders to the Sea by J. M. Synge, will be presented as part of ASDS Repertory Season February 26th thru March 1st at ASDS Theatre on Bleecker St. btwn Sullivan and Thompson. Shows are Wednesday thru Saturday at 8pm, and Saturday at 3pm. (Each week of Rep. Season three thesis projects are presented--each 1/2 long.)
I hope you can make it.
xoxo-
Nicole

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From: sheilastasack@attbi.com
To: greenroom@theatermirror.com
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 19:23:50 +0000

HI Larry,
Is it too late to put in my opinion on Union vs. Non-union is Boston? I have been a member of Actor's Equity for 25 years so you can guess which side I'm going to come down on. I got my card in Chicago when I was but a wee thing, then lived in New York, and now Boston. I would never willingly change my union status. Yes, in Boston it doesn't carry as much weight as it does in New York or Chicago, but it there are benefits as well as a great deal of pride in proving myself to be a serious and worthy candidate for membership in a professional union.

Should AEA actors be allowed to work non-equity? In Boston we already kind of do. Many of the smaller venues use Special Apprearance contracts. Any company in good standing can bring an actor in on a one-time basis if they want them enough. For example, I did Jerry Bisantz' Boys At Play at the Hovey Theater. To my knowledge I am the only union member to work there in their 57+ year history.

The difference is we get compensation for our time. Yes, on a dollar per hour basis it often breaks down to minimum wage, but it cannot be less than that and I'd rather work in a show than bag at the Star Market. On larger contracts we get health coverage. On all contacts we get safe and sanitary conditions, maximum hours worked, and other provisions that any working person would get in any decent job. If there were no union and for non-union actors none of that would necessarily be true. Mu undergraduate degree is in theater with an acting emphasis, I spent two years in a conservatory training program, and I have taken numerous classes and workshops since to keep my skills sharp. I take my work seriously and when I am hired I believe I give better value for the dollar than a lot of actors. I will not give away what I have worked so hard to achieve.

I have participated in several Equity Member Project Code productions. I am also the Liason Committe member who oversees these productions. It is a wonderful thing when a group of union actors come together and work together in a show when these same member (especially the women) don't usually get to work together because the theaters here don't have very many union contracts. Doing an MPC is easy. You fill out a form and send it to me, we approve your project if it falls into some specific and easily achieved guidelines and you send a brief follow-up form letting us know whether or not your goals were achieved. The real problem comes in that actors are generally not business people. The chain of command on these projects and communication and cooperation between the actors (who are also the producers)is where things fall apart. I have been involved in a few cases and seen many more where I wonder if certain parties will ever speak to each other again. The job of director and producer exist for a reason. Who is responsible for what needs to be drawn out very clearly which is a whole lot different than a bunch of friends saying, hey, let's put on a show!

As for whether or not getting your card is the "kiss of death", my opinion is that many people take their card before they're ready for it. I don't believe the point system is very useful. If people aren't scrambling to hire you as a union actor before you get your card, it's unrealistic to think they're suddenly going to want to after you've built up enough points. On the other hand if you're non-union and you find yourself getting lead after lead in shows which include union actors, the producers are getting a bargain in you and you might want to hold out for the contract next time.

I don't "look down" on non-union actors from my lofty perch as an AEA member. We all were non-union once. I respect any actor who takes their work seriously and commits themselves to each role whole heartedly. I look down on any actor who treats the work frivolously and wastes the production's and my time. So that's what I think. In my continuing committment to be useful to the theater community, all those who are serious actors please write to me and I'll put you on the list for Actornews, a free newsletter for professional actors in the Boston area.

Best wishes,
Sheila Stasack

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From: "jerry bisantz" jbisantz@attbi.com
Subject: Mark Sickler's letter
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 23:21:31 -0500

THis letter is in response to Mark in NY City... first of all, hello, Mark! Jerry here! I am a former member of AEA but I have to tell you that I made the decision to quit because of my "day gig" and my status as a family man. I really think that Equity is a great organization with terrific reasons for it's existence. Those crazy rules all have a reason for being there and they are there to protect actors from awful producers who may take advantage of them(like me!) I know many Boston actors who actually do make a living in the theater. They may not have the kind of spending money that I have ( and I sure as hell ain't rich!) but, hey, they are actually making it in their chosen field right here in Boston. Boy, do I admire them! As for the people who are not in the union... they love acting and find time in their life for it. They won't make it as a professional. They probably don't even want to. It's their choice. As Tiny Tim said... "God bless us ALL, every one of us!" The great thing about Boston is the opportunity to mix the two together and the mutual respect that exists between union and non-union like. I have had terrific experiences at Coyote Theater, Speakeasy, BPT, The Publick, Lyric West, and Worcester Foothills mingling with Equity talent, and I can match that with the tremendous experiences at Hovey or Turtle Lane Playhouse or Vokes. I really think that the attitude of the Boston actor is great,. The opportunities are increasing. There's some good thigs going on here. The New Rep is getting a bigger space, Speakeasy is always finding new plays to cast local actors in, The Boston Theater Marathon grows every year, Paula Plum opened the Lyric West's season, Spiro Veloudas is looking at scripts from Boston writers... what's to hate? (now,if we can just get our friend up there at Merrimac Rep to look at some local talent?Can someone check into that, I wonder???) The fact is, I'm very upbeat about this town lately.

New playwriting groups are flourishing and I know that it's a matter of time before BOSTON produces a new play that actually goes OUT to other cities and becomes a hit... a matter of time! I can tell you that I have more than enough to keep me busy and there are plenty of projects for anyone with the

talent and the energy. I just thought I'd let ya know what's going on... believe me., things are looking up in Boston, I really do believe it. Have a great Thanksgiving, Mark, and remember your old pals back in Beantown! And, thanks, Larry, for this marvelous forum! Jerry Bisantz

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From: editor@ArtsEditor.com
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 20:30:00 -0500
Subject: ArtsEditor - new featured section

Greetings, readers!
We have launched a new section to our site:
Curtain Call is a featured section of ArtsEditor that interprets theater as a chance to learn something about oneself, about the world, or about theater itself. We will consider Boston's theatrical season in this light, providing readers with a reaction to each show that is part-review, part-reflection. For the 2002-2003 theater season, Curtain Call features Jason Fitzgerald as our Theater Critic.
Here is a direct link to the section:
http://www.ArtsEditor.com/html/sublevels/curtaincall.shtml
Thank you for your time, and as always, we welcome your comments.
Truly,
Edward
S. Edward Burns
Executive Editor

From: editor@ArtsEditor.com
Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2002 21:30:00 -0500
Subject: October 2002 issue of ArtsEditor

Greetings, readers!
ArtsEditor's October 2002 issue is now online.
http://www.ArtsEditor.com
a monthly arts magazine, Boston
This month's content includes:
* A Tidy Impression: Carl Barnas and his artwork, reviewed
* Inspired Nonsense: film review: Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns)
* Framing Reality: design of the new ICA, examined
As always, we welcome your comments.

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Subject: Re: Please Send Comments to The GREENROOM

Hey Larry-
Boy was that a LOADED e-mail! Wow. How to respond???
Firstly, I am staying in NYC...I know...yes I am the poster child for career ADD. It also took me almost two hours to write this.

Firstly, let's just say that being a Boston based actor that accepts the Equity card is in for the kiss of death.
This has already been established. Why is that? From my perspective, having lived in Boston, it is a combination of a few things. Firstly, yes, the Boston talent pool is overlooked. Secondly, there just aren’t as many resources for the Boston actor as there are for New Yorkers. How many theatrical talent agencies are there in Boston? Does Boston have an equivalent to NYC’s “Backstage”? We can also count on one hand the number of Equity houses in Boston.

Additionally, your friend made mention of Equity’s obligation to guarantee a living wage, which I find most comical. I worked at BPT under an SPT Level 4 contract, and believe me it was HARDLY a “living wage”. Even if the Boston theaters started to exclusively cast from its own, there isn’t enough Equity work for a good actor to sustain a living wage full-time. The few Boston Equity members I know are also SAG & AFTRA, do voice over work, direct, stage manage or teach. In short, they utilize their craft in mediums other than theater. And even by removing the whole Boston vs. NYC from the equation, it still makes for a difficult situation. With a Boston actor facing all these obstacles, why would they stay in Boston, if THEATER is truly what they want to do?

Does it mean that they are inferior? Hardly. The best actors I know in Boston are all non-union. They are the ones that are deserving of the Equity distinction. Are the Equity actors inferior because the work is few and far between? Certainly not. It’s hit or miss for the NYC Equity actor also, but I do have to ask what the Boston Equity actors are doing in between their gigs? Are they traveling out of state to audition? Are they pounding the pavement here in NYC looking for work? I ask that because the NYC based Equity actors I know literally WHORE themselves for work. As a matter of fact, when we were casting for Three of Cups, one of the actors who read admitted to me that he couldn’t eat that week, because he spent the last of his cash buying his ticket on Peter Pan to make the audition. It sounds terribly clichéd, but true. And he didn't get the part! These actors will go anywhere for work. I work in travel. Not the best industry to be in right now, what with the unstable economy, the aftershock of 9/11, and the threat of war on Iraq, but if I lost my job and was offered an interview in Osh Kosh I’d be packing my things and heading to Wisconsin.

I do agree that Equity should be much more lenient when it comes to the secondary cities, particularly if a union actor wishes to do non-union work. When I read my first Equity handbook, I laughed for hours over some of the rules, having spent most of my time in a theater with less than 60 seats, and where the public bathrooms doubled as the dressing rooms. Most of those rules were designed for a time when conditions were abominable. Most of the conditions that Equity addresses no longer exist. Unless you’re doing a non-union tour, which, I recommend only doing once for the experience. For safety reasons, actors just shouldn’t be handling the load in/out of major set pieces every three or four days! Here in NYC there’s enough showcase work and staged readings to keep a union actor unpaid for years, but that’s certainly not the case in Boston. So in that respect, Equity should be rewriting the rules. Why punish an actor because there isn’t enough work to go around?

I know that there are going to be those out there who think that this letter contains very little sympathy for the plight of the Boston actor, being a former Bostonian who took himself and his union card to NYC. Yes, I referred to Boston as a secondary city, but let’s face it, New York is the epicenter of American theater. But just because I now live in New York (I'm a Bostonian at heart and always will be), doesn't mean I think it's fair.

Any actor, regardless of zip code should be judged on talent alone.

Besides, imagine how much these companies would save on housing and per diem by casting locally! However I still think that when any actor from any city receives his or her Equity card, the one question that they should be asking themselves is when am I moving to New York? Because if theater is the career you really want to pursue, you need to do what anyone in any career must do, and that is to go where the opportunities lie!
Regards,
Mark
Former member of AEA

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From: JKeyserSoze@aol.com
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2002 11:40:31 EDT
Subject: modeling and acting audictions

Hello Larry, my name is Claudia Rios, and I've take some acting classes, and I've also done some modeling. So I just want to ask you to add my name to your e-mail list and send me information about audictions that you'll know about. I will really appreciated it if you can, Thank you so much, Claudia Rios.

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
We don't do that.
We do list every audition-call that comes in...as soon as we can.
Check into The Auditions page regularly.
(And, don't look there for any MODELLING info. We don't do That either.
But, break a leg!

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From: "fourthwallproductions" Subject: Greenroom Mail Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 14:43:00

Hello Everyone,
I am looking into what other theater companies do for raising money e.i. funds for their theater company. If anyone has experience in fundraising or any ideas on what were make a great fundraiser please let me know I would like to talk to you. We are a small company and do not have a lot funds on hand. We have done fundraisers in the past but I feel that they have not made as much money as they could have. It would be helpful to talk with someone who has an idea or experience in fundraising.
Rob :)

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From: "Paul" pkh3@earthlink.net
Subject: Reviews Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 09:26:54 -0700

Hi Larry,
I was wondering if there is anyone from theater mirror that reviews productions that are done north of Boston in Portsmouth NH? There is an amazing show that will be opening this spring called Walking Until Dawn that is a definite not miss!
Also, how does someone become a reviewer for theater mirror? I would be quite interested and know of a couple others who would be as well.V We have some great stuff happening up here(seacoast area) as well as in Manchester etc. Look forward to hear from you!
Cheers!
Kelly Shrimpton

LARRY STARK REPLIED
FINALLY !!! !!!!! !!!!!!!!!
I hev been trying and hoping for Y E A R S to get reviewers outside the Boston area to Send Reviews To The Mirror!!!
Not "Criticks" (as they pronounce this ultimate Curse-word in "Waiting for Godot") but people who See plays and can tell me what the hell happened up on those many, amny stages in New England that are just too far away for me to see for myself.

I can promise you only 200-300 eager pairs of eyeballs every day; since I make no money at this I cannot pay anyone else for Anything.

Please, get the word to Any interested Theater Lover: The Mirror welcomes ANY reviews, no matter how short. (There's a QUICK-TAKES section for short notes, remember.)

The drill is really simple:
See the show.
Write the review.
Send it to me [ ].
Period.
I put reviews up as soon as I see them, UNEDITED, and I often read them later.

If anyone would like some editing-advice from me They Must Ask --- unless like the infamous Alexander Wright the "critical ego" overwhelms objectivity so grossly I feel the shows are being done a disservice. However, even in That case, I continued to accept and upload his UNedited reviews while telling him privately that I thought him unfair.)
If a reviewer simply Tells Me What They Saw, I'll probably Know what they Thought of it.
(But personal styles are Very varied!)

The one thing I will need is a "listings-blurb" telling title, opening & closing dates, name of Company or of Theatre, street address & city & state, and phone number (With Area Code!!!) for information/tickets.
That should look more or less like this:
"A Month in the Country" (6 September ­- 6 September)
THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
264 Huntington Avenue, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 266-08
(If the theatre/company has a website, I'd like to know the URL if you know it.)
And ...... that's it!
Please, send me a review of the very next play you see and I'll take it from there.
Some people include director/designers/cast, and some don't. Again, that's a personal style decision.
I agree there's a L O T of theater and a lot of theatres north of Boston ... and I don't have a car! (Also, with about 90 plays seen this year alone, I don't really have enough time!)
Looking forward to a FLOOD of reviews from your area!
And, thanks so much for thinking of The Mirror!
Break a leg all......
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

From: "Paul" pkh3@earthlink.net
Subject: Re: Reviews
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 19:15:26 -0700

Okay! I will do that and am very excited about it too! I love your website and will get those reviews coming your way as soon as next week!
Cheers!
Kelly Shrimpton

Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 11:27:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dustin Weild dustinweild@yahoo.com
Subject: writing reviews

Hi Larry:

I just moved to Boston from Pittsburgh and mentioned to a friend (who knows how much I love theatre) that I might like to write some reviews. He suggested I contact you. How does one go about becoming one of your reviewers? I was told not to expect payment from you and that's fine with me.

One concern I have though is whether I can review what I happen to go see, or do you assign plays to your reviewers? What then is the process for submitting the review? Where does it get posted? What else do I need to know? Do you have reviews for any kind of theatre (community, professional, childrens)? How long does it take to get posted? Does someone review my review before it gets posted?

Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dustin

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
First, let me say PLEASE Send Reviews or Short-Takes of ANY plays you see Anywhere! I welcome reviews; I put them up without any Editing, and read them After They Go Up.
I don't make Any money at this, and so can't pay any.
Reviews go into THE THEATER MIRROR
http://www.theatermirror.com/
]
[ http://www.theatermirror.com/welcome.htm#DAILY_UPDATE ]
I see Two sorts of reviews.
1) "Title " ( opening date - closing date)
2) PRODUCING COMPANY or THEATRE NAME (This is in ALL CAPS!)
3) [Theatre Name if different from the Company Name), Street address, CITY, STATE
4) 1(xxx)xxx-xxxx (Phone for Info/Box Office)

http://www.theatermirror.com/welcome.htm#NEW_REVIEWS This is on our front-end SUMMARY Page, and it includes Your Lead Paragraph and a leap to Your Full Review

All Full Reviews are Archived in this page:
http://www.theatermirror.com/reviews.htm
(You can get an idea of what company you'll be in by browsing here... )

Then there are short notes about a show and called QUICK-TAKES. Ttey're so short they go up complete on that Front-End Teaser-Page:
http://www.theatermirror.com/welcome.htm#QUICK

And they're also archived:
http://www.theatermirror.com/quick.htm

Send the review to me, e-mail, and I'll get it up just as soon as I notice it, which can be hours or minutes after it hits my IN box.
[ larry@theatermirror.com ]

I can't pay, but you can TRY telling the p/r person that your review WILL Appear in The Theater Mirror and ask for a pair of comps. (This should work anywhere Except The Colonial or Ye Wilbur Theatre who have banned me from their houses; tell them, if you'd like, than the review is to appear "on the Internet" and see if they bite!) A lot of theatrical companies know me and know The Mirror, so that should work; if it doesn't, let me know and I'll see if I can change that!

THURSDAY's Boston GLOBE Calendar will probably list most of what you can see this week. So, Get To Work!!!!!!!!
And thanks for thinking of The Mirror...
Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 13:02:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dustin Weild dustinweild@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: writing reviews

Thanks Larry. I may not be as prolific as you'd like. I'm mainly a community theatre goer. I have a neice up here and may be seeing some kid-friendly shows (in addition). I just want to give this a try. If you don't like what I write, it won't hurt my feelings. I'll send you something as soon as I get a chance.
DW

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From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com
Subject: Another SOS for a play in need!
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 15:24:14 +0000

22 September 2002
Dear Fellow Artists:
I just read Larry Stark's review for BEE-LUTHER-HATCHEE; there were eight (8) people in the audience when I attended; there were four (4) people in the audience when Larry attended - composed of Larry, another reviewer, a guest and the stage manager's boyfriend! This is TERRIBLE!

If you haven't read my review in theatermirror.com, please do so and try to go see BEE-LUTHER-HATCHEE; at the very least, please spread the word - this show needs an audience! Thank you! Once again, here's the info:

BEE-LUTHER-HATCHEE
by Thomas Gibbons
directed by David J. Miller
The Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
Box Office: (617) 426-2787
Performances:
Wednesday - Friday at 8 PM
Saturday at 5 & 8:30 PM
Sunday at 3 & 7 PM
Tickets $17.50 - $25
Wednesday - "Pay what you can"
Through October 5th!

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From: "DOWD, MICHELLE D" MICHELLE_D_DOWD@fleet.com
Subject: Bee Luther Hatchee
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 15:22:39 -0400

Dear Larry,
First , let me thank both you and Carl for your wonderful reviews of "bee luther hatchee" by Gibbons produced by the Zeitgeist Stage Company (a.k.a David Miller) and your continued support of Boston Theater. I do, however, have to point out that you have credited me with a body of work I did not do. "Having Our Say" was performed, wonderfully I might add, by Kathryn Woods and Jacqui Parker. If I am mistaken for either, I consider that yet another good review!
Sincerely,Michelle Dowd

From: "DOWD, MICHELLE D" MICHELLE_D_DOWD@fleet.com
Subject: RE: Bee Luther Hatchee

Larry,
Thank you so much for the kind words and correction. The Pinter Play "Old Times" was a joy for me and your review is framed with the poster to remind me that sometimes when you work hard at what you do, people "get it" and want to see it. Thanks
Michelle

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From: "Film Dispatch" filmdis@iatse212.com
Subject: Looking for contact info.
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 19:58:57 -0600

Sir;
If there is a contact number for the Works Theatre, Pet brick Productions on for anyone connected to those things, and you could sent it to me, I would be most grateful. The contact information attached to the review of Pet Brick's production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" is incorrect. Please respond to jwmoxin@hotmail.com
I am trying to contact Jennifer Moxin, specifically. She is one of the actors.
Kindest regards,
John Moxin
Calgary, Alberta.
403-245-3630

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
The information WAS correct but is out of date. Both the artistic co-directors of PET BRICK are now in different cities, the Company is defunct, and The Works Theatre has passed into different hands. Putting your note into our GREENROOM is probably the only way to get you together with Ms. Moxon.
Break a leg!

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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 14:16:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Linda Morris Subject: Theater Groups

Hi, Larry. My name is Linda Morris, and I'm interested in getting involved with some theater groups. Do you know of any theater groups in the Boston area for people with physical disabilities? I've tried to do a web search, and I've been overwhelmed with the amount of unrelated web sites that have come up. I'd appreciate it if you could help me out.
Thanks,
Linda

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From: "Thomas Caron" timon13152@hotmail.com
Subject: The Town Cow Theater Co
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:23:09 -0400

Dear Larry:
Thanks for having our debut production reviewed. We much appreciate the attention, and now that we know of Theater Mirror's existence (I'm new to the area), we'll keep you informed of upcoming productions and auditions. On deck for 2003: a new translation of Jean Cocteau's "The Infernal Machine" in June, and "Hamlet" in August. Outdoors, and admission free.
Thomas Caron
Manager,
The Town Cow Theater Company of Concord, Massachusetts
PS: You've got the title of our show incorrect: it's "The Life of Timon of Athens". Thanks again. TC

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
It was Will Stackman who got the title wrong; and I don't "send" reviewers.
I put up whatever reviews, no matter how short, that appear in my e-mail in-box .... and those go up UNedited.....
and sometimes unREAD!
I am getting to See more plays than I have found time to Review, so notes about shows --- full-out reviews or Quick-Takes --- are much appreciated!
Break a leg with your next production
Love, ===Anon.

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From: "Angela Rose" angelarose27@hotmail.com
To: lehigh@globe.com
Cc: e_siegel@globe.com
Subject: Boston Theater
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 14:09:35 -0400

Scot,
As I am thinking of leaving Boston for greener pastures, your editorial today caught my eye. I read with interest until you kicked me in the stomach.
"What if you like to go to the theater? More than a couple of times a year you mean?"

Scot, Scot, Scot. You can't be serious! Or do you think 'theater' can only mean some over-blown expensive in-from-out-of-town yawnfest? The ART not quite up to scratch for you? The Huntington? The Lyric? Speakeasy Stage? Boston Theatre Works? Lyric West? New Rep? Market Theatre? Coyote Theatre? Company One? Theatre Cooperative? Boston Playwrights? Theater Offensive? Commonwealth Shakespeare? CentaStage? Sugan? Stanley B? Threshold? TheatreZone? Turtle Lane? Underground Railway? Wheelock Family? Rough & Tumble? Reagle Players? The Publick? The Nora?

This is hardly and extensive list of great theaters that can be reached by public transport or within a short drive from Boston.

It doesn't have to be Broadway to be entertaining, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune to be quality.
Regards,
Angela Rose (ahem, Boston-based actress)
Somerville

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From: Dafrieze@aol.com
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 10:01:05 EDT
Subject: Pre-Broadway Tryouts

In today's TheaterMirror I read:
"What's coming to Boston in Oct-Nov to prepare for a Broadway try-out?
Thank you very much. Allan Lerner
LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Quick answer, not a ghod damned thing."

Larry, Larry, Larry ...
It's not announced as a pre-Broadway tryout, but certainly the Huntington's announced world premiere of the musical version of "Marty", with book by Rupert Holmes and score by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (of "Bye Bye Birdie" fame) is at least intended as such.
Dave Frieze

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Date: Thu, 08 Aug 2002 13:37:22 -0400
From: JOE COYNE jcoyne@usa.net
Subject: 8/1 Release of Mass Cultural Council

A sad year for Boston's smaller theaters
August 1, 2002

"Despite hundreds of calls and faxes from constituents across the state, the House of Representatives refused to override the Governor's veto for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, leaving the FY03 appropriation at $7.29 million, down 62 percent from FY02's $19.1 million. This is a dark moment for the cultural community and for all citizens across the state. During the past 10 years, the Council has built a solid group of grant programs that support the arts, sciences and humanities, spur economic development, and improve the quality of life in all our cities and towns. Many of those programs, and other services we provide, will need to be cut severely or eliminated altogether. Despite that fact, we are fully committed to supporting, as fully as we can, the quality cultural organizations, local cultural councils, individual artists, and programs for young people that make this Commonwealth a desirable place to live."
- Mary Kelley, MCC Executive Director

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From: Sweetpom@aol.com
Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2002 11:24:50 EDT
Subject: Please read this!

Hi Larry, I am sure this is one of many emails you receive. I live out in Grafton, MA. There is a young fellow, he will be 18 this November, a big kid. A very talented kid, dry sense of humor and very quick whited. He has a wonderful comedian side to him, that will make you roll on the floor holding your stomach in laughter. It just rolls out of his mouth.

He is basically a farm boy, most kids out this way are. I moved out this way from Natick 6 years ago and met his mother and him. She brought him up herself.

So, what I asking hopefully you can or point me in the right direction is where can I go, to get this kid started in comedy. Without college because they obviously don't have the money to do so. Is there tryouts in Boston anyway?

Or even a chance in the theater, I am telling you this kid is definitely worth a shot. I am 47 and have been around and never met anyone like this one. Well, hope to hear from with a little help anyway. Lynda Willis

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Sorry to take so long!
ImprovBoston gives classes
There may be others. I recommend you look around for improv groups working here and ask Them what's best for your young friend.
(If Cheryl Singleton is still with COMEDIE DU JOUR
ask her. She's worked a lot locally and can say the sooth!)
Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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From: Asl6666@aol.com
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 19:17:41 EDT
Subject: (no subject)

What's coming to Boston in Oct-Nov to prepare for a Broadway try-out? Thank you very much. Allan Lerner

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Quick answer, not a ghod damned thing.
Boston isn't a try-out town anymore. Check BROADWAY IN BOSTON for proof
[ http//www.broadwayinboston.com/ ]
The last one seems to be THE GRADUATE which "tried out" in London and spent some time in Boston before heading to The Apple.
Tours not try-outs are what comes here now.
The next biggie will be "The Producers" --- in June 2003.
The only group doing anything like what you have in mind is the group (whatever its new name happens to be) that runs the Colonial and Ye Wilbur Theatres --- and the Boston manager for that conglomerate just quit, with a replacement yet to be named.
In the mid-''70s Broadway producers became aware that try-out tours were much more expensive than "preview" try-outs in The Apple, and the traffic in the Colonial, Ye Wilbur, and The Shubert dried to an occasional trickle and then disappeared totally. Those houses were dark, essentially, through most years, until the idea of putting open-ended long-runs of safe, sure chestnuts ("Joseph" Chicago") into The Colonial and endless re-appearances of "Phantom" and "Annie" into The Wang --- accompanied by saturation-ads on t-v and on WCRBfm --- could make money.
Artistically, that's least-common-denominator, empty-calorie theater, but no one ever called it The Show ART, did they? The best Broadway show I've seen this year just closed; it was Bob Eagle's REAGLE PLAYERS' production of "Singin' in The Rain" in Waltham. That single show (with performers who worked either the original production or the tours) blew anything I've seen at The Shubert, The Wang, or The Colonial in the past Three Years out of the water entirely. But it was in Waltham, not in town, and it only lasted eight performances and closed yesterday.
Are you only interested in Expensive Theater, or are you interested in Good New Plays? (I recommend "Jump Rope" at the Boston Playwrights' Theatre as a play that is both new And good.)
I realized when I sat behind a group of people at The Wang who had paid above sixty dollars a seat to take three children to see "Annie" --- done Badly by an Non-Equity tour --- that some people actually believe that 'you get what you pay for' and that a big ticket-price means a good show.
'Tain't so!
Seriously, though, why do you ask?
I do wish everything that came through Boston were "Copenhagen" or "Ragtime" and were Worth the ticket-prices. I really Like to LIKE theater, on any level --- and if I review I don't have to save a fifth of my monthly income to sit through that "Annie" or "Sunset Boulevard" or the insultingly bad "Godspell" at The Shubert --- but I really do find much better theater for much smaller prices elsewhere in Boston right now.
Break a leg.....
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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From: "South Shore Arts" john@southshorearts.net>
Subject: Discontinuation of South Shore Arts Network
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 11:51:27 -0400
I regret to announce that the South Shore Arts Network is being discontinued, effective immediately. I am no longer accepting new listings for our news page, calendar, or directory listings. The site will remain online for the next few months, with the links intact, but will no longer be updated.

