Cricket's Notebook by Larry Stark - "It's A WONNNderful Life!"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


Monday, 28 December, 1998: It's A WONNNderful Life!!

There was nothing on the envelope but my address (typed), a Boston postmark, and a stamp with a wreath on it. Inside the envelope was a sheet of yellow paper with "Thanks, Larry!" written on the top line, and four one-dollar bills folded into it. And suddenly I knew exactly how George Bailey felt, watching all those greenbacks representing small gifts from friends snowing into drifts in front of his Christmas tree at the end of Frank Capra's film.
So there are a lot of Thank You's I have to say this year's end, because the sun HAS come again.

I'm embarrassed to add that the whole affair paralleled the film even more closely, since it involved a rather farcical "suicide attempt" over a silly misunderstanding. I had forwarded a generous offer to simplify The Mirror's navigation to Lee, thinking he might like to see a "review" of what is largely his architectural creativity. But Lee misread the name on the letter, thought it a power-grab from a rival theater website, and let loose a vitriolic response. And of course, I only knew what he had said, not why, and so I of course misread HIS frame of mind and, fulfilling my old promise that whenever paying for The Mirror became a burden I'd quit --- I did. I put a note closing The Mirror into our Front-End page, asking everyone to contact Lee for more information, and then I turned off the Pentium machine that handles all Theater Mirror e-mail, and read a book.

My "retirement" lasted exactly eighteen hours. Lee called explaining his error and looking forward to a "review" and when I hung up I erased the Closing Notice, hoping neither Lee nor anyone else had paid it any attention.

But of course he had, and obviously others had as well. So far about two hundred and thirty-nine dollars have been dropped into our Christmas stocking, and two companies have paid for Banner Ads which will go up shortly. And I was very glad that what I was reading was a very short book indeed!

And so there are a lot of people out there I must thank, for putting this Humpty-Dumpty together again. I would not like to embarrass any well-wishers, so let me lump all the senders of cards and checks and e-mails and phone-calls and say sincere thanks to Bev and E and Mort and Nancy and Steve & Maryann & Emma and Chuck and Don & Dave and Davis and Paula and Nancy and Geralyn & David and Jill and Don & Diane and Francine and Charlotte and Charlotte & Todd --- Todd, who will henceforth forever be "Clarence" in my book --- and, of course, to "Anon." whoever you are!

What can I say in the face of such generosity? I think it best to use not my words, but those of Ingmar Bergman, who said during a television interview:

"There are three, maybe four other movies I'd still like to make

But they will have to Carry me out of the theater!"

Love to you all,

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide