By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Brett Koshkin
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Riverfront Times
By Danny Wicentowski
By Pete Kotz
Stage, April 26, 2007Code Orange
You're a bad boy, Dennis Brown: Although few would deny Dennis Brown is a very intelligent, experienced and conscientious reviewer, his recent piece, "Ticktock, What a Crock," on HotCity Theatre's production of A Clockwork Orange was out of line on several accounts. And its tone was unnecessarily vitriolic. Like Brown, I love theater and would hope we might all find more constructive ways to talk about it. Every theater company has some productions that are more successful than others. This applies whether you are talking about a small organization, like mine, as well as large internationally recognized institutions, such as Steppenwolf in Chicago, the Public in New York, or England's Royal Shakespeare Company. That is the nature of the business, and if one is truly interested in improving their work, they are open to productive critical feedback. But Dennis Brown did not just review A Clockwork Orange, he reviewed and judged the legitimacy of HotCity Theatre altogether.
What is the purpose of this kind of pronouncement? And how does he know that he will not find the next production that HotCity does to be outstanding when he has liked much of their work in the past? Part of the problem is that Brown finds it necessary to declare a company "the most exciting" or "the most vital." Set on a pedestal, any company will eventually fall short. Competition can be productive and even enjoyable. But we need new paradigms for discussion, especially when there is a shortage of thoughtful local print outlets for theater coverage. Brown's most recent article is damaging to the development of a thriving, risk-taking, collaborative and exciting theater community.
Joan Lipkin, artistic director, That Uppity Theatre Company, St. Louis
Cafe, April 19, 2007 Fine Diner-ing After glow: Ian Froeb's review of After hit my funny bone — hard! Keep up the strange reviews. I love diners; this coverage of the food was especially brilliant in its honesty.
Brie Vonyo, St. Louis
Homespun, April 19, 2007
Letters, March 29, 2007
When St. Louis was founded in 1764, it and Mexico were part of "New Spain." During the American Revolution, the revolutionist's coins were minted in Mexico City. The Spanish position in 1804 was that the Louisiana Purchase was not Napoleon Bonaparte's property to sell. After the invasion of Mexico in 1843, the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that legalized it made Spanish a legal language in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. The first motto of the U.S. is E Pluribus Unum. A motto of Missouri on its 1820 state seal is salus populi suprema lex esto ("The health, safety welfare, well-being, prosperity and good of the people is the supreme law.") The U.S. Constitution mentions ex post facto ("retroactive"), habeas corpus ("you should have the body") and pro tempore ("for the time being").
Our children are learning Chinese and Japanese in school to communicate with the owners of firms they may some day work for. After the North American Free Trade Agreement, the owners of some U.S. firms are now Mexican, so it also helps to know Spanish. My grandparents migrated here in the 1870s to enjoy the right to speak, read, write, publish and teach their children Polish.
In a 1986 amnesty, I sponsored an undocumented Mexican immigrant for citizenship as my Christian duty per Matthew 25:31-46. He is now a citizen. An advantage to the U.S. is that when he filed his income taxes, the IRS discovered his employer had been withholding his taxes but not turning them in.
Alexander Hamilton taught us in 1775 that "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among...musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power." The North American Free Trade Agreement violates the sacred rights of Mexicans. They have no choice but to move to the U.S. to find work. An amnesty for Mexicans who are in the U.S. because of NAFTA is long overdue.
When the law is flawed, it should be fixed. Europeans are here as guests of the American Indians, who have first dibs on the land. Second dibs go to Mexicans, because Mexico and Missouri were the same nation.
Joseph J. Kuciejczyk, St. Louis
Letters, February 1, 2007
Erratum We inadvertently lopped off several lines of Malcolm Gay's news story, "Mid-America Jihad?" in our print edition last week. To read the story in its entirety, point your browser to www.riverfronttimes.com /2007-05-02/news/mid-america-jihad.