I will continue to manage and update webs that are being hosted on the site, such as the non-profit groups, but these will eventually have to find new homes as well.

Thank you all so much for your interest and your contributions over the past 2 years. Special thanks to Ric Bailey at Plymouth Rocket for the generous use of his amazing "Event Keeper" online calendar program, which made our calendar pages so easy to read, navigate, and maintain. Thanks, also, to so many contributors whose press releases and calendar postings helped keep the site fresh each week.

To our faithful visitors, thank you for your interest in the Arts on the South Shore. Our links are still available, so if you have favorites that you have discovered on our pages, please bookmark them now so you will be able to visit their sites after the South Shore Arts Network is defunct.
Sincerely,
John Garvey
South Shore Arts Network
www.southshorearts.net

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Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 07:02:33 -0400
From: Michael Bettencourt mbett@earthlink.net
Subject: Update for Michael Bettencourt

I have had some nice successes recently. Hope all is well with you.
My full-length play, A Question Of Color, won the Maxim Muzamdar New Play Competition of the Alleyway Theatre (Buffalo, NY) and will be the theatre's season opener from September 12 - October 6, 2002.
The screenplay version of the same play has been accepted in the final round of scripts considered for production support at Sundance. Final notices will be sent out in December 2002.
I was also named 2002-2003 Resident Playwright for American Globe Theatre in New York City, and in April 2003, AGT will present a week of short works entitled Shrapnel: Evocative Theatre In Provocative Times.
In July 2002, Macbeth's Children won the Sonoma Country Repertory's SCRipts Competition as "Best Play" in the Youth category.
Leroy Kata, artistic director of the Educational Theatre Group in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, South Africa, will be adapting Homeward Bound for educational use to combat the rise of domestic abuse in South Africa.
And beginning this fall, I will be attending the M.F.A. program in Dramatic Writing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a full tuition scholarship.
--
Michael Bettencourt, Playwright
549 Gregory Avenue
Weehawken, NJ 07086-5713
(201) 770-0550
http://www.m-bettencourt.com

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Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 15:49:43 -0400
Subject: quick takes?
From: "Scott Gagnon" gagnons@emmanuel.edu

Hi, Larry!
For once I'm not writing to you to shamelessly plug anything of my own, but rather to tell you about the not one but two great shows I found myself at this past weekend!

I'm not sure if either of these rate as a "quick take" or a "greenroom letter" or what have you. Both shows ran for only a very short time, and both have closed. Both were exceptionally entertaining, and in my opinion, it's important that somebody come forth in both cases and publicly congratulate the folks involved for a job well done.

On Friday, I was at the Bates Art Center over on Harrison Ave for the premiere of a new musical, "Train Song" by Chris Mancini. This is upstart theater the way it oughtta be- a cast of four college-age performers doing a tuneful, melodic folk score, accompanied by the composer on acoustic guitar in front of a red brick wall and a minimal set. I think it's really, really encouraging to know that the "let's put on a show" mentality of Mickey and Judy is still alive and well, and that there are still fresh and new ways to present warm, intelligent explorations of relationships. An amazing number of us were crammed into this tiny space, some sitting on the floor, somewhere between a coffee house and an improv club. Best of all, the music was damn good. I for one think it's still great that people are still gripped with not just the desire to impress friends ad family but also the burning need to express themselves that leads to renting a space, busting your ass and singing your song.

On Saturday I was in Central Square for urban daughters 4 life's production of George Wolfe's "The Colored Museum." I had read this play back in college as an undergrad but had never seen it performed. Again there were a whole bunch of us there, fighting back the heat, huddled in a dark room waiting to see something special. We were not disappointed- this production was more than witty, biting satire. It united us as an audience at times, everyone singing and clapping along, cheering on the characters and voicing approval for the truly dead-on things many of them had to say. Anyone who says there's not enough African-American theater in Boston, or worse, that there's not enough African-American talent to put such material on just isn't looking for it. To be honest, I remember being less impressed with the script when I read it on paper. It left me cold, feeling that its message could get in the way of its presentation, making it preachy and thematically repetitive. This could not have been further from the truth with this live performance. Certainly the messages were all there- those of black identity in the modern world, heritage vs assimilation, the need to express anger and yet gain acceptance. But this cast, and director Heather Fry, understood that such lessons will come out on their own if the play is presented correctly, and that they truly hit home when the messengers are funny, touching, scary, sympathetic, both universal and particular- in short, when they're a truly talented, arresting and well-directed cast.

Nobody asked me to write any of this. In both cases I only knew one cast member and I've told no one I was going to write to you. Both experiences just had such a profound effect on me. They taught and reminded me a few things, about where so many of us in Boston theater come from and why we do this.

It's nice to get in touch with what it's all about now and again. I had a student tell me that there are things you do because you want to, but the good theater is often what you do because you have to. Okay, that's corny and a paraphrase of an old chestnut to begin with, I suppose. But it's still true. Above all, for me anyway, both shows were true eye-openers. I just had to write to you because I know how much we all love applause. I just wanted people to know that a couple of great things happened out there, and to encourage the folks involved in both cases to do it again!
This was good stuff.

I'm doing "Nunsense" for Turtle Lane right now, and opening Sept 13. My wife Jennifer is appearing in it and directing "Diary of Anne Frank" for Belmont. And this fall my Emmanuel students are going to present a stage adaptation of Orwell's "1984." Hope all's well with you and with The Mirror; it's still the first bookmarked site I hit every day on Old Sparky, my ancient computer!
Scott d:-)

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From: Stoneactors@aol.com
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 11:43:40 EDT
Subject: Re: Stoneham Auditions
Larry,
I have posted the auditions on 411 now.
Also, thanks for the forward of the poor soul who didn't know what he wanted.
I answered his questions.
Michael

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Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 03:29:51 -0400
From: Len len-san@attbi.com
Subject: Re: Fwd: Stoneham Theatre & Boston Association of Cabaret ArtistsPresent

Thanks, Larry.
I got something similar to this, but this seems to be what I'm really looking for. You are terrific. Thanks again for your help.
Len

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Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002 11:59:10 -0400
From: Len len-san@attbi.com
Subject: Stoneham MA

I am looking for a production that will be performing in August in Stoneham MA
Sorry, I'm not sure of the name of the theater, or even of the production, although I believe it may be a cabaret type.
thanks for any help you may be able to supply.
Len Rubin

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From: "John Sinerate" sinerat@rcn.com>
Subject: HONK! Reagle Youth Theatre
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 11:03:04 -0400

Dear Larry ,
We were so excited to have Will Stackman come to our show , "Honk!", in Waltham 7/16, and more excited to have the review included in your website. I was disappointed that I was left out, especially since I conceived and choreographed the frog number Will liked so much and, indeed, all the major dance numbers in the show! My sister, Deborah Peros-Finnell was the director, and did some of the staging. I was the choreographer and assistant director, as clearly stated in the program!

Any way to edit me in? Thanks again for the nice review, and for caring about our "farm team" (what a pun!)
Joanne Peros Sinerate

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From: "will stackman" profwill66@hotmail.com
Subject: Re:More summer theatre close by.
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 13:51:45 -0400

More Shakespeare. The Vokes Theatre in Wayland is doing "12th Night" in their little jewelbox; it's worth a carpool; two more weekends. Reminder - Industrial Theatre is doing their "Tempest" in the Adams Courtyard at Harvard noontimes this Thursday & Friday - and CommShakes is showing their traveling "Much Ado" this Sunday and next atr 2 pm on the Common. The last two are free.

Here's another train ride and hike - Theatre Outdoors in Newburyport is doing "Cherry Orchard" Sat. & Sun. at 4pm in Maudlesly State Park about 3 miles across town. $5 at the "door". Get maps off the web. The park is at 1 Curzon Mill Rd.; the Newburyport Station at Parker St. & Boston Way.

You can take your bike.

Don't forget get John Kuntz's new play running at BTW starting next week.
Will Stackman

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From: "Office, Governors"
To: "Larry Stark's Theater Mirror" larry@theatermirror.com
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: "No more cuts to the arts, sciences and humanities in the state budget, in particular the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget"
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 15:22:11 -0400
Thank you for contacting me via e-mail. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns. This is an automatic response to let you know that your message was received.
Your comments are important to me. All responses will be made using the U.S. Postal Service. Therefore, if you did not include a postal address with your original e-mail message, please send your original message again and include a current mailing address. Priority will be given to Massachusetts' residents.
You may also contact me at:
Governor Jane Swift
State House, Room 360
Boston, MA 02133
Phone (617) 727-6250
Fax (617) 727-9725
Visit the official state web site at www.mass.gov/gov for more information about my service in the state capitol or state government.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.
Sincerely, Jane Swift

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 10:28:30 -0400
From: Jeff Poulos
Organization: http://stagesource.org/
Subject: StageSource - Urgent action needed

TO: My theatre colleagues
FR: Jeff Poulos
I have just heard that Governor Jane Swift is looking to make MORE CUTS to the state arts budget. StageSource and many of the theatre companies where you work or patronize are in threat of losing significant funding - thousands of dollars each! A simple email - one sentence long - to the Governor would go a long way. See below for details. ACT NOW.
Thanks.
----
URGENT!
Action needed to save theatre companies and arts organizations. Governor Jane Swift is considering making MORE CUTS to the Arts in the Massachusetts State Budget. A simple email or phone call will go a LONG WAY to saying stop the cuts to the arts.
EASY Steps:
1. Contact the Governor's office - Email: goffice@state.ma.us or phone: 617.727.9173
2. "No more cuts to the arts, sciences and humanities in the state budget, in particular the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget"
3. THERE IS NO STEP 3 - see how easy that was?
It is CRITICAL that emails or calls are made today (Tuesday) - no later than Thursday, July 25.
If you want more information, feel free to contact us at StageSource at 617.720.6066.
Here is just a sample of theatres and services that receive operating support from the state budget - if you've ever worked at one of these organizations or seen a show there, you should send that email or make that call:
American Repertory Theatre
Barrington Stage
Berkshire Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston Theatre Works
City Stage Company
Coyote Theatre
Double Edge Theatre Emerson Stage
Harwich Junior Theatre
Huntington Theatre Company Industrial Theatre
Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Mobius
New Repertory Theatre
New World Theatre
North Shore Music Theatre
Shakespeare & Company
SpeakEasy Stage Company
StageSource
Theater Offensive
TheatreZone
Threshold Theatre
Underground Railway Theatre
Vineyard Playhouse
Wang Center for the Performing Arts
Welfleet Harbor Actors Theatre
Wheelock Family Theatre
--
Jeff Poulos
Executive Director
StageSource
88 Tremont Street
Suite 714
Boston, MA 02108
617.720.6066
http://StageSource.org

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Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 22:05:28 -0700
Subject: Mark Worgaftik
From: J Wees jreeva@telusplanet.net

Hello,
I am looking for relatives with the name Worgaftik, which is my grandmother's maiden name. You have a Mark Worgaftik in your group, from what I can see on your website. Would you please forward this email to him? My grandmother had a brother named Herman who lived in Hicksville, NY. This geneology is complicated, but perseverance will win out!
Janet Wees, Calgary, Canada

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From: "Milton, Jennifer" jmilton@datalogics.com
Subject: Move to Boston
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 12:15:48 -0500

Hi Larry,
I might be moving to the Boston area in a year. I am currently a working actor in Chicago, how do the two cities compare? If you've never been to Chicago to compare., any tips on the Boston theater community?
Any help/tips would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Jennifer Milton


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From: YOUR-THEATRE-L@lrh.net
Subject: YOUR THEATRE INC. ELECTS BOARD MEMBERS
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 15:28:17 GMT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
YOUR THEATRE INC. ELECTS BOARD MEMBERS

New Bedford - Your Theatre, Inc. recently elected officers and directors were installed during a ceremony at their annual gala on June 15.

Newly elected officers are Lawrence R. Houbre, Jr., President, Susan Richard, Vice-president, and Patty Carreau-Souza, Secretary, all of New Bedford. New board members are Dennis J. Amaral of New Bedford, Johanna Sylvia-Leahey and William C. Smith of Dartmouth, and Carol D. Wilkinson of Westport. Re-elected officers are Wayne LeBlanc of Norton, Treasurer and Cheryl Day of Fairhaven, Corresponding Clerk.

Other board members include Nancy Hayes, Carol X. Soenksen, Michele L. Rioux and Al Vitale of New Bedford, James J. Perry of Dartmouth, and past President Cynthia J. Messier of Fairhaven. For more information call 508-993-0772.


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From: "Avihu Ronen" avihu@galil.org.il
Subject: learning theater
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 11:23:55 +0300

I am looking for a theatre/ director to let me join a process of putting up a production. I teach and train youth acting and directing in Israel. Coming for a year to Boston and would like to learn and be exposed to various directions and attitudes to theater. Have you any suggestions?
THANK YOU!
Raya. D. Ronen

Mizpe Abirim
D. N. Marom Hagalil 25183, ISRAEL
tel: 972-4-9871084
fax: 972-4-9870601

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
You'll have to audition, once you get here. But there are LOTS of companies to try!

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From: Alex Shear ashear@metro-boston.com>
Subject: RE: Co-op Advertising at The BCA
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 17:05:08 -0400

Larry-
Hope you had a great 4th! Your BCA idea is right on- we need to find ways to make Metro work for smaller theater companies. By the way, I think we've been doing a good job of it here, and I can point to the dozens of small theater co's that have been able to run with me already. Traditional newspapers have almost unlimited ad space, because they can always add more pages to the paper. Metro is more like radio or TV, with limited ad space. Radio and TV are limited by time: there are only so many hours in a day. Metro has a 32 page maximum: we run out of ad space, which in turn drives prices up. Our biggest challenge over the next year is to make sure the "little guys" (in theater, or any other industry) don't get forced out of the paper. As a free daily, we are forced to pay strict attention the bottom line, which means the little guy sometimes gets less attention out of necessity. You're thinking along the right lines, keep me informed of how I can help- and thanks for spreading the good word, many people recently have mentioned you saying nice things about us. Keep me updated on the web hits- and can I have your permission to use your writings in my own sales materials? Would be a bit of free advertising for the Theater Mirror I suppose,
Thanks,
Alex

Alex Shear
Boston Metro
Theater/Arts Advertising
617-338-4880
fax 617-338-1257
Boston's largest daily paper

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Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 17:01:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Quick Take from Ms. Missing
From: Geralyn Horton g.l.horton@mindspring.com

I've been in Internet Hell, again--- Precipitated by my ISP tiac being swallowed by Earthlink 2 months ago. I now must tell everyone that if I am in their address book, please change my address to the one in my sig : With the take-over, I lost the ability to read email lists which I subscribe to from tiac. Even after Earthlink assigned me a mailbox labeled "tiac' and my email began to arrive again, I lost the ability to post to lists (different address). I also lost the tiac web site: "Horton's Stage Page", where since 1997 I have posted my plays and reviews for the virtual world's perusal. Unless at some point you changed my website link on the Mirror, any one who clicks on it will get an error message that leads them to believe that I-- or at least my playwriting/reviewing persona-- dropped dead. As of last week, a 1999 backup copy of my Web page is up and mostly functioning at some earthlink URL or other and my domain URL > presently points to it. I believe I've now found a more recent backup copy for my site, and I'll get around to updating my Stagepage as soon as I'm more familiar with this shiny new imac husband David bought for me so that he could use his mac and unix skills to figure out why the heck I couldn't send or receive email, and what in the world had happened to my web site. Dozens of calls to various tech support people, weeks of intense manual reading and consulting friendly Geeks near and far, combing web sites and FAQs-- every time I thought the problems solved, it seemed some gremlins crept in overnight and undid the fix. However, the fix is still fixed.... so far.....

Meanwhile I've been to Shakes & Co. to see The Scottish Play and Henry the Sixth part One and Wharton's first novel "Valley of Decision". Tina went for political relevance in modern dress MacB. David didn't like it, and I understand why-- but I think it IS relevant, and brilliant.ly done. If you think anyone else has missed me, you can put this explanation in the Greenroom. Or not.

Geralyn Horton-- playwright, actor, criic
plays and reviews on line at
www.stagepage.org
g.l.horton@mindspring.com

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From: "J.Carozza" jcarozza@attbi.com
Subject: Little help - Apartment for rent
Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2002 19:12:17 -0400

Hi All!!
As you may know (or not know, so surprise!) Alyona and I have found a home and will be moving at the end of July. We would really appreciate any help if you know anyone who needs a BIG apartment. Word of mouth can go a long way... so thanks in advance!

(we would be willing to drop the price for a qualified tenant who will keep the place nice. Thanks again (can't wait to see you all at the housewarming party!!)

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From: "nancy curran willis" imadirektor@rcn.com
Subject: Will Stackman's Article on Summer Theater
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 00:01:54 -0400

Dear Larry,
As managing director for Gloucester Stage, I was very disappointed to see an article on summer theater that did not even mention our intimate professional theater out on Cape Ann. We are doing some wonderful work this summer including the current production of Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill, a musical voyage of the composers' work from his early Berlin days to his successes on Broadway (playing through July 14th); this is followed by two new one act plays dealing with the aftermath of September 11th and starring stage and screen star, Jill Clayburgh with her daughter, Lily Rabe and directed by David Wheeler (July 17th - August 4th); next up is the Pulitzer Prize winning play, The Subject Was Roses, directed by Eric Engel and starring Judy McIntyre, Robert Walsh and a wonderful actor from NYC's Actors Studio, David Hale (august 7-25th); Yasmina Reza's new play, Unexpected Man is up next fromAugust 28th to September 8th. The season closes with a remounting of Boston Theatre Works critically acclaimed Elliot Norton winning production, The Laramie Project (Sept. 11 to Sept 22).

With music and film stars, world premieres, Pulitzer prize winners, Elliot Norton Winners and a host of excellent actors and directors . . . it is a shame that Gloucester Stage did not make Will Stackman's list.
Luv,
Nancy Curran Willis
Managing Director
Gloucester Stage

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From: "edward udell" edwardudell@hotmail.com
Subject: Thanks for Larry Stark from E. Udell
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 23:43:19 +0000

Dear Larry, Thanks very much for your thoughtful and detailed response. I will certainly check with colleges as you suggest. Love, Ed

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From: "Linda Lowy" linda@shakespearenow.org
Subject: Greek Drama
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 17:00:25 -0400

Hi Larry.
In response to the inquiry about Greek Drama - let it be known that Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company intends to mount a production of a Greek drama, and hopefully sooner rather than later. After all, from these works many great ideas flowed, including Shakespeare's and then Freud's (which I think has more of Shakespeare than Sophocles in it).
Best,
Linda
Linda Lowy
Artistic Director
Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company
www.shakespearenow.org

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Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 12:50:46 -0400
From: "edwardudell " edwardudell@hotmail.com
Subject: question from E. Udell

Dear Mr. Stark:
I am writing in the hope that you may know of any venues or theatre groups in or around Boston that perform ancient Greek tragedies, ancient Greek comedies, Homer, Greek myths, or other plays related to ancient Greece. (I'd like to take a group of high school students to see such plays.) I have been searching a lot, but so far no luck. Thanks very much in advance for any tips or suggestions you may have.
-- Edward Udelledwardudell@hotmail.com

LARRY STARK REPLIES: The quick, easy answer is: There Aren't Any.
Teatro Ludicrum last year or so performed some Latin comedies, touring some outdoor spaces. And occasionally --- as with the A.R.T. "Lysistrata" --- someone will add a Greek play to the season. The Lyric Stage (now Lyric West) did a couple, but that was years ago.
Those companies that are not committed to the popular ("Annie") are committed to the New Play or to Shakespeare. Even the recent productions of Kit Marlowe's plays break surprising new ground locally.
Your best hope is that some intelligent local theater company or New York packager will bring the Tony winning "Metamorphoses" to, say Ye Wilbur Theatre within the next season.
There is a problem with bringing the classics to modern audiences. The more faithful to the originals, the more distance the production will put from a large audience. The result is either a thoroughly modernized performance (i.e. that "Lysistrata")or a "snob hit" or more likely a snob flop.
Your best bet would be colleges, where such caviar for the general performs a real purpose.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

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Subject: Actor Jack Sweet of Concord
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 10:27:15 -0400
Larry,
I don't know if you ever crossed paths with our beloved Jack Sweet, who performed all over the Boston area with distinction, but he died suddenly this week. Your readers might like to know that the viewing hours are Monday, June 10, 4-7, at the MacRae-Tunnicliffe Funeral Home, which is on the corner of Belknap and Thoreau streets, right next to the main Concord train stop. (It's the Fitchburg line out of No. Sation or Porter Square, and the trains are quite frequent that time of day.)

Funeral services will be at the home of the Concord Players, the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St., Concord, on Tuesday, June 11, at 7 p.m. (That is several blocks from the train, and the trains are infrequent for going home afterward.)

Memorial gifts may be sent to "your local community theatre or the charity of your choice," according to the notice in the Boston Globe.
Caroline

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Subject: Audition Hoax
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 12:14:59 EDT
From: NETheater411@aol.com
Hello Larry,
Would you mind posting the following email exerpt up on the Theater Mirror website? I'm trying to get this information out to as many people as possible..

It appears that someone has played a cruel trick on the dedicated actors and actresses in the Boston area. Recently an individual posted information to NETheater411.com about a "Chicago" audition that is, in fact, bogus. It appears that the audition information was lifted from a real audition that is happening in New York on the same dates for the same production. In fact, according to the Equity Business Representive Marty McDonough, there is no Equity agreement w th a company going by the name of The Monjerri Theatre Festival and The Boston Arts Academy (the audition site) has no such audition scheduled.

Please note that the terms of use agreement for NETheater411.com states that listings are accepted to the site on a "Good Faith" process - NETheater411.com and it's administrator does not assume or insure that postings are accurate. However, when a problem arises, the administrator will do what is possible to identify bogus listings and post information to users of the website to let them know what is going on. To that end, I would appreciate it if you could post this email on the Theater Mirror site.

The following is an email forwarded to me from the Actors' Equity Association Business Representative, Marty McDonough:

"Please be advised that the audition notice posted on the N. E. Theater 411 website for an upcoming production of "CHICAGO" produced by the Monjerri Theatre Festival and directed and choreographed by Susan Strohman appears to be a hoax. The notice is a call for Equity and non-Equity Chorus on 6/10/02 at 10 AM. To date, the audition has not been scheduled with The Boston Arts Academy (the audition site), the new theatre referred to in the audition notice does not exist, Equity has no agreement in place with the production company, and in fact, there appears to be no such production company as The Monjerri Theatre Festival."
Sincerely,
Actors' Equity Association
Marty McDonough
Business Representative

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Subject: Paul Newman "Our Town" tickets
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 15:05:02 -0400
From: "Marybeth Soutar" dmbsoutar@sprintmail.com

Larry,
Any thoughts on where and how to get 2 tickets to an evening performance of "Our Town", starring Paul Newman, at the Westport Country Playhouse on June 10, 11, 12 or 13? They are sold out; and I am finding it difficult to locate brokers in the area. I am not local and am trying to purchase these for my parent's 49th wedding anniversary. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks,
--Marybeth
dmbsoutar@sprintmail.comSubject:

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Subject: Re: I'd Like To Know Too!!!!!!!
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 14:11:30 EDT
From: tbyrne@bostonherald.com

Dear Larry,
Thanks for sending along the Norton award query, and thanks for sending Joe Coyne to cover the event.

The Norton selection committee is made up of eight area critics: Carolyn Clay, Iris Fanger of the Patriot Ledger and the Phoenix, Joyce Kulhawik of WBZ, John Lehman of the Patriot Ledger, Bill Marx of WBUR, Caldwell Titcomb, now retired but formerly of the Bay State Banner and a theater prof. at Brandeis, Ed Siegal of the Globe and myself. We make it our business to go to the theater, and our selections are based on what we have seen. Theater companies, and those involved with productions, have no influence or say in either the nominations or the selections.

Although we do not announce nominees, we do start our selection process with an informal list of nominees compiled by the critics. (There has been no discussion among the committee about announcing nominees.) We then argue the merits of productions and performances before voting (just like a democracy, no kidding) on each category. If a particular critic has not seen a specific performance, he/she recuses themselves from that category, but there are never less than six members voting for any category. Often, if a member of the committee sees a noteworthy production that others might miss, we let each other know about it, and make sure we get to see it before the end of the run.

Your reader asked specifically about the outstanding actor, small theater category, which I confess, was quite crowded this year. But the winner, Robert Pemberton, delivered a variety of exceptional performances in several productions that really made him stand out.
Hope this helps make things clearer.
See you at the theater.
Thanks,
Terry [Terry Byrne, trheatre critic for the Boston HERALD]

Subject: Norton Awards
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 15:22:08 -0400
From: Norie Dear Mr. Stark
I read the winners for The Elliot Norton Awards,if possible could I find out who the list of nominees were for actor, small theatre company.
Thank you for your time and I hope you are feeling better
norie@optonline.net

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Subject: One last announcement for the Theater Mirror
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 15:03:52 -0400
From: "Brett Conner" Hello there Larry! I hope this message finds you well.

you may or may not have heard yet, I am leaving Boston for San Francisco later this summer. Before I go, I have some house cleaning to do. Would you be so kind as to post the below annoucement on the Theater Mirror? As always, thank you so much for your help.
Best wishes,
Brett Conner

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Subject: Stage Manager Position - Mark Troiano
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 15:16:20 -0400
From: "Mark Dante Troiano" MDTroiano@ATTbi.com

Dear Larry,
I stumbled across your website and was wondering if you would be of any help in my finding a full-time paid job in the Theater.

I am a Graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA who is looking for full-time paid work in the theater. I have my degree in English - Dramatic Literature and Theater with a Minor in Music Theory, Composition and Voice. I reside in Malden, MA and am willing to travel about 20 miles in a any direction to go to work each day, including taking a train into Boston. I am looking for something in the realm of a Stage Manager Position. Could you Please help me in my search? Any resources, links, or direct contacts that you could provide would be extremely helpful to me.

I was the Musical Director of The Gentlemen Callers, our college's all male Contemporary A Cappella singing group for four years - In that time we recorded several CDs and received much acclaim throughout the National A Cappella Community. For Theater I was the Stage Manager for a production of Marsha Norman's "Traveler In The Dark" and I am looking for some sort of similar professional work experience.
Thank you Very much
Sincerely,
Mark Dante Troiano
781-321-8069
MDTroiano@AOL.com

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Subject: Sullivan theater
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 17:13:25 -0400
From: "melanee" bourgeois5@mediaone.com

Hello,
I was owndering if you new which theater John l Sullivan(the great bare nuckle fighter) in 1887,August 8. where his hometown fans presented him with a $10,000 championship belt.
Thanks you for your help
Michael

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Subject: hi
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 10:26:56 -0400
From: "Linda Rosencrance" Linda_Rosencrance@computerworld.com

Hi, how are you? I'm writing to ask a favor. Adam is doing Corpus Christi again, at the ICA next week., part of Gay Pride week, It's a brand new theater company and they really need some publicity. Adam plays the Jesus/Joshua character this time, I'm not sure they contacted you guys to put it on the site for plays opening next week , or coming attractions, but if you could get it in that would great. Also maybe you'd considering reviewing it just to give the theatre group some publicity. Anything you could do to help would be great. Thanks Linda

Boston Gay Pride in association with The Animus Ensemble and Bates College present Terrence McNally's
Corpus Christi
June 6-8. 8 p.m.
June 9, 7p.m.
General admission $20
Students $10
Institute of Contemporary Art
955 Boylston St.
Boston
Tickets available prior to performances at We Think the World of You Bookstore, 617-514-5000, and at the theatre before the shows, 617-266-5152

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Subject: Musical Theatre for sale in Maine
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 11:32:04 -0400
From: "BlackEagle-Carl, Marty" Marty@evare.com

Ever wanna start your own theatre company, here's your chance:
___________________________________________________________________________
"We have the Carousel Music Theater for sale located in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and would like to bring it to your attention. The Carousel is a Truly Unique, "One-of-Kind Business", combining execellent food and superb proffessional, family orientated entertainment in a Coastal Maine setting. Never a losing season. Sale includes building that houses the theater, all equipment, a three story building that accomodates the actors and actresses, on 3.88 acres of land. Asking price $399,000. Please visit our web site in the commercial section.
Murphy and Clavette Realty
207-783-6090
Visit us at: www.murphyandclavetterealty.com "
___________________________________________________________________________
Dont reply to me, i'm just passing it on.
M.

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Subject: Re: AUDITIONS FOR "CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY"
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 09:41:05 -0400
From: "Events at Leddy Center" events@leddycenter.org

Hi, Larry!!
Thanks for the leads. I went to the site you suggested and posted our auditions listing.
I hope you're feeling better!!! Do you need help???? Do you need a part-time secretary? A volunteer?? Or is it one of those deals where it would take too much time to train someone to do what you need to have done (like it is here) the way you need it done?
"You are not alone . . . no one is alone . . ." We appreciate all you do, Larry!
:) Ellen

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Subject: Re: review
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 09:43:45 EDT
From: OLDGRUMP79@aol.com

I took the month of May off. My batteries needed recharging. Funny thing; I didn't miss going to the theater until I went last Sunday. Now I am looking forward to going to a bunch of shows. I hope you are well now, you had a bad time of it for a spell.
Bob G.

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Subject: COMMUNICATING DOORS at the Arlington Friends of the Drama
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 13:11:30 -0400
From: "David Warnock" davidwarnock@attbi.com

Dear Larry,
FYI: Alan Ayckbourn's COMMUNICATING DOORS at the Arlington Friends of the Drama, opens June 7th. It has a fabulous cast and crew and will really be something to see. Info and tickets are at www.AFDtheatre.org. Hope you can see it.
MHT

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Subject: Notice
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 11:11:23 -0400
From: Sheri Ziccardi ziccardi@fas.harvard.edu

Hi, Larry. I know you might not be able to get this on the site, so if you can't, please don't worry. I am sending this to NETheater411, also. I hope you're doing well! Thanks! Sheri

Hingham Civic Music Theater seeks a director, music director, and choreographer for their spring, 2003, production of DAMN YANKEES. These are paid positions. Serious candidates should e-mail materials to Joel Leonard, HCMT President, ASAP at jal51@attbi.com.
Sheri Ziccardi

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Subject: Invitation to S&Co Press Opening -- World Premier
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 10:44:00 -0400
From: "Elizabeth Aspenlieder" You are cordially invited to attend Shakespeare & Company's Press Opening for the world-premier of The Valley of Decision on Saturday, June 1st at 8:00pm at Spring Lawn Theatre. Adapted by Dennis Krausnick from Edith Wharton's first novel, published 100 years ago, Valley is directed by Rebecca Holderness.
Please RSVP to Elizabeth Aspenlieder

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Subject: Wow
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 11:24:01 -0400
From: don@hamerman.com

You've produced a great website, which I found while researching a project I'm working on.

I'm a photographer and will be shooting a photo essay about Summer Stock these next few months. I'm wondering if you might recommend some places for me to shoot -- I'm looking for the very charming, wonderful theatres throughout New England that come to life in the summer, from Williamstown to a small company perhaps on an island or in a little village somewhere.
Any chance you could give this some thought?
Thanks!
Don Hamerman
www.insightillinois.com

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Subject: Re: Wow
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 09:53:03 EDT
From: Hamerman@aol.com

In a message dated 5/24/02 1:05:10 PM, larry@theatermirror.com writes:
>If you need more, ask!
Many thanks for your informative answer to my query about Summer Stock last week, I appreciate the help. I'll keep you posted as this project gets going.
Don Hamerman

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Subject: Re: VOkes - auditon announcement for Twelfth Night
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 12:07:10 +0000
From: "Donald Baillargeon" dbaillar@hotmail.com

Larry,
You didn't blow it all. I am so sorry to hear (and read) about your health trouble these past couple of months. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost. Aside form the horrible cold (almost pneumonia I believe the scuttlebutt determined), back spasms are the worst. I get them every now and then and they are just brutally painful. It is truly amazing how the miscle group in yoru lower back can make you feel like you're carrying about 500 pounds in weight. Is it your lower back that's been the trouble? You have both my empathy and sympathy.

Is there something that I could do to help you out? I know very little about html, but would be willing to do soemthing to help you along through this time cruch. You have created an invaulable resource for the arts community, and success DOES have its price!

But I am serious, I would like to help you in some way as a thank you for all you've done for us. Could we discuss this?
Love,
Donnie

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Subject: Re: A reminder . . .]
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 15:06:09 -0400
From: "nancy curran willis" imadirektor@rcn.com

Hey, Larry! Great minds must think alike. I just realized we never firmed up your attendance with us at EMACT. We have a tech time on Sunday of 10:20. Which means the call is an hour earlier.
Tom Lawlor comes in from the city. I will copy him on this email and see if there is some way the two of you can hook up so you can join us. I don't know how I would survive without my biggest supporter in the audience. Tom, please let Larry and I know if you can provide transportation for him to Brandeis. thanks,
N

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Subject: cartoon
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 13:15:12 -0400
From: [ NAME AND E-MAIL ADDRESS WITHHELD ]

Are you Sure B--- M--- started this way?????
Love, :-)

http://www.wbur.org/arts/cartoons/default.asp?counter=7

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Subject: wishing you well
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 10:22:04 -0400
From: "Tracey Walker" missmanagement@msn.com

Hi Larry-
I logged onto your website this morning and saw your letter. I would like to send my best wishes of a fast recovery. Your website is a great resource to keep updated on our theatre community. I have it on a shortcut from my homepage at MSN and find myself relieved that you will not be giving up on those who rely on this site for information.
Get well soon and keep up the great work at your site.
Best,
Tracey Walker

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Subject: Flowers for Algernon Posting
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 08:00:26 -0400
From: kbellanich@citistreetonline.com

Good Day Larry!
I hope all is well. Could you please post the following production notice on your fabulous web site?

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Subject: Re: TheaterMirror.com
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 10:51:08 -0400
From: "Andrea La-Rosa" alarosa@sswebs.com

Hiya Larry,
Just writing to let you know that I'm a big fan of the site and have used it as an actor, PR director and musical director for many years. I'm sorry to hear about your time constraints and health issues. I'm writing to let you know that, as a professional web developer, I'd be happy to lend a hand helping out with automating the web site and making it easier to update, and possibly volunteering to do some updating myself. Matt Breton is a friend of mine; currently he's on the production team of a show for which I am the director of public relations (Los Vendidos, directed by Henry Santiago) so he'll be able to tell you the kind of web work I do. You can also visit my web site at http://www.sswebs.com for a glimpse into my design and programming capabilites.

Let me know. I have a few ideas as to how to better automate the site so that people can post their own audition/ emergency/ announcement notices and all you'd have to do is deny or approve them. It wouldn't be that difficult to do and the script I'm thinking of also comes with a few user perks, such as search capabilities. You can e-mail me here or give me a call at 617-256-4259. Take care, and good luck!!
Andrea La-Rosa

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Subject: Re: Actor Training Program Classes
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 11:09:56 -0400
From: TheatreZ@aol.com

thanks for the update! Sorry to head the site has become so overwhelming, although it is easy to see why! I've got the netheater411 info. (although I am very bad at keeping up with sites where I have to go and enter data).
I'll still send you emails- just for your information, no pressure to post them.
hope to see you around! & hope you are feeling better!
Danielle

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Subject: Re: SHAKESPEARE NOW! NAMED THEATER COMPANY-IN-RESIDENCE AT PINE MANOR COLLEGE
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 17:21:14 -0400
From: "Linda Lowy" linda@shakespearenow.org

Thanks, Larry. We're excited, especially about having a gorgeous theater to perform in.
Sorry you're buried - hope you can come up for air ASAP. Keep well and best wishes
Linda

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Subject: Theater Mirror webite
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 23:56:37 -0500
From: "Jen Smith" jennifer_27@hotmail.com

Larry,
I have always been a HUGE fan of your website and it has always had the best, most comprehensive listings for auditions. I totally commend you on all of your past work!

I know that recently you succombed to a bad cold and got too behind to keep up with the voluminous listings.

I know that you recommended Theater 411; it is good but not nearly as comprehensive as yours.

Any chance that you might be able to resume the type of work on the Auditions section that you had
been able to do in the past? All the community theater community would really be in your debt!!
Best regards,
Jen Smith (aka "Emerald" from AFD's production of Will Rogers' Follies...you made a brief positive reference to my performance in your review which I am still flattered by!!)

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Subject: Good News!
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 22:33:07 -0400
From: "Sandra I. I Quinones-Gallosa" s_quinones@juno.com

Hey everbody!
As some of you know, I went for an audtion last Thursday for the play, "The Colored Museum" and I found out today that I got 2 parts! Yeah! The director called me today to tell me the news and I'm so psyched.
Thanks for believing in me, guys! I'm going to be an ACTRESS. Just kidding.......but it is going to be a fun experience. I'll keep you guys posted.
And Larry: Thanks for your help. If it wasn't for theatermirror, I would not have known about it to begin with.
Peace,
Sandra

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Subject: plays, plays, plays...
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 22:05:04 -0400
From: "lilia levitina" levitina@attbi.com

Dear Larry,
Thanks again for writing to me and thinking about my problems. I am following all your leads and will report to you the results of my pursuits. I am reading at least a play a day and sometimes it feels that the goal is to read as many as possible instead of just finding one. I am caught in a very American notion of life being a race. Well, while in Rome... Besides, my "healthy" European core may prevail and this play will emerge from my previous experience or it will befall me as a favor dropped by kind Fate.

Let me know when you get thirsty for vodka and hungry for caviar.
Fondly,
Lilia

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Subject: Re: F.Y.I.
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 17:08:37 EDT
From: TheATCOM@aol.com

Dear Mr. Stark,
Thank you for your review and posting of "Shameless." We certainly appreciate you finding the time to review the production. We also are very pleased that many things you wrote about were exactly what we were trying to accomplish with the play. Best wishes and continued success with your web site!!
Best regards,
Red Friday Productions


Subject: Wow
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 11:24:01 -0400
From: don@hamerman.com

You've produced a great website, which I found while researching a project I'm working on.

I'm a photographer and will be shooting a photo essay about Summer Stock these next few months. I'm wondering if you might recommend some places for me to shoot -- I'm looking for the very charming, wonderful theatres throughout New England that come to life in the summer, from Williamstown to a small company perhaps on an island or in a little village somewhere.

Any chance you could give this some thought?
Thanks!
Don Hamerman
www.insightillinois.com


Subject: Re: Audition posting.
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 15:35:04 -0400
From: "MMC" themmc2001@hotmail.com

Dear Larry:
First I would like to take the chance to thank you for all your previous help and extending yourself toward the theatre community. I am very sorry to hear about your situation, I genuinely wish you the best and pray for your speedy recovery.
If I could be of any encouragement,"A BIG THANK YOU." for your dedication and hard work.
Jeannette Johnian
Millennium Music Center


Subject: Theater Mirror webite
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 23:56:37 -0500
From: "Jen Smith" jennifer_27@hotmail.com

Larry,
I have always been a HUGE fan of your website and it has always had the best, most comprehensive listings for auditions. I totally commend you on all of your past work!

I know that recently you succombed to a bad cold and got too behind to keep up with the voluminous listings.

I know that you recommended Theater 411; it is good but not nearly as comprehensive as yours.

Any chance that you might be able to resume the type of work on the Auditions section that you had been able to do in the past? All the community theater community would really be in your debt!!
Best regards,
Jen Smith (aka "Emerald" from AFD's production of Will Rogers' Follies...you made a brief positive reference to my performance in your review which I am still flattered by!!)


Subject: Message regarding Dorothy Brodesser
Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 09:49:19 -0400
From: "Christine Stuart" cstuart@chenpr.com

Hello:
As many of you know, Dorothy's 1 year anniversary of quitting smoking is fast approaching (May 9th). For those of you who were around Dorothy last year while she made and acted on the decision to quit, know how incredibly difficult it was her - and she has made it through her first year!! Terry Platt (Dorothy's husband) and I were brainstorming on what we could do to show/give her support. We came up with the following idea.

We think it would be great if all of Dorothy's friends showed their support by sending her a card, writing her an email, giving her a call on her anniversary day, etc... How fun would it be to go to your mailbox and/or open your email and find a ton of supporting and loving messages from your friends?!?!

If they want to get involved, they can contact me via email at cstuart24@hotmail.com.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Thanks!
Christine Stuart


Subject: Re: Thanks for the reply
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 16:25:01 +0000
From: "David DaCosta" ddactor@hotmail.com

Larry,
I apologize for not getting back to your reply sooner. Thank you for the candor in explaining why you like the shows you like and what you find objectionable in shows like Jekyll and Hyde. You did not have to justify yourself to me or anybody for that matter, and I appreciate it.
As for myself...well we agree on Sondheim and Evita, but as for the rest we will have to agree to disagree.

I have to say that Mrs. Kay in her letters and responses sums up how I feel about shows like Jekyll and Hyde, and the purpose of theatre in general. Either way, they are opinions and provide excellent fodder for debate. Thank you for providing the forum in which to do just that. It is too bad that the people affected by what is said take these "opinions" far to literal and personal. But I guess that is human nature. I understand it. As a performer I can take these things to heart too often.

What I dont understand is how people do shows that they already have a negative opinion about.
Seeing them I understand. Friends, family, fellow performers, may be involved and they will be glad to sit though something that may be unenjoyable for them.
What I dont understand is why would any company or director do a work that they are not inspired to do, or have at the very least some artistic basis for doing the show. Far too many companies do certain shows because of their "potential" to sell even if they feel the work is not good. Well, call me an idealist, but I think what sells shows is quality of performances and good PR (which you try to provide and most companies do not have a clue on how to do right). If you have no artistic inspiration to attempt a specific show, then you are digging yourself too deep a hole to get out of to produce a quality performance. Lack of respect or desire for a work always pervades into the entire performance, regardless of individual efforts.

My questions to you were to see where you are coming from in your reviews. I look to the reviews on your site as a guide as a performer first, and an audience member second. As a performer I am looking for an honest opinion, and to get an idea if what I am doing and what the show is doing, is going in the right direction. Sadly, I havent found the reviews on your page useful for that purpose.
I understand why that is. Your "reviews" are for the viewing public. A standard overview of the elements of the show (who, what, when, where), to get more people out to see the productions. I have no way of gauging whether this is effective or not, but my instincts tell me that a more through review (although potentially upsetting to theatre's, performer's, etc.) would have a greater effect on getting more people out to see shows.
As an audience member, I look to your site to determine what shows to see, and what shows not to see. Just like I would in picking a restaurant. I know what I like to eat. In that vein, I also know what types of shows I like to see. It would only make sense then that I look to a reviewer who has similar tastes, so it occurred to me that I didnt know what your tastes were. Now I do.

Not to be singing the same old tune, but I wanted to personally say thank you for all your work and passion for theatre. The TheaterMirror is an invaluable source for performers in this region. I am sure you are aware that theatre in this region is a growing movement and those involved have you to thank for it. It is alive and well, and I am a proud to be a part of it with the likes of people as yourself.
David DaCosta


Subject: Hal Holbrook
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 11:09:06 -0500
From: "Scott Anderson" sanderson@espivideo.com

Larry,
My name is Scott Anderson. I am the Senior Producer for a video production company in Dallas, Texas. I am currently working on a series of educational documentaries about World War II and all other subsequent American conflicts. I am trying to find a contact for Hal Holbrook so that I may approach him about being the narrator for this project. On your website I noticed that he wrote a letter to you back in 1996 regarding a review of Death of a Salesman. Perhaps you know how to contact him? I'd appreciate any leads you might be able to give.
Thank you.
Scott Anderson
Senior Producer, ESPI
214/522-6699
214/522-7699 fax


Subject: Hi Larry.
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 09:04:33 -0400
From: chuck galle I am embarrassed to admit I visited the site for the first time a couple of months today, and read of your difficulties. I know, or course, that you've been swamped for a long time and quite understand that you have not gotten to my request. I went through the process at NET411, and hope she will publish my audition call. I wish there were some way to be of help to you, but I do want you know that you have my best thoughts and prayers.
You're an inspiration and a hero to us all.
C


Subject: Emergency
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 18:45:30 -0400
From: "Lorri Alexander" Dear Larry,
Happily, Washington Street Players has cast the role of Harvey Greenfield. We are still getting responses to the emergencies actor call on Theater Mirror. Please remove the posting ASAP. Thanks, as always, for your help and support. Lorri Alexander


Subject: You
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 16:57:40 EDT
From: BarstowP@aol.com

Dear Larry,
I am very sorry to learn of your travails and difficulties. I have been out of touch.
Please know how grateful I an so many others are for the magnificant service you have provided for Boston theatre and theatre-goers. We are all in your debt.
With faithful best wishes for you,
Love, Paul Barstow


Subject: re-NE Theater 411
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 12:31:38 -0400
From: "Uloth, Phyllis" PUloth@ElectricInsurance.com

Hi Larry -
I just wanted to give you feedback that you requested on Juree's web site. I actually find it very user friendly now that she has fixed a couple of bugs and getting used to how she termed a couple of things.

I actually didn't think you were putting any auditions or show notices on theater mirror anymore; I've been sending them to Juree.
Hope you are back in tip top shape :)
Phyllis x0x0x0x0x0


Subject: Don't wear yourself out
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 08:45:00 -0400
From: "Caroline Ellis" clbellis@earthlink.net

Larry,
Sorry to see from the Theater Mirror that you are not feeling chipper. Maybe it's a letdown from that great event, the IRNE awards night. Don't overdo.

I looked at Algonkuin, but I don't find it as easy to use or helpful as Theater Mirror. Plus, I somehow downloaded a little applet from there that I do not want. I will have to get MIT's IT support people to get rid of it for me!

Theater Mania did use one review from me, now up, but because they pay, they won't be able to use many, besides that they are NYC-focused. The site is professional-looking, but it will never be able to offer your comprehensive coverage of Boston-area theater. I don't know what Boston Theater lovers would do without Theater Mirror.
Will have a Vokes review for you May 16.
Happy spring!
Caroline


Subject: just a question
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 20:10:09 +0100
From: "Kris Gellein" kgellein@brutallogic.com

Larry,
Just a question: Would you have any idea how I could get in contact with Roy Ketterer ? Roy was my high school teacher in '78 and I would really like to say hi. You can simply forward my email if possible.
Thanks much,
Kris Gellein


Subject: Just a Thank You Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 20:07:59 EDT From: SJAMNICK@aol.com

I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading through your website.
I mainly am checking the audition notices for my children (and they have both benefited greatly from your notices)
While I do check NET 411, per your request,
it's just not the same! Your site is "personable" and I just wanted you to know that!
I hope you feel better soon.


Subject: any way I can help?
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 10:41:40 -0400
From: "Anne Continelli" patschican@hotmail.com

Larry,
Sorry to hear you're under the weather. Is there anything I can do to ease your load? Obviously I can't do things like write your reviews for you (although I would be happy to review Gender Bender - it was fantastic! the crowds cheered! they yelled "author, author"!), but if there is anything else that I can do, let me know.
Anne


Subject: Re: EMERGENCY audition notice Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 10:43:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Lee Rush citynightsmedia@yahoo.com

Wow! I hope your health improves. I have already submitted the emergency notice to Theatre 411. Thanks again Larry! Feel better!
-Lee


Subject: Re: Elm St. Theater Update
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 11:37:18 -0400
From: Brett Conner bconner@erols.com

I know how you feel Larry. In the spirit of turning the useful machine back on, I think it's important to remember that the old Works Theatre will soon be up and running, providing Boston's little heroes with a wonderful space to perform in. Whether or not I'm the guy running things over there I am very glad to see that life will soon be back at the Works. I wish them all the best in Davis Square.

I don't know anything about the ICA, but if I hear anything I'll let you know.

Keep fighting the good fight, and take care.
Brett

Larry Stark's Theater Mirror wrote:

Brett, I am heartsick.I am not using the Useful machine right now. I think, at the moment, I'm tempted to call a boycottShit no, an EXORCISM!!!!!!!!!!! I know you tried. Do you know, by the way, who will be given jurisdiction over the I.C.A. theatre once those people move out of the Firehouse? I think we should find out. There's a "cultural spaces" czar at the Boston Redevelopment Authority that Ive never met. I'd like you there.With Nancy Curran Willis as Artistic Director! Really, the past is, unfortunately, prologue. I'll have more to say later. Love (and tears) Anon.


Subject: gossip gossip gossip
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 00:21:09 -0400
From: "Mark Sickler" msickler@hotmail.com

Hey Larry-
Here's a fun tid-bit of inside information for all those theater gossip whores!

This just in....Henry Goodman, the actor that replaced Nathan Lane in The Producers has just been fired, after less than one month! Yep, you heard it first...or possibly second or third....but the real juicy part of this story is how it was done....the producers of The Producers didn't even have the nerve to tell him to his face....he received a phone call from his agent while he was backstage. Whoops. Apparently he just wasn't funny enough! This piece of information was received from an inside source who will remain anonymous!

The Cinderella part of this story is who replaced him. The actor playing Franz (the playwright)! A year and a half ago, this actor was gigging as a Santa...he was cast as the understudy of Franz...Replaced the original Franz...nominated for the Tony, and is now the lead on the hottest show on Broadway! Yes, it really can happen!
That's all for now!
Yours,
Mark


Subject: Elm St. Theater Update
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 16:12:29 -0400
From: Brett Conner bconner@erols.com

Dear Supporters:
I am sorry to report that I ultimately did not win the contract on the Elm Street Theater. As you can see from the below article appearing in today's Boston Herald, the building managers eventually choose to give the contract to Larry Lee Lewis, a vaudeville producer. I might add that I did not learn this news directly from the building managers. I read about it in the paper this afternoon.

I wanted to thank all of you who have been so supportive of my work. Although I wish things had turned out differently, I continue to support the Elm Street Theater and plan to remain active in the local theater scene.
For those of you interested in renting the theater, I do not have any information on Larry Lee Lewis. I would recommend contacting Mike Gorin at GRA, Inc. (the agent who manages the theater) for details. His number is (617) 623-0551.
Thanks again for all of your good wishes. I hope to be seeing you all soon.
Brett

Another try, another name for Nexus
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
The troubled Nexus Theatre in Somerville is being reborn again. Larry Lee Lewis, who produced a vaudeville revue at the theater earlier this year, has signed a three-year lease and will rename the theater The Elm Street Theatre. In addition to opening his ``Larry Lee Lewis Vaudeville Revue'' May 10, Lewis will rent the Davis Square theater to independent producers. The first outside rental will be to popular comedian Jimmy Tingle, later this summer. Lewis says he also will program a series of jazz nights, poetry slams, off-off-Broadway musicals, magic shows and an international film festival.
TERRY BYRNE


Subject: Bravo!
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 15:28:31 -0400
From: "Eric C. Engel" engel@fas.harvard.edu

For your wonderful coverage of the Marathon and for everything else you do.
Warm regards,
Eric C. Engel


Subject: Arthur Friedman
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 13:53:13 -0400
From: Robert_Deveau@harvardpilgrim.org

A "Bouquet" To Boston's Best Theatre Critic

I saw the Lyric's excellent production of "Glen Gary Glenn Ross" last Friday night, and was taken by surprise while reading Spiro Veloudos' program note dedicating the performance to the memory of critic Arthur Friedman. I had known of Arthur's long battle with Parkinson's disease but this was the first I'd heard of his passing, which saddened me greatly. Not that Arthur and I were close personal friends; we weren't. But his years as a critic coincided with my most active years as an actor, and I always respected his opinion and the razor wit with which it was expressed. Should anyone think I admired Arthur's writings because he always had nice things to say about my work, I can tell you that my most fondly recalled and often quoted pan was his assessment of my performance as Dracula: he called me -- I quote from memory -- "a pleasant if somewhat distant foreign dignitary who one might spend a convivial evening chatting with at an embassy function". He was right, of course; I was miscast.

