Blow to local theatre

Rating: NNNNNnow has just done a horren-dous thing to the theatre and dance community by drastically reducing coverage as part.

Rating: NNNNN

now has just done a horren-dous thing to the theatre and dance community by drastically reducing coverage as part of the new format.Theatre Scenes is gone. A “feature” is now a box slightly bigger than a couple of postage stamps. The result? All small-scale, new, avant-garde, experimental, in-progress, fundraising-event and cabaret-type work will receive no advance mention.

Only the “listings” and “reviews” remain. Neither are of much use to a whole genre of work that is particularly vibrant in Toronto.

I don’t know why this has happened (NOW cutting costs/boosting profits?), but it is very serious for the entire theatre and dance community in this city. We already had enough to worry about government cuts and inadequate coverage in the dailies.

This is a betrayal of what the magazine has stood for here in the trenches. Restore a vital voice for all independent, experimental and/or new artistic endeavour in Toronto.RHONDA BELOUS Torontoafter reading jon kaplan’s re-view of Sky Gilbert’s Ejaculations From The Charm Factory (NOW, November 23-29), I’m wondering if we read the same book. Amid what he calls Sky’s “fuck-and-tell memoir,” there is also the story of Buddies in Bad Times, a theatre space that cared as much about pushing the limits of the art form as challenging notions of what is culturally and sexually “safe.”This was Sky’s and Sue Golding’s vision, but you’d never know it. He makes Sky out to be some paranoid, hysterical egomaniac whom the present Buddies is better off without. What hastened Sky’s exit, from my reading, is that the arts councils and politicos that initially supported the company’s mandate never really got it. They caved in to the “bums in seats” neo-conservative agenda.

Buddies has become a betrayal of Sky’s and Sue’s initial vision. It’s just another factory where charming people with approval issues can showcase their made-for-TV scripts.

As for Sky, you can denigrate the “quality of his art” as much as you like, but you can’t take away his radical vision. That’s far from incidental in his story.JOHN DELACOURT Torontoi am never surprised at the depths your publication sinks to. The latest example of your depraved and tasteless adherence to the pervert community was typified in the photo of the indie band Maximum RnB (NOW, November 16-22).To provide a third-rate group of idiots (as these guys appear to be) with a forum for such puerile and offensive material is, in my opinion, unforgivable.

I am no fanatic, but I was deeply offended by the personas that were portrayed, especially by the mockery of the institutions that were maligned by these morons.

Perhaps I am too conservative to find anything with substance in your vile rag. Although I love music, I believe this sort of publicity is worthless and harmful in the long run.BOB O’HARA Toronto

your rating for charlie’s an-gels is suspect. It should be NNN, max. Your rating enticed me to a lousy movie. MANNY DARNELL Torontoi’m writing in response to john Prowse’s letter (NOW, November 23-29) regarding the lethargy of concertgoers in Canada. Lord and butter, if you want to see some rowdy people, try going to see Our Lady Peace or the Tragically Hip, or even Rush, for that matter! To be honest, I’ve been in Canada all my life and I had no clue that Lowest of the Low were from Canadian soil. I’ve never heard them play in any forum, so I can’t comment on their musical style, but if you’re going out to see Blue Rodeo or a band like them, you really shouldn’t be expecting mosh pits and mayhem. STACEY L. STRATTON Mississaugai would like to congratulate Adrian Harewood on a well-written and well-researched article (NOW, November 23-29) on the problems of our youth. He wrote it as it is. I am a volunteer in Regent Park. That’s exactly what our youth want, to belong. We need money to better our programs, not cutbacks. The youth today want to have a say in what is happening in their communities and their lives.BETTY HUBBARD Torontoyour reporting of the plight of Lorne Goddard in Stockwell Day Ruined My Life (NOW, November 16-22) is certainly topical. Unfortunately, this red flag has not been waved by national media.While Day pursues the bank loan in Jean Chretien’s riding as an issue of high moral tone, sadly, Goddard’s story has been contained. Day’s penchant for the moral high road can lead to frightening consequences for respectable citizens who help our system work as it should. I suspect it would be hyperbole to scream “McCarthyism,” but I can’t help hearing the whisper.

This story confirms my fears of this man and the movement he represents. Where did Day get his lessons in civics?

At the St. Alley Oop School of Higher Learning, where he got the rest of his worldview? Keep up the good work.W. DAVID GAMBLE Torontore campus newspapers and the Toronto Star campus readership program (NOW, November 16-22). Other free-distribution publications circulating on campus, such as NOW, pose a more direct threat to campus advertising than the Star ever will.Some attest that free distribution of large dailies on campuses hurts the readership and circulation of campus newspapers.

This runs completely counter to our objective to increase newspaper readership of all kinds.

It also contradicts evidence from similar campus readership programs in the U.S. At Pennsylvania State University, for example, distribution of the New York Times and USA Today boosted student readership of all newspapers (including the campus press) to 73 per cent from 15 per cent. If we at the Star ever saw confirmed evidence that our program was directly responsible for a decline in circulation of a campus newspaper, we would seriously reconsider the nature of our involvement with that institution.

There is language in our agreements to address such circumstances. BRAD HENDERSON The Toronto Starhello from vermont gold! our Toronto friends sent us a copy of the article featuring our grilling and roasting sauce, Sesame Garlic, as the Critic’s Pick. Thank you! Some folks say this sauce is so great it would even make dirt taste good!We want your readers to know that our friends at Pusateri’s sell our six sauces and ketchup for $4.99 a bottle, not $8.99 as your article stated. You can also find them at Bruno’s Fine Foods and Loblaws (at St. Clair and Bathurst).VIRGINIA VOGEL Vermont Gold, Brattleboro, Vermont

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