THE GREENROOM DISCUSSIONS

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

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THE GREENROOM DISCUSSIONS - Winter: January - April, 199

note:

entire contents copyright 1998 by THE THEATER MIRROR


Subject: Re: Clothes for a Summer Hotel
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 18:27:21 -0400
From: "Jeremy McCarter" jmccart@fas.harvard.edu

Larry,
Before I forget, my roommate just tried to find your review online, and it wouldn't connect. I think it might be because the link is to /hotel.com, since when I changed it to /hotel.htm, it worked like a charm.
I, too, think that Williams came down far too hard on Scott. It was Scott's predicament that first attracted me to this script, and no matter how miserably Williams attempts to portray him, he continues to draw a sympathetic response from me.
And yes, the show did occasionally overreach its grasp. But few aspects of directing satisfy me quite as much as pushing the designers to be innovative. Thanks again--
Jeremy


Subject: Re: Clothes for a Summer Hotel
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 10:32:51 -0400
From: "Jeremy McCarter" jmccart@fas.harvard.edu

Larry,
Thanks very much for your positive review. I'm going to forward it to the cast and staff--it's the punch in the arm we need going into our second weekend.
Take care--
Jeremy

LARRY STARK MUSES:
This was a harder review than usual for me. I'd read biographies of Zelda, Scott, and Ernest, read SAVE ME THE WALTZ and all of Hemingstein and Scott's two-and-three-quarters good novels (THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED is unreadable), and obviously found myself arguing throughout the evening with Tennessee Williams!
It seemed to me that in order to give Zelda Fitzgerald somewhat more credit than she really deserves, Williams slammed Scott much harder than He deserves --- despite the fact that I've always thought that Hem was a great writer but Scott's tragic life was his major artistic creation.
But though the play was new to me, there's more to a show than a script, and this was a student production, not an A.R.T. professional presentation. Of course such a show's reach exceeds its grasp here and there, but I'm much more interested in its many successes. And the more I thought about the show, the better I felt about the production, whatever my qualms about that script.
That said, the show is not audience-friendly, particularly in its opening moments. Williams starts his play at its harshest and most expressionistic, and introduces its weakest and most unpleasant character there --- while telling people these are real people familiar from history, despite the fact that these are not the accepted aspects of these famous figures. All that can be bewildering for the audience to adjust to.
In a sense, Zelda may even be thought of as Blanche DuBois in the madhouse --- a whole other concept for the reviewer to trip over!
But those sort of speculations are the stuff of a CRICKET'S NOTEBOOK or a Sunday Piece, at least for me. As a reviewer, I'd rather describe what I saw than tell what I think ... because the thinking comes later.
Just as it is coming now.
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Hi Larry
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 16:50:58 -0400
From: Jamie McGonnigal jslater@broadwayinboston.com
Organization: Broadway In Boston Subscriptions

Sorry I haven't contacted you...it seems there was some confusion with telephone numbers etc...
I have been rather busy. i work full time for Broadway in Boston/The Colonial/Wilbur/American Artists and this summer will be full time with the Fiddlehead Theatre Company in Norwood.
I'm currently on crutches and have been since I injured myself during my Christmas Carol tour. It was a nasty break that required surgery about 11 weeks ago. So I have a cane after that for a few weeks and then I'll be back to normal. (as normal as can be expected)...
I performed with Fiddlehead as Jud in their Oklahoma last October, and performed in a cabaret a few months ago there (on shiny red crutches) That went very well.
And in mid-June my production of Maltby and Shire's "Closer Than Ever" will be going up there as well. It's an old vaudeville house with a closed off balcony which will now house a smaller black box space, where I will direct and perform in the afore-mentioned show.
Currently they are doing Music Man and it will be a very good show, I believe, once it comes together.
This summer...I'll be in norwood directing/teaching young people in the theatrical arts. in a Muppet musical revue and the older kids will be doing Godspell.
After that I'm outta here...I'll most likely be going to Bakersfield CA to do The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 with The Vaudeville Express Musical Theatre and then I'll join the fateful Christmas Carol tour once again culminating in NYC where I will struggle to remain a working actor...try saying all that in one breath!
I am on email now not terribly often, but much more so than usual. And if you would be interested in reviewing at Fiddlehead, please let me know, we are lacking in the press coverage aspect of things. You can also contact Meg Fofonoff (producer) at 781-762-4060 and she'll talk your ear off about all we're doing. see ya soon
-jamie

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
That's Jamie McGonnigal, The Theater Mirror's famous Thin Young Singer With A Cane!
I noticed Jamie in the cast of "Curley, The Musical" when he was still at Bridgewater State when The Theater Mirror was very new, and the three of us have more or less grown up together. (Jamie's shamelessly gushing review of "Rent" is still in our archive of Reviews; I think he was hoping to get cast!) Now he's a self-confessed gypsy bombulating through the world of Professional Theatre!
Jamie, call me at 1(617)524-1768! We've got to have lunch at Remington's and compare walking- sticks!
Love,
===The Fat Old Man With The Cane
( a k a Anon. )


Subject: NHPAC (The Palace) closing its doors
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 03:22:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: Angel angel@Northstar.antistatic.com

Larry, here's something you might want to share with your readers.

When I called the Palace Theater today (Box office (603) 668-5588) for press comps to "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the recording I heard shocked me immensely. It says the following:

"....Please note, the New Hampshire Performing Arts Center has cancelled the remainder of it's 1997-1998 year."

"The following shows have been cancelled:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Good bye Girl
NH Artists Showcase
(Patti Larkin and someone) in Concert
Blues Palace 98"
"Names and addresses of all people who have purchased tickets to cancelled events have been forwarded to the bankruptcy trustees, but we cannot at this time guarantee refunds for the purchased tickets."

It also said the Opera League of NH is still holding "Romeo and Juliet" on May 8th, but possibly it's at another location.

I can't belive the Palace went bankrupt. That place has been in business for a very long time and had some very high quality productions! I don't know if there's anything that can be done to help them, but I did think you should know.

Best regards,
Angel (Reviewer and webmistress of Sceneplay.)

LARRY STARK CONFIRMS:
I called the number myself, and pressed 1 to hear how to order "Midsummer" tickets. I asked the human voice how they could sell tickets to a cancelled performance. "We're only taking orders for the Opera League of New Hampshore."
"What happened?"
"The company went bankrupt."
Film at eleven... Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Theater Mirror: Excellent site. Minor spelling goof.
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 00:08:52 -0400
From: "Robert W. Haddleton" rhadd@ma.ultranet.com

Hi Larry!
I just wanted to say that your site is excellent. I wanted a quick list of what plays are running, and which will open soon, for a meeting of our local seniors. Voila, right on your site!
Question: My attention was drawn to your note of pedantry, since at our last meeting no one was sure which spelling of Theater/Theatre was correct. My beady eyes first questioned "obstinant"; not in the dictionary; should be "obstinate". My fuzzy brain then told me to get the dictionary citation for "theater" ( I expected to find "art") and "theatre" ( I expected to find "building"). My Mirriam-Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary said simply "theater or theatre". So did the Mirriam-Webster on-line dictionary . Suggestion: If your pedantry is correct, would you put a citation (as to a dictionary) under that note where would-be pedants may check and verify the meanings of "theater" vs "theatre" ? Thanks.
Again, thanks for a really interesting and valuable site.