Two of my most memorable nights in the theatre involve Arthur Friedman. When I directed "Wait Until Dark" at Cambridge's Alley Theatre in the mid-80's, there is a moment in the play when it looks like Suzy (the blind heroine) has killed Roat (the villain) off-stage. Suddenly, Roat leaps through a doorway, grabbing Suzy by the ankle. The night that Arthur came to see the show accompanied by director Joanne Green (a tough critic in her own right), I had the enormous satisfaction of seeing Arthur and his companion literally jump out of their seats when Roat reappeared.

The other memorable evening was the Open Door Theatre's Arthur Friedman Roast in the early 80's, held at what was then the Next Move Theatre. Nearly everyone involved with Boston theatre was there that night, including the guest of honor himself, who, at the close of the evening, critiqued the evening's performances while seated on a throne on-stage. I sang a version of the Cars' "I Guess You're Not What I Needed", addressed directly to Arthur, who got such a big kick out of the altered lyrics that he later asked me for a copy. That night, I think, was emblematic of the man himself: he took his (and our) work seriously, but never himself.

His insight into what we do, his sometimes brutal honesty, and especially his humor, will be missed.
Bob Deveau


Subject: On your "Review Writing" Marathon ....
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:49:41 -0400
From: ZeitgeistStage@aol.com

Larry -
Bravo on the time, effort, and consideration you invested in writing a review of the Boston Theater Marathon that touched on all of the works presented. As I scrolled through the review, I was grateful for the care and commitment you would make to ensure that all the playwrights, performers, and crew received acknowledgement.

It was Zeitgeist Stage's first Theater Marathon and we were an "understudy-to-the-rescue." Kate Snodgrass asked us to mount a play one week before the marathon - "It's a 10 minute piece. You've got plenty of time. Your tech time is tomorrow." It was chaotic, energizing, hectic, and invigorating to experience. Standing in the Green Room between shows and hearing the roar from the audience in Studio A acknowledging every show with enthusiasm both amazed and heartened me.

Many thanks for your continued interest and investment on the part of the Boston theater scene.
David Miller
Producing/Artistic Director
Zeitgeist Stage Co


Subject: wow, look at all the auditions for spring, i'm amazed.
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 11:54:32 -0500
From: "BlackEagle-Carl, Marty" Marty@evare.com

Larry, just copy this to a html page and trim as needed,
Marty LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I'd love to, Marty, but the HaTeMaiL-codes are somehow incompatible and look weird.
However, the information is from your

Algonkuin Small
Theatre Network
[ http://members.aol.com/algonkuin/index.html ]

Marty's website is a magnificent gem of information, and I urge everyone looking into The Mirror to see what a great job he does. Envy, envy!!!
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Recent Awrads
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 20:20:12 -0500
From: "Lenore Schuchman"

Dear Mr. Stark:
I understand that this past week awards were given for this year's theatre season. Is it possible to receive a copy of the winners. I am a very proud mom of one of them. Your assistance on this would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Norie
e-mail norie@optonline.net


Subject: A Show That Ran in Boston Years Ago!!!
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 12:01:02 EST
From: MDifrancia@aol.com

Hey Larry:
There was a show that ran at the Charles Playhouse probably around 1994 or earlier. I'm not 100% on the name...Possibly...Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown...but maybe not.
There was this great song about a women that goes to Macey's to buy a new frying pan (cus hers has a hole in the bottom)...I've been trying to get show information and the soundtrack for awhile. They used to sell it at Tower Records, but we're going back several years. Do you have any information that might help me???
Marc

ANYONE KNOW??? Oh, let's not always see the same hands.....


From: nancy curran willis
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 11:33 AM
Subject: Congratulations on a Job Well Done!

Hi Larry,
First of all I wanted to personally thank you and the rest of the IRNE reviewers for all the hours of hard work you put in to pull the IRNE's together. While The Laramie Project didn't "bring home the bacon," it was a pleasure and an honor to be in the same company as the other nominees. To me, the most important thing about the IRNEs is the opportunity for theater people throughout the area to come together to appreciate, applaud and acknowledge the wonderful work being done in and around Boston. Thank you to the Independent Reviewers of New England and congratulations to all the nominees and IRNE winners.
Best,
Nancy Curran Willis


Subject: Other plays by the Bard
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 12:31:39 -0500
From: "George Saulnier" GSaulnier@bso.org

This is a hopeful plea and call to area artistic directors.
Please, please PLEASE do not mount another production of Macbeth for at least five years. It is just done too damn often.
Okay.


Subject: Re: the hub bub on Jekyll and Hyde
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 21:58:48 EST
From: Biz89@aol.com

A note from the director:
WOW! All this interest in a play that has a script that reads like bad Masterpiece Theater! In all seriousness...we had fun, audiences had fun, I loved the cast and crew... now we can all go home! Love to all, Jerry


Subject: Critiquing community theater
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 09:46:33 -0500
From: Caroline Ellis cellis@MIT.EDU

For myself, I have operated on the premise that nothing is so flattering to a community theater as to be taken seriously enough to inspire an honest critique. So if there is something about the production that I think could be improved, it usually shows in my review.

Having said that, I try not to bash any individual or group, because these people are doing it for love and they provide a real service to the community.

I'm glad I have had the experience of reviewing community theater, because it has informed my approach to reviewing professional theater. It is possible to point out flaws without being too scathing. Reviewers do need to point out flaws because they have an obligation to the reader and theatergoer. I have often been tempted to write a really snide review because it's fun and can make great reading, but it may not serve the higher purpose of building great theater.
Caroline Burlingham Ellis


Subject: Re: Quicktake
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 13:50:41 -0800 (PST)
From: Sarah kay

I have to admit that your response to my quicktake has impressed me. Funny how any differing opinions on the site generate quite the hub-bub, I can honestly say that I have never received so much email including support for my thoughts and hate mail from cast members in my life. Perhaps the buzz will get more folks talking. In Turn, they will visit the site, attend more theater and To me that is really more of the point and purpose of the Mirror.

In all honesty, I would like to see more actual debate, over the self congratulatory praise I normally see. Why all the "love letters", (don't the reviewers realize they are only as good as their word) is it so everyone can feel good about themselves? where's the growth, learning, exploring or challenge to that.

Regardless of our obvious differing tastes in theater: Pop/Rock musicals like Jekyll and Hyde have more of a mass appeal, despite their lack of book. Check on the ticket sales of Turtle Lane production for example, I am pretty sure that they made out alright in presenting this work. The melodramatics inherent in these productions are meant to reach a generation spoiled by TV and film. It will be shows such as Jekyll and Hyde that will bring a new appreciation for the theater to a whole new audience. Those future ticket holders are not going to get the jokes of the classic musicals nor do they want to spend 3 hours watching reprise after reprise of a Rodgers and Hammerstein. These new shows have their place and you will likely see more of them before any dusted off revival of Pal Joey.

While, I will concede that there isn't much to Jekyll and Hyde but How it is presented. The music is a character and must be respected as one. Music in a musical is more than, "ok it's time for me to break out into song." There is no shame in admitting, I love the Wildhorn music in Jekyll and Hyde, It is contemporary- complete with heart and soul. He is the American version of Andrew Lloyd Webber. (Simply stating that I enjoy Jekyll and Hyde when properly done does not discount the many other shows that I have an affinity for.)

Perhaps it was unfair of me to hold their performance to a professional standard or even read "gushing" reviews in advance of seeing it which is the perfect set-up for failure- Too much HYPE.

Turtle Lane's performance missed the mark. I do not feel the need or even want to criticize the personal performances of actors. It takes a great deal of guts to get out there and do what they need to do. If the ax must fall it needs to be aimed at the Music Director and Director for failing to breathe life into a production which is all about passion, heart and the darker-sexier side of dramatics. If the director pushed the performances a step further to either one direction or the other (Pure Farce or serio-dramatic) I would have had appreciation for his take. Instead it was played safe, no risks, no concept or originality- there was nothing to establish that this director or music director made a mark upon. A boat with no captain is just adrift with no where to go and that is what Turtle Lane's production was. Based on what I saw, I cannot imagine one of those performers growing from the experience of performing this work. Love it or hate it, Jekyll and Hyde provides the perfect opportunity to learn about your own acting and singing talents. The music is difficult and without much of a book the actors need to provide their own depth to make the characters believable.

Unfortunately I cannot sit back quietly while those involved with the production or any others reviewed on the Mirror for that matter, get delusions of grandeur parading on the Mirror and relish what is said on the website as the End All Be all. It is rather small minded of the readership to believe everything they read and fervently attack those with an opposing view.

My comments are more meant to make people think and question and not to become complacent. I do not have an axe to grind, nor am I worried about offending a friend or colleague and I certainly do not have my eye on the wallet for advertisers or free tickets. This is not an attack on you or your reviewers but rather a suggestion that viewers make their own opinions. To judge for themselves what they like and dislike and most of all be forthright about it. Too often I see people curb their opinions for fear of backlash and the proof is right here in those response on the Mirror.

Who would want to bare their soul and be openly attacked, FEW I would gather so I am grateful that you saw my thoughts in the nature that they were intended. I am speaking my mind as I see it and it is not any more truer than the next, it is still opinion and I will interject it as I see fit.

I am glad you provide a forum for which differing opinions can be shared. Thank you


Subject: an opinion as per your invitation to comment
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 00:58:29 -0500
From: "Vic Clay" hi,
I just visited your site for the first time. I found it very illuminating.
In particular, I learned a lot I did not know about Kevin Fennessy, and how big some of his projects were. I got the majority of the food at his benefit in my capacity as a food committee member without even knowing he did Perfect Storm or Irene etc. The love that the assembled crowd had for him was palpable. It felt great to be accepted as part of the local community that night seeing as how I am such a neophyte actor. I took it as playing a role, I just don't know if I was acting like a salesman or selling like an actor.
As I live around the corner from the old Nexus theatre and even auditioned there once, I found that bit extra interesting as well. I had no idea that it was already gone.
Today , I took in "Off the Map" at the Theatre Coop and so the description of it on your site was something else that grabbed my attention.
I am a member of AFD and seeing the ad for "Into the Woods" reminded me to get my tix.
Lest this sound like I am true part of the local theatre community, I should say that since I started pursuing roles as an untrained actor last may, I have only done two plays. One at the Actor's Workshop and one down the Cape at the Woods Hole film fest. The majority of my work has been film as I have done 6 films with 3 more booked in the coming weeks including my first lead in a feature length pic.
It was a shock to read that the Actor's Workshop is coming down too. We probably rubbed shoulders at the KFC benny monday. I was the guy in black leather pants and black sportcoat. I am having more fun acting than anything else I have done in my life , which means acting has supplanted tennis, music, and even my improv comedy troupe. I look forward to visiting your site a lot and I already sent a resume to one of the audition listings. Keep up the great work, I for one, deeply appreciate it. Ciao !
Vic Clay


Subject: Sarah Kay's Quick Take on J&H
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 10:25:13 -0500
From: "Mike Monte" m.j.monte@att.net

Larry, I usually take what is written on your site with a grain of salt .... everyone has opinions, etc. But the last 3 weeks or so has seemed to be "Let's attack Larry, his critics and everything else on the website time" and I cannot remain quiet.

1. For Ms. Kay: Your opinion is your opinion. I saw the same show as you did. I was impressed by some aspects of the production, others did nothing for me. The show itself does absolutely nothing for me, so I went in with very low expectations. I can respect your opinion and the opinions of the other reviewers on this forum. What I cannot abide is an accusation that the positive reviews were given because the reviewers want to go back to Turtle Lane again. How can you say something like that, which is close to libelous?

2. To the person complaining about some of the reviews posted and their style etc. It comes with the territory. They are volunteers, which does not excuse their style, but also explains it. If you are a long term reader of this site, you know that they come with the territory.

3. To the 2 stringers or freelancers from the Globe: Get over yourselves. Your reviews were posted for the sake of comparison. Yes, they are copywritten materials, etc and you should have been remunerated, but perhaps you could have contacted Larry in a more professional manner than making a statement such as: "some are particular about the quality of the neighborhoods their reviews appear in." Perhaps Mr.. Marx should repudiate that statement. What has been his contribution to the growth and flowering of theater in the greater Boston area lately? This site makes a larger contribution to the spreading of information and encouraging of theater for smaller companies and venues than the Globe has done during the 6 years I have spent living here in New England.

That's it. I just had to vent about this. Larry, do what you want with this email, post it or not. I just feel better having written this down.
Thanks.
Mike Monte

Subject: Re: Oh, dear, Oh, dear
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 11:37:30 -0500
From: Caroline Ellis cellis@MIT

But you could just quote the part that shows the bias--or whatever you want to show. That's "fair use." The LAST thing I want to see is copyright lawyers shutting down the single best outlet for Boston theater people. They could, Larry.

Now, about making theater more important to Boston, a tide that would float all boats. I would like to see some unity around the idea of fostering more experimental plays (or seldom performed but neat old chestnuts) and making Boston a better place to do that than NYC. Have we ever had a Fringe festival? If we had some kind of schtick, some brand identity like "the best place in the East for the latest idea," other kinds of theater could flourish, too. I would like to see groups like Robert LaPage brought in, too, or Theatre de Complicite from England. I do not picture such groups detracting from local theater the way a B'way road show does, but instead helping to build a new identity here.

Here's a little known fact: MIT is a hotbed of creative exploration of the boundaries of theater. I have only begun to check it out. First I noticed professor Tod Machover's opera "Resurrection" at the Boston Lyric Opera. (Well, it's not theater, but there is a spillover.) Then I attended a premier of a one-act opera by a theater professional/professor and an MIT music colleague. On March 12, I heard a truly exciting lecture in Italian (translated) and presentation by the director of the cutting-edge Piccolo Teatro (check the Web site http://www.piccoloteatro.org ) in Milan, and was again impressed with the number of engineer-types in the MIT audience pushing the boundaries of the arts. Your readers might like to check the MIT calendar (http://web.mit.edu/arts/thismonth.html ) periodically so as not to miss some of the really cool things going on. Exceptional guest theater people tend to pass through very fast.
CE


Subject: Any Clue Where to look?
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 23:05:23 EST
From: ACMEACTOR@aol.com

Hi Larry, Dave Sheppard here, I have been looking everywhere for a copy of the non-musical version of the Goodbye Girl. Do you or anyone in your vast legion of fans have any idea where to look or if it even exists?
I appreciate any help
Dave


Subject: "Sarah King"
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 19:32:27 -0500
From: "Charles Walsh" chucksue@attbi.com

Hi Larry - I just read Sarah King's scathing letter to you regarding Turtle Lane's production of "Jekyll & Hyde". I don't give a hoot what she thought of the show, she's entitled to her opinion, and the show is closing this weekend after a VERY successful 6 week run . What really got me seeing red was when she questioned your integrity (and Beverly Creasey's) and then accused you of "nepotism". Larry, she owes you both an apology. Just as she is entitled to her opinion of the production, you are entitled to yours. Larry, I don't think anyone or any theater company could tell you what to say in a review! If you like something you say so, if you dislike something you say so too. I have sent Ms. King an e-mail telling her that she owes you an apology. I hope she's big enough to offer one. Sincerely,
Susan Walsh
P.S. Is Ms. King a critic? Who does she write for? I would like to know.


Subject: BADDDDDDD CRITICS
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 11:26:09 -0800 (PST)
From: CARLY JOHNSON IM AM WRITING THIS EMAIL BECAUSE IM AM OUTRAGED AT CRITICS SUCH AS TONY ANNICONE AND MANY OTHERS LIKE HIM WHO TIME AND TIME AGAIN GIVE TASTELESS AND UNINTERESTING REVIEWS. TONY AS THE EXAMPLE, NEEDLESS TO SAY WHAT HE WRITES ABOUT IS FLUFF. HE NEVER GOES INTO DEPTH ABOUT ANY PLAY AND SEEMS TO FAVOR MEN HIGHER THAN WOMEN. IM SORRY BUT WRITING, "SHE PLAYED THAT PART VERY WELL" DOESN'T CUT IT. AND ABOVE ALL, HE SHOULD LEARN TO WRITE AND SPELL. THE LANGUAGE HE USES IS SO POOR YOU'D THINK A 10-YEAR OLD WROTE IT. I AM DISGRACED AT THE FACT HIS OPINION IS TAKEN SERIOUSLY. I HOPE THAT THIS EMAIL IS TAKEN SERIOUSLY FOR THESE CRITICS NEED TO TAKE THE JOB OF BEING A REVIEWER MORE SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!

THERE ARE MANY OTHERS LIKE ME OUT THERE WHO CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THESE CRITICS COULD BE CALLED CRITICS. MAYBE(AND THIS IS JUST AWILD IDEA) YOU COULD FIND PEOPLE WITH EXPERIENCE IN THEATHER LIKE ACTORS AS WELL AS DIRECTORS!!!!!

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I held this the first time I saw it because I was three reviews behind and didn't have time to write to either you or Tony about it. Then the "Macbeth" flap --- About Reviewers! --- developed, and the Theatre Consortium meeting loomed. But since I'm waiting for Consortium news and I'm only One review behind (so far!) I will attempt to get my thoughts organized here.
I will run the letter --- with either this response of my own as you see it here or maybe better-edited --- but I first ask that you do us all a favor:
Please re-type your ALL CAPS SHOUT into Upper And Lower Case typing and send it back. I promise it will appear just as you re-send it
Or, if you think it not worth the time, I will run it as the HATE MAIL it is at present. I'll wait till Saturday morning and, if you haven't re-typed, I will run it as is.

On with my own thoughts:

First of all, this doesn't surprise me, and won't surprise Tony. Early on The greenroom carried a similar scream of outrage about citical blandness.
More importantly, I have talked to Tony (and Don Gillis, and Bob Guenthner "The Old Grump") about their reviewing styles.
They have chosen to ignore my editing advice, they are all still my friends, and I still take every review they send.
What I said to them was essentially what you do --- that these reviews are really just advertising. All you really learn from any of their reviews is that a play is being done somewhere, and something about the cast and crew.
But EVERY review is Just Advertising (the Broadway houses, revewer's comps are included in the p/r budget) no matter what the critics say. I mean, Barnum was right not to care what anyone Said about him, so long as they spelled his name right --- even, in this case, if they say Good things! Would you really know anything about theatre in Rhode Island AT ALL if Tony and Don didn't tell you about it?
In point of fact, The Mirror has been getting Casting Calls and Special Announcements from Rhode Island theatres because producers know that a lot of actors down there look in regularly to find out how much warm butter Tony has slathered over them and their friends --- and that means that those people also learn that there is exciting theater going on in New Hampshire and, sometimes, even in Boston. If I could find another Tony Annicone in Maine, in Vermont, Connecticut or Western Massachusetts I'd be in heaven, and theater everywhere would be better off.

But enough about me.
You don't really understand why it's that style or nothing for those two Rhode Island reviewers, and so a bit of history will be necessary. I once badgered Don Gillis (who produces, directs and choreographs for a community theatre where he lives, and has for twenty years) about his "insincere" style, and suggested that he could slip into his reviews essentially the same sort of comments he might normally make as a director. He worried that he might never direct again if he did --- but along came an opportunity, and he put in a mildly-worded suggestion that one actress, whose work he praised, might have been miscast.
An e-mail shot back from the director demanding that the review be withdrawn, saying the lady was in tears and her confidence level shaken , insisting that Don's aggressive attack interfered with his ability to direct, and ending "In my opinion, negative criticism has no place whatsoever in Community Theatre."
Don's initial response was to close down his entire LITTLE RHODY website vowing never to write another review ever again.
Luckily, he has more pride and self-assurance for that, and his website has become a cornerstone of theater in Rhode Island.
But I think he keeps his critical appraisals to himself, as does Tony --- who also directs. Still, people know more about theater in Rhode Island because of what he does --- I do, and you do.
And, face it, would you really know any More than you do about theater if every review in The Mirror were written by Alexander Wright? Can you believe HIS style of subtle slander any more than you can Tony's slatherings?
Do you learn any more from My Own reviews? In case you never noticed, I don't write a review of something I didn't like --- except with a Very Good reason. I don't buy the canard that "unless yiou shit on someone from time to time no will take the good things you say seriously." So, from your perspective, are Tony and Don and Bob and Larry Stark all annoyingly irrelevant?

I put up every review that comes to me, un-edited. And sometimes, unread.
But I don't insist that you read every word. You may only need to read Tony's first paragraph to know that a show is up and running.
But would you know even that if he didn't tell you?

Your letter will appear Saturday morning in The Greenroom.
Break a leg...
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )
P.S.
Should you wish to send a review of your own, for instructional purposes, it will go up, unedited. What'cha got?

Subject: Re: BADDDDDDD CRITICS
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 11:33:17 EST
From: TANNICONE@aol.com
To: larry@theatermirror.com

To Carly Johnson,

I am sorry you don't like to read my reviews. If they are uninteresting, then why do you read them? Most of the groups I am writing about are community theatres and they don't have professional actors in their productions. Most of their shows are comedies or farces that have little or no storyline but are filled with slapstick humor. As for favoring men over women in my reviews, why don't you read my review of "Belles". There are six women in the show. So what male actor could I have favored in that review? I feel whoever does the best job in the show should have the most written about them. The two male actors in the current Newport Playhouse show are the best ones in the show. Two other reviewers said the same thing. They have the best roles in the show.

Since community theatre and college performers aren't being paid, should they be judged by professional theatre standards? I don't think so. I write my reviews and try to find the positive points in each show I see, even if it is a show I don't like. If someone is interested in seeing the shows I review, they can view it from a positive viewpoint. I give credit to the performers, both male and female when they deserve such praise. In my review of RUMORS, I say the biggest scene stealer is Karen Gail Kessler who plays Cookie. Maybe you should become a critic because you are very caustic and biting with your comments. (Does a 10 year old know what "caustic" means?)

Tony Annicone

PS
I have been an actor since I was 4 years old in 1958 and I have been a director since 1974. Maybe I need to have more experience in the theatre since I've only been acting for 44 years and directing for 28 years. ( Since I don't know how to spell words correctly, maybe you should learn how to spell theatre correctly. It is either theatre or theater not theather like you spelled it your letter to the greenroom.)


Subject: Oh, dear, Oh, dear
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 10:45:36 -0500
From: Caroline Ellis cellis@MIT.EDU

Bill and Larry,
Oh, dear Boston theater lovers, please let's not fight. I am sure Larry will never do it again. Let's focus on what we have in common and the real forces that marginalize us. What will lead to reviewers being paid more? An increase in the importance of theater to Boston. Who works tirelessly for that goal? We all do. Theater Mirror does.
Caroline Ellis


Subject: Response to Reply to Cragin
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 10:25:31 EST
From: Wllmarx@cs.com
To: larrystark@theatermirror.com

For the sake of accuracy and so readers will learn something about copyright issues, I need to set the record straight. I am the first "Globe" stringer to ask that his theater review be removed from "Theater Mirror." First, the version that had been posted was garbled: it was not what I had written and, understandably, I wanted it taken down. Second, no one bothered to ask my permission. Those who want to reprint pieces will find most freelancers cooperative, if they show the writers reasonable courtesy. Call or e-mail, don't just steal.
Copyright is under serious attack in the New Media world. I am a plaintiff in a law suit against a pernicious new contact that the "Boston Globe" requires all freelancers sign. It essentially grabs reprint rights without giving the writers a penny. Freelancers should be sensitive about having their material appropriated without their knowledge.
In my case, the "Globe" didn't complain because the copyright was mine. As for Cragin, it becomes more complicated because of the contract. She and the "Globe" jointly own the copyright, so I guess either can take action. There is nothing wrong with quoting selectively from a review for critical purposes, but common sense suggests reprinting an entire critique goes over the ethical line.
As for the small reviewing fee paid by the "Globe," the amount has gone up from $125 but, I agree, it is embarrassing. Yet can a publication that pays nothing to its contributors afford to be sarcastic at a freelancer's expense? A reprint fee is only a small percentage of the cost of the original review: "Theater Mirror" can't even cough that up. Yes, freelance critics like exposure, but they also like to be treated with professionalism: some are particular about the quality of the neighborhoods their reviews appear in.

Bill Marx


Subject: From Sally Cragin
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 14:14:47 -0500
From: "Sally Cragin" aiolia@worldnet.att.net

Dear Larry Stark,
Reprinting material without the author's permission is amateurish and extremely bad form. Please remove the MACBETH review immediately.
If, in the future, you wish to run one of my reviews, let me know your reprint rates first. I'll let you know.
Sincerely,
Sally Cragin

THE TEXT HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN.
I ran the review for comparison --- which I thought was sanctioned as
"quotation for the purpose of critical analysis"
This is the second time this has happened, and each time it is not The GLOBE that complained; it was a GLOBE stringer demanding money --- and knowing I'm sure that I don't have any.
But then, at only $125 per review, GLOBE stringers probably need money a lot more than they do exposure.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Subject: Re: PLEASE TRY TO ATTEND OR SEND A REPRESENTATIVE
Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 10:20:37 -0500 From: Michael Domino michael@basictheatre.org
Organization: Basic Theatre Company, Inc. Hi Larry,
We operated the Boston Baked Theatre in that space from 1993-1997, and our sordid tale was also documented in the Somerville News and the Globe. We were not evicted, but the landlord would not renew our lease and locked us out, even though we always paid our rent on time and there were no financial issues whatsoever. We had to go to court to gain access to get our equipment back. Despite this, we were *extremely* successful producing shows in the space. So it *is* possible to make a go of it there, but make sure an attorney is working for you pro bono!
Best of luck,
Michael Domino


Subject: Re: Announcement for the Theater Mirror
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 12:05:06 -0500
From: "Brett Conner" brett@petbrick.com

Hi there Larry! Yes, it's great to still be a part of the theater community in Boston. It's a world I care a lot about, and I hope to continue my work in Davis Square.

