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Attn: Rebecca Haithcoat:
Have you seen “Tuna Christmas” in previous years? After seeing last Sunday’s performance (at Actors Theatre), I sent a letter to (ATL artistic director) Marc Masterson, giving my family’s critique of this year’s incarnation of one of our holiday favorites. Having attended just about every year, we’ve watched a lot of fluctuations in casting, content and tempo. This was the first year we’ve come away less than satisfied, and I was interested to note that you also found the pacing tedious.
The show’s length has varied over the years as cast members’ improvisations and ad libs influenced the overall length. It’s not the show’s plot that made it seem long this year; it was the characters’ failure to capitalize on the possibilities. In past years, a highlight of the show has always been the scene featuring the two old ladies. Previous actors were able to capture in perfect and hilarious detail the mannerisms and foibles of these golden-age sweethearts.
There’s never been a karate scuffle, nor did it enhance the scene for us. Didi Snavely’s monologue also missed the mark this year (no pun intended). It dragged on, and its best moments were somehow repetitive rather than amusing. As for the second act — well, when properly done, it’s a very important part of the plot, as it shows how each character’s Christmas wish is fulfilled. The intermission seems unnecessary — but my family decided they needed the extra time to stuff the actors into those waitress costumes!
As for “Christmas Carol” — this will be our 37th consecutive year to watch it. It’s essential to our holiday plans. And believe me, the staging has fluctuated a LOT over those years. In one recent year, the overall effect was a gloomy downer of a show. The next year (they must have had a lot of feedback) came a delightful, sparkling version. So don’t despair; if it’s mediocre this year, next year should be better! Our chief complaint for the past two years has been the decision to introduce the Ghost of Christmas Present in an offstage room, eliminating the splendid spectacle of his throne!
Thanks for letting me vent.
Anne Miller, New Albany
Gimme Some Scratch
I think you just scraped the surface of the library initiative in your commentary (LEO, Nov. 14). In addition to the comments mentioned in this good article, I think other major factors impacting the referendum were:
• It is a huge capital expansion, obviously complemented with a similar-sized staffing increase, which teases the “they’re hiding the weenie” distrust of politicians (get the basic plan approved, then come back for the “needed” operating funds to properly execute the mega-plan later).
• There was no attempt by the library experts to explain how their concept meshes with the growth and acceptance of this thing called the Internet, which you can access and find out everything about anything. Are libraries going to become mega-computer labs with a few assorted novels in the “other wing”? I cannot imagine that libraries will maintain their importance as a “research” facility as they did even 10 short years ago.
• Most importantly, the mayor’s political arrogance in avowing that Metro government would no longer contribute the $16.5 million that our taxes were already providing — he was going to use that for blah, blah, blah … and maybe another deputy mayor!
A little explanation of the library plan for the community and a tax of approximately $25 million would’ve been an easier sell.
Mike VanHimbergen, Louisville
Blue Needs Green
In the Nov. 14 LEO, Paul L. Whitely Sr. states, “The Democratic Party is much better than the Republican Party in promoting shared prosperity.” He’s right. He and the Democrats believe that those who earn more than others should have their earnings forcibly taken away and distributed to those they deem deserving. The inevitable result, however, punishes achievement and lessens opportunity — not the recipe for a healthy economy or a unified America. Certainly, I’m for government programs that provide temporary help to get folks back on their feet. But, institutionalized economic egalitarianism is a failed, socialist, feel-good-ism that feeds on class envy. It is interesting that those who call themselves “progressives” are merely recycling 19th-century Marxist ideology.
It is disingenuous for the Left to claim they are more compassionate than the Right. Their “compassion” involves taking someone else’s money and giving it to who they think deserve it. I say to the Left, lead by example. Ironically, data shows that those who advocate economic equality are generally less charitable in personal finances than those greedy conservatives who supposedly hoard money to buy speedboats. Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, documents in his book, “Who Really Cares?,” that religious conservatives “are the most generous Americans, by any measure … … secular liberals give far less to charity.” Again, statistics show that red states record more charitable donations than blue states and that Americans, on average, are much more charitable than Europeans. So, who is putting their own money where their mouth is? Perhaps if all who agree with Mr. Whitely volunteered to donate more of their own money to the less fortunate, then they wouldn’t have to hide behind the counterfeit compassion of “donating” someone else’s.
Ray Rieck, Louisville
We Saw You
Democratic Metro Council Rep. Jim King attended a Sen. Mitch McConnell $500 plate fundraiser on Nov. 27 at the home of Larry Bisig in the Highlands. About 25 protestors gathered outside to protest Sen. McConnell’s views on the war in Iraq. When the fundraiser was over, one of the attendees leaving was Democratic Metro Council member Jim King. It looked to everyone present at the protest that King was as shocked to see us as we were to see him. His shoulders drooped when we asked him why he was at a McConnell fundraiser, and he kept walking without answering.
King has expressed a desire to run for president of the Democratic Caucus of Metro Council and also for mayor someday. As a Democrat, I hope that Democratic Council members will ask tough questions of King on why he attended this fundraiser. He should be held accountable by his colleagues if he decides to pursue the presidency of Metro Council. If King wishes to support McConnell, fine — I hope he has the guts to admit it to the constituents of his district and colleagues. Anything less is not leadership.
You may want to call Jim King at 574-1110 and ask him why he attended this fundraiser for McConnell.
Gregg Wagner, Louisville