LARRY STARK SHRUGS:
Some of us, sir, are capable of telling a lie so convincingly that I believe it myself!
And if I iterate it often enough, haughtily enough, and loudly enough, it may gain the force of fact in men's minds.
But, at present, the O.E.D. and I are still in the first stages of negotiation.....
It's just that it SOUNDED so true when I thought it up!
Thanks for thinking about it, though, and thanks for the compliments.
Love,
===Charlatan
( a k a Anon. )


Subject: Guys and Dolls
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 07:30:18 +1000
From: Justyn Cook justynandtonia@one.net.au

Dear Sir / Madam,
I have recently joined the chorus line for an amateur production of guys and Dolls. I need to get a copy of the 1992 music score as no one here has been able to find a copy. Can you offer any suggestions as to where I could obtain a copy.
Many thanks
Justyn Cook
Wollongong Australia

LARRY STARK WONDERS:
Okay, gang, what can you do for our fellow thespians Down Under?
Oh, now let's not always see the same hands.....
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Peter Pan/Greenroom Comments
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 18:59:43 -0400
From: Don Gillis dgillis@ici.net

Larry:
My wife and I went to Providence Performing Arts Center(PPAC) to see the last performance of "Peter Pan", last night (Sunday, April 19th) and all I can do is echo the sentiments of reviewer, R.J. Nickerson which appeared in NEED this month (page 7).

Its a Never Never Land that even grown ups enjoy!

Don Gillis
Pawtucket Community Players

LARRY STARK ENTHUSES:
That's our Don: A critic of few words who calls 'em as he sees 'em!
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: "Old Boy: Notice
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 10:47:56 EDT
From: Bjweaw Bjweaw@aol.com

Larry,
Can you include on the Winchester Players'" The Old Boy" notice that this is the BOSTON AREA PREMIER ? We just received confirmation of the fact from Dramatists Play service. Thank You.
B.J. Williams
Email: bjweaw@aol.com

LARRY STARK REGRETS:
Our LISTINGS are simply bare-bones.
HOWEVER,
if you will rephrase that as a newsitem/ad, I'll run it as a Special Announcement.
Okay?
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Theater v theatre
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 23:22:44 -0400
From: "Garry K. Millar" gkmillar@vcgi.com

Dear Larry,
I am an Australian living in the US for four years. For us "theatre" is ALWAYS spelt "theatre" so I have been confused when I have seen both the spelling "theater" and "theatre". I thought the former was the American for all kinds of theatre and now you have taught me so succinctly, if not obstinately, the distinction. thank you. I will make sure my Aussie/American children learn the difference as soon as possible. I'm sure they have not already learnt it at school.
Meanwhile I will now return to your website to see if I can learn there what I came to it for in the first place......a program of events in Boston next week.
Kind regards
rozmillar@hotmail.com

LARRY STARK CRINGES:
Dear "rozmiller":
About words, who would you believe --- the Oxford English Dictionary
or a fat old man with a cane?
I wouldn't be so quick to take my little joke as a fact!
ALL the dictionaries disagree with me, including the O.E.D.
Even JD at PROSCENiUM disagrees with me!
The fact is, some people spell the name of their company one way, some another. I long ago worked out For Myself a logical reason for "theatre" to be different from "theater" and for a while I actually believed that was what I'd been told by my old friend and mentor Joe Hanlon (the person who founded BOSTON AFTER DARK and was my first gifted editor).
But it's hard to hold onto the One true Way when even the O.E.D. doesn't agree with you...
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: New Format
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 18:14:27 -0700
From: "Sharyn"

Dear Larry,
The TM is looking very sleek these days. I find the format very easy to mouse around in and all areas accessible.
Am currently debating titles "Felicity" or "Hamlet: the Women"? Most votes are for the latter. Care to add an opinion.
Also started work on a new play working title "Trash" about survivors of domestic violence. I just got tired of seeing these women depicted as victims. They have enormous resiliency, humor, and surprising strength.
Hope you're doing well, wish I could have come to the party.
Sharyn Shipley
"Felicity" is being featured at http://www.theatermirror.com/reflect.htm

LARRY STARK OPINES:
I like "Felicity" as a title, though "Hamlet: The Women" is more descriptive.
Why not both?
"Felicity (Hamlet:The Women)"?
No, huh?
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Hello!
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 15:44:29 -0400
From: Jeanine Belcastro jeanineb@bu.edu

I have been looking at the TheatreMirror for a few months and regularly find valuable, useful information in your site. I am performing in a production of NUNSENSE at the Quincy Dinner Theatre and I am wondering how we could post information about our show on your site.
My address is: jeanineb@bu.edu
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
-Jeanine Belcastro

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS: Oh, it's E X T R E M E L Y complicated, Jeanine:
First decide what everyone needs to know.
Send it to me in an e-mail message.
I'll get it up as soon as I see it.
And then you look into The Mirror and read it.

That's

All.

Honest.
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Re: A show
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 15:49:17 -0400
From: From: "Jeremy McCarter" jmccart@fas.harvard.edu

Mr. Stark,
From April 23rd to May 2nd, Tennessee Williams's _Clothes for a Summer Hotel_ will appear on the Loeb Mainstage in Cambridge. I mention it because I would be thrilled if you decided to review it for Theater Mirror.

I read Theater Mirror frequently (it's bookmarked on my computer). I read most of the reviews, partly because they're good reading, and partly because they paint a fairly accurate picture of theater in this part of New England. If you were to include _Clothes_, I would be honored.
To the best of my knowledge, most of the reviewers are planning on attending the April 24th show, making it a de facto press night. If you're interested in reviewing the show (or just coming to watch it, for that matter), please contact me and I'll have one of the producers set aside tickets for you.
Yours,
Jeremy McCarter
Director
Clothes for a Summer Hotel

LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Okay, 24th it is. What's curtain time?
Is the "producing group" the H/RDC?
How did you manage to Wrest the main stage away from those Sothron carpet-baggers that work there? (I spent five years as a "freelance stagehand" at Loeb and other places in Cambridge when it first opened, and never took kindly to those upstart Yalies taking over. I was out of school when I moved here, but what was then only the "H"DC never had work-rules so I got to see a lot of interesting theater being made, and attended a good many strike-parties. I learned a lot just watching shows develop.) I think, unless you complain, I'll add this to the GREENROOM, and thanks for the invitation Love, ===Anon. ( a k a larry stark )


Subject: Babson Players' Forum
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 08:50:42 -0500
From: Harlan Feinstein

Good morning, Larry. Just wanted to let you know that Suzanne is music directing her first community theater production... it's out in Wellesley, and you've got it listed already on your plays opening this week area. It's the production of "Forum" at Sorenson Center for the Arts. :-)
There's a 11-piece orchestra, and a real pit, both of which are pretty atypical for community theater. There are five folks that were in the City of Angels orchestra, a few folks from Newton Players' last production of On the Town, and a few from Turtle Lane's production of West Side (that you couldn't hear the orchestra on anyway). Oh, and so far, they haven't cut Overture/Entracte/Exit Music. :-) You should come see...
--Harlan


Subject: Thanks for the invite!
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 21:47:08 -0500
From: Jane Lukoff "jane-marshall@worldnet.att.net"@postoffice.worldnet.att.net

Dear Larry
Lovely to see you again. What a great group of people. Good to have all those connections!
Sleep well.
Jane x