To answer your questions:

1. Yes, the Nexus people are no longer in that space. It's a sordid tale that was documented in the Herald (see Terry Byrne, "Nexus evicted for not paying rent," Boston Herald, January 24, 2002). With the theater now available, I see this as my opportunity to take over management of what I've always felt is a real jewel of a theater.

2. My immediate plan for the space is to set up a nonprofit corporation with me as its head to manage it and rent it out to the local theater companies looking for a good home. The model is very similar to that of the BCA. I want to both be an incubator for the theatrical talent now spread all over the city and a lightning rod to attract varied performing artists to our stage.

3. Next Wednesday's meeting is my opportunity to discuss with local theater companies and performing artists my plan for the theater. I need their support to make it work. I am currently negotiating with the building managers to take over the contract on the theater, and my proposal will benefit greatly from the support of the local theater community.

I am working with StageSource to get people out at the meeting. I appreciate your help in doing the same. Take care!

Brett


Subject: Reviewing Shakespeare
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 10:28:54 -0500
From: "Linda Lowy" linda@shakespearenow.org

Larry,
There are reasons why some critics review productions of Shakespeare's plays in an overwrought way. The very name Shakespeare imbues a critic with awe and fear. The playwright's language is so incomparably pithy that critics feel pressured to rise to his level of insight, a task which would rightly bring any critic to their knees. Instead of seeing Shakespeare as a working man of the theater who had some amazing things to say about how and why humans are humans, critics often view him as a celestial genius who wrote things far beyond the grasp of any mere local theater company to depict (and, any mere critic to critique). We who perform Shakespeare get a lot of pleasure from recreating his works, interpreting the text, and speaking this delicious stuff. Until critics can have as much fun as we do and approach these plays for what they were and are, creations designed to appeal to and reflect upon us mortals, we'll have reviews of Shakespeare attempting to out-Shakespeare Shakespeare.
_________________________________
Linda Lowy
Artistic Director
Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company


Subject: Re: No Subject
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 15:25:31 EST
From: Kfcasting@aol.com

Folks:
Sorry for the impersonal e-mail blasting, but I'm slowly coming out of shock and passing the word. Kevin Fennessy

Friends and Colleagues:
On Friday the 15th, my offices suffered a devastating fire. No injuries, no one was in the office at the time.
Boston Herald Wednesday 02/20/02
Inside Track/ Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Casting for help
So What's the Worst That Could Happen to casting cheese Kevin Fennessy? His office in Cambridge's Inman Square suffered a devastating fire last week and he has no insurance!
The blaze, which Kevin said firefighters believe started in the front office near the computers, broke out Friday after 5 p.m.
``Everything's pretty much gone,'' Fennessy told the Track. ``There's some hope that we can retrieve some computer files from the hard drive, but they are all just wads of plastic and metal. My TVs, VCRs and other equipment are all gone.''
However, all was not lost. The actors' head shots survived!
``I couldn't believe it when I opened the file cabinet. They are like cockroaches,'' joked the casting director. ``And those are the easiest things to get back. You ask for one, they send you 20.''
In the meantime, acting classes have been moved to Pulse Media in Watertown and there's talk of a fund-raiser for Fennessy.
``Fortunately, we weren't in the throes of casting, so I suppose if there's ever a good time for something horrible to happen, it was now,'' he said. ``But there are signs of business coming back and things are brewing, so I hope to get up and running as soon as I can.''
File under: From Ash to Cash?

Boston Globe 02/20/02
Names & Faces
(By Maureen Dezell, Globe Staff)
After the fire Cambridge casting director Kevin Fennessy was still reeling yesterday after a fire Friday afternoon destroyed the Inman Square office of his two-person company, KFC Inc. Fire officials suspect that the blaze started in the electrical wiring, said Fennessy, who had left his second-floor office on Amory Street only an hour before the fire broke out. ''We're trying to find a space to store what we can salvage'' while the building is being repaired, he said. A Cambridge native (he and his parents live across the street from each other on Amory Street), Fennessy has cast such big-studio productions as ''The Perfect Storm'' and ''Me, Myself & Irene,'' many local commercials, and some independent films. He's also an actor, producer, director, and a fixture in Boston's small-theater community, some of whose members plan to organize a benefit to help him restore his 4-year-old company, which has provided theater artists regular work and a reason to stay in Boston rather than moving to New York

As you may have heard, the offices of KEVIN FENNESSY CASTING in Cambridge were recently devastated by fire. Offers of help from kind people in every segment of our industry have been pouring in, from all of us who have benefitted from Kevin's hard work and caring on behalf of the New England performing arts community over the many (more than he'd probably care to admit to) years he's been working here as actor, director, producer, casting director. We know he cares; we could assemble a list many miles long of the first breaks, the timely advice, the second chances, he's given us. He's always showed up for us, in our audiences, at our StageSource and other auditions, all the community events, he's there.

We can be there for him (and have fun too) at a BENEFIT PARTY on MONDAY, MARCH 11 at Boston Playwrights Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. Doors open for sociability at 7; entertainment from 8-9:30; music & general rowdiness from 10 til we're done. There will be food, drink (cash bar), raffle, and other fun activities. Tickets are $25; call Margaret Ann at 617 868-9355 to reserve (or email at margarb@earthlink.net).

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

Just buying a ticket and being ready to party is a help; but so many of you have asked WHAT CAN I DO? We need help with this event: phone calling, transportation, set up, cleanup, getting donations of food, beverage, raffle prizes. Call or email NOW! margarb@earthlink.net 617 868 9355

And another VERY BIG EVENT coming up, in April - keep watching for details!


Subject: Re: IRNE nominations
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 11:49:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Gail Buckley gabuckley@yahoo.com

Thanks for contacting me..I know mistakes happen..Love,gail


Subject: Thanks & small adjustment
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 11:41:15 EST
From: ZeitgeistStage@aol.com

Larry -
Thanks as always for the service you provide. We are thrilled that Zeitgeist received an IRNE nomination - Best Set Design, Small Company. If there any other adjustments you need to make could you also revise our name. We're Zeitgeist STAGE Company not THEATER Company. Not a big deal.

Also, our upcoming production of "In The Blood" is fully staffed, so the request for staff can be removed from the audition listing. (It's dated December 10.)

Just a little housekeeping, but we don't sweat the small stuff ......
David Miller


Subject: Help
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 16:25:27 -0500
From: "Elizabeth Robbins" mzliz@attbi.com

Anyone out there speak German? I could use some help with pronunciation of a couple of paragraphs in German for an upcoming play.
Probably an hour of time would be enough and I could tape record. I can buy you lunch or pay you for your time.
Thanks for any help you can give me.
Liz Robbins


Subject: IRNE nominations
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 14:14:44 -0800 (PST)
From: Gail Buckley gabuckley@yahoo.com

Larry- My name is Gail Astrid Buckley and I designed the costumes for Commonwealth Shakespeare production of Twelfth Night last summer. I am happy that you have included it in your IRNE award nominations ( It is actually the first time my stage design work has been nominated for any award) However.. you have stated on your web page that Gabriel Berry designed the costumes. SHE DID NOT. I did. I would appreciate it if you would correct this error. Thank you, Gail

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Yes, there are STILL some reviewers who don't save their programs!
This has happened every year, and some people never learn...
Sorrywise:
Apologise!


Subject: comments
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 09:59:23 EST
From: OLDGRUMP79@aol.com
I went to see A Chorus Line at Fiddlehead Theater again last night. Meghan Collins, on her way into the theater, told me that she was very sick. After the show, her pretty blue eyes were very watery, her nose reminded me of Rudolph's, and she was wheezing and coughing. I kept watching her during the show, waiting for her to make mistakes, but this beautiful young lady didn't miss a beat. Her performance was flawless.
Heather Hannon apologized to me for being in bad voice because of her cold. Heather's voice was not up to its best, but even at 80% it is lovely. She is a very good looking young lady with a marvelous voice, I adored her performance.
While talking to the cast, I found out that several of them were very ill. The show did not suffer, I for one was enthralled by the talent on stage. All of the people sitting around me, expressed their pleasure with the play.
Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump


Subject: Good for A Laugh!
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 11:43:30
From: "WBUR Arts Newsletter" akozeli@wbur.bu.edu
To: larry@theatermirror.com

Greetings Larry!

TRIBUTE TO ARTHUR FRIEDMAN
By Bill Marx, WBUR Arts Editor

Celebrated Boston theater critic Arthur Friedman died Monday at the age of 66 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. During his three decades of reviewing, Arthur's influence on the theater community was considerable, both as a vibrant personality and as a stinging corrective to the tidal wave of second-rate criticism that prefers diplomacy to discrimination. I was a fledgling theater reviewer for WBUR when I first met him in 1981, and he quickly became my friend and mentor. He was a rarity among reviewers: he practiced the craft of criticism seriously.

Arthur's intelligence was incisive, his knowledge of drama deep, his fight to maintain standards in the theater and in criticism bracing. His flair as a critic is rooted in his sense of himself as a frustrated actor. While enrolled in a doctoral program at Harvard University in the '60s, Arthur acted with rookie performers Tommy Lee Jones, Stockard Channing and John Lithgow. His lively approach to reviewing was compensation for never taking up acting as a career. He transformed criticism into a performative act; a serio-comic monologue, personal yet disinterested, entertaining and combative. He created the persona of professorial kibitzer, unafraid of zinging barbs at the endless march of emperors with no clothes. Arthur's style begged for center stage; he enjoyed having his words hog the spotlight. This stand-up bravado was the trademark of his popular Shakespeare classes at the University of Lowell, where he taught for 30 years.

Arthur wrote for a number of publications, including long stints at the "Real Paper" and the "Boston Herald." He commented on productions large and small, championed local talent while being mirthfully merciless to mediocrity, and lashed out at the ignorance and malfeasance of his fellow reviewers in his column "Bouquets and Brickbats." As a person as well as a writer, Arthur was cranky and hilarious, egomaniacal and loyal. He could be a difficult man, but friends put up with his prickliness because he was so perceptive and funny. Arthur often told me he wanted his tombstone to read "Good for a Laugh," but he was good for much more than that.

When Arthur had to move out of his apartment, I asked for one thing: a small, framed sheet of paper he placed to the right of his manual typewriter. It is a quote from Jonathan Swift, "Use the point of your pen…not the feather." It is the Friedmanian exhortation I glance at before I write every review, a reminder that criticism should stir thought, not tickle the status quo. Rest in peace Arthur -- for me, and for many others, you made your point.


Subject: RE: [Fwd: Piano Factory Lost?]
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 10:28:40 -0500
From: "Threshold Theatre" threshold@thresholdtheatre.org

Larry,
Yes it is true that we leaving the Piano Factory. Unfortunately it is not going to be a theatre anymore -some other business is taking it over. I am not sure who.

It is sad that it isn't going to be a theatre because there are so few spaces in town. Unfortunately the rent has gone up every year and the number of companies that sublet from us has gone down so we couldn't afford to keep it. We will do shows somewhere else. I am just not sure where.
Thanks for your concern.
Brigid

Subject: Piano Factory Lost?
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 11:14:14 -0500
From: "Irene Daly" i_daly@hotmail.com To: SheilaSta@aol.com, larrystark@theatermirror.com

Thought if anyone could confirm this either of you might have an idea. I've heard that since Threshold lost their lease a couple of other theatre companies placed bids on the Piano Factory but that the Landlord said he wasn't interested in working with Theaters anymore, and so accepted a bid from a non-theatrical company.

And that soooo the Piano Factory will no longer be a theater space.

I don't know if this is true, but I have heard it from a couple of people. If so, it definitely saddens me since I loved performing and watching productions in that odd, brick, high-ceilinged space.

LARRY STARK IS HORRIFIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I learned yesterday that the ACTORS' WORKSHOP building will be Demolished in June!
And apparently Neither of these play-spaces will be Replaced!
Where the hell can a bunch of us kids go anymore to put up a show, now that Uncle Ed's Barn is burning down???
Love (and Tears!)
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Subject: Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump - "Jekyll and Hyde" review.....
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 21:01:40 EST
From: LOppedisano@aol.com

To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Lea Darrow and I am currently one of two people playing "Lucy Harris" in Turtle Lane's production of "Jekyll and Hyde". I am writing with a small concern that maybe you could straighten out for me.

My concern is that Robert Guenthner may have seen Kathleen McCann in the role of "Lucy Harris" and not myself. I know Beverly Creasey reviewed me on Friday night, February 8th. I also performed on Sunday,February 10th. There was someone there on Saturday night, February 9th. I'm not sure if it was Mr. Guenthner or not. This was Kathleen's performance night. Could you please look into this and make adjustments if necessary? My only concern is that Kathleen McCann may be the one he saw perform. I could be wrong though! :)
Thank you for your time and attention.
Sincerly,
Lea Darrow

Subject: mix up
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 09:55:48 EST
From: OLDGRUMP79@aol.com

Larry, Concerning the Greenroom mailing, I put Sunday as the day I went to see the show in my review. I do not announce myself as a reviewer, she must have me confused with someone else. I have Emailed her already. I took her picture and had her sign my playbill, so I am sure I was there Sunday and not Saturday. I may be old and getting confused, but this time I am clear minded.
Bob G.

Subject: Old Grump's reviewof "J&H"
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 09:56:47 -0500
From: "Charles Walsh" chucksue@mediaone.net

Hi Larry - Regarding Lea's letter about Bob Guenther's review: Bob was at TLP last Sunday so he did indeed see Lea in the role of Lucy. I'll make sure I tell her when I see her this weekend because as you know Chuck & I are in the show. In fact tonight is Chuck's first show as Jekyll. I think it was so considerate of Lea to try to make sure the right actress got reviewed. But that's just how nice she is! We're very lucky, not only is this an extremely talented cast, but a nice one to boot! Thanks!
Susan Walsh


Subject: Massacusetts Alliance for Arts Education Nominations
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 14:45:41 -0500
From: "Elizabeth Aspenlieder" aspenlieder@shakespeare.org
To: "Catherine Taylor-Williams" catherine@shakespeare.org

Shakespeare & Company Director of Education Kevin Coleman, and Director of Eduaction Programs, Mary Hartman are both board members of the MAAE and would like to acknowledge the following news release. Thank you. Elizabeth Aspenlieder.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-STATEWIDE ART EDUCATION NOMINATIONS
ATTENTION: ARTS AND EDUCATION EDITORS---
January 31, 2002

Contact: Sally Handy, Executive Director
Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education at Lesley University
Phone: 617.349.8968

The Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education, announces the CALL FOR NOMINATIONS for the 2002 Annual Recognition Awards Program to be held at the Massachusetts State House, June 6, 2002. Nominations are being accepted till March 18, in the following categories: Distinguished Arts Educator(music, theater, dance or visual arts); Outstanding Arts Collaborative; Excellence in School Administration; Outstanding Parent Arts Advocate; Distinguished Community Arts/Cultural Institution; Corporate/Business Leader with committed to Arts Education School Committee Leadership towards the Arts in Education; and a School of Excellence in arts leadership.

This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize an outstanding public school teacher of music, theatre, fine arts, or dance or an outstanding "arts committed" Principal, School Committee, Parent/Teacher Organization, Business, or Community Arts Program. This is a time to recognize and celebrate people and groups in Massachusetts making a difference in the arts through education. The deadline for nominations is March 18, 2002. For further information on the awards ceremony, or to receive a nomination form, please contact:
Sally Handy, Executive Director
Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education
at Lesley University
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-2709
Phone: 617.349.8968


Subject: Opinion on Wang Theater Box Seats
Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 09:10:54 -0500
From: pcfrank@netscape.net

First off, I enjoy your website very much.
I wanted to get your opinion as to box seats at the Wang. Are box seats on the far left or right still considered to be good seats. What would you consider the better seats: 15-20 rows back in the Orchestra, Towards the center of the Mezzanine or the far left or right boxes.
Thanks for your help.
Paul Frank

LARRY STARK OPINES:
Two important things:
First, box seats in theatres weren't ever for Seeing plays but for Being Seen. Unless you want to see what the stagehands are doing in the wings, they are terrible seats.
Second, The Wang itself was built as a Movie-House --- Boston's answer to Radio City Music Hall --- and what was seen there originally were huge close-up images on a large screen.
My favorite seats in a big house are about 12th-row center, on either aisle, or front row of first balcony (mezzanine).
Any closer and the total picture of the stage becomes instead a tennis-match in which one can see speaker or listener comfortably, but rarely both. Much farther back and the play shrinks to the illusion of a marionette-show the size of a t-v screen --- and all the subtle detail of face and eyes simply cannot be read.
Of course, many of the shows that come through The Wang are really "events" to be Attended, not really Seen or Experienced --- I've seen spectacles there, like "Sunset Boulevard" and "Beauty & The Beast" and "Annie" where the entire audience could sing-along because they'd played the grooves off the record and the cast could as easily be lip-synching. I do think Tyne Daley in "Gypsy" was an exception, and I wish I had seen "The Lion King" there, but as a general rule The Wang is not my favorite playhouse nor do I regret being invited so seldom to productions there.
But I am a strange old man...
Love, ===Anon.


Subject: Internet Theatre Bookshop Commission
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 14:24:55 GMT
From: partners@stageplays.com

Good news ! Your affiliate account at http://www.stageplays.com has resulted in an Order at The Internet Theatre Bookshop.
Your commission for this is £1.04, and it'll be included in your next commission check
If you want to know how much your Commission's worth in any major currency, go to - http://www.xe.net/ucc/full.shtml best wishes
Max Appleby
Affiliate Manager
LARRY STARK NOTES:
£1.04 = 1.47051 USD
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
What Am I going to DO with it all!!!!!!!
Love,
===Plutocrat
(a k a Anon.)


TO: Larry Stark (Theater Mirror)
FROM: NAPA, New Alliance of Producing Artists
DATE: 31 January 2002
RE: 2001-2002 Season Launch

In an unprecedented and exciting development for theatergoers in Boston, three area companies announce a second and expanded season of NAPA, the New Alliance of Producing Artists. Founded in 2000 by The Bridge Theatre Company and others, NAPA provides shared resources and a much-needed collaborative forum for its members. The organization provides an important base for serious Boston-area theatre companies that are looking to grow.

NAPA's mission is two-fold: to offer member companies opportunities to combine their managing efforts while retaining artistic independence, and to provide potential audience members greater access to BostonÕs theatre community. This year, Industrial Theatre and Rough & Tumble Theatre join The Bridge Theatre Company in working towards a vital future for small theatre in Boston.

Theatregoers now can take advantage of NAPA's joint subscription for the 2001-2002 season. (We will gladly mail you a subscription brochure--just e-mail us with your mailing address.) NAPA subscribers receive special discounts and reserved seating for a rich and varied selection of plays performed by member companies. NAPA subscribers also are offered personal invitations to special events and personal notices of special opportunities within the NAPA community, providing them with concrete ways to take a more active part in the continued development of theatre art in the city. NAPA is committed to strengthening relationships between audience members and the performing arts sector, providing a key step towards making theatre a more integral part of life in Boston.

We invite you to contact us to learn more about NAPA, to help us spread the word about this new and important collaboration. For more information or to set up an interview, please call Maria Brandt, NAPA Director, at 617-524-9456, or e-mail her at brandtm@bc.edu

INFORMATION ABOUT NAPA MEMBER COMPANIES:

The Bridge Theatre Company is dedicated to providing the Boston Community with provocative, challenging drama. In 1994, The Bridge began its two-fold mission: to evoke and engage the imagination through dramatic performance and to encourage collaboration among local artists and audiences. The Bridge won an IRNE award for its 2000 production of The School for Scandal and has received increased critical attention over its past few seasons.

Industrial Theatre, founded in 1995, is committed to creating theatrical productions that challenge and inspire both artists and audiences. Its passion derives from its conviction that theatre transforms the lives of those who participate in it, enriches the lives of those who witness it, and enhances a community's quality of life. Since 1998, Industrial has been the company-in-residence at the Leverett Old Library Theatre in Harvard Square, where it presents new, experimental and contemporary plays during its September to May Cambridge season. In the summer, Industrial presents a free, open-air Shakespeare production at the Columbia Cultural Center Amphitheater in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Rough & Tumble Theatre is a three-year-old venture whose goal is to make theatre that people will actually enjoy. It aims to find and highlight in its productions those things that make theatre different from the many other modes of entertainment available today. Its recent productions were hailed as "wonderfully satisfying" by The Boston Herald, and praised for their "imaginative staging and sweet sense of humor" by The Boston Phoenix.

All three companies participate in the Boston Theatre Marathon.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2001-2002 SEASON:

The Bridge Theatre Company

Wives of the Dead, by Boston playwright Todd Hearon, February 8-23, Boston PlaywrightÕs Theater

Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe, August 23-September 7, The Boston Center for the Arts Black Box Theater.

For more information, contact Kevin Kidd, Managing Director, at 781-893-8441 or kiddk@bc.edu.

Industrial Theatre

Fefu and Her Friends, by Maria Irene Fornes, February 1-16, Leverett Old Library in Harvard Square

Painted Alice, by Boston playwright William Donnelly, April 26-May 11, Leverett Old Library in Harvard Square

For more information, contact Heather McNamara, Artistic Director, at 617-257-7480 or itheatre@concentric.net.

Rough & Tumble Theatre

The April Project, April 11-28, The Boston Center for the Arts

Dr. Mee-Mee's Mysterious Machine, April 13-27, The Boston Center for the Arts

For more information, contact Dan Milstein, Artistic Director, at
617-728-1444 or info@rough-and-tumble.org.

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I see this as THE most important theatrical event here, since the founding of the late and much-lamented PROSCENiUM-Magazine.
Boston theater has been a chaos of warring fiefdoms, factionalisms, cliques --- individual companies each fighting (and, unfortunately, fighgting each other) for a place in the sun. When PROSCENiUM Magazine provided programs (FREE!) to small companies --- programs that looked so much better than the PLAYBILLs used by the big Broadway houses --- they dignified those smaller companies, levelled the playing-field, and promoted an interchange of audiences that encouraged people to see more than one play and to try more than one company's wares.
In these days of war and recession, theater companies that Will Always Be Poor have to renew their commitment to making good theater regardless of the cost. Sharing mailing-lists and encouraging people to widen their theatrical horizons seems to me an axiomatic approach to common problems.
Organizing theater is always an exercize in herding bumblebees. It is amazing but refreshing to see three of them happily and cooperatively headed in the same direction.
Who's next?
Love (and HOPE!)
===Anon.


Below is an add in American Theatre. I attended this program a few years back and assisted with it last year. The format is no longer a month in CT but two two-week courses. You are tutored by some of the finest in the business and will see half of the 15 plays they put up in very advanced staged readings. If anyone needs wants to talk about how it works, let me know.

Joe Coyne
jcoyne@usa.net

CRITICS WANTED

Sharpen you critical and writing skills and expand your theater knowledge. The O'Neill Critics Institute offers working journalist, students and teachers the unique opportunity to hone their craft alongside the artists at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

Two two-week sessions offered in July 2002; financial aid and fellowships available.

Write or call:

O'Neill Critics Institute
305 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385
860-443-5378 Phone
860-443-9653 Fax


Subject: website correction
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 21:09:10 -0500
From: ROY EARLEY re007hq@mediaone.net

Hi Larry,
I noticed in Greenroom discussions that you printed my note about The Reagle Players Summer Show poll(Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002), but you incorrectly wrote,

" LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Te URL gets you to the Reagle Players website (it is very slow; be patient), but the poll is at http://re007hq.tripod.com/poll/"

The OFFICIAL REAGLE PLAYERS web site is "www.reagleplayers.org"

My site and the poll are just an offshoot of the official site , that started out as a photo album that also contained news updates on Reagle activities, the poll is meant to get a feel for what people are interested in and by no means will it be used to pick the Official summer shows.

That decision remains with the Director,Producer and the board of Directors . And depends on the availability of the rights to do a show and the availability of those needed to put on a show that is faithful to Broadway standards.

In closing , thank you for putting up the poll site it's been getting alot of votes, The poll closes March 2nd , and the results will be listed at http://re007hq.tripod.com/reaglenews/ It will be interesting to see how close the poll is to the actual shows which are picked for the summer season later this spring. Thanks Again, Roy


Subject: Just a little something for funniness, Love, Trudi
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 11:20:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Trudi Goodman trudigoodman@yahoo.com

Hi Everyone:
I thought that you might enjoy this...it's been a long, long Winter ... this year and hopefully Spring will be coming early!!!
Love and Knishes,
Trudi
************************************************

REPRINTED FROM THE NEW YORKER: 1/7/2002

THEATRE-LOBBY NOTICES, by Andy Borowitz

WARNING: In Act II, there is gunfire, an explosion, and a lengthy monologue by a character named Mr. God.
WARNING: Owing to a typography error, the Times review of this play omitted the word “horrible.”
WARNING: When the curtain rises, you may be startled by the sight of a former movie star’s ravaged face.
WARNING: In Act III, there is full frontal nudity, but not involving the actor you would like to see naked,
WARNING: During this afternoon’s performance, there will be a chatty women’s group from Great Neck seated directly behind you.
WARNING: People who do not find plays about incurable bone disease entertaining should probably go home right now.
WARNING: The lead actor in tonight’s play is a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company who always showers the first five rows with spittle.
WARNING: In interviews, the composer of tonight’s long-delayed musical has referred to it as both “ a pet project” and “a labor of love.”
WARNING: Any audience members you may hear laughing this evening have been paid handsomely to do so.
WARNING: Tonight’s play is being produced despite explicit instructions in the dead playwright’s will to “ burn all remaining copies to a crisp.”
WARNING: The role usually played by Sir Ian McKellan will be performed tonight by the actor who played Isaac on “The Love Boat.”
WARNING: This play has a title that is very similar to that of another play currently running on Broadway, which is the one you meant to buy tickets for.
WARNING: In order to enjoy this play, it is necessary to have some knowledge of Basque dialects.
WARNING: Tom Stoppard found the play you are about to see “confusing.”
WARNING: Tonight’s play is performed without an intermission and you will be stuck here forever.


