THERE ARE THOSE RARE CONCERT performances that seem to be a slice of heaven where the sheer talent of a performer enthralls and captivates us. You can feel the electricity in the audience and you know they are spellbound. Such was the case with Patti LuPone at the Westwood Playhouse Jan. 9. Or, so we thought.
Then we saw the review of LuPone (Daily Variety, Jan. 12) and realized that we were fooled by an illusionist who did not sing songs with “a connecting element.” She didn’t even reveal “the sources of obscure material” like “Calling You” and “His Rocking Horse Ran Away.” Thank God Todd Everett has the inestimable trivia to impart because it enlightened us and further diminished the fabulous concert experience that we only thought we had.
I’m so embarrassed when I think of how we bolted to our feet applauding for LuPone.
Response to Lawson
ON BEHALF OF THE COALITION VS. PBS Censorship and as producer of “Building Bombs,” I must respond to statements made by PBS head of programming Jennifer Lawson (Daily Variety, Jan. 7) (head of PBS programming) in the article.
Your reporter quotes Lawson as saying that “We have standards for our programs and we apply these across the board on all of our programming decisions.” The journalistic standard which “Building Bombs” violates, according to PBS, is that it “does not give adequate voice to those who are proponents of nuclear arms.”
This is interesting, since “Building Bombs” contains interviews with five proponents of nuclear arms. One of them is former President Reagan’s secretary of energy and the other four are spokesmen provided by the energy department and the DuPont Co. Furthermore, three scientists and two other experts in the field of nuclear weapons production and waste disposal reviewed the film for factual and scientific accuracy. Not a single fact put forward in “Building Bombs” has been challenged by anyone.
I find it disturbing that “Building Bombs,” a film that examines a situation of critical importance in the U.S., has been viewed on broadcast television all over the world but, due to PBS rejection, not in the U.S. Censorship does not always come labeled as such.
‘Sad beyond words’
MY FIRST RESPONSE to the letter you printed from Joe Lent of Greeley, Colorado (Daily Variety, Dec. 28) was, of course, to prop my feet on my studio-leased desk and laugh my enlightened head off. Upon reflection, however, I find it sad beyond words that there exists in one person so narrow-minded, intolerant, and hateful a view of homosexuality, the entertainment industry, and California. Although I would love to believe that Lent stands alone in his views , we all know that he has plenty of company … everywhere … all around us.
But as Madonna says on her latest album, “the blind are never free.” I’d like to believe that.
REGARDING TONY SCOTT’S excellent review of the National Geographic Explorer’s “The Canine Connection” (Daily Variety, Dec. 30), we would like to address his comment that animal rightists are “missing the boat” and not focusing on the plight of greyhounds.
In reality, the movement has worked for many years to expose the cruelty to greyhounds both on and off the track. Activists have gone undercover, exposing the tragic lives of these animals and have provided information to the news media and government authorities–and, in some cases, closed down operations.
Of particular relevance–and curiously omitted from “The Canine Connection”–is the routine and heinous selling of “retired” greyhounds to medical research laboratories. Very lucrative for the owners, greyhounds are especially prized in research precisely because they are gentle and affectionate , trusting of humans, and possessed of a high tolerance for pain and suffering. The movement has initiated letter-writing campaigns, openly demonstrated at facilities, exposed bogus research and liberated greyhounds.
President and Founder
Last Chance for Animals
WOE BE IT TO WARREN Littlefield, the poor, helpless president of NBC Entertainment (Daily Variety, Dec. 9). Sad to believe this man, “one of the nicer guys in show business,” as the article so kindly points out, is the victim of some predestined curse of “bad luck and bad timing.” Sadder indeed if we are to believe the woes and failures of the Peacock network are due to a superstitious curse induced possibly by someone over there who “broke a mirror while a black cat watched.”
Call me crazy, but perhaps there’s another side to this. Perhaps there’s some logical explanation to the network’s failing schedule and dismal ratings performance that we overlooked in our pity for such a creative leader as Mr. Littlefield.
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