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
Jane Lukoff and her Artistic Director Rachel Shatil were invited as nominees (for Portal Theatre's "The Maids") to the Outer Critics Circle's Awards Party on Monday, 30 March.
This was a chance for people who have done good work to meet each other face to face, as well as to honor people, often in neglected companies, noticed by the reviewers.
Once the room began to fill, conversations were so much the order of the evening that the wines and cheeses were totally ignored!
Jules Becker presided over a brief awards ceremony, handing tokens of appreciation to the many finalists, and still and motion cameras recorded that part of the evening. (Lists of all nominees and winners are on permanent file at "OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 1 9 9 7" here in The Mirror.)Beverly Creasey and Geralyn Horton organized the party, with Jules; I just carried things.
But this was a beginning. It was gratifying for me to be in a room with so many theater practitioners knowing that, for those few hours at least, no one present had any reason for hating the critics! But, more importantly, the assembled honorees had a chance to appreciate the extraordinary range and variety of excellence across the spectrum of live theater in and around Boston.
And, since I was at a party with so many good friends, I had a ball!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Subject: Re: [Fwd: More Outer Critics]
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 12:08:00 -0500
From: Geralyn Horton ghorton@tiac.net

Larry Stark's Theater Mirror wrote:

Subject: More Outer Critics
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 10:51:57 EST
From: Aurelie10 Aurelie10@aol.com
To: greenrm@theatermirror.com

As you know, most everyone in our local communities thinks that this is a great idea. However, here's a suggestion for next year - trying to contact the actors who received awards directly, not just the theatres that they worked at. I know that not everyone who was chosen received information firsthand, and did not hear about the reception that was planned. Perhaps the theatres can be notified - but they can also be asked to provide addresses or contacts (agents, whatever) for the out of town actors? It means just as much to someone who lives and works in New York as it does to our local actors.
Just something to keep in mind for the future....
Aurelie

GERALYN HORTON'S RESPONSE:

Dear Aurelie,
You are right, of course, and Beverly Creasey has spent untold hours trying to track down phone numbers and addresses for everyone nominated, going so far as to call the Director's Guild, Equity, old roommates, distant theatres where they are rumored to presently be performing -- and not always succeeding, alas! If you know any nominated artists she may have missed, please, tell them we tried, and forward an address or phone number where we can contact the person to offer our congratulations and apologize for being inept detectives..
G.L.Horton http://www.tiac.net/users/ghorton


Subject: Theater Lisings
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 12:40:23 +0000
From: Robert Doris rdoris@bellsouth.net

Hi!
This is a great site. I know it takes a lot of hard work to keep something like this maintained.
I am interested in knowing which theaters are community, professional non-equity, equity but hiring some non-equity actors and/or offering Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) programs and, finally, equity only (but holding auditions locally). I think that would be of vital interest to people who visit, especially considering auditions.
I am from originally from Revere but I have lived in Florida for 11 years. I am considering coming back for this summer. I have no idea what the theatre situation is for professional (non-equity) actors. There are many local theaters listed in your site. Only some are identified as community. The audition section really needs some type of categorization to help actors (professional and non) distinguish so they know what they're getting into before they audition or call. Your link page to theater wed sites is incredible but not all theaters have web sites or identify themseves as professional.
Maybe a one time master list as a seperate page that one could use as a reference would be good.
Even if you don't add this to your site, could you please send me some information or the name of a resource that would have a list of professional (non-equity/equity) local theaters?
Thanks
Robert Doris
rdoris@bellsouth.net

LARRY STARK REGRETS:
Frankly, that's a lot more extra work than I'm capable of doing.
Try StageSource
http://www.emerson.edu/acadepts/pa/stagesource/
and USITT
http://grace.it.emerson.edu/acadepts/pa/usitt_ne/
They probably have some sort of checklist.
Good luck.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Subject: question of interest
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 06:25:22 +0000
From: "Richard M. Detsch" detsch@sover.net

Reasontly I perchased the phantom of the opra the play on cd. I was wondering if the phantom of the opra will be coming to Boston?
thanks

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Probably. Not soon. It's been at the Wang a couple of times already, hasn't it? And down in Providence as well.


Subject: term: break a leg
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 12:13:52 EST
From: EJPOLI@aol.com

Hello,
I was wondering if you could answer the question of why use the term "break a leg" instead of "good'luck " in theater/drama. I am in charge of selling "break a legs" for our school program/playbill, and would like to be able to explain myself!
Any information on "break a leg" would be very helpful!
Thankyou in advance!
Kristie
ejpoli@aol.com
LARRY STARK HAS TWO ANSWERS:
You want romance, or reality?
The term came to america in the immigrant influx of '20s and '30s, and grew out of a German/Yiddish habit of cynically wishing bad --- perhaps on the grounds that it's better to be disappointed when expecting Bad luck than when expecting good. The habit disappeared with assimilation for most people, but stuck backstage.
And since it has stuck, there is a lot of "backward defining" that results from theories on how such a phrase might have gotten started that are much more plausable than the truth and so get passed around like urban legends. ("Break a leg meant do a curtsey" "To break a leg meant to be called through the background-curtains [legs] for a second bow")
But, as with many phrases and words, the sense and the general meaning of the phrase has migrated. I think most actors today feel, quite rightly, that trusting mere luck instead of craft is the best way to disaster. "Do a good job out there even if you have to BREAK A LEG to do it!" is the encouraging compliment embedded in the phrase today. And it's what every good actor does.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Subject: critic's critique
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 20:47:49 -0800
From: "Sharyn" Sharyn@wolfenet.com

Congratulations, they spelled your name right. And you're holding on to the tail of the theatrical comet. Whooosh! Print takes too long to get, read and dispose of. Hooray for the Mirror and you.

-= S =-
Sharyn Shipley
"Felicity" is being featured at http://www.theatermirror.com/reflect.htm


Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 22:26:57 -0800
From: Barbara irisesrainbow@worldnet.att.net
Subject: drama

Greetings-
I came accross your page this evening well I was searching for information on the Bosto theatre scene. I am moving back to boston in two weeks after a 15 year hiatus, and am wondering if you have any names/numbers/emails of people or prorams in the Boston area with whom I can contact regarding classes and auditions for the ummer season. I just finished with classes at uc berkeley, and would love to make contact with people before I relocate, so that my transition will be easier.If you have any information on housing with fellow artists in the Boston area please pas it along also. I look forward to hearing from you, and reading more at your web page.
Thankyou, Jonathan Stephens

LARRY STARK ASKS:
Can anyone else help Jonathan out here?


Subject: Re Re: Production Notice (Community)
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 14:26:04 EST
From: Bjweaw Bjweaw@aol.com

Dear Larry,
Many thanks. I am the Publicity Chair for both The Winchester Players and the Belmont Dramatic Club. A few questions: How long can these notices be (max. length); how far in advance would you like the notices; how long will they run?

You are providing a valuable resource for our community theaters. We are very appreciative.
Regards,
B.J. Williams

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Brevity is the soul of just about everything on the Internet.
If you go beyond a screen or two, I may edit in the name of readability. Otherwise, what you give me goes up as you gace it. (I did take the liberty of changing "Out Town" to "Our Town" since it was an obvious typo in your Special Announcement, but I don't think you'll object.)
Any Speciasl Announcement ought to be relevant. Case in point is a festival that's taking place this coming June. I got a lengthy notice on it before JANUARY. I put it up, and it's still there, but both its intial impact and its current relevance is a little problematical, wouldn't you agree?
But I'm flexible, and this is a Service, and you get what you pay for, right?
As for how long they run, again I hate to cut stuff until, for instance, the last day of a show's run, or the date on which something happens.
The truth is, I don't know when or how often people look into The Theater Mirror, so people who may never have seen Anything may dial in this afternoon, and find that announcement about the June festival NEW. Who am I to decide that since I've been seeing the damn thing since December it is Old News?
So I err on the side of "complete" and "as long as it's relevant" rather than being ruthless.
IF, mind,
If it's about Live Theater!!!!!
The only movies I'd pay any attention to are "Moon Over Broadway" and the beautiful Pennebaker documentary on the "Company" cast-recording sessions. And I'm still arguing with friends about whether an opera is "theater" instead of "music". (But G&S I love!)
Is that arbitrary? Damn right. But, to paraphrase a famous mis-quote:
"I may not know what I like, but I know that theater is, damnit!"
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: RE: Today's Herald
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 13:24:30 -0500
From: Nancy Willis imadirektor@mediaone.net