Subject: your review of The Shawl
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 11:37:04 -0500
From: "basementonthehill" basementonthehill@maxicom.net
Dear Larry,

Thank you so much for the great review. You grasped the artistic aspects of my intentions beautifully, and it is so reassuring to learn that what I've hoped for got conveyed. And simply, after such a review, I feel like I am gaining strength to go on and will (hopefully) be immuned against the possible negative ones. Larry, what a relief! Thank you so much. Maybe, when it's all over, I can have you and your friend for vodka and Russian food. I enjoyed talking to you after the show and would love to continue the conversation.
With gratitude and appreciation,
Lilia


Subject: reviews
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 10:01:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Markus Jochum markus@ocean.mit.edu

Dear Mr. Stark,
I appreciate your efforts to support the Boston theatre community by maintaining the Theatremirror webpage.
However, the published review of 'The Lion in Winter' is incoherent babbeling, unworthy of even an undergraduate student. It does not help anybody, neither the actors nor the audience.
Yours sincerely,
Markus Jochum

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
You're right. I waited too long to talk about a show I'd seen only a few months before.
Did you see the show? You probably needn't have done so to spot the flaws in my review, but if you did, send me your own review and it will go up with mine. (NOTE: the term "Minority Report" is used for all reviews after the first received --- though in this case the implication of "opposing view" will probably be apparent!)
What would you say about the show?
Thank you, and break a leg.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark)


Subject: Re: Reagle Players
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 12:53:59 -0500
From: "Charles Walsh" chucksue@mediaone.net

Hi Larry -
For many, many years Reagle used all local non-equity actors and he used to pack the place. Many times we tried to get tix and shows were sold out. When my friend Adele Keohan played Dolly it sold out. When he did "King & I" with local actors David Scannell as the King & Nancy Etheridge as Anna it sold out. In fact I believe his ticket sales were actually better because the prices were lower, and he gave a senior discount, which I believe he's done away with. He used broadway sets & costumes always (that was the hook) and a full orchestra. So the idea that he needs so-called "stars" to attract audiences just doesn't hold weight. When he did "Oklahoma" he used Robin Cox as Laurey. He had seen her do the part at Turtle Lane! Then he brought in an equity guy named Merwyn Foard to play Curly. Had anyone ever heard of him? No, but the show sold anyway. Years later Merwyn went on to play Richard Henry Lee in the Broadway revival of "1776", but at that point he was relatively unknown. He was the only equity person in "Oklahoma". So I'm sorry Larry, but I have to respectfully disagree with you with on this one. I started going to see shows at Reagle over 20 years ago and it was all non-equity local actors and they continuously sold out. (and the shows were good too!)

On another subject, Chuck & I are in rehearsals for "Jekyll & Hyde" at TLP. I am Lady Beaconsfield and Chuck is Sir Danvers Carew, but he is playing Jekyll for 8 performances. His first 2 shows as Jekyll are Feb 14th & 16th. Jerry Bisantz is directing. Hope you can catch it. We have a great cast. Thanks for replying!
Take care,
Susan Walsh

THIS IS IN ANSWER TO A LETTER LARRY STARK HAS DELETED, THAT REPLIED TO THE ONE BELOW.

Subject: Reagle Players
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 02:35:31 -0500
From: "Charles Walsh" chucksue@mediaone.net

Hi Larry - When you say that you think Reagle Players would be the best "local" company to do "Follies", remember this: the only thing that makes Reagle "local" is the fact that they perform in Waltham. Surely for "Follies", as they do for all their productions now, they would bring in "New York" equity actors. As you know, Turtle Lane Playhouse did a well-received production of "Follies" last year and actually used ALL local actors!! Wow, what a concept!!!!!!!!!!

I am not a representative of Turtle Lane, these are just my personal opinions. (I wasn't even in the show) I know you probably meant that one reason Reagle would be ideal is because they have a large stage and all. I'm just sensitive about the whole local actor issue. Here's MY suggestion for Reagle Players: There are some really great actors/singers in the greater Boston area. How about hiring them for a change, and not just for unpaid chorus parts? You know, give something back to the community by employing local talent? Other theaters are doing it; the Lyric Stage, Publick Theater, and New Repertory Theater just to name a few. Go on, give it a try!
Susan Walsh


Subject: RE: The Patriot Ledger is not going to review community theater anymore??
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 15:29:46 -0500
From: Features

Hi, Larry,
Sorry I only had time yesterday to send a brief message. Let me expand on that today.

I want to reassure you and your readers that The Patriot Ledger is fully dedicated to providing quality coverage of the local arts and entertainment scene on the South Shore, and that has not changed. There is no intention to reduce or scale back in any way our coverage of local theater and other arts events.

To clarify some facts, Ellen Brams has never been a staff member at The Patriot Ledger. She's a freelance writer. Her work won't be appearing in the paper anymore.

Jon Lehman, who's worked for The Patriot Ledger for 35 years, 25 of them as Features Editor, has indeed retired. I am his replacement. I have been a writer and editor for 20 years, eight of them at The Patriot Ledger.

I love the theater, from student productions to community theater groups, from regional professional companies to Broadway shows--and everything in between. Jon's a tough act to follow, but I'll be doing my best. I hope the Ledger's readers and the local theater community will let me know if there's anything I can do to make our paper more interesting and useful. I welcome their ideas.

Happily, Jon Lehman is going to be doing more, not less, reviewing now that he's retired. He has many assignments in the works. Other reviewers will cover local theater as well.

The entertainment and theater scene in this area will always be a top priority for this paper.

Thank you for your interest and concern about The Patriot Ledger. If there are questions or suggestions about our coverage, I welcome calls or email. I can be reached at 617-786-7082, or at features@ledger.com.
Sincerely,
Lisa McManus
Features Editor> The Patriot Ledger

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Stark's Theater Mirror [mailto:larry@theatermirror.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 10:11 AM
To: Stacey Erikson; features@ledger.com;
Subject: Re: The Patriot Ledger is not going to review community theater anymore??
DEAR PATRIOT LEDGER FEATURES EDITOR:
I am writing asking for confirmation of the letter included below, which suggests there will no longer be a "Theater Critic" permanently assigned to such duties for your paper. Is this true?
The letter infers that the paper will cover only "major events" (i.e. bigger local companies and Broadway) and ignoring community theatres and smaller companies. Will that be your policy in future?
I ask because I run a website called THE THEATER MIRROR [ http://www.theatermirror.com/ ] which carries reviews and news of all theater activity in the six New England states, and for my readers this would be a major news story.
And so I hesitate to run this letter, carring as it does a third-hand (and perhaps biased) reaction to whatever your current policy change may be.

Will you please send me a note clarifying to paper's attitude toward theater coverage in the future? I will try to hold this letter until you can explain the situation more accurately.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Stacey Erikson wrote:
Hey guys, I received this today. If you already received it, my apologies. I agree with Sally (from Company Theater) and thought you would like to know. Community theater does highly benefit from reviews in the Ledger.
Take Care,
Stace

Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 13:47:22 EST V Subject: Important from Sally

Please do this. Take a moment to do this. You can make a difference.
Ellen Brams called me today. The Patriot Ledger has fired her and will not do any more reviews for theatre. They may do features for shows and IF they send someone to review, then it will be a Patriot Ledger staffer who has no knowledge of theatre. Someone close to her suggested that maybe if theatre staff, actors, techies and such send a letter to The Patriot Ledger and a copy to her....maybe they will see the value of reviews in local theatre. Sometimes a review boosts our sales or give you the recognition to put in a scrapbook! The thing that really surprises me is they don't pay much at all for a review, so why would they cut it? I really think we owe it if only as a tribute to woman who tried to see the best in all of us for so many years.

Also Jon Lehman who ! was the Art & Entertainment Editor has "retired".

Send a letter to: The Patriot Ledger
Lisa McManus, Features Editor
400 Crown Colony Drive
Quincy, MA 02269

Send a copy of your letter to:

Ellen Brams
35 Chessman Drive
Sharon, MA 02067

Forward this to everyone you can think of....THANKS!!! SALLY

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Stacey L. Erikson
slerikson@yahoo.com

LARRY STARK SUGGESTS:
New editors do things differently. Back in the mid '60s, when Patriot-Ledger entertainment editor Arnie Reisman took over from Jane Steideman, BOSTON AFTER DARK became a different newspaper. And when Teddy Gross succeeded him in 1972, the paper changed as well.
But theater endures, and cannot be ignored.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Subject: Watch me!
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 18:11:00 -0500
From: d.l.didio@juno.com

I am thrilled to announce a new Internet TV Series I'm starring in: Boy George Michael Jackson Browne. It's work that I am extremely proud of. The director, writer, producer Memo Salazar continues to amaze me. I know you all will enjoy it (especially the episode that I sing off key, and another in which I show up in animation!).
Tune in at...
http://www.foolfactory.com/haus/boygeorge.html It's worth taking the time to download, you won't regret it!
Tell your friends!
Danielle L. DiDio


Subject: REAGLE PLAYER'S SUMMER POLL
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 22:47:11 -0500
From: ROY EARLEY re007hq@mediaone.net

Please participate in a poll to choose a Musical for one of the Summer shows @ http://re007hq.tripod.com/reaglenews/
Feel free to pass the link to your Colleagues for their vote.
Thanks.

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Te URL gets you to the Reagle Players website (it is very slow; be patient), but
the poll is at http://re007hq.tripod.com/poll/
And this is the list:

Fiddler on the Roof
Will Rogers Follies
My Fair Lady
42nd Street
The Music Man
Man of La Mancha
The Secret Garden
Camelot
Annie Get Your Gun
A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to The Forum
South Pacific
Damn Yankees

When I saw the spread of possibilities, my vote went to:
None of The Above!
My own list of musicals I'd love to see done as well as Reagle does them includes:

Mack And Mabel
Me And Juliet
Pal Joey
Lady In The Dark
Fanny
Irma La Douce
110 In The Shade
Very Good Eddie
Pajama Game

Of course, the musical I think Reagle would be the best company to recreate would be
FOLLIES
Anyone else have suggestions about Neglected Musicals that local companies might think of producing?
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


FROM GERALYN HORTON:

I just heard from Ron Ritchell that Polly is in the Somerville hospital, recovering from an operation on her collapsed lung. She'll be there for a week.

Don't know quite how to rally round, but certainly feel that rallying is in order. Ron and Polly have always stood ready to rally round for the rest of us!

Sending prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery in the meantime...


Subject: Greenroom Answer for Keith
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 23:12:14 -0500
From: "Don Gillis" dgillis2@home.com

Larry-
Keith hight hkewith1357@yahoo.com is looking for Letters from Sarajevo , in your latest greenroom discussions.
I found it at
www.amazon.com
When he gets to that page, click on search and type in the Title.
It costs $ 19.95
Letters from Sarajevo: Voices of a Besieged City
Anna Cataldi (Editor)
Aveil Bardonio (Translator)
They also have 3 books left that are used selling from 4.95 and up
Hope this helps Keith!
Happy Holidays
Little Rhody Theater

Subject: Letters from Sarajevo
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 04:25:44 -0800 (PST)
From: keith hight hkeith1357@yahoo.com

i am looking for a copy of this play i have tried pligram theater email 3times im also looking for a phone number please help thank you keith


Subject: Theatre Question
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 21:41:46 -0500
From: "Robert Antecki" symphonyno.1@att.net

Dear Mr. Stark,
I was wondering if you might know of any theatre "newsletters," or something like that, that go out to theatres all across the country or on a regional basis, where people can put "classifieds," or ads, for example, of new works they would like to get the word out about, for people who might be interested in producing them?
Best,
Robert


Subject: Words of Friendly Caution
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 22:17:49 -0500
From: "Timothy Fitzgerald" dadfitz@msn.com

Hi Larry-
Just to follow along on Kami's comments, I have been privy to some other companies who do not follow through on commitments made at the time of hiring directors. I would urge any and all directors, both new and experienced, to get it in writing. You should not be directing any production without a contract stating in black and white what the group's responsibilities are with regard to the production in question. This would include such things as making the director privy to the shows budget with regard to such things as costumes and set, as this will have an effect on whether the group can afford to finance the director's vision of the proposed show. They should also know what resources the group has with regard to existing inventory i.e. flats, props, costumes.

I have been fortunate enough to direct for some groups that work with the director from start to finish via the show's producer. To me, this is of the utmost importance as the producers are the ones responsible for making sure a show is adhering to the proposed budget. A good producer keeps track of the monetary expenditures so the director can approach them at any time to inquire if the money is available for production items. The producer must control what is spent for every aspect of the production. This is done by constant contact with all parties concerned. The name of the game is communication. Without communication, the potential exists for discord between the director and the theatre company.

The last thing any group needs or wants is to gain a bad reputation for inadequate money management or people having to pay key production players out of their pocket. Bottom line is DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! As the theatre companies will check your references, you should be also be checking their references. Ask them for contact numbers of directors that they have worked with in the recent past for recommendations. Talk to your friends and ask them if they know of the group's reputation or can connect you with someone who can give you some guidance.

Unfortunately, many directors are too trusting and will go into a new group without doing their research. I personally want to work with financially sound companies who are well organized and will check them out before I sign on the dotted line. I enjoy directing and want to continue to enjoy it so I will take note and heed the signs....know your theatre companies!
Regards-
TJ Fitzgerald


Subject: Word of Friendly Caution....
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 15:09:58
From: "Kami C" kami_is_here@hotmail.com

Hello Larry,
I was hoping to share a word of friendly caution with eager fellow performers, techies, directors etc looking for their next paycheck in the arts.
Investigate thoroughly the group presenting the opportunity. Answer their questions but do not be afraid to ask alot of your own.
Ask for references outside of the Executive Board, go see a production if possible, read old reviews of the past shows, look over any plans they may have all ready invested in for the show (have they applied for the rights? do they have the scripts?), get a list of the production team heads, tour the facility (get a good sense of their sets, props, costume resources) and get a copy of their proposed budget.
Asking a laundry list of questions and doing your own research may help you to find work that is an excellent fit or save you the heartache of the wrong one.
I hope that this advice will come in handy.
Thanks
Kami


Subject: Boston theatrical history
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 09:04:29 -0500
From: "John Kaler" jkaler2@csi.com
I am doing genealogical research on a family member who wrote plays for production in Boston during the 1870s and wonder whether you could direct me to appropriate resources in the area. The playwright's name was James O. Kaler. Several of his plays were published and/or produced by John Stetson, Jr., who I understand was manager of the Howard Athaneum at that time. Any information about either of these individuals, or tips as to sources that I might be able to use for continuing research, would be very much appreciated.


Subject: I didn't know...
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 11:00:51 -0500
From: "Kevin Lindsay" kjlind@bellatlantic.net
To: "'Larry Stark'" larry@theatermirror.com
CC: "'JOE COYNE'" jcoyne@usa.net

Hello Larry,
I just got off the phone with Terry Byrne who informed me that you had placed an emergency alert on the site about our dilemma with the 2001 grant program. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know about this as I've been barely "treading water" these days to finish up the company's wind down before the end of the year. Please accept my apology for not understanding TheaterMirror's direct "link" to this initiative and most of all my heartfelt thanks for your efforts. This has been best holiday gift ever as far as I'm concerned. And as I said to Joe when he originally balked at being acknowledged in the press release, I meant every word when I said that you two are "heroes."
Thanks again and have a terrific season!!
Sincerely,
Kevin Lindsay

Subject:Reply
From: Larry Stark's Theater Mirror [mailto:larry@theatermirror.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2001 2:02 AM
To: kjlind@bellatlantic.net
Subject: Re: I didn't know...

First of all, I must say my involvement with this whole project --- something which was initiated and completed By Joe Coyne --- was extremely minimal. He asked for some judgements as to the ranking of importance in the projects to be funded, and then he acted, more or less, on thaqt Advice. (I suspect he asked me aboard as a gesture, to get some free publicity for The Theater Mirror!) Joe is still an enigmatic figure to me, but he obviously loves theater!

Second, I must tell you that PROSCENiUM was the single most important factor in the increasing health of theater in Boston that has happened in the past decade. You GAVE theatres of all sorts of shapes and sizes a dignity they never would have felt before the magazine came along --- a shaft of sunlight pricking them out of the gloom of media neglect. You made a difference, and should be proud.
I am proud of you and the effect your work had.
I cannot Ever forgive the selfish bastards who shot you down. The world is poorer since PROSCENiUM has left it, in ways people only dimly understand.

You define the word "hero" in my book, and always will.
Thank you, for Everything.....
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )
And, whatever else you do, Break a leg!

Subject: RE: I didn't know...
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 23:25:39 -0500

Don't know what to say other than I'm overwhelmed by your generosity of spirit. These are about the kindest words anyone has shared with me over the life of the magazine. To whatever extent this may be true, it was clearly the direct result of a team effort, and I was blessed with an amazingly talented and dedicated crew.
So once again, my thanks.
Kevin L.


Subject: thanks for the good news!
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 11:48:13 -0500
From: Jeff Poulos jpoulos@stagesource.org
To: jcoyne@usa.net
CC: "Stark, Larry" larrystark@theatermirror.com

Joe,

Congratulations and kudos to you and Larry, and the Haymarket Community Corporation for being so supportive to the theatre community. These theatre companies should be very appreciative of your efforts and I hope you've sent this release to the press. This is quite an accomplishment and newsworthy in the arts community.

As a rule, we do not run press releases on our hotlines. I do encourage you, however, to post this on the Message Boards under "News & General Announcements" which is actually accessible by anyone. This will alllow more people than just our members to hear about your good news. If you want me to post this on the website for you, I'd be happy to - send me a clean copy to my email.

Again, congratulations to you and Larry and all involved.

Jeff
--
Jeff Poulos
Executive Director
StageSource
88 Tremont Street
Suite 714
Boston, MA 02108
617.720.6066
http://StageSource.org


Subject: Info On Press Release
Date: 4 Dec 2001 18:17:03 EST
From: JOE COYNE jcoyne@usa.net

Larry
SO much for a dated notice. It is up as a press release on StageSource and here is the little blurb from the Herald. The money is out there and City Stage wanted to thank you.
Joe Coyne

*******************

Herald ON Line

December 4, 2001

Haymarket comes through for theaters Entertainment briefs

Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Haymarket Community Corp. has come through with some cash to help restore funds promised to theater groups through the now-defunct Proscenium Fund for Audience Development. Fund president Kevin-John Lindsay has been scrambling to find ways to make good on the grants since the fund's sponsor, Proscenium magazine, went belly up last summer.

Haymarket's commitment means that SpeakEasy Stage Company, CityStage, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Wheelock Family Theatre/Deaf Pah Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre, Theatre Offensive, Centastage Performance Group and Sugan Theater Company will receive 70 percent of the grant money promised to them.

TERRY BYRNE P> **********************

Subject: [Fwd: Re: [ACT-PRO] Actors & Significant others]
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 01:22:57 -0500
From: Geralyn Horton ghorton@tiac.net
To: Larry Stark larry@theatermirror.com
-------- Original Message -------- From: Victor Castillo Victor_Castillo@KCMO.ORG
Subject: Re: [ACT-PRO] Actors & Significant others
To: ACTING-PRO@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM

I have a girlfriend who is not an actor. She comes to my shows (even when it is something as measly as walking across the stage as a supernumerary in the first act of TOSCA), but she can't be said to thoroughly understand my situation. during arguements, she complains about my lack of time with her, even though I have gone out of my way to cut back on the number of shows for which to audition.

My friend and neighbor forwarded this to me. Whether it is humour or sad truth is up to the reader.

< I'm speaking on behalf of the acting community here. I'm about to tell you something for your own good. It's risky for me to do this, but here goes:

Don't date us.

Seriously. Don't date an actor. I know we seem all very charming and funny and outgoing when you first look at us, but I'm here to tell you something: we are all dying on the inside. We are the worst people in the world to date. We are all slowly killing ourselves internally. We are.

We are faced with rejection on a near-daily basis. And as much as we tell you that it doesn't bother us, it does. It hurts the very core of our beings. We try and cover the pain with humor, or we attempt to dull it with alcohol or cigarettes or whatever-drug-of-choice, but the fact of the matter is it kills us that every single day we have to wake up and still be ourselves. We are always ourselves. And it's never good enough.

We are used to only seeing people for six weeks at a time. After that, the sound of that same person's voice will make us want to scream. We hate it when people tell us what to do, but we will constantly ask for advice. We want a director in our lives. Someone who is telling us things we want to hear (praise, attention, affection), but when that person has constructive criticism, we can't stand him or her anymore. If you ever tell us how to say something, or correct us on how we remember things, you're pretty much out of our lives forever.

We only have the same six stories about how great some summer show was and we will tell them over and over and over again. We might get into fist fights over the best season of SNL. We are always talking to ourselves. In the shower, in the car, in our beds at night. Sometimes you'll find us talking to corners, plants, televisions. We sometimes want you to listen to us say the same three minutes of material you've heard about one million times and then ask if you can see the "subtle" changes we have made.

We are constantly having to see other people's shows, even really bad shows, and we have to tell the person that was in the show that it was really good work. We're not being a good friend or anything, it's just that deep down we know that if that other person is up later for the same role we're up for, we know that we're better and will get the part.

It's not pretty, and we know it. We are horrible, terrible, annoying people. The bitch of it is, every single one of us will tell you that we never want to date an actor. I bet every actor you know is dating an actor. If they weren't actors when they started dating, they became actors (or techies) by having to "help out" with a show when someone drops out. Eventually, everyone in the circle becomes a performer.

Every single one of us will tell you that we never want to date an actor, that they are moody and flaky and irresponsible and self-centered. And then we crawl right back and date another actor. Because we are slaves to talent. We're slaves to pretty things. We are more turned on by stage presence than a good meal. I'm not kidding. I don't care how well you cook or dress or hike or catch a football. We want to see you do some Tony Kushner. That's all we want. That is so hot.

Realize that I'm going to be in a bit of trouble for spilling our secrets here. Every single actor feels like the single-worst actor in the world. We all feel like frauds. That if anyone really knew how much we were faking this whole thing, then we'd be shunned forever. We never feel prepared.

We think of ourselves first. We love ourselves more than anyone else in the world, and we hate ourselves just as passionately at the same time. We will be so happy that we will start crying because we will realize that we may never feel this happy again. We will be so angry that we will create a huge situation out of the lack of ice in the freezer. We create our own drama. We live and breathe drama. If there's no drama, you're not living.

We hate each other passionately for forcing us to go see other shows and having to listen to their drama when it's OUR drama and OUR shows that are the most important. We'll skip a friend's show to have sex, and then when they skip your show to go on a date, they are the assholes.

You. Can't. Win.

An actor will kill you slowly.

We never shut up. We never stop talking. When we've stopped talking it's because we're depressed, and we will be blaming ourselves, but we'll probably take it out on you.

Do you want to live with this?

Just let us date each other and keep on hating and loving each other. Save yourself the pain and the self-esteem issues. Sure, we're great at parties, but when the lights go out, we are miserable, moody, overly sensitive people with such paranoid delusion that we are able to convince ourselves that the entire world hates us. I may never get to do a show again for this, but I think that it's good to let you know now that we are not what we appear to be.

And besides, we're just going to date each other anyway. We can't help it.>>


Subject: RE: Message from larry stark (Lawrence Edward Stark 3rd, if you must know)
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 09:57:25 -0500
From: Baker's Plays webhelp@bakersplays.com
To: larry@theatermirror.com
The scripts and rights to that play are unavailable.
It is in production around the world.

-- Original Message --

>NAME: larry stark (Lawrence Edward Stark 3rd, if you must know)
>EMAIL: larry@theatermirror.com
>TELE: 1(617)524-1768
>
>MESSAGE: I got this letter asking for information, and made the following
>reply:
>
>If anyone knows, BAKERS knows!
>Baker's Plays is both a bookstore and the agents handling contracts and royalty
>agreements on productions of plays.
>Their website is
>[ http://www.bakersplays.com/ ]
>
>I am forwarding this to them, so they'll know you're coming.
>Break a leg with the show!
>Love,
> ===Anon.
>( a k a larry stark )
>Jay and Tessa Abello wrote:
>
> Dear Sir/Ma'am,
> I am 29 years old and an assistant director in television and feature films
> here in the Philippines. My director Erik Matti and I were talking about
> staging a play or a musical as a tribute to where we both came from, which
> is theatre and as a break from our usual work which is both TV and movies.
>
> The play we have chosen is Sheer Madness. I have seen it last 1998 in >D.C.
> and it blew my mind. My cousins in the United States have seen in it at
> least four times and it's still their favorite.
> Where could we get a script of Sheer Madness?
> Thank you.
> Jay Abello
>
Sincerely,
Shirley Kaye
Customer Service
Baker's Plays


Subject: Re: Reply to Greenroom request]
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 12:04:34 -0500
From: "David G" david@comedytheater.com

Hello Larry -
URL is still there, Mass. Hysteria is no longer.
Too bad, I miss it. Hope that helps.
David Goldstein
Comedy Theater Productions
http://www.comedytheater.com

Subject: [Fwd: Reply to Greenroom request]
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 04:25:26 -0500
From: Larry Stark's Theater Mirror larry@theatermirror.com
To: david@comedytheater.com

This is an answer to the letter below.
I'm just tryiung to get to the bottom of the disappearing URL.
Has Nancy solved thje mystery???
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Subject: Reply to Greenroom request
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 08:52:01 -0500
From: Nancy Curran Willis imadirektor@mediaone.net

Hi Larry,
In response to Amanda's quest in The Greenroom for Mass Hysteria - I believe they are now listed as Comedy Theater at the following web site:
http://www.comedytheater.com/
Hope this helps.
Nancy CW

Subject: Theater Mirror link
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 14:37:14 -0500
From: Amanda Harless amandaharless@mindspring.com

Good afternoon, Larry~
Thanks for your wonderful web site! Would you help me with one of your links? I'm trying to access MASS HYSTERIA! but it won't connect. It offers the following error message "The requested URL /massHyst.html was not found on this server." Would you be able to provide me with the direct web site for Mass Hysteria? I'm having quite a bit of difficulty finding them on the web, so any info you could give me would be much appreciated.
Thank you,
Amanda Harless


Subject: interest in theater
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 14:51:09 EST
From: USAfor3@aol.com

Hi,
My name is Lucas, I'm brazilian 32 years old, and I'm passionate about theater, as an actor.
I've seen your site, and I found it very interesting, but I would like to have some help from you.
I'm looking for some amateur groups, but I don't speak much English.
In Brasil I've done 8 years of amateur theater.
I wish you could help me to find an amateur group.
I'll be very happy if someone would accept me as an amateur actor, even not speaking much English.
I'll be awaiting very anciously for your answer.
Thanks since now.
Lucas Constante

DIFFICULT TO ANSWER.
I am myself totally MONO-lingual, to the point of having difficulty watching theater in other languages (even the French I had in high school and the Spanish in college).
So I have no idea if there might be any Portuguese-theater in Boston ... or any non-English companies (except Asian and Spanish) working regularly anywhere in New England.
Can anybody help here?
Love,
==Anon.


