Letters to the Editor

Published the week of February 16

To those of you who have followed The Brain Sandwich Show over the years and enjoyed what we did, I say, "Thanks a million." We answered over 80 phone calls, expressing anger at our leaving and/or regret, on our last two shows, which is tremendous considering that we went up against the playoff games and the Super Bowl itself. I can be reached at 636-296-9911, [email protected] or at 28 Sandy Dr., Arnold, MO 63010.

Mike Madonna

Your recent article on KDHX was interesting but horribly one-sided. Why not talk to the KDHX fans who have had their hearts broken over the past year?

When Beverly Hacker canceled several excellent talk shows and cut the rest in half, my heart was broken. KDHX used to be a welcome alternative to the overly corporate KMOX, but now we have virtually nothing left. Yes, music is important, but so is intelligent local talk.

The greatest crime is what she did to the Break a Leg program -- the only show on the radio where theater artists are interviewed by real, working theater people, Debbie Sharn and Scott Miller. There is not another show of this caliber anywhere else on the airwaves, but the aptly named Hacker cut it down to a shameful 15 minutes on the air.

Is this her idea of "intelligent programming"? Is this her way of serving the community? She says KDHX shows should be something we can't get anywhere else, but that's what Break a Leg was, and she has nearly killed it.

Congrats to KDHX for its increased contributions, but don't expect that to last by killing the best shows.

Norman Christiansen

Regarding the Feb. 9 "State of the Arts" column on the dearth of performing-arts space: Let's forget the word "opera" for a moment, OK? There is a 500,000-square-foot magnificent building in our core downtown that includes one of the world's finest main theaters and at least four (two stacked theaters) on either side for up to five simultaneous performance capabilities, plus massive special-events, party, exhibit and civic-event space down below. So where is the space problem?

Kind of like the Kennedy Center, only better. Kind of like the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, only better. Kind of like Playhouse Square in Cleveland, but all in one building.

It can house many performing-arts groups, theater groups, dance groups and help them market, produce and draw. It can bring 1.2 million people a year into a pitiful-ass downtown that offers nothing. It can return to St. Louis from a 300-mile radius the two-night-stay year-round theater- and musical-theater-going tourist who now goes to Chicago, Louisville, Nashville, Tulsa, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Memphis, etc. And how many years in a row will the country's "white-hairs" want to go back to Branson?

It does not need a philanthropist but a group of businesspeople who actually want a return on their investment. The 57 naming opportunities in the building will give St. Louis its first true healthy private endowment for the arts.

The 2004 study and the ULI study were commissioned, controlled and paid for by the Fox, Grand Center and Kiel Partners with the sole purpose of destroying the Kiel Opera House for music. The proposed Smithsonian use was a fraud. Who knows what the blues/jazz plan is? Or the next plan?

We are the only city in the country without a performing-arts center in its core downtown. This is an economic, cultural and tourist-marketing disaster. Think big. St. Louis cannot afford to think small any longer.

Ed Golterman

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