Larry. . . Have you seen Arthur Friedman's comments on the Outer Circle Critics in today's Herald? Seems like a disgruntled little man who doesn't like sharing his toys with others! You must be getting too close! Keep up the good work.
Best,
Nancy

LARRY STARK GLOWS:
Yes, isn't it WONNNderful?????
He didn't misspell Any of our names, and P.T.Barnum was right. (Those of you who don't understand should read a column called simply THEATER in the 6 March edition of the Boston HERALD, which once carried Elliott Norton's sage reviews.)
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Re: Theater Mirror review PETER PAN
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 98 13:44:13 -0500
From: David Low

Larry,
Thanks for your review from The Theater Mirror. I'll check it out.
Yours,
David Low, Webmanager
National Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20506
Voice: (202) 682-5794 Fax: (202) 682-5611
Email: webmgr@arts.endow.gov
NEA Website: http://arts.endow.gov


Subject: Natick Ensemble Theatre
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 08:21:23 -0500
From: "Babst, Jere" Jere.Babst@analog.com

Thanks allot for posting our audition notice for Twelfth Night.

We got five people that responded to the posting and we will be casting them. The people are from all over and they are willing to travel to Natick to act in Shakespeare.
Thanks again,
Jere Babst
Natick Ensemble Theatre


Subject: A Few Good Men
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:00:36 EST
From: MD4S MD4S@aol.com

Dear Mr. Stark,

I saw A Few Good Men Last night in the Friends of Arlington Theatre, and was completely amazed. The performance was excellent, and the person I was with enjoyed it more than she did an earlier prformance and the movie.

I did not see a performance before I saw the movie, but I feel that the on stage performance last night given by Lt. Caffey was superior to that of Tom Cruise. There was more emotion, and stronger feeling prortrayed by the actor last night.

Theater usually provides the audience with a more active role in deciphering the story line, and naturally leaves more to the imigination. For that reason, I felt that the parts of the story line that were added to the movie detracted from the strength of the story, and by not including them in the presentation last night, the director and all of the actors should be applauded.

What usually happens when a person has seen multiple performances of the same show, one tries to compare the actors/actresses. Jessup's actor had large shoes to fill, trying to superimpose his performance over that of JackNicholson from the movie, but I enjoyed the depth with which the actor managed the part, and by the end of his third scene, I was no longer drawing comparisons.

I strongly recommend that you (or someone from your organization) make the short trip north to see this performance. It is worth the trip, and you will remember how excellent these community theatres can be.

Sincerely,

Md4s@aol.com

LARRY STARK REPLIED:

Would you mind telling us your name?
You see, your letter is precisely what I expected The Theater Mirror was for. I expected letters like yours from people about every show they saw, sharing their observations and insights and opinions --- every theater-goer their own critic. We were up and running two years last October, and your letter is the first unsolicited opinion we've had.
So I'm going to run it as our review of the show.
You needn't, but if you'd tell us your name I'll "sign" your review for you.

And thanks, for fulfilling MY dream, at long last. Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )

Subject: RE: A Few Good Men
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 23:44:45 -0500
From: Nancy Curran Willis imadirektor@mediaone.net

Larry:
Just saw the letter re: AFGM in the Greenroom. I'm a little confused about your statement in response to it that you would run it as your "Theatermirror's" Review. Does that mean you are NOT reviewing the production? I've seen enough of your reviews to know that when you don't like something you usually just choose not to review it. I hope that isn't the case with our production. If it is, I would appreciate a personal feedback from you.
Best,
Nancy CW

Subject: Re: A Few Good Men
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 04:31:08 -0500
From: Nancy Curran Willis imadirektor@mediaone.net

Thank you for a very intelligent review of our production. As it turns out the entire cast was at my house for a cast party and we kept checking to see if anything had been posted. It is now 4:22 am and the last of the Marines have left. It was certainly a great celebration when we got to read the review together at the party.

As far as your comments about the script - I don't disagree. I knew going into it that the biggest challenge (besides finding 20 community theater actors who would look and act like Marines) would be how to handle the endless scene changes and the necessity to be sure all the loose ends tie together for the audience by the end of the play. That was why I decided to keep the scenes moving under blue light with military-like precision and give the audiences something to watch that would also serve as a means to tie it all together. I was also glad to have your input on the effect of the sentry. I don't mind telling you that when I pitched the show almost a year ago, it was part of my concept then to have a fence and guard tower that was always manned. At the time, I wasn't sure I would ever get someone willing to stand there for the whole show but thank goodness, Iain was willing. I am very proud of the work that my wonderfully talented cast and crew did to pull this production together. It was really a killer! And when it closes . . . I'm going to Disneyworld! Thanks again for your feedback.
Till next time . . .
Nancy


LARRY STARK APOLOGISES: Lee and Brad, the miracle-workers around here, have been re-creating The Theater Mirror for about a week. It didn't change the look of anything, but it changes the possibilities of everything. Keep your eyes open for the coming improvements!

BUT, since we don't even work in the same cities, while They were making their changes, I couldn't --- so nothing did. Change, I mean.

But it is now Saturday, the final day of February, and here are all the letters that have been waiting for you:

Subject:Merrimack Community Theatre, production
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 12:03:59 EST
From: Em birdboy Embirdboy@aol.com

Finally found you..... Would like to have information about our group on your site. Here is the information . Use what you can and need. Thank you. If you need more info email me.
Merrimack Community Theatre presents "Just Desserts" a dessert theatre show on March 28th at the St. James United Methodist Church , Merrimack NH. 7:30pm desserts, 8:00pm show. $10.00 includes dessert. Fund raiser for church .Information (603) 424-5344.

Subject: Re: Merrimack Community Theatre, production
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 12:39:35 EST
From: Em birdboy Embirdboy@aol.com

Wow. You're fast. Maybe I should be careful who I say that to.
Yes, by all means include "Rt. 3 North, Merrimack" with the name.
Miss Peabody gets to sample desserts all night long, She might gain a pound or two if she's not careful. I'm (the director) will be having real props to rehearse with also. Wow. What a sweet time we are going to have.

Comment about your site: Thought it was a little hard to find certain items. Maybe alphabetical or by state might be easier. Have you looked at site newww.com Once I got in and found my way around I think it is a bit easier. than mirror. I'm fairly new at this stuff but I'm learning . But I will look at both because a lot of the smaller theater groups are not on newww yet. Don't know why...
I'll be in touch... Thanks, Yours in theatre Elaine

LARRY STARK ASKS:
I tried to find the "newww" listing, but I'll need a complete URL. Sounds like something we should have in our Useful Links list.
Love,
===Anon.

Subject: Thanks for listing Gardening at Night on Your Page
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 09:11:13 -0500
From: Jenny Gutbezahl jennyg@fix.org

Thank you very much for listing Gardening at Night on your page of New England theater. We will stick a link to you on our page as well.
However, the phone number you listed is not accurate. The number listed should be
617-499-0068.
Also, if you could include a pointer to our site at
http://www.fix.org/~gardening
We'd be much obliged.
Sincerely,
Jenny Gutbezahl

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
You've had a link for a year or more, but I'm sorry about the phone number. Like LE GRAND DAVID or SHEAR MADNESS, GARDENING AT NIGHT has been a "never-change" listing for centuries in our Up & Running page. Must have copied it wrong that long ago!
"Sorrywise. Apologise!"
Love,
===Anon.