Subject: theatre company of Boston
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 10:51:39 -0800
From: "swolozin" swolozin@netzero.net
Hi,
I am working on a Bravo profile of Stockard Channing and she was in the Theatre Company of Boston in the 1960s. The theater group was founded in 1963 and then I don't know how long they lasted. I am looking for photographs of the theatre company and of course of Stockard Channing in that time period. Do you know where I might find them? Also, do you know what happened to the Theatre Company of Boston? Did they become someone else or did they fold? I know they existed through 1974. Any help would be much appreciated. Also, unfortunately, I am under a tight deadline, so if you could respond in the next day or so, that would be great. Thank you very much.
Regards,
Sarah Wolozin

Subject: The More The Merrier
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 10:22:53
From: "WBUR Arts Newsletter" akozeli@wbur.bu.edu

Dear Larry,
Despite the hopes of some in the theater community, the appointment of Alexander Stevens as arts editor of the TAB Entertainment section does not mean he will return to reviewing theater for the CNC newspaper chain. Stevens was the TAB stage critic until the “Boston Herald” bought the CNC chain. Reviews by “Herald” theater critic Terry Byrne now appear, infrequently, in the TAB arts section. A number of local theater companies are unhappy that there is one less critical voice evaluating Boston stages. They point out that the TAB arts section continues to carry its own movie critic, David Brudnoy, and question the wisdom of reprinting “Herald” reviews, apparently for the sake of saving money. Contacted about theater coverage in CNC papers, Stevens says there “isn't a plan” for the Entertainment section to have its own theater critic. If time and column space permitted, Stevens adds, he would do the job.
For now, Byrne's reviews will appear from time to time, depending on available space.
Tell us what your thoughts are at http://www.wbur.org/community/bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum&f=3"
See you on the aisle,
Bill Marx

I HAVE TRIED REPEATEDLY TO ADD MY THOUGHTS TO THIS FORUM, BUT NEVER SUCCEEDED.
APPARENTLY I HAVE TOO LITTLE COMPUTER EXPERTISE TO FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHAT I DO WRONG THAT PREVENTS MY MISSIVES FROM GETTING THROUGH. Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Re: Please post
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001 13:37:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Bettencourt rob_bett@yahoo.com

Hi Larry,
I hope that you will be able post this.
My name is Rob Bettencourt, I have a diary on this site. I posted a message to this site last September and got three very wonderful people interested in a new theater company. We have been around now for a year and we are really excited about the work ahead of us in 2002.

I have another idea and I thought I would use this site to see who is interested. I went to a Stage Source Meeting last February which was about the theatre community of Boston. One thing that was talked about was having a theater alliance, a group of theaters that shared information, costumes, props, etc. It was having a group of theaters that looked out for each other and kept each other in the spot light. It is hard, esspecially for younger and smaller theater companies to thrive. An alliance could strengthen the Boston Theater Community. Is anyone out there who is an artistic director or part of a theater company who would like to discuss a theater alliance in Boston? I am co-founder of Fourth Wall Productions and would like to talk to people who feel that same way I do and would like to being the process of acting upon it.
Sincerely Yours,
Robert Bettencourt
Co-Founder
Fourth Wall Productions


Subject: Thanks
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 21:02:22 EST
From: AUGUSTPERNA@cs.com

Larry,
Thanks to you and yours for 411...a much more efficient and friendly format to communicate.
Larry Jaquith
Nexus Theater Center


Subject: Interested in Acting
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 01:30:38 -0500
From: "Sandra I. I Quinones-Gallosa" s_quinones@juno.com

To whom it may concern:
My name is Sandra I. Quiñones-Gallosa and I am currently working as a teacher in the BPS and I am going to graduate school as well. I will be graduating in 2003. I have always had a passion for theatre. I have never taken any formal acting classes except a "demystification of the arts class" in my undergraduate studies and I've done a couple of informal "on the spot" acting for some classes. I would like to be involved with an acting group/workshop that would allow me to explore my interest with training and eventually be able to actually perform in a play with a theatre company. Could you please give me information on your theatre in respect to my interests?
Thank you very much!
-Sandra


Subject: please post
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 20:48:35 -0400
From: "Kathleen Wolf" kathwolf@earthlink.net

The recent reconfiguration of the Boston Globe's South Weekly section has eliminated the Theater category in its listings. Not sure if this also applies to Globe North, West, etc yet. Please send letters to the editor asking that community theater be highlighted as in the past. We depend on the popular media outlets to help us build our casts, membership, and audiences. Send your thoughts to either Mark Pothier or Tom Coakley.
c/o
Letters to the Editor
Globe South
1165 Washington Street
Hanover, MA 02339
coakley@globe.com

Subject: voiceover training
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 16:43:31 -0400
From: "Karen Springfield" KSpringfield@nef.com

Larry,
You wouldn't happen to know of any voiceover training classes in the Boston area or someone who would know do you? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!
Karen


Subject: A Love Letter
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 09:04:04 EDT
From: Bjweaw@aol.com

Dear Larry,
Your review of "I Hate Hamlet" has delighted all of us. Your attention to detail, your remarkable command of the language of theater, your attention to detail, your wonderful wit, ie ""never merely sitting, but crawling over and into furniture, he is a smiling philistine deal-maker", your zest for theater after years of fine and not so fine productions, is truly amazing. You are the doyen of theater reviewers and a joy to all of us who work in theater and appreciate the resource you provide, and the largesse of your heart to the works on stage.
Love and hugs,
BJ Williams

Subject: Checking In...
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 10:29:46 -0400
From: "Donnelly, William" WDonnelly@Unum.com

Hi Larry,
Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for coming on Sunday. As always, I appreciate your straight-talking style. You're always honest, yet you still seem to be aware that there are real people on the receiving end of your keyboard, and that's a welcome trait in a reviewer. It's sometimes tough to work on a show and still maintain some measure of critical distance, but I can certainly understand the points you bring up, and I thank you for your fair and balanced tone.
If I don't run into you in the interim, I hope to see you at our next production (Fefu and Her Friends, running February 1-16).
Take care, Larry, and thanks again.
Bill Donnelly

I DON'T NORMALLY FLATTER MYSELF BY MAKING LETTERS LIKE THESE PUBLIC,
But coming so close to one another I thought it instructive. I really liked "I Hate Hamlet" --- certainly more than I did "Macbeth" --- so I'm glad to see people who worked on both shows thought me fair, if not correct.
I'm always surprised when people thank me for my "generous" comments on their work! My usual response has been "Look, all I do is go see plays, and then come home and Tell The Truth!"
And, as is usual, I sent a more detailed outline of my opinions to Bill and The Industrial Theatre Company. Directors and actors need feedback from beyond the footlights; they are always eager to hear of any ways they might improve, and I trust them to take to heart whatever I say that might be useful, and to ignore the rest.
As a reviewer, I have always felt I and the makers of theater are on The Same Side and all of us want shows to be the very best they can be. Isn't that what everyone in the audience wants too?
Break a leg all, gang......
Love,
===Anon.


Subject:
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 12:21:25 -0700
From: "Meredith Orren" morren@newshour.org

Hey there,
Question: Do you know of any plays that are set specifically in Boston?
-- MEO
I ask because I'm from Boston -- now I'm in San Francisco and I'm in this theater program at A.C.T. I want to learn a monologue where I can warrant using the Boston accent. One of our assignments is to do a dialect piece and that's the one I can do best!
Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.
Meredith


Subject: What Is A Musical?
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 16:53:19 -0400
From: "Jon Goldberg" JonGoldberg@msn.com

Ah - in this age of labels (even rock music plain and simple doesn't exist any more...how many needling and needless categories are there???!!!) we have to watch out that we're getting caught up in the labeling game. I propose there are many definitions to "musical," - some that we accept as traditional, some that attempt to break free from those definitions - let's not forget how "traditional" those groundbreakers like Oklahoma and West Side Story seem now.

In the old days, a revue was NOT usually a compilation of one composer's familiar work - there may have been some familiar material, but certainly as the format "grew up" from the Vaudeville age (New Faces, etc) we saw primarily new songs and routines written to showcase the talents at hand. I don't know when the first "composer retrospective revue" was written - but I believe the Rodgers and Hart revue licenced by the R&H Library dates back to the 60's. The 70's brought us Cole, Side By Side By Sondheim, etc - and by the 80's it was a "de riguer" form - although they are all good entertainment, the bandwagon brought us Ain't Misbehavin' (but most people forgetting that Waller did write for theatre), Sophisticated Ladies, Eubie, and other "clones" of the form. Then came shows like "Play On" which is essentially Sophisticated Ladies shoehorned into Shakespeare...etc...so Mamma Mia is far from the first "musical" to fashion a loose plot around popular song.

Wright and Forrest had their gimmick - recycle classical music and fashion a loose plot around it - hence Kismet and Song Of Norway.

Revivals - another maligned word (and maligned idea) - we know Youmans wrote something called No, No, Nannette in 1925 - but most of us only know the completely recomposed 1971 revival. Same with Anything Goes - the 1936 score has little to do with the most popular version performed today (1962 off-Broadway), the 1987 version is a compromise between the two. So - are these really musicals, or someone's reconception of them?

What of 42nd Street? Most of the songs in the show didn't appear in the movie (they were culled from other Warren/Dubin movie scores) - and the new revival changes the lineup even more. Isn't this really just a loose-plot "revue" of Warren/Dubin, much like Mamma Mia, except the songs are from a different era?

Why should Falsettos and other sung-through scores NOT be musicals? Does dialogue have to exist in a Musical? A more dangerous question concerning Contact - do the songs have to be sung by the cast to qualify as a musical? (I'm inclined to say yes, but that leaves a gaping hole in my argument...) Is a staged mounting of an animated film like Beauty and the Beast TRULY a musical, or is it in the style of "Disney On Ice" without the ice and with characters actually singing their own songs?

Footloose, Saturday Night Fever, etc - is the conversion of a movie with only background vocals (i.e. the CHARACTERS never express themselves in song, pop singers create a sountrack that comments on the action) a legitimate musical? Sondheim uses commentary in song so well, as did Brecht and Weill in Threepenny Opera, but they also make characters sing for themselves.

Are Blast and all its predecessors and clones true musicals, or some form of revue? Or performance art?
So many questions...
But ultimately, does it have to matter so much??????????????
Shouldn't it ALL just be entertainment, and shouldn't we have the choice of seeing the kind of entertainment we want?

Thank God we have forums like this to hash these issues out! Keep up the good work and discourse!!!
Yours,
Jon Goldberg
PS - Thanks for all the compliments on Sunday In The Park - it's an astounding honor to be performing that score (!) and I'm glad you thought we came up to the challenge!


Subject: Re: So Carl, what IS a musical?
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 14:35:56 -0400
From: "Russ Greene" rrgreene@hotmail.com

Letter withdrawn by request.
Russ Greene


Subject: Re: Broadway.com
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 11:07:02 EDT
Fom: Zorro5280@aol.com

Hey Larry,
Thought of you when I saw this posting. Wonder if Boston area theatres might find a way of translating something like this to our area. Just a thought.
Kerry Zukus
playwright

As I was coming home from the supermarket this evening, I caught a commercial from Broadway,com that stated that on their site one could purchase a gift certificate to send a police officer, firefighter or relief worker to a Broadway show. I came home and went online and purchased a ticket. I am happy that as a Bostonian with New York roots I could take this small opportunity to thank those who have been working so hard and maybe give a person a few hours of enjoyment. Long live the theater! >>


Subject: One for the Greenroom....
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 14:08:03
From: "Carl Rossi" carossi54@hotmail.com

On paper, MAMMA MIA! is a musical – it has music in it and requires singers, a choreographer and an orchestra. But in form and content, MAMMA MIA! is an Event, a freak, or (as an actor friend described it) a “cute idea”. It seems churlish of me to criticize a show that has been giving pleasure to so many people in London and now in America (I may come off as a mean uncle denying cotton candy to a child at a fairground), but the only original thought in MAMMA MIA!’s head is How to Bring ABBA Back to the People, and its enormous success may cause many talented but unknown composers/lyrists to adopt “Take a Chance on Me” as their own anthem – or become ABBA wannabes.

I have no objection to the recycling of old material (movies; operas; rock music) for new musicals, provided that the old is reinvented as “new” for today’s younger audiences (who shun conventional boy-girl/moon-June musicals as a rule). Two movies, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN and MOULIN ROUGE, brilliantly pull off such a feat, and their songs not only work as commentary on the art form, they also succeed on their own.

Nor do I object to a simple or silly libretto, provided it seamlessly leads into a song and in turn is advanced by it. It would be foolish to praise Jerome Kern’s SHOWBOAT and dismiss his Princess Theatre musicals because their songs are forever linked to P. G. Wodehouse’s fluffy plots. “Who?” or “Till the Clouds Roll By” can co-exist with “Ol’ Man River”. Apples and oranges; both of them, good for you.

And I agree musicals can work without a plot, though they tend to fall into the revue or showcase category – and are heavily dependent on the performers involved. In fact, the revue, so popular in the 1930s and 40s and nearly made extinct by the Rodgers and Hammerstein school of wedding book to lyrics, is flourishing quite well on Broadway these days – more so than “book” musicals. From AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ to SOPHISTICATED LADIES to SMOKY JOE’S CAFÉ, from DANCIN’ to JEROME ROBBINS’ BROADWAY to CONTACT, these shows prove that you don’t need a librettist when an audience can be happy with just song and dance.

I don’t even condemn “trash” musicals such as THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW or the now-legendary British version of MOBY DICK set in an all-girls’ boarding school. Both are well-crafted silliness by people who know how to write music for the stage, not the Top 40 (and MOBY DICK is surprisingly faithful to Melville’s novel, too). (Would GREASE have lasted so long as both show and film if its creators had simply inserted 50s rock and roll standards into their libretto instead of composing their own excellent pastiches?) But there’s trash and there’s trash. Bad trash – no matter how enjoyable – results when its creators (often people who don’t work in the theatre) decide to cash in on a fad, a novelty or their own nostalgia and have little or no knowledge about constructing a musical, save for linking songs with dialogue. The result may be quite lively on the surface but synthetic or dead in the heart. Such is MAMMA MIA!

I recently completed the libretto to a chamber opera (my first), setting new lyrics to music of the 18th century, and I have learned a lot in the creative process of musical theatre. A favorite song may suddenly not fit and may have to be dropped or given to another character. A flash of inspiration can give birth to a song that becomes the highlight of the show.

Suddenly, you have to composed some “filler” music here or toss in a reprise there. But the process is organic and ever changing, and often the music itself will dictate what is placed where. There is nothing organic in MAMMA MIA!’s composition. Are the ABBA songs revised, reinterpreted, reinvented? No. Everything is geared to reproducing the original 70s sound with its synthesized orchestrations and multi-layered choruses (which I’m still not sure are piped in or not). Do the songs advance the plot or reveal character? Not often enough – many of the songs are closed and cyclical – and the plot must struggle on alone. And many of the ABBA songs are neutral in content (has anyone ever REALLY listened to the lyrics?); with a little dialogue tinkering, they can be sung by just about any character in the show – adults, youngsters, or the Greek natives. (Notice how everyone tends to sound alike after awhile?) Songwriters Anderson and Ulvaeus should have selected, say, six of their hits – just enough to bring in the crowds – and composed new songs more theatrically appropriate for this particular libretto. (Was Elton John ever tempted to slip “Crocodile Rock” into his AIDA because his show is set along the Nile? If he ever was tempted, he wisely resisted.)

Again I say the most successful numbers in MAMMA MIA! are those which are performed as what they always were: pop/disco songs, pure and simple – and nothing in the show itself can match the fun of the curtain calls where the leads come out in tacky/wonderful 70s outfits to perform reprises of “Mamma Mia!” and “Dancing Queen” and throwing in “Waterloo” for good measure (share the fantasy: with a glitzy costume and a hand mike, you, too, can be an ABBA performer!).

I shudder to think that MAMMA MIA! may sweep the Tony Awards as Best Musical, beating out competition that might be original and perhaps even good. Success = imitation and what music bins will be ransacked next? Can we expect a musical using the songs of Captain & Tennille set in the bayous so someone can sing “Muskrat Love” – where all the characters are muskrats? (Hey, that’s MY idea! You can’t have it!)

No doubt the tragedy of 11 September will cause people to seek out sweet, harmless fun more than ever – and MAMMA MIA! will definitely leave you with a “feel-good” glow at show’s end. But (to quote James Agee) I like my art the hard way.


LARRY STARK ADDS $.02:
I CAN tell you a few things I call NOT musicals:
Concerts.
People singing, for one performance, are doing CONCERTS and not musicals.
In my book, OPERAS are Concerts with Plots, not musicals. People go to Hear an opera (to Hear The Music), not to See it ... as they do a musical ... which is performed repeatedly, not once.
For me a musical involves speaking and singing and/or dancing, telling at least One Story.
A REVUE, involving separate pieces, is more of a Musical to me than an Opera, certainly more than a concert, and probably more than Cabaret.
And none of them are DANCE, which normally eliminates both speaking and singing from the mix. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Boston Ballet is not a Muiscal.
I don't kniow What I'll say about "Contact" when I get to see it --- I can conceive of a non-speaking dance production that tells a story.
But I didn't think "Forever Tango" or "Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk" or "Stomp" as Musicals; more lecture-demonstrations, hoswever enjoyable.
"Fosse" probably wasn't a musical either, though its pieces had story stuck to them because of the shows they came friom, and because Fosse was Fosse.
I think "All That Jazz" Was a musical, and a damn great one.
I was, of course, tutored on the subject by Oscar, and "Guys & Dolls", and so though they ARE musicals, I do think that "Jekyll & Hyde" and "Sunset Boulevard" and "Annie" and the Koppit/Yestin "Phantom" are ABOMINABLE Musicals dragging the word through filth and incompetence.
But a night with Spiro's gang doing "Sunday in The Park with George" was enough to make me forget they even existed. And "Ragtime" was a Musical......
Not so bleeping "finite", am I?
What's your try?
Love,
===Anon


Subject: Re: So Carl, what IS a musical?
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 15:19:05 -0400
From: "Russ Greene" rrgreene@hotmail.com

Hi Larry,
I try not to be limiting in my views -- which was kinda the point. Carl's comments wrankled me because he seemed to -- despite all his nice words about it --belittle a show because it did not meet his definition of a musical, without defining the terms. This may not have been his intent, but that was the effect it had on this reader.

To answer your question more directly, I agree that there is a fine line between Musicals/Revues/Opera/Dance Theatre, and I leave it up to the people producing them to determine what it is they think they are doing.

Years ago, I did ALL NIGHT STRUT as a standard musical revue but felt that our approach to CLOSER THAN EVER the next season was closer to a musical in the way we approached it and shaped its (desired) effect. We added a 'story' of sorts to our TOMFOOLERY last spring but I still refer to it as a revue. Our FALSETTOS was definititely a musical, even though there is almost no words 'unsung'.

A CLASS ACT, like FOSSE, blurs the lines even more. Both took songs not initially intended for the same production and added some biographic material and characters to learn/listen/care about and voila...a new show was born!

MAMMA MIA has a (albeit loose) book that works to integrate the music into the plot as well as allow insight into the characters or tp further the plot. It has choreography and acting and singing...Sounds like a musical to me...

Ultimately, whatever MAMMA MIA is clasified as, it seems to be succeeding as an entertaining evening of theater, which is a good thing these days no matter what you call it.
Russ


Subject: So Carl, what IS a musical?
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 12:51:21 -0400
From: "Russ Greene" rrgreene@hotmail.com

Hi Larry,
I usually let things like this pass, but for some reason, this one made me want to respond...
Carl,
I was surprised to see your comment that MAMMA MIA is not a musical. You acknowledge the show has music, singing, dancing, plot, and characters yet you declare it not to be a musical?!

ANNIE was "comic-book simple" in its plot and characters. CATS barely had any plot at all, FALSETTOS has almost no spoken dialogue and limited dancing, and let's not forget about the recent CONTACT. All were determined to be 'musicals' by the audiences and the Tony committee.
So, I guess my question is this: exactly what finite parameters does Carl A. Rossi, the reviewer, use to define a show as a musical?
Russ Greene


Subject: Car for sale
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 09:26:16 -0400
From: d.l.didio@juno.com

I am selling my '91 Toyota Corolla. It has served me well, and still has a lot life in it.
Please pass this notice on to anyone who may be interested. Thanks!
'91 Toyota Corolla, automatic, four door sedan, 110K miles, good condition, white, stereo/cassette, no A/C, some rust.
$3,000 or b/o
Call Danielle @ (781)393-1902


Subject:
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 17:17:29
From: "Kami C" This is a Forward that I found very appropriate for people involved with the Arts. Feel free to share it with your readers.
~Kami

This is an email from David Sabella (Ernie's brother, and Mary Sunshine in the CHICAGO revival) to his friends:

Today I was supposed to start the fall semester, teaching vocal technique at NYU/CAP21. I woke up around eight, started the coffee, walked the dogs, showered.
Then all hell broke loose.
We all watched in horror as our country was shaken to its core.
School was canceled, of course.

So now I sit here wondering how I will walk into class in the coming days and work on "lovely little musical theater ditties" when our country and the world is still reeling in the aftermath of this tragedy, and will be for a long time to come. Is there a place for musical comedy now? How can there be? How can we laugh now? How can we SING?

Then I was reminded of something my most beloved mentor once said to me.

At the end of W.W.II, one of the first types of buildings to be rebuilt in Europe were the theaters. The morale of the people was held at a high premium. A place to congregate and leave behind the tensions and strife of the day was of utmost importance to the fabric of society. At a time of strife what WE do becomes VERY IMPORTANT. We are the morale officers in this crisis. We are the guardians of light when the darkness is creeping closer.

So sing my darlings. Sing your hearts out. Sing on the streets. SING WITH A PURPOSE. Make one person a day smile with your joy and we will win the war.

SING, ACT, DANCE, HONE YOUR CRAFT, COMMUNICATE YOUR JOY AND SPREAD THE LIGHT.

That's how I plan to get through this. Just thought I would share it with you all.
Love and PEACE,
David Sabella


Subject: Last week's tragedy
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 12:34:29 -0400
From: Sheri Ziccardi ziccardi@fas.harvard.edu

Larry,
Could you please post Ken's Playbill On Line article link on the Mirror? Perhaps this will give our own artistic community ideas for how we can help in some way, in addition to the thoughts and prayers we have been sharing all week for those affected here, in NYC, in DC, and around the country.
http://www.playbill.com/cgi-bin/plb/news?cmd=show&code=105705 Sheri


Subject: updates - coming.htm - 9/13/01
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 14:11:14
From: "Matt Breton" mrbreton@hotmail.com

Hi Larry,
No, this isn't part of Matt being not-quite-human. It's been a much-needed distraction, something small but worthwhile doing.

I know a lot of people in New York, many of whom I haven't heard from. I'm sure a lot of other people -- in theater or not -- are in exactly the same situation. Both groups I'm rehearsing met for rehearsals, on Tuesday, on Wednesday. Everyone, it seemed, had friends; one of the actresses, with whom I'm especially close, had several family members who lived in New York, who worked near the World Trade Center or with companies based there. We stayd up most of the night in vigil, alternating between fond memories of the past and dark fears of what might be, finding ourselves caught up in the shock of what had happened, was still happening. It was nearly morning before we discovered they were okay. But there are so many I just don't know about.

I don't know how many shows might be cancelled or pulled after Tuesday. But if laughter is the best medicine, theater is the best catharsis; not only does it mask our shock, our pain, our grief, but it transforms it. Theater gives us insight into the human condition: it gives us means to handle our own loss; it opens us to the suffering of others around us.
-- Matt


Subject: question
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2001 11:53:47 -0700
From: "lilycdc" lilycdc@netzero.net
Hi Larry,
I graduated from Mount Holyoke College last May with a BA in Anthropology. I have done a lot of soul searching since graduation about my future career and am convinced that I want to become more involved in the world of dramaturgy/playwriting.
But how can I get started?
After graduating I began working full time at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a research assistant. Film class, creative writing and journalism had been exciting experiences in college, but my current job involves data analysis and study coordination. I recently started reading books such as "The Art of Dramatic Writing" just for fun (which caused my friends to suggest that I look into this field a bit more). So my research led me to your lovely web site. Because I am working full time in a job with flexible hours I'm willing to do an unpaid internship -- I just want to start getting some professional experience in this field.
If there is any information you can give me I would be very appreciative!
Thanks for your time...
Sincerely,
Christina


Subject: Hello!
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 18:31:27 EDT
From: MMMEveler@aol.com

Larry,
Hello. I am looking for some information where I can search roommates for apartment/house share rent with other performers. I understand you can gain this info if you are Union. Is there a place for such a search in New England? If not. Would this be a good place to start something of that sort?

I planning to move. I would love to have a room mate be a actor or some kind of performer that people will feel comfortable to do these performance excercises!

If you can help me I be most appreciated. Email me MMMEveler@aol.com or post this on your web page if you can.
Thank you.
MMMEveler
P.s.
If you have time over the weekend please come and visit me at King Richard's Faire. I be glad to see you. I am Katherine Goodday, Sherriff's Deputy and my name Mary-Margaret M. Eveler. Of course I am Stage Source Member. ( It ROCKS!)

CAN ANYONE SUGGEST A SOURCE?


Subject: Children's theatre
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 17:08:06 -0400
From: "will stackman" profwill66@hotmail.com

1) Check out local campus theatre departments which often produce shows for young people.
2) Contact the Perishable Theatre in downtown Providence for their children's schedule.
3) If you want to come up to Boston, get the schedule from Wheelock College's Family Theatre.
4)Keep checking the listings. The Zeiterion in Brockton will have several events for young people.
Most theatre for kids is done around the holidays.
TTFN
Prof.Will

AND LET US NOT FORGET:

THE PUPPET SHOWPLACE THEATRE
32 Station St., Brookline MA 02445
1(617) 731-6400

Subject: www.lettersfromnam.com
Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 10:47:24 -0400
From: dave atkinson dave_atkinson@avid.com

I love your site for information available in one location. Thanks for hosting.

