By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
EMMA LAZARUS IS TURNING OVER IN HER GRAVE
A pat on the back to John E. Brown ("Letters," July 1) regarding the Haitian Refugee Center and advocates like Cheryl Little, and especially Ira Kurzban. He is not going through the traditional channels as is U.S. law, but, as Mr. Brown states, is circumventing them. My forefathers had to get through the regular procedures to enter the U.S. -- no boatlift or walk-up-on-the-beach.
If Haitians would stay in their own country and work for change and not come here to further wreck our economy, they would be doing something constructive. Where would all the jobs and facilities come from for the people who want to come here? Do we want more crime, more pollution with their large families, more energy and water even now in short supply, more schools for the already overburdened taxpayer to pay for? They just want to get on welfare and food stamps right away. Advocates like Kurzban couldn't care less.
There are 600,000 Haitians in the U.S. now (100,000 in Miami). We cannot absorb any more of them; do we want the ruination of the U.S. eventually? America and Americans first!
AT LONG LAST, AN OBJECTIVE OPINION!
Now that the run of Too Short to Be a Rockette at the Coconut Grove Playhouse has ended, as one of the show's musicians, I feel it is important to clarify some technical errors on Roberta Morgan's part ("Zadorable!," June 17). Morgan's review was inappropriately vindictive in a very personal way toward Pia Zadora; it also reflected an unjustifiably negative light on one overwhelmingly excellent element of the production -- the music.
Local musicians hired to play in a theater orchestra have no vested interest in the production. Therefore, these comments are coming from a very objective place.
The musical arrangements in Too Short to Be a Rockette were done impeccably. Even if Morgan didn't like the style of the music, the quality and tastefulness of the orchestrations always came through. The top jazz arrangers in the country -- Peter Matz, Billy Byers, Sammy Nestico, Robert Farnon -- all deserved at least an exemption from her personal attack. Vinnie Falcone, the conductor, made the production work and prepared the orchestra with rare musical common sense. At least Morgan acknowledged his name.
Perhaps the unkindest cut of all was her begrudging comment about the orchestra: "competent." The majority of the players were faculty members of local universities' jazz and classical music programs. The musical contractor, Peter Graves, has a well-deserved reputation for putting together the best-sounding ensembles. Since she clearly thought so little of the show, how little of her not to even admit the possibility that the music might be redeeming of the production. That's how good our performances were. That is fact, not opinion.
And as far as Pia Zadora's singing being on the sharp side, even though her pitch was not exactly 440 Hz all the time, she was never grossly out of tune, as Morgan stated. In fact, she was right on pitch 95 percent of the time. If she hadn't been, the guys in the band would have been the first to notice (and make fun of, believe me!).
Morgan has made it clear that she has artistic and political objections to the direction that Arnold Mittleman has been taking the Coconut Grove Playhouse, but she never once brought up these issues in the piece. She could have educated readers, explained the difference between entertainment and drama, and presented an intelligent argument. But instead, she decided to be a snob.
Morgan seems to be an intelligent woman, but I remind her that a truly intelligent person does not let her emotions get in the way of her objectivity. Her review really came off as catty, small, sarcastic, negatively emotional, and not objective at all.
For what the show was supposed to be, it was a very good production. The musicians are by no means fans of Pia Zadora, but we were insulted and offended by Morgan's total put-down of a production that we worked hard to make happen and did make happen in an undeniably superior way. We were the stars of the show. She owes us an apology.
Mark J. Hill, member
American Federation of Musicians
STATELY WAYNE'S MANNER
For some of us, a movie like Batman Returns does not attract our attention as do some others ("Wayne's World," June 24). But for those who have been totally stressed out by life today, it is a pleasure to see a movie of this caliber and get away from life for a while. I do agree with Rafael Navarro on the fact that children should not be in the theater when this film is being shown, but as an adult who lives with Miami's day-to-day crime, traffic, crooked judges, cops, politicians, etc., it is nice to fantasize.
The article was well written, but much too critical for such a simple film. God knows what Mr. Navarro thought of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
BOSTON BEANHEAD TAKES ON JERKWATER WANNA-BE
Having recently relocated from Boston, I was surprised to find that Miami, a self-styled cultural mecca, has a peculiarly stilted film "scene." Rafael Navarro's movie reviews give me some insight into this. Reviewing the Miami Film Festival in May, Mr. Navarro was unrelenting in his caustic appraisals of each and every film, perhaps excepting Raise the Red Lantern. It appears to me that, in this town, the options for getting a little cinematic variety lie between the Film Festival and nothing. What, exactly, is Navarro holding out for?