By Michael E. Miller
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By Sabrina Rodriguez
By Michael E. Miller
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Luther Campbell
By Kyle Munzenrieder
Oswald was a dupe. He was also my biological father.
COULD YOU REPEAT THAT A LITTLE LOUDER?
In his critique of the Miami Light Project's presentation of Shimmer, a monologue by actor/playwright John O'Keefe, at the Elizabeth Virrick Gym on December 7, Tom Austin rightfully complained of acoustical problems ("Swelter," December 18). I would like to respond.
The Miami Light Project chose the Virrick Gym as the site for this production for two reasons. First, we saw the gym as an intriguing alternative to conventional theatrical settings, one that would both appeal to our audience and complement Mr. O'Keefe's innovative performance style. Second, like many of Miami's cultural organizations, the Miami Light Project does not own its own theater and is therefore constantly on the lookout for affordable, conveniently located performance space available for weekend rentals.
The Miami Light Project took a risk in using the Virrick Gym - formerly an airplane hangar and now a recreational boxing gym - with the hope of finding a facility that we and other performing-arts presenters could use when theaters like the Colony were unavailable. While preparing the gym for Shimmer, we encountered acoustical problems we thought could be overcome with strategically placed sound equipment and specially designated seating areas. Unfortunately the problems persisted, detracting from Mr. O'Keefe's powerful performance and from the audience's enjoyment of it. Needless to say, we will not be using Virrick for future theater productions.
The Miami Light Project will continue to challenge and entertain its growing audience by presenting risk-taking artists in conventional and unconventional settings. After all, wasn't it our willingness to take risks combined with our eye for top-quality dance, music, and theater that earned the Miami Light Project New Times's award for Best Performance Series in 1991?
Janine Gross, executive producer
Miami Light Project, Inc.
ACTUALLY, HANS, PHIL COLLINS IS THE ANTICHRIST
Why doesn't Michael Roberts just go ahead and stick Prince's Diamonds and Pearls on his "Lumps of Coal" (December 18) list? Why not also throw in Barbra Streisand's box set? He said Michael Jackson's Dangerous was "disappointing," so why not put it in also, despite the fact that it's "hardly disastrous"? What the hell, his article already lacks enough justification.
With these top ten lists, you would normally disagree with one, or at most two entries. But I disagree with more than half of them, and four are in the top five. Does New Times think it can get a lame article by the readers because they are too busy Christmas shopping? A disturbing article like Roberts's deserves some kind of a refutation.
I'll touch on only a few that I disagreed with. I'll start with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Roberts's whole argument contradicts what he said about Jackson. He says The Sky is Crying is "thoroughly listenable," yet we are told not to buy it. Earlier Roberts said Dangerous is "hardly disappointing," but it is not included on his list. The only reason Vaughan is listed is to keep his recordings from being released, recordings that Vaughan fans would like to hear. This argument can also be used in defense of Paul Simon's and Poison's entries onto Roberts's narrow-minded list.
Then there's U2. Bono finally humbles himself in his lyrics, and Roberts attacks him. It's good to see U2 refraining from a social conscience. It was also an experimental album (obviously too heavy for Roberts to grasp). Half of the songs have electronic beats which see U2 tackling the danceable side of music. This album is very different from other U2 albums; if Roberts isn't familiar with these other albums I doubt he can genuinely handle a review of Achtung Baby.
The entry that completely made me flip was the second to worst. Genesis's We Can't Dance? First of all, the cover art is not reflective of Genesis's Peter Gabriel era. Those Genesis albums had apocalyptic images, while the Phil Collins ones had images of isolation. If Roberts knows anything of Genesis's 1980 album Duke, he'll see the relation between that album's design and art and that of We Can't Dance. Surprise - Duke was a Phil Collins-era album. As for the Michelob commercials, I'm sorry Genesis ever did them. It gives critics, who are too ignorant about music, an easier chance to criticize Genesis. Roberts calls some of Collins's songs an "attempt to be taken seriously." The thing is for years some Genesis lyrics have been narratives about certain characters. The two songs he criticized happen to have a televangelist and a boy trying to reconcile with his father as main characters. Collins is simply telling us a couple of stories, so Michael should chill out. As for the "gazillion copies" and "few Grammies," even Roberts admits they are deserving. Genesis has not lost its touch.