Here are the Production webpages from Letters from Nam. Yeah I'm related to a member of the cast and therefore biased, but opening nite last night was a magical live theater moment. Maureen McGovern got sick late in afternoon. Paris Barkley, the author, steped in to read and her part. An actress rehearsing at the Lyric Stage's Sunday in the Park with George was called and on 3 hours notice she sang most of Maureen's songs. I missed her name. The show was very moving. Good tunes. Many Vetran and Armed Service representatives provided Honor Guard before the show. I heard people saying they would be back to see the show with Maureen on the way out.
www.lettersfromnam.com
http://www.nsmt.org/musicals/letters.htm
Dave Atkinson


Subject: Information
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 15:16:05 -0400
From: Nancy Kistner janae@tp.net

Hi,
I just found your web site as I was particularly searching for a children's theater company in Massachusetts. I live in North Attleboro and want to introduce my (almos)t three year old daughter to the theater. She has already attended an outdoor performance of A Mid Summer Night's Dream and she did very well.
Any info you could provide would be appreciated!
Thanks,
Nancy Kistner


Subject: Audition List
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 11:05:25 EDT
From: Wftcasting@aol.com
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear actors,

Effective immediately, I have resigned as the Artistic Director and Executive Producer of Foothills Theatre Company. The board president, Guy Jones, will be conducting a search for a new AD in the months to come. Any questions regarding hiring of administrative personnel can be addressed to General Manager, Ginny Chojnicki; technical and artistic resumes should be addressed to Jon Staple, Associate Producer for production. Please do not call Ginny regarding positions.
All of the shows will remain the same and the schedule will not change. If call-backs are needed from the StageSource auditions for My Way or other shows, actors will be notified. This audition list will be resurected with a new email address in the weeks to come. All actors currently on the list will receive the new address via their present email address. This is a service, however, and it may take some time for it to be up and running again.
I will be going to the Stoneham Theatre as the Director of Marketing and Development starting September 4. I will contact this list of actors in a week or so and establish a Stoneham Theatre audition information email list. Stoneham is an SPT theatre inside the 128 beltway around Boston. Email can be sent to me at "wftcasting@aol.com" until I set up the Stoneham list, but I no longer have information regarding happenings at Foothills.

As a final note, no auditions are scheduled at Foothills at this time.

Michael Walker


Subject: Re: Finding well-written one act plays suitable for high school competitions
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 13:04:19 -0400
From: Geralyn Horton g.l.horton@mindspring.com

Mary Jo Levesque wrote:

> I am constantly seeking new, high-quality plays that feature ensemble
> acting roles for medium to large casts. Each year I find it more
> difficult to come up with challenging competition pieces that are
> appropriate for a sophisticated group of advanced actors. I cannot
> consider material that is inappropriate (language or subject
> matter)nor material that runs over 25 minutes in length in playing
> time. I too, as most other high school directors, have an abundance of
> female talent to showcase this year.

> It seems that much of the work available for high school groups is
> juvenile, silly, comedy that is intended to be funny (but isn't),
> and/or dramtic but inappropriate for general, mixed all-age audiences.
> Many theatre teachers self-edit longer pieces to try to come up with
> some quality material; however, I do not want to get into lengthy
> issues with editing and copyright laws, etc.

> Sigh...I so wish that playwrights would consider that many teachers
> are trying to keep theatre activities wholesome, challenging, and
> educational.
> -----------------

> If you can suggest any new works or even older ones that have not been > overdone that allow for some creative staging, etc., please email me
> directly. Thanks! >

> Mary Jo Levesque
> Theatre Director
> West Springfield High School
> 6100 Rolling Road
> Springfield, VA 22152

I'm a playwright. I don't really know if any of my 30 one acts are suitable for your specific purpose, although since I posted a batch of them on my web page a number of high school teachers have emailed me for permission to use them with their student actors. However, I belong to a couple of playwrights' organizations. I know that there are dozens -- maybe 1000's -- of talented writers who would happily create plays for you and other "competitors" if there were guidelines on a web page and a way to either email or web publish their scripts: a marketplace, in orther words. It's not a question of anyone expecting to make serious money-- just minimizing losses. It simply isn't economically feasible for a writer to mail out multiple copies of manuscripts of 25 minute plays, in the hope that some will find high school production. Electronic scripts cost the author nothing to post or send, and if you don't like the first 3 screenfuls of one you can easily click on another until you find one you do like, and are willing to pay the minimal performance royalty fee that 25 minute one acts can command.

Meanwhile, there is the Small Cast One Act website, and Henniford's book, "Four for the Show" What you need is a Large Cast 25 niute One Act web site, subtitle Suitable for High School actors.
For the time being, There's the http://www.internationalwomenplaywrights.org website and Paul Thain's alphabetiocal listing of playwrights on the Web.... and a couple of playwrights' email lists, where I will forward your description of suitable scripts.


Subject: alexander quiroga
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 10:37:32 +0200
From: Naderer helmut.naderer@salzburg.at
I have a question!!! Yesterday i saw "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Salzburg an there was an Apostel, his name is Alexander Quiroga, who was sooooo cute!
I'm looking for Informations about him, and I saw, that he acted in "The Kiss of the Spiderwoman".
Do you have any Infos or an adress where I can write letters to him?
Thanks for helping me, Diana

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
No, we don't have any information on individuals.
Where is SALZBURG by the way? I don't have a listing for the play anywhere in the six New England states. Is this a touring company in GERMANY?
Is he an actor based in Boston? If so, StageSource here might have some information. My immediate advice would be to do the "Stagedoor-Janie" bit: go to the theatre and wait until he emerges, then ask for an autograph. Actors, especially those in roles other than stars, tend to be flattered by such attention.
I'll put this into The Greenroom to see if anyone else has any advice.


Subject: Margaret Whitton
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 18:45:02 -0400
From: "Don Gillis" dgillis2@home.com
Larry--This was in the Blockbuster.com web site regarding Margaret Whitton.
Margaret Whitton
Margaret Whitton billed herself as Peggy Whitton when she made her off-Broadway debut in 1973's Baba Goya. Whitton made her first Broadway appearance nine years later in Steaming. In films, she has been effectively cast as what is vulgarly known as the "rich bitch" -- never more effectively than as avaricious baseball-team owner (and former exotic dancer) Rachel Phelps in the two Major League pictures. Margaret Whitton's TV-series work includes the 1991 soap-opera spoof Good and Evil, in which the producers cunningly pulled a typecasting reversal, hiring Whitton as "good" Genny and Teri Garr as "evil" Denise. -- Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
She is also credited on another web site as doing Trial By Jury in 1994.
Don Gillis


Subject:
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 6:29:40 -0500
From: "William Haley" bhaley854@earthlink.net
What's actress Margaret Whitton done since Major League2?
--- William Haley
LARRY STARK DOESN'T KNOW
Frankly, I haven't the slightest idea.
Was that a play?
Is she an actress in New England, or a television or movie personality?
That's not the sort of information I try to document in The THEATER Mirror, but I'll put the letter into the Greenroom and perhaps one of The Mirror's readers can help you on it.


Subject: Re: New Bedford Festival theatre
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 11:04:50 -0400
From: Larry Stark's Theater Mirror Larry@theatermirror.com
To: Stephane Shellenberger SShellen@snu.edu, dwd@electricblue.nu

Stephane Shellenberger wrote:
> I was wondering if you know anything about the New Bedford Festival
> Theatre. They are currently running "Oklahoma" and I was wondering if
> you have any information or reviews for that particular performance.
> Thank you so much.

The last date on their website was April of 1999. I've included their Webmaster with this, but who knows if there is anyone there anymore to answer your question!
Anyway, this was my response to your question:

Frankly, I'd never heard of it till now.
Do YOU know anything?

I just did a search, and they Have a web-site, but their announcement of the "new" summer season was for 1999(!!!) so that's no help.
Still, the URL is [ http://nbft.hypermart.net/ ]

However, they seem to work at the Zeiterion Theatre
[ http://www.zeiterion.com/ ]
...yet Oklahoma is NOT Listed!!!!!

Have you tried a New Bedford newspaper? Local-paper reviews are not always the best in the objectivity department, but ...... They show a .list of nothing but musicals, and they call it "professional" ... that peobably means at the very least that some of the performers are paid, and it might even mean some are Equity members.
I wish I could be of more help.

CAN ANYONE ENLIGHTEN US ABOUT THIS COMPANY?????


Subject: Theatrecoop/short plays
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 16:19:02 -0400
From: Kevin Smith Kevin_Smith@emerson.edu

Dear Larry:
I'm looking for info on TheatreCoop. I was led to understand that they produce a series of short plays called the ridilin readings (?). Would you have any info on them? I tried their old email address (both hotmail and earthlink) and neither worked. Are they still around? Do they have a web site or email?
Thanks in advance for your help. I appreciate it.
Kevin
PS I like your web site very much.


Subject: RE:World Puppetry Fests in New England
Date: Sat, 04 Aug 2001 19:20:24 -0400
From: "will stackman" profwill66@hotmail.com

3 August 2001 Hello All,
As promised, here's more information on puppetry for all ages, even adults, coming up around the area from September 7th through the first week in October.
World Puppets Portland (ME), Sept. 7 through the 16th. Ticket sales through PortTix (207) 842-0800; Call for a brochure.
Exhibit:
The Master's Eye: Puppets of Japan Sept. 7 -30, Maine College of Art, 97 Spring St., Portland (800)639-4808
Performances:
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" (Das Meininger Puppentheater, Germany)
Family, Eastland Hotel Ballroom, Tue 9/11 thru Thur 9/13, 6pm $25
"et rond et rond" (Lulubelle Compagnie, France) toddlers 3 and under!
94 Free St., adults $6, tots $4 9/11 thru 9/13 10am & 4pm
"She Who Loves" (Figures of Speech, Freeport ME) Adults only
St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center, $16 9/12 & 9/13, 8pm
"The Overcoat by Gogol" (Credo Theatre, Bulgaria) Adults only
Portland Stage Fri & Sat 9/14-15 7pm; Sun 9/16, 8pm $16
"Piggery Jokery + Punch & Judy" (Hand to Mouth Theatre, England)
family Portland Stage, Tue 9/11 & Thur 9/13 6pm; Sat 9/15 11am $14/$10
"PARADE!" (Shoestring Theater, USA) noon Sat on Congress St.
from Congress Square to Monument Square. Free for all
"Shadows by Richard Bradshaw" (Australia) Family, Portland Stage
Sat 9/15 1:30pm. Sun. 9/16 1 & 4 pm $14 adults, $10 kids
"Appel d'Air" (Velo Theatre, France) Adults only $16
St. Lawrence Center, Fri 9/14 & Sat 9/15 9pm; Sun. 9/16, 2pm

Puppets in the Green Mountains - Brattleboro VT area
Call (802) 387-4051 for a brochure and prices
"New Pageant" (Bread & Puppet Theatre, Glover VT) Living Memorial Park Brattleboro, 5 pm 9/15 (raindate 9/16)
"Sagefous:Street Show" Sun. 9/16 2pm, Wed.9/19, 6pm High & Main St Brattleboro
"Finding the Life of the Artist" (Discussion by participants) Brattleboro Museum and Art Center , Tue, 9/17, 7pm
"et rond et rond"(Lulubelle, France) for parents and tots N.E.Youth Theatre,Brattleboro 9/19 thru 9/21, 10 & 11 am
"Appel d'Air" (Velo Theatre, France) Adults, 8pm. Fri & Sat 9/20 & 21 Landmark College, Putney VT
"Shadows by Richard Bradshaw"(Australia) Family 8pm. Fri,Sat 9/20 & 21 Hooker Dunham Theatre, Brattleboro
"Piggery Jokery" (Hand to Mouth Theatre, England) Sat.9/22 1 & 3pm River Garden, Brattleboro, family
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" (Das Meininger Puppentheater, Germany) Putney Central School, Putney Sat 9/22 3pm; Sun 9/23 11am & 3pm
"The Overcoat by Gogol" (Credo Theatre, Bulgaria) Adults, 9/22 & 9/23 Whittemore Thtr, Marlboro College, Marlboro VT

We expect information shortly for performances at UConn in Storrs CT for the following week. Richard Bradshaw will be at the Perishable Theatre in Providence, Oct 4 through 7; check their website; www.perishable.org for info soon. Here in Boston, the Puppet Showplace is presenting a special performace by mask artist extraordinaire, Larry Hunt, who will do shows for children and adults during the first weekend in October. Check www.puppetshowplace.org for details in a week or so. And for local performers, the first PuppetSLAM/Boston of the season in Sept. 22 at the Puppet Showplace. Email profwill66@hotmail.com to receive details.


Subject: small pleasures
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 16:18:46 EDT
From: Kristi0485@aol.com

Dear Larry...
First of all, I absolutely love you for running the best free website for actors in this area. You are my hero!! I have gone to several auditions and scored a few awesome parts because of you. But I do have a favor to ask of you...and definitely don't feel obligated to help me, since you don't know me from Adam. I'm looking for a new comedic monologue to use as an audition piece. The one I've been using a lot is okay, but I know there is definitely better stuff out there. Do you know of any great comedic pieces that you wouldn't mind sharing with me?? I would love you until the day I die. Thanks!!


Subject: Hovey's Summer Shorts
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 19:40:32 EDT
From: Biz89@aol.com

Dear Larry,
On behalf of all the hard working people involved in this year's (our largest ever) Summer Shorts Festival, I thank you for your kind words. All the playwrights are most appreciative that Theatermirror took the time to come down and check out these new works. I'm proud to say that we had a few FIRST TIME playwrights in the batch, and if we've spurred even one person to sit in front of their blank computer screen and "tell us a story", then we are very proud! Maybe between us, Playwrights' Platform, Playwrights' Theater, Centastage, etc... we can reach a time in this area where every theater company includes a new, unpublished play in EVERY SEASON'S REPERTOIRE. I seriously believe that, until we in the Boston area create a play of substance that goes ON to other cities FROM Boston, then we are still searching for our true identity. The talent is here. I only hope that all those artistic directors read some of our plays before considering an "import".
As for Hovey... it's quite simple, really... every person who ever walks down those stairs , whether as audience or actor, author or director, is to be cherished... because we know that they could be somewhere else and that they are doing it out of love, not for a paycheck, and if they want to put in hard, creative work and (above all else) have fun, we want them back again and again.
Sincerely,
Jerry Bisantz


Subject: Letter or review?
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 18:13:08 -0400
From: "will stackman" profwill66@hotmail.com Tampa 2001 - the Puppeteers of America National Festival

A week long Puppetry Festival in Florida at the University of Tampa in the summer (air-fares are cheaper) might not seem to have much to do with the renaissence of this ancient theatrical art here in the NorthEast. Local and regional representation was however extensive and may yield dividends for the local theatre scene as well. For example, several shows seen last summer at the Regional PofA festival down in Easton received national recognition.

Connecticut-based Crabgrass Theatre's "Anansi", who also performed a few weeks ago at the annual Puppets:Education Magic Conference, held this year in Andover, got an UNIMA citation and kicked off the week’s afternoon programs in Tampa. This unique set of fables can be seen this fall at the Puppet Showplace in Brookline. Freeport, Maine's Figures of Speech got an "UNI" for "The Beanstalk Variations" , seen at Easton, which also played last spring in Washington DC, this summer in Sag Harbor,NY, and (possibly) next spring here in Boston.The previously-cited Perry Alley Theatre from New Hampshire performed their "Puss in Boots" in Tampa, while the Periale's themselves won the Latshaw PofA publication award for their Puppetry International magazine. Seattle's Other Hand Theatre, also seen in Easton, was cited for "The Man Who Made Flowers Bloom", a project begun three years ago at the O'Neill Puppetry Conference in Waterford CT. The Chinese Theatre Workshop which ended last summer's festival, was cited for their "Peony Pavilon". Stephen Kaplin, "Peony"'s creator will be part of the Great Small Works "Erik Satie Cabaret", directed by Emerson College's Johm Bell, which plays here at Mobius Sept. 8th & 9th before its New York run.

Other Tampa performance with local connections include the Cape's Tanglewood Marionettes, previously cited by UNIMA, whose "Perseus and Medea", can be seen at the Coolidge Corner Theater this fall. This spectacular show, featuring an hand-painted scrolling backdrop plus unique shadow sequences received a standing ovation. On the media front, Jeff Sias and Brian Papciak of Hand-Cranked Films in Waltham presented an evening of classic stop-motion animation films. Watch for their upcoming feature length film "Cristobica" based on a text by Garcia-Lorca. Many of the short pieces presented at the O'Neill Conferences retrospective "From Here to There to Tampa" were works by UConn Puppetry students and graduates seen around Boston at PuppetSLAM/Boston events. SLAMS start up again in September; check for details in mid-August at www.puppetshowplace.org under Puppet Slam.

Shows which may be seen on tour or in NYC and impressived audiences in Tampa include "Poemes Visual" performed by Barcelona's Companyia Jordi Bertran using foam letters of the alphabet, (not like on Sesame Street), Chicago's Blair Thomas doing Garcia-Lorca's "Don Cristobal" as a one man show while playing a one-man band, and Richard Termine's "Diary of a Madman" seen last year at the Henson International Festival and deserving of a longer run somewhere. Speaking of tours, this September, Sandglass Theatre in Vermont is hosting several international troupess near Brattleboro, Figures of Speech is hosting the same groups in Portland ME Sept. 14 - 16, Some troupes will also appear at UConn early in the Fall. Eventually, funding willing, Boston may be able to join this biennial effort. Until then, combine earlier leafpeeping with superb puppet theatre. Information will be posted as it comes available.

Anyone interested in advance notice of such events should join the Boston Area Guild's list-serve at their site, www.puppetsboston guild.org or join the Guild itself. The first meeting of the fall, free and open to the public, is 5 pm., the second Sunday in September, at the Puppet Showplace in Brookline MA. The program will be announced on the website next month. Find out what some 100 puppeteers in the area are up to.

Will Stackman, BAGOP Board, Member at large
__
This should probably be a greenroom "Letter from Tampa"


Subject: to Willy G. Biggers
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 17:34:50 EDT
From: Zorro5280@aol.com

For lack of another e-mail address to send messages directly to Willy G. Biggers...if this could be so kindly forwarded...

My name is Kerry Zukus and I would first like to thank-you for your very positive review of my one-act play, "Find Your Own Levine" which was featured in Hovey Players Summer Shorts, 2001.

Unfortunately, and I am sure this was a typo, mine was the only one-act reviewed where the name of the playwright did not appear in your review. If it would not be too much trouble, standard procedure is usually to amend the posting to correct this small but important issue.

Thank-you ever so much and again, thank-you for the positive review of my work and your support of up and coming new theatrical voices.
Kerry Zukus
playwright
FIND YOUR OWN LEVINE


Subject: thank you
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 10:04:17 -0400
From: Scott Gagnon souffle@mediaone.net

Just wanted to drop a note with a truly sincere "thank you" to everyone who came out to support the Boston Theatre Bridge this past weekend. Thanks to the wonderful and generous audiences at our benefit revue/launch party and reception, we came away with TWICE what we were hoping for, in both attendance and donations. We're now in great shape to launch officially with our debut production of The Wiz August 17-25 at Riverside Theatre in Hyde Park. (and for more information on that, plug, plug, please visit our nifty website at http://people.ne.mediaone.net/adastra1/index.htm or call us at 781 767 4008!)
Again it was great seeing so many faces both new and familiar come out to help launch something so exciting. The Boston Theatre Community can be really wonderful sometimes.
d:-)
Scott Gagnon
Artistic Director, Boston Theatre Bridge


Subject: Audition Feedback
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 13:24:56 -0400
From: Michael McGarty mcgarty@massed.net

Dear Larry,
I have to thank you for the effect that listing an audition notice for the Harvard Community Theatre had for my casting call for "Rumors". We had triple the number of people show up for auditions and most of them wrote down that they had seen the announcement on the Theater Mirror site. It really afforded me an opportunity to inject some new blood into the company. You obviously provide a great service to all the theatres in the region.
Keep up the good work!
Sincerely,
Michael McGarty, Director
Harvard Community Theatre


Subject: Audition Feedback
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2001 13:24:56 -0400
From: Michael McGarty mcgarty@massed.net

Dear Larry,
I have to thank you for the effect that listing an audition notice for the Harvard Community Theatre had for my casting call for "Rumors". We had triple the number of people show up for auditions and most of them wrote down that they had seen the announcement on the Theater Mirror site. It really afforded me an opportunity to inject some new blood into the company. You obviously provide a great service to all the theatres in the region.
Keep up the good work!
Sincerely,
Michael McGarty, Director
Harvard Community Theatre


Subject: HAIR / Jules Fischer
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 00:30:49 +0200
From: "Wiedersehen macht Freude" webmaster@wiedersehenmachtfreude.de

our Company "Wiedersehen macht Freude" is the first Reunion-Company in Germany. A German Musical Theatre asked us to search for the cast of 1968 who was playing at the "HAIR"-Premiere in Munich. They would like to invite them all to the premiere of the new production of HAIR in September 2001.
Thank you for answering, if we have the right Email-adress.
With best regards,
Wiedersehen macht Freude
Susanne Panter


Subject: re The Pocket Mime Theatre
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 12:09:31 -0400
From: "Brian Quinn" bquinn@NAACPLDF.ORG

Dear Larry,
I hope you won't mind an e-mail from somebody who was never involved in the Boston theatre scene except as a member of the audience. But last night I happened to be idly searching the web when I came across a reference to the Pocket Mime Theatre of Boston and I tracked it back to your magazine. I read with enormous interest J Tormey's 1997 account of the birth and, alas, death of PMT. Now I rush to add my belated two cents. In his article, J mentions that all of the actors in PMT needed to maintain "jobs they hated" in order to be able to do the "job they loved." Well, I am proud to say that I was one of the bosses at one of those jobs. J Tormey's own job, in fact, although I cannot take credit for hiring J. In 1973-1975, I was the manager of the FAO Schwarz toy store on Newbury Street where J worked in the basement stockroom with Ted, a famous character in the legend of Boston's FAO. The only good thing about FAO for J was its proximity to the theatre in the church across the street. Other than that, I would guess it was a pretty dreary place to work. I certainly didn't last much longer than J did (his was a temporary Christmas season job; there wasn't enough for any of us to do after December 25 for Ted to require an assistant). I quit in early '75. I wasn't cut out for retail work, I guess. But what I remember best about that store were two people: J Tormey and Susan "Preppie" Damon.

I remember meeting J in the storeroom one day and only after talking to him for 20 minutes did I realize that the chair he was sitting on wasn't there. Although J eschewed (as you rightly remember) the simple tricks of pantomime on stage, he wasn't entirely above playing with one's perceptions in other settings. He would sometimes "lean" against a wall that was still six inches away, or begin climbing stairs while still in a hallway. Once, in the bar of the Magic Pan restaurant on Newbury Street, I watched J carry on a conversation with the barkeeper while "drinking" a beer that never really left the surface of the bar.

I was thrilled to learn that J was a mime and a performer. (I had, after all, once assisted on a Marcel Marceau show as a stagehand and had, I admit, stolen the rug from Mr. Marceau's dressing room in tribute. But that's another story.) What many of the audience of the PMT's works perhaps never knew was how spectacular J was at throwing darts. I attribute it to his incredible muscle control; but take it from me, don't bet on darts with J.

I often went to see the Pocket Mime Theatre and I took all my friends. Before the shows began I would point proudly to J's entry in the show bill and say I was his boss. Once the show began, of course, I sat in rapt silence * no matter how often I had seen the show. As for my vote for the worst experience with PMT I ever had: it was when the church had foolishly staged a Holly Near concert in the main hall while the PMT was performing. The noise of the music and the audience completely wrecked the actors' concentration, but they persevered in a way that me proud to be their friend. For Holly Near, on the other hand, I carry an irrational dislike to this very day.

I was only about 24 at that time myself. I was in charge of a large (well, 15 or 16) group of people for the first time. I remember sometimes just making it up as I went along. J was one of the ones who made it easy, as was Preppie. She, too, however, is a different story. But if either J Tormey or Susan Damon happen to ever think of me, please feel free to contact me.
Brian Quinn


Subject: Grease Lightning Ad
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 11:22:34 -0400
From: Lewis_Blair@dome.com

Hi Larry - I have the front end of a 1957 Chevy, built and on a rolling platform. One side is Kenickie's beat-up car the other is GREASE LIGHTING, with working headlights. I built it for my recenet production of GREASE with the Lexington Youth Summer Theater.
Is there a way to advertise this in the Theater Mirror as I am willing to rent it out?
Thanks - Lewis Blair

I WISH THERE WERE A "Techie Mirror" THAT WOULD SHARE SUCH DESIGN SHORT-CUTS!


Subject: Musical
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 15:07:00 -0400
From: "Robert Antecki" symphonyno.1@att.net

Dear Mr. Stark
My name is Robert Antecki, and I am writing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. I am a composer and have collaborated with my librettist on a new musical called, "Great Harry."

Our story is a full length dramatic musical on the life of Henry VIII, with a fascinating subplot around Will Sommer, his friend and court jester. It is a dramatic work, but there is plenty of variety; comedic numbers, inspirational songs, ballades, etc. Our story follow his life from a flashback on his deathbed.

We have been trying for the past year or so to find a producing organization or someone that could help us get a production of our show. Do you know of any theatres that might be looking for something like this? Do you have a place on your site for free listings or something that I could put a notice up on?
Best,
Robert Antecki
________________________
www.composers.net/rob
www.classicalhub.com


Subject: Great web site
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 11:35:41 EDT
From: RadioSpots@aol.com

Dear Larry,
I just discovered your website and found it very entertaining and interesting. Here's a question. With my schedule opening up a bit, I'm hoping to get back into community theatre work. I loved being an actor in high school and college and have done lots of variety shows and revues. I should add that I am a radio talk show host here in the Boston area and do voice-overs to pay the weekly bills.

Here's the question. Can you recommend any community theatre groups in the Metrowest area, preferably one that occasionally presents straight plays and comedies along with musicals? I live in Framingham and would really like to get involved with a group starting next year.

I look forward to your response. Again, thank for the wonderful site! Jordan Rich


Subject: from Trudi Goodman/Shattering Walls Theater Collaborative
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 16:03:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: trudi goodman shatteringwalls@yahoo.com

Dear Larry:
Please cancel our performance listing. The Shattering Walls Theater Collaborative series: July 11-29 has BEEN CANCELLED.
I want to thank you for all of your hard work and support. Because of your listings, we were able to get actors and a director. Unfortunately, that was not enough to sustain the Collaborative and we have disbanded and cancelled the Series.
I look forward to meeting you, when I am next performing.
All My Best,
Trudi Goodman


Subject: hello again...
Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 17:50:41
From: "Michael Peluso" mjpeluso@hotmail.com

in the spirit of self-promotion.....and utilizing my marketing degree... more steps....
Item
peace and god bless
humbly yours,
michael j



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