Subject: Pentucket Players
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 22:37:56 -0500
From: Judy Sirois siroisj@meol.mass.edu

Larry,
We are the Pentucket Players located in Haverhill, MA and are looking for ways to announce our upcoming production and future activities. Can you send us info on how to do this?
Next Production:
"The Sound of Music"
Place: Bradford College Denworth Theatre, Bradford, MA
Dates: Thursday - Saturday, March 12, 13, 14, 15 at 8PM Saturday and Sunday March 14,15 at 12PM
Tickets: $15.00, Seniors and students: $10.00.
Phone: 978-372-7929.
Also auditions for Paul Rudnick's "Jeffrey" to be held March 6 and 7 at 7PM
Call 978-372-7929 for details
Pentucket Players is in its 4th season. Past performances include: Lost in Yonkers, Agnes of God, Jakes Women, Annie, The King and I, Hello Dolly, The Wiz and Oliver.
Thanks so much. Your web site is great!
Andrew Sirois
President, Pentucket Players

LARRY STARK ASSURES YOU:
You've done it already, andrew.
Just e-mail the listing, or the audition call, or a Special Announcement, and since I'm back in business this month, it'll appear!
Love,
===Anon.

Subject: Thank You!!!
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 17:11:19 EST
From: EAHInc EAHInc@aol.com

Hi Larry,
It's Maryann Zschau and Steven Bergman. We are currently in our last week of the first national tour of "Nunsense Jamboree", the third installment of the Nunsense stories, with Georgia Engel in the starring role.
We were checking out your OuterCircle Nominations and were thrilled and surprised to find both of our names gracing your list.
So... we thought we'd take the opportunity to say thank you so much for your support in our endeavors.
As I said we will return to Boston next week where Steven goes to become the musical director for "Berlin to Broadway" at Worcester Foothills and I go to direct a production of "Nunsense 1" at the Commpany Theatre (just cannot get away from those nuns!
After that we have our most challenging jobs to date to encounter - we are becoming parents of a baby girl the first week in June! So the summer promises to be very exciting. Spiro Veloudos has already figured out that it will be possible for me to do "A Little Night Music" though so I will be back on stage in August!!!!
Thanks again and I hope at some point to thank you in person (and Geralyn Horton too) for all your kind words about both of us.
Take care, Maryann

LARRY STARK SMILES:
Maryann Zschau is of course known to her in-laws as "Mrs. Bergman" and this is wonderful news!

Subject: hi
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 16:40:04 EST
From: Un PubWork UnPubWork@aol.com

My name is John MacKenzie and Im from Hovey Players
pleas see http://members.aol.com/hoveyp
would love to be part of your site and would include a linke from mine to yours as well.
please let me know
thanks.

LARRY STARK SEZ "It's up now. Take a look."

Subject: Wow! What a website!
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:35:58 -0800
From: v.j.@ix.netcom.com

Larry,
I was looking for info on Peter Pan in Boston and stumbled upon your website. As the owner of a theater website myself, I know the amount of work that went into your site. Just fabulous.
John

LARRY STARK ADMITS:
Praise from peers is the best praise of all!
Thanks for the compliment!

Subject: Re: f y i
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 01:21:59 EST
From: PDOshaughn@aol.com

Thank you very much. Yes, some of us have been watching your excellent site for a while. Many thanks for your gracious reviews. I produced Six Degrees and Falsettos at The Footlight Club, and I believe you thought highly of both. We try. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes, well, we won't talk about those...
Paul O'Shaughnessy
Technical Director
The Footlight Club
Jamaica Plain

LARRY STARK POINTS OUT:
I donb't, as you may know. Unless I am Astonished that a show is bad, I'd much prefer to close it with a withering silence than to review it at all.
I like to Like theater, and I think that reviews are publicity. Unless I think there's a very good reason why a show's shortcomings are News, I keep mum.
Love,
===Anon.

Subject: Theater Jobs
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 14:50:53 -0800
From: Gary Johnson gjohnson@sosinc.net

Larry,
My name is Justin Johnson and I live in Colorado. I am planning to move to Boston very soon, and enjoy the theater immensely. I was hoping you could give me some ideas on how to get a job working at one of the theaters. I would be willing to do anything, usher, vender, stage hand etc...
If you could give me any advise at all it would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely,
Justin Johnson
skaloop@hotmail.com

LARRY STARK ASKED:
Do you want "to work in theater" or do you want "to get a paying job in theater"?
If you go to every audition, and volunteer to do Anything, whether cast or not, you'll get work, and the people you talk to will help you get more.
But paying jobs are scarce, and those paying a living wage are scarcer still, and I've never understood How people get them.
But I wouldn't trade my unpaid hours onstage, backstage, and out front for anything. And I'm not paid for what I'm doing right now.
Break a leg!
Love,
===Anon.

Subject: Old, Wicked Songs
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 13:48:21 -0500
From: Harlan Feinstein harlan@cie.cendant.com

Hey, Larry; dunno if you were planning on seeing it, but out in Newton, "Old, Wicked Songs" is an _excellent_ play. :-) Suzanne and I highly recommend it!
--Harlan

A GRATEFUL LARRY STARK REPLIED:
Harlan is in the brass sections of more musicals than I can shake a baton at, and I'm always glad to hear his informed recommendations. I'm hoping to review the show next week --- and wouldn't without the nudge! Thanks!
===Anon.


Subject: Trivia Question
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 20:24:33 -0500
From: Shaggard

Hello,
I hope that you can help me with this question:

Name the longest running musical in history on the Boston Stage. Name the number of weeks and the theater.

Thank you very much.
Steven Spinner

LARRY STARK DOESN'T KNOW
But there are people reading this at this very moment who DO,
and they're e-mailing their information as I type, right?
Right?
Isn't that right, gang?
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Re: These are F I N A L
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 11:56:46 EST
From: Aurelie10@aol.com

I received the list of nominees and winners. Thank you for following up for me!

It was nice to see Bob Eagle receive recognition in the "Consistent Excellence" category. He works extremely hard all year long, and Reagle is truly a labor of love for him.

I'm off - I need to work a little in between my weekends of "California Suite" at the Winthrop Playmakers.
Thank you again - Aurelie


Subject: Outer Critics Cricle
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 20:58:18 -0500
From: "edruss" edruss@mediaone.net

Larry,
I wanted to thank you and the other critics who took the time to put this together. So many of the theater companies that are recognized in the nomination list are so deserving, I don't know how you decided between them, I'm just glad to see that they are getting (at least some of) the credit they deserve.

I also want to thank the critics for their very kind nomination of me for my directorial efforts on FALSETTOS. As I have told you in the past, it is an honor that I share with the cast, crew, and staff. I always appreciate the herculean efforts that they all exert in trying to help me bring my vision of a show to life. It's also nice to see my name in print :)

Thank you, Larry, for all the support that you have given the local theater community, and I hope that the Theater Mirror (and the OCC) lives on for a long time.
Warmly,
Russ


Subject: Let The Carping Commence!!!!!!!!!
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 03:13:29 -0500
From: Larry Stark of larry@theatermirror.com
To: ghorton@tiac.net

Dear Ms. Horton:

Now that there Are awards, the fun starts!
I mean the media-mash. Unlike any normal election, in this case every voter got to make nominations, and now every voter will publish the results along with a lengthy diatribe about how the vote got it all wrong! I haven’t done any real work all day just contemplating what I’d say!

