By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Off, Off Grotowski
Stephen Nunns's "After the Guru: Young Artists Confront Grotowski's Legacy" [March 2] didn't do much to prove Jerzy Grotowski's theatrical teachings irrelevant. However, it did go a long way toward explaining why New York theater, by and large, is.
Nunns writes that "[Grotowski's] sentiments may have had resonance in the '60s, but in our high-tech, image-driven, short-attention-span world they sound, well, a little quaint." Grotowski wasn't unaware of the short-attention-span world he was fighting it, something that many artists, and critics, no longer have the nerve to do.
Is it any wonder that the audience, especially the young audience, for avant-garde theater grows smaller every year?
Year One Productions
Hats Off to Hentoff
Thanks to Nat Hentoff for his probing and insightful column about the Clinton administration's shameful disregard of the genocide in Rwanda ["A Holocaust We Could Have Stopped: I Saw My Father Cut to Pieces," March 2].
The Number 1 Album in the 1998 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll [March 2], Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, is a fine collection of songs, but it could've been written and produced 25 years ago. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, however, sounds fresh out of the fire and ready for the new millennium.
Let's face it, this year the sentimentalists won.
Shrink To Fit
Sharon Lerner's HMO Watch column "Shrink Rap: Middlemen Eviscerate Mental Health Benefits" [January 26] accurately describes the situation of managed care as it relates to mental health. HMOs have removed the cornerstone of good psychotherapy by compromising confidentiality, choice, individualized treatment plans, and professional objectivity. They have seized on problems of a flawed but comparatively excellent health-care system to make huge profits. Moreover, although HMOs claim to have stabilized soaring health costs, even this is inaccurate, as health premiums are currently rising sharply.
There are alternatives. One is the American Mental Health Alliance. We are a group of licensed psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners who are organized nationally as well as locally. Mental health professionals must act to retake the field. Managed care can only operate if we cooperate; together we have power.
Dr. Carol Sanjour
AMHA-NY Board Member
Outdoor markets make for diverse, inexpensive, and convenient ways of shopping for life's necessities and luxuries. The vendors have every right to vend and Giuliani does not do nearly as much as these people to create a reasonable "quality of life."
Stage Of Life
Thank you for Liz Diamond's beautiful remembrance of American poet-actor Paul Schmidt in your March 2 issue. I was a student and friend of Paul's in the mid '70s while I was an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin.
He was one of the biggest influences on my life. He brought out the artist in me. It's so shocking to know he's gone.
I agree with Allen St. John's article, "The FAQs About the Yankees' Big Deal" [March 2], with the exception of his Roger ClemensWhitey Ford comparison. Ford is a guy who has been consistently undervalued for three reasons:
First, he missed at least two full seasons due to the Korean War, costing him at least 2030 wins.
Second, Casey Stengel's idiosyncratic pitching rotation required Whitey to pitch only against the good teams. During Stengel's tenure, Ford almost never faced the dregs of the league, yet still managed to pile up outstanding records.
Finally, Ford's reputation is damaged because he played for the greatest dynasty in sports history during its most dominant period. People see his seemingly modest records, and naturally conclude that almost any above average major league pitcher could've done the same thing.
Greenwich Village: The Way It Was
The past of Greenwich Village will be the subject of New York the Way It Was on WLIW, Channel 21, at 8 p.m. on March 13. The program will feature interviews with musicians, actors, writers, and longtime residents, and will explore the Village's cultural and artistic legacies from the 1940s through the 1960s.
CorrectionsEvadine Bailey, mother of police shooting victim Patrick Bailey, was not identified on the cover of last week's Voice. In the March 2 letters section, Michael Meyers was wrongly identified as the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Mr. Meyers is a board member of the NYCLU, and executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition. In Robert Christgau's review of the Harry Smiths at the Bottom Line in last week's issue, banjo player Larry Saltzman's first name was printed incorrectly. In Dan Allred's March 2 article, "Uprostred," the Web site for ordering Czech rock CDs was printed incorrectly. It is www.tamizdat.org.