Plus: Amazing Grace, Moonbeamed, Time Warp


Broaden the lineup: Encore! Encore ["Les Passé," by Richard Connelly, April 11]! Finally, someone has the balls to print what I've been saying about Theatre Under the Stars since I moved to the Bayou City 16 years ago. Being a big theater fan, I bought season tickets for the first couple of years, but I quickly learned that TUTS is interested only in catering to the aging Caucasian population of this city. As diverse as Houston is, you would think the least this glorified community theater could do is offer one minority musical per year. Instead, all we get are the same old tired retreads or shows that closed after a week's run on Broadway.

The American musical theater is over 70 years old. That's quite a repertoire to choose from for a mere five or six shows a year. So when they proudly broadcast their offerings for this season, I rolled my eyes, shook my head and asked myself, "Why would anyone agree to finance a $100 million facility to put on crap like this?"

TUTS is in need of new leadership. A board of directors should not be afraid to be a little edgy in the choice of shows, or to recognize and appreciate the diversity of this city, and be proactive in targeting future subscribers by offering more multicultural, varied shows. Until that happens, I'll continue to purchase the Broadway Series.

Richard Johnson

Courageous Everett: Au contraire!

Your depiction of Everett Evans, the Houston Chronicle's theater critic, as "elitist" is wrong. Mr. Evans is one of the very few arts columnists at the Chronicle who have the courage to speak out, instead of just rewriting press releases and reviewing performances.

Mr. Evans is right in "blasting TUTS's choices." With the opening of the new Hobby Center, TUTS had an opportunity to present a stellar season, with great musicals and casts. Yes, the realities of business economics don't call for an entire season of cutting-edge programming. But if one had to brag about TUTS's season, other than saying that it's presenting some musicals, what could one say?

TUTS has elected to dumb down to Houston audiences. But then again, maybe they're doing what some of the other arts organizations in Houston do: thinking that impressive architecture replaces courageous and innovative programming.

Eli Bensky

Amazing Grace

Sins and spins: Even though I came off as a sinner or, even worse, a complete loser, I thought your story on Joel Osteen was great ["Power House," by Jennifer Mathieu, April 4]. There were many things even I did not know, and you captured the folks who enjoy going there very, very well. They are all pretty amazing in their happiness.

Dave Walden


Spamming the globe: Loved this article ["Moonstruck," by Wendy Grossman, February 28], the information therein and the way it was written. I sent the link to almost 200 readers/thinkers/doers on my e-mail list in hopes of further utilizing the power of the grassroots nature of the Internet.

Thanks for your vision, and your efforts.

Lyle Pinkley
Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Time Warp

Problems with the provost: Thank you! Imagine -- taking four years to name a dean for the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, among many other sad tales [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, April 11].

We have made good progress, though, in spite of Edward Sheridan. Makes one wonder what we could have accomplished over the past four to five years under a competent provost.

Name withheld by request

Yates Knew Too

Prosecute the father: Like most of your readers, I wonder why Rusty Yates has not been tried for neglect ["Otherworldly," by Margaret Downing, February 28]. I can only imagine that it is because our justice system is blind -- and sexist.

He knew she was ill, extremely ill, and for him not to share in the responsibility of their children's deaths is as much a travesty of justice as Andrea's conviction.

Frances M. Cangialosi
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Foxed Out

Tom Terrific: With regard to the closing of Fox Diner ["Fox Bids Adieu," by Marene Gustin, April 11], what a loss to the folks who were lucky enough to have found the place and its owner. Once, when eating at the Taft location on a Friday afternoon with a friend, I managed to lock my keys in the car. Tom told me not to worry about a thing, called a locksmith, seated us at a table, then came over with the keys after the locksmith showed up. All of this, while dealing with a lunchtime crowd! Wonderful food, but an even more wonderful owner.

Best regards and a speedy recovery to Tom. The world sure could use more guys like him.

Holly Hughes

Sprouting Off

Vegans' health values: As to your review of Naturally Yours Café ["Fat City," by Robb Walsh, January 17] and other minor rants on vegetarian eating, the word "unenlightened" continues to come to mind. Robb, I do find you to be the best of the local food critics, so you're not gonna cast this note away as one of some health Nazi who hates your views.

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