How many of us will point out, for instance, that when one woman in a two-character play is voted Best SUPPORTING Actress yet the other is not voted Best Actress, both of them really lose, don’t they? Has anyone been worse damned by fainter praise?

Frankly, I’ve never understood the concept of Supporting anything very clearly. I remember way back when Daniel Seltzer walked on in the last eight minutes of a Moliere farce playing The Bailiff I referrred to the play (the name of which I can never remember) as “starring Daniel Seltzer in a minor role”. Still, “Vita And Virginia” was awarded, by everyone else who voted with me, as Best Production; in my book that means it got the Best Ensemble Playing award.

Why Isn’t there a Best Ensemble Playing award, by the way? The other aspects of a show might conspire to keep it from being Best Production and still the interactions between all the characters could make such a category inevitable. I think both the Delvena “Who’s Afraid...” and the Footlight Club “Falsettos” would both get my nomination in that category --- along with the Vokes Players’ “Lips Together, Teeth Apart”, and maybe a couple more if I set my mind to it.

For mine, Anne Marie Cusson and John FitzGibbon in “A Moon for The Misbegotten” out at The New Rep were superb in incredibly difficult roles, and Ms. Cusson would have been the perfect choice for Best Actress considering the range of subtle emotional subtexts she had to get across. Still, I also understand the impulses that focused people’s attentions elsewhere. They are both Equity people who don’t live and work in this area so much. The New Repertory Theatre has made itself a major player in the local theater scene and has the notice of the major newspapers in town, so in that sense recognition for excellence in places more often overlooked should carry more weight. But Ghod that woman was astonishing! (And he’s no slouch either!)

I guess I see a difference in nominating Rick Lombardo, all but one of whose efforts out at the New Rep have looked great, and David Wheeler for one show at the American Repertory Theater, as Best Director. Wheeler took a company whose work I have rarely liked, and made them shine. Fran Weinberg did exactly the same thing for the TheatreZone. In that sense, those two directors coming in cold were probably more noticeable to me than the generally high level of Lombardo’s work. I mean whereas Rick surprises me when his company’s work doesn’t please, Fran and David surprised me when their work did.

In that regard, perhaps we ought to declare a “Surprisingly Worth The Money!” award for a show like “Chicago” at the Colonial, which needed absolutely nothing from any Outer Critic except an admission that doing it all right, in front of that many people, eight times a week may be much harder than wowwing under a hundred of them in the Little Flags. I think I’d have voted “Barrymore” a Worth-It award too, and as long as we all realized that ought to be a hard-to earn sideshow award, maybe it ought to be considered. (And another minor sideshow might be a “Worth The Trip” award honoring some show in Providence or Worcester or Portsmouth or Orono that really knocks our socks off!)

And that brings up the controversial problem of “objectivity”. I was thrilled to see Milton Coykendall’s “Hunger” voted Best New Play because it meant other people voted with me. I thought it an imaginitive and carefully crafted exploration of difficult material with a definite point of view and appliations to the real world. And seeing such good work , by everyone involved, in the company of so few people tended to make me lobby for it all the harder. But I think I could say just about the same things about Abe Rybeck’s “Dirt”. The style of each was wildly different, and maybe it was style rather than excellence that swayed me in one direction rather than another. Sometimes, getting nominated means even more than winning. Maybe this is one of those cases...

In my early years reviewing plays I worked for a newspaper that Samuel Hirsch insisted no one took seriously. Now that very newspaper is accepted as the equal of those for which, back then, Kevin Kelly and Eliot Norton wrote --- and now Sam Hirsch’s paper doesn’t even exist anymore. I thought of myself as “an Outer Critic” back then, and I think of myself as that now. But, standing in a Circle with a lot of other writers who love theater so much they’re eager to go anywhere to see it, somehow I don’t feel quite as alone now as I did then.

But I still see a lot of damn good shows every year.
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark )


Subject: Third Time the Charm
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:33:35 EST
From: Aurelie10@aol.com

Larry, my computer keeps sending my mail with no message every time I make a paragraph, so you don't get any paragraphs this time. I am looking for information on the new Massachusetts Outer Circle Theatre Awards. I understand that Beverly Creasey is involved in them. Can you tell me where I can find more information, or who I should contact in order to do so? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. Aurelie10@aol.com

P.S. I love your website!

LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
About a year ago a few other reviewers in the Boston area tried to organize an "Outer Critics Circle" that could recognize excellent work by low-budget local companies, creators and performers. The idea was new, everyone had differing ideas about how it could work and what should be honored. Busy reviewers don't often run into one another except when working, each one needed lengthy explanations, and it was August before enough ballots could be assembled, and by then announcing that a handfull of critics had decided a list of Bests for 1996 seemed irrelevant.

And let me say that characterizing Beverly Creasey as "involved" is the understatement of the century. By mail and phone she has been the central coordinating force in this effort, keeping everyone on track and in touch. Kudos, Beverly!

But the idea persisted, people persevered, and the first annual awards have been announced! This letter from Geralyn Horton, a mover and a believer in this endeavor, --- She, Beverly Creasey, and the indefatigable Jules Becker made this dream a reality --- Geralyn's letter may explain things a little better:

Subject: Re: Third Time the Charm
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 11:55:13 -0500
From: Geralyn Horton ghorton@tiac.net
To: "Larry Stark's Theater Mirror" larry@theatermirror.com
TO: Aurelie10@aol.com

At 05:54 PM 2/12/98 -0500, you wrote: >I am including Geralyn Horton (the AISLE-SAY critic) with this reply, because she knows more than I do and will correct my errors.

Dear Larry,

I don't think your errors -- or my errors-- or anybody else's errors-- CAN be corrected, at least not until next year! We're refining the process. I think your explanation of the purpose of the awards is wonderful. Too bad we didn't have it written up that way beforehand, when we were asking for nominations!

One big problem for us "Outers" seems to be defining eligibility. For instance, I never considered the 2 Sugan revivals of shows that were on my AisleSay "Best of 1996" list ("Freedom of the City" and "Gigli Concert") when voting for 1997 -- I considered them 1996 productions, even though they ran in 1997, too. Others did nominate them. Even more confusing is the "home town" angle. We mean to honor work specifically local to the Boston area, not shows whose originating impulse came from NYC or other wheres off the rim of the Hub. But we didn't have a consistant policy about what "local" is, and whether productions in Lowell, Providence, Worcester or the Berkshires are eligible. Some voters considered these, others eliminated them from consideration.

I believe that our original impulse was to model our awards on the Obies. I still think that the best and most useful model, but figuring out how to honor underfunded excellence ain't as simple as it seemed when we launched the project 2 1/2 years ago. (In 1996-7 we got all tangled up in a system of weighted voting that was supposed to compensate for the varying size of each critic's pool: how many shoestring productions has s/he actually seen this year, before selecting X as the best? However, the 1996 nominations exist: you have a copy, don't you, Larry? You could post those along with 1997's, if you think it appropriate and your readers would be interested.)

Also, not every critic "got it" about the "You should have been there" award. This award -- and there could be as many award recipients as there are productions that the nominators are willing to stake their critical reputations on -- is intended to honor a production so obscure that the critic who was astounded by its excellence was the ONLY critic to bother to see it -- or the only critic to appreciate it, in the instance that one other critic panned the show and everybody else took that (mistaken) critic's word for its poor quality and stayed away. The implication of "You should.." is that had more people seen the show, had it played to full houses and been reviewed by a bevy of critics, the majority would have judged it as the best production of the season. However, it can't win an award in the "best" category, because none of the other voters saw it.

