Letters for April 12-18, 2007

Brandon and Ginger

Why he has a big head: Thanks so much for your thoughts about my "misbehaving child" Backwards in High Heels ("Ginger (and Fred)," Brandon K. Thorp, April 5). Not only did you take the show at face value and review what you saw but you did so with great humor and completely in the spirit in which it was intended. You were spot-on about it being ambitious for Florida Stage; this is my fifth musical there and easily the most complicated.

I am revamping the show with vigor after this production — I am never happy with mere "sticky kisses," however satisfying. But for the world premiere of a big ol' musical, I am delighted with how the process has gone (now that we are a well-oiled machine a week and a half after opening). And of course, the intended audience is eating it up. I wish you wrote for the New York Times.

Christopher McGovern

New York, New York

Editor's note: McGovern is co-author of Florida Stage's most recent production.

He likes you, he really likes you: Brandon Thorp is not only the best theater critic in South Florida; I challenge anyone to find such insightful, truthful, and imaginative writing in any American theater critic. Finally, someone who is not afraid to tell people what he thinks and why.

Jeff Haller

Miami

Servitude Versus Slavery

Sometimes a caning is just a caning: I guess what is "a far cry" to one person is not to another ("Shades of Truth," Bob Norman, March 15). I see the example given of Barack Obama's grandfather working for the British, who sometimes beat him, as pretty close to slavery but not exactly slavery.

I think it was close enough to share as a connection between Obama and other blacks who are descendants of slaves.

Sandi West

Via the Internet

As politicians go, Obama's better than most: The true sign of a great politician is having superb oratorical skills and being able to deliver messages that elevate the masses. Obama is doing just that. His way with words, or lack of it, is no different from JFK's or Bill Clinton's. He understands that his best position is one in the middle and that he holds no [special] favor with any political and social group. If these [misstatements] are all the mistakes, errors, omissions, or misprints in his speeches or literature, then we musk ask ourselves, what is the big fuss about? Why is anyone not critiquing Rudy Giuliani and his pre-9/11 accomplishments and failures? That is one closet that has several skeletons just waiting to be exposed.

If this is all someone can find wrong with Obama, then he is OK in my book. I'm not saying I will vote for him, but I will give him the opportunity to present his views and ideas without any bias.

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

It's Not Porn

... but it's close! Regarding "Man-on-Man Action" (March 8) by Nathan Lee: The wait is finally over. After months of anticipation, the most-awaited movie in the gay calendar has arrived in cinemas around the country. I recently watched in awe the monument that is 300... and it didn't disappoint.

In my humble opinion, this is the gayest movie Hollywood has ever made. Michael Wilkinson (the costume designer) deserves a GAYVN award for his revealing work; his Spartan uniform will become the quintessential Halloween costume for gay men for years to come. As a lover of men and movies myself, 300 has earned a spot in my ever-expanding gay porn collection.

However, this Hollywood version does have its flaws. You are oh-so-right to call this movie both homoerotic and homophobic. Xerxes I of Persia is reduced to a transgender freak of nature. And even though the last thing I want to see is lesbian sex, the orgy scene full of disfigured women was offensive (I can't imagine even straight guys getting excited about that). As a history buff, I was troubled by the portrayal of Persians as grotesque and deformed monsters. These people founded the largest empire in antiquity, even larger than the Roman Empire. They deserve a lot better treatment than this.

Then again, this is typical Hollywood fare. Perhaps if Oliver Stone had shown more male flesh in his Alexander, the movie would've been received more with curiosity than disgust. Hopefully, 300 will start a new trend in American cinema. Can't wait for the sequel!

Francisco Contreras

Miami

Listen to the Lyrics, Slug

There are drug songs and there are cocalero songs: To say the song "Cocaleros" is a "low brow" song about cocaine is to prove that you didn't pay much attention ("Lonely Hearts Club Band," Marya Summers, March 1). The song is about U.S. drug policy with [dis]regard to the poor farmers who grow it so they can eat. It's not a low-brow drug song like the old J.J. Cale rocker "Cocaine." When did global politics become a low-brow subject?

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

What about the other bands? This piece appears to be missing the point. I'm actually uncertain of whether this is a music review or an unprofessionally opinionated commentary on the local scene. Either way, I found it hard to read this article without wondering what happened to all of the other awesome bands that played that evening or why there was such emphasis on picking out the weird people from the crowd. I was sorely disappointed, as I found the show to be extremely enjoyable and definitely an all-around good time.

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

 
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