I think this might be the most important award of all.

I'd be interested to hear if the Mirror's readers have their own nominations for a "You should have been there" award. (Accompanied by a declaration of objectivity, please: no fair nominating yourself, or relatives, or people who are just so darned loveable that everything they do looks good to you.)
Gerry Horton
www.tiac.net/users/ghorton


Subject: Assassins Musical Director.
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 19:47:59 EST
From: Byck2@aol.com

Dear Larry,
I was hoping you might post this for me somewhere on your page.

I am a student at The Boston Conservatory and I am directing Assassins this semester. (I know it sounds like a dreadful prospect, but things tend to run here professionally)
I am in desperate need for a musical director. I need someone who knows the show (it's not necessary), and if you have a love for Sondheim, all the better.
I am holding auditions on the February 5, 6, and 7.
Callbacks are on the 8th, and I will be starting rehearsals February 9th, so I need to find someone quick. It is a four week rehearsal process and one performance only. Either March 7th or March 9th. It should not be a huge time commitment, and I am willing to pay for your services.
Is there anyone that can help me? If so, please e-mail me at Byck2@aol.com
Thank you,
John C. Wolfe


Subject: ERS Standing Room Only
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 11:00:50 -0500
From: Deb abberton abberton@mpi.com

Hi,
First I wanted to say, keep up the good work! We got a new cast member for our latest show (Phantom of the Country Opera) from our audition notice on the Theater Mirror.

Question: Does anyone know how to go about performing on WERS's (88.9) Standing Room Only show on Saturday mornings? A number to call, or person to contact?
Thanks,
Deb Abberton
OnLine Repertory Co.

LARRY STARK KNOWS:
Yes, you want David DelGrosso.
E-mail him at " davidsro@aol.com " and put SRO in the subject-line.
While the show is on the air, call 824-8890 and press 1 and you can talk to them in the studio. (Call while music is playing for best results.)
They are very nice people, and David wasn't bad in ENDGAME some months ago... I'm really glad the audition calls are getting results at last!!!
Love,
===Anon.
( a k a larry stark)


Subject: Re: Audition Announcement
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 22:39:49 EST
From: NRTWINC NRTWINC@aol.com

Thanks Larry!!!! You are a peach!!! I have already gotten an inquiry about the auditions!!! Love that feedback!!!

Sharon Fluet
North Regional Theatre Workshop

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
And thank you, Sharon. Producers and directors remarking on the effectiveness of audition notices has been just about the only hard evidence (other than GREENROOM letters, of course) that anyone reads THE THEATER MIRROR at all!
It's also the most gratifying to me. I've tried to keep The Mirror USEFUL to other people who love theater --- and I get more "where do I go to learn about auditions?" letters than on any other subject.
Break a leg all...
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Please post this one!
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 02:18:46 -0500
From: Kellie Tropeano ktpiano@banet.net

Hi Larry...I just wanted to thank you for helping me find a costume designer for my spring production of "The Wizard of Oz". Your website is terrific...everyone reads it! I was thrilled to find my VERY talented designer.

Unfortunately, a director's work is never done! I also am looking for a strobe light for the hurricane scene and a black light for the Witch's scene. Can anyone help me find, borrow, rent....anthing...these two items? My funds are limited so if anyone local can give me some advice...I'd really appreciate it!

Also, I need some pit players for the production...all strings, french horn, and some wind doublings. E-mail me and let's try to make a deal! I try to incorporate the hight school students as much as possible, but some things are just too difficult!

And last but not least, Information on the play! I invite everyone to come...it's going to be SPECTACULAR!! Over 110 high school students involved in one way or another...90 cast members!!
The play is April 2-5 at Danvers High School in Danvers Ma. April 2-4 is at 7:30 and April 5 is 2:00. Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $6.00 for students and senior citizens.
If you want tickets, call (978)774-2514.
If anyone wants to get in touch with me regarding the other issues my e-mail is Ktpiano@banet.net
Thanks for your help!


LARRY STARK EXPLAINS:
I haven't been reviewing because I've been moving to a cheaper apartment while recovering from a torn muscle in my lower back --- both of which have resulted in my sleeping at odd hours.
One sleepless morning I ran through our Links-List updating COMING ATTRACTIONS, and found that the city-pages of Providence have Theater & Dance Listings that put most cities --- and Boston in paticular --- to shame. I left a note of congratulations for a job well done, and this came this morning in return mail:

Subject: your link
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 09:43:23 -0500
From: "Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr." mayor@providenceri.com
Organization: City of Providence
To: larry@theatermirror.com

Dear Larry,

Delighted to hear how much you appreciate Providence's web page. I assure you, our city is just as exciting to visit in person as it is to visit on line. Come down sometime to see a show. I have forwarded your link to our webmaster, who will contact you with any questions he might have about linking our two sites. Take care.

Vincent A. Cianci Jr.
Mayor of Providence


Subject: My play, which displeased you
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 23:27:41 EST
From: CorbettWD
Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)
To: greenrm@theatermirror.com

Dear Larry Stark,

This is ancient history, I suppose, but I finally got on the web and while trying my hand at surfing came across your review of my play THE BIG SLAM at the New Repertory Theater last May.

What a condescending little piece of writing! You swing the word "cliche" around like a blunt instrument, as if merely stating it made your argument. The real crux of your argument is that you wanted a piece of dramatic realism, but the play you saw that night was a satirical comedy. And you were displeased about that.

Is THE BIG SLAM a masterpiece? I know that it's not. But it's gotten great critical response in productions all around the country, and it deserved better than your snotty, tepid dismissal -- which is a model of churn-it-out, knee-jerk, consumer-guide arts criticism. That is to say, as much of a cliche as any playwright could ever write. Other critics liking my play don't necessarily mean you're wrong, but -- well, "anon", my friend, you are.

I know you've gone on to tell the real truth on dozens of other plays since last spring, no doubt applying the same theaterical acumen you evidenced in your review of my play. Don't get me wrong -- you have every right to your opinion, and every right to print your opinion, no matter how pathetically written. And for better or worse, getting reviewed is part of the turf of being a playwright. But every now and then someone dismisses my work with such a condescending, half-ass little bit of prose it makes me ill.

Criticism is a very easy game, and if the reviews I read on your website are any indication, you take it very easy on yourself indeed. It must be fun to just sit and carelessly react to everyone's work. It's easy as can be, you get to feel superior, and it sure beats having to actually do something difficult or creative.

"Love

Anon" (cute touch -- and you say I write cliches!)

a.k.a. Bill Corbett


Subject: Peobody Co-op
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 04:34:25 -0500
From: E Noonan e.noonan@digital.comBR>

Hi Larry,
I read the note from the person wondering about Peobody Co-op, and thought I would pass along the info I have.
Peobody Co-op *was* New Broadway Theatre and ... mumblemumble ... shoot, I don't remember the name of the other company. Anyway, they merged, and took their name from the theatre in which they do their work, the Elizabeth Peobody House on Broadway, in Somerville.
I've worked with New Broadway (Mastergate), and know that there are some good folks involved in this.
--
E Grace Noonan
e.noonan@digital.com

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Thanks, E.
Mort Kaplan phoned to praise the people there as well. He will be directing the world premiere of Ed Bullins' DR. GEECHEE AND THE BLOOD ZOMBIES at the Peabody. And I'm determined to get to see MACHINAL there, just to scope the space. Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Rehearsal/Show Pianist needed
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 22:28:49 EST
From: NRTWINC

Hi Larry -- did I already send you this?? I thought I had, but I just went to the Green Room & couldn't find it.
Let me know if I missed it!
sharon

Please Post ASAP!!

North Regional Theatre Workshop is looking for a Rehearsal/Show pianist for our Spring production of "Once Upon a Mattress". Rehearsals start February 24, with Show Dates the last two weekends in May. Rehearsals are Tuesday and Friday evenings in North Reading, MA, and performances are at Wilmington (MA) High School. Salary is hourly, and based on experience.

Anyone interested should immediately send a resume/inquiry to nrtwinc@aol.com, or call Paul at 978-681-0355 (days/evenings).
Sharon Fluet, Secretary
North Regional Theatre Workshop

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
Well, this is the first I'd seen it, but I put it up in SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS. And, just to make sure people don't miss it, I'm putting your note here as well.
Break a leg...
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Re: SRO & etc. .....
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 17:23:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Threshol@tiac.net (threshold theatre)

Thank you for your email and for naming Vita & Virginia one of your best. We are really proud of that play and the work that Mary, Lizza and Kate did on that.
I actually saw the posting in the Theatre Mirror but our email has been down for weeks so I haven't been able to thank you. Thanks too for coming to see some of the plays in the New Works festival. We are pleased with the festival because it did what we hoped - gave playwrights an opportunity to test out their work and get feedback. I was happy that you could share your opinions with them. In most cases audiences did give constructive feedback - not just" You're my friend so I love your play."
Have a wonderful new year and I have to say - although you didn't see as many plays as you wanted I am very impressed with the number that you did see!
Sincerely,
Brigid O'Connor

Subject: Peabody House Co-op
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 14:02:41 -0800
From: Beth Campbell Stemple bstemple@uconect.net

Hello, do you have any information about the Peabody House Co-op in Somerville? I hear they are a creative group, but I have not seen their work.
Thank you!
Beth Stemple
Pawcatuck, CT

LARRY STARK REPLIES:
I blush to admit that, no, I know nothing about their work right now. I'm retired, without a car but with a metal right knee (and at the moment severe back-spasms), and haven't made an effort to find The Peabody House as yet.
But I will.
Thanks for the elbow-in-the-ribs; sometimes that's exactly what I need!
Love,
===Anon

THEN Beth REPLIED: Subject: Re: Peabody House Co-op
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 23:32:52 -0500

Thank you so much! A friend of mine is in "Machinal" in mid-February. And I just wanted to see what else they had done before coming up to see it.
I'm sure you're inundated with start-up groups in Boston. It's a great website that you have.
I hesitate to say it, but keep breaking legs ;)
Beth


Subject: I'm involved in Concord-Carlisle High Schools theater program...
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 15:13:12 -0500
From: Keith Baker syzygy@pubnix.org

Do you list high school productions. It would be great if you had a high school secion. I go to all of the theater productions that I can find out about in the area. It is just really hard to find them. Just an idea
Keith Baker
P.S. our show is:
"Anything Goes"
Feb 27,28 March 1
500 Walden st.
Concord, Ma

I'm enough of a theater nut to try to list Anything that happens on Any stage Anywhere in New England, so of course I want to list your show.
Could you amplify it a bit? As it stands I'd have to say

27 February - 1 March
"Anything Goes"
CONCORD-CARLISLE HIGH SCHOOLS THEATER PROGRAM
[ Name of theatre, or high school, unknown }500 Walden Street, CONCORD
1(???)???-????

So, could you identify either the group or the name of the high school, and give a phone number to call for information, or to buy tickets?
Some day, The Theater Mirror will have a Search-Engine so you can separate out things like high schools, but right now you just have to plow through the list yourself.
Break a leg; "Anything Goes" is a classic!
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: First timer !!
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 16:37:36 -0500
From: John Davis davis@individual.com

Hi
I recently found your website and think it is the best theatrical site for the area by far...
I would like to obtain some info from any of your readers as to how I could begin acting in the Boston or MA area.
I am interested in small productions with an Irish theme (I am Irish)
If anyone has any hints or tips on how I could get started (I acted briefly in high school) please let me know
Thanks in advance,
--John Davis

LARRY STARK SUGGESTS:
The only strictly-Irish company in this area I know of is The Sugan Company, which I think is in residence at The Boston Center for The Arts. Pop by there some afternoon, or call, and see if what's left of your brogue excites any interest.
My immediate advice, though is simple: Get Involved.
By that I mean see some plays, anywhere and everywhere, go back after and talk to cast and crew, and volunteer to do something, Anything on an up-coming production. Then keep talking and keep listening.
There's no formula, and everyone will have different suggestions. That's mine.
Break a leg, and let me know when you get cast so I can come see.
Love,
===Anon.


Subject: Re: SRO & etc. .....
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 00:31:50 EST
From: EAHInc EAHInc@aol.com

Larry,
Thank you so much for your very generous words. It is that encouragement that gives new creators the kick to keep going. Chris and I are currently working on rewrites for Ripper, and a theater in Florida has expressed interest in a possible reading in the spring. We'll keep you posted. Thanks again for the email.
Steve Bergman

Sub: Re: janus
From: edy@tiac.net
Sat, 3 Jan 1998 12:00:30 GMT

Larry,
Theater, by definition, is a collaborative art form. It takes the efforts of many people pulling together in one direction to mount a successful show -- Writers, Directors, Producers (and Theater Companies), Actors, Technicians and Crew, Musicians, and a willing and supportive Audience. Without any one of those elements a show will never be truly successful. I was very blessed to have all those "elements" working in harmony with FALSETTOS (as with many other productions I have been fortunate enough to be involved with in the Boston area).

Thank you for including the Footlight Club's production of FALSETTOS in your list of noteworthy productions of 1998. It's the "cherry on top".
Sincerely,
Russell Greene

Subject: Re: PLAY BY PLAYERS OPEN AUDITIONS for "Doll" - Lowell, MA
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 11:58:28 -0500
From: Tara Watson tara@sitaranetworks.com

Hi Larry -
Well, here I am composing this note and I realize that you have no idea who I am ...
Quick intro: I'm Tara Watson - I am an Internet software weenie at a great little startup in Waltham, Mass http://www.sitara.net ... I have recently joined a theatre company in Lowell, MA "The Play By Players" ... I had never done any acting (My family disagrees with me on that point) - Not on stage anyway - I played my first role as "Ginger Rayle" in an original comedy by John Anthony called "Sandbag, Stage Left (or One Dead Dolly)" - I was bit by the theatre bug and I have just taken the position on Promotional Chair for the company.

I will soon have the web site up and running, and I am hoping to get a small part in the next play, "Doll".
The Company itself is about three years old and has really started to take off - we have our performances at a beautiful theater in a local middle school, but we are looking into a new venue for next season.

So, I applaud your hard work in keeping up with local theater and I hope that can continue to send postings through you for the mirror.
Thanks again,
...tara

LARRY HAD SAID: > I just got this up in The Theater Mirror,

Thank you for the recent post - I've already pointed the Internet aware people in our theater company to your web site.

AND SAID THIS: >Is "Doll" an original musical, or just one I never heard of before?

Well, since you asked ... "Doll" is an original written by a local playwright from Lowell, MA - Jim Neary. Set in the 1940's, the story revolves around a Nightclub singer who is mixed up with the mob, both Irish and Italian which is where the trouble comes in - anyway, it was a pretty easy read, and I think it will play well on stage. The music is also all original by Carl Ayotte - a local musician.


Previous Greenroom Discussions


December, 1997
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December, 1996
November, 1996
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June, 1996
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April, 1996
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February, 1996
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November, December 1995


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