Mail Call

Religious Fervor

District dogma: Thanks for putting something in your newspaper about this matter ["Shouldn't You Be in Church?" Hair Balls, by Richard Connelly, September 13]. I have contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I think these guys at Fort Bend Independent School District would be telling us that dinosaurs did not exist and would teach my children creationism, if we let them.

Stuart Adams
Sugar Land

Dark Alley

Overreaction: The Alley Theatre should be most grateful, but it's apparently spoiled by the consistent rave reviews it receives from Houston Chronicle reviewer Everett Evans ["Oh So Sensitive," Hair Balls, by Richard Connelly, September 13]. How about a reality test sometimes?

Regarding the review of Treasure Island, I particularly liked D. L. Groover's colorful comments "40 lashes to playwright Ken Ludwig" and "walk the plank, Greg Boyd."

So sad that the Alley couldn't handle it. Look, it is a painful but true fact that this play was a mess. For the Alley to overreact by trying to inflict 40 lashes on Groover and making him walk the plank — but not to ever again walk down the Alley — is quite arrogant. The Alley should get in the groove.

Speaking of reviews, Lee Williams's criticism of the Alley production of Doubt ["Reality Show," September 13] is not fully justified in my opinion. The problem with this play is not so much in the production (although the Alley again wanting to show off its "tech" skills with sophisticated set changes is distracting and slows the action down, as Williams points out), but in the script itself. The directing is for the most part pretty good, and all the actors do a fine job, not just the one Williams praised.

The play's end is questionable. I point out to the reader the last ten seconds and the last three lines, in which Sister Aloysius experiences an epiphany out of nowhere with no foreshadowing. It seems that the playwright rushed the ending.

The script needs to be fleshed out in other respects, and perhaps this will be done in the film version, which the playwright is going to direct.

Nevertheless, Doubt is a must-see. It's what theater should be, not all this fluff we get to appease the general public. The Alley should be commended for doing this Pulitzer Prize winner.

Walter Boyd
Houston

Ring the Concierge

New balance: As a patient of Dr. Schrader's, I find your article biased, unfair, misleading and selfish. The syntax you utilize is purposefully inflammatory. It's not AIDS patients — it's simply patients. He sees patients with other diseases than HIV/AIDS. And, as you recognize, Dr. Schrader has been deeply involved and dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS for a long time. Additionally, it's not like he's simply vanishing. He's balancing his life, and geez, doesn't he deserve sleep? He works endlessly at his practice and then goes and volunteers his time at Legacy (formerly Montrose Clinic). So why don't we all look outside of ourselves and simply say, "Thank you for spending a significant portion of your life taking care of me. Thank you for all you've done in the community and for the fight against HIV/AIDS."

I received the same notification that everyone else did, I presume. But in typical Schrader style, it was given with care, compassion, concern, love and assurance. He let me know about the change and also assured me that if I couldn't afford it or wasn't willing to stay on board at that cost, he would refer me to another physician who he felt would be equally qualified to guide me and care for me. Dr. Schrader even went so far as to apologize and give a rather detailed explanation as to why he was doing what he was doing, which he owes no one! Houston has a huge medical community, so the activist who's all upset (as most activists are) can rest assured that the influx will more than likely be absorbed. Let's face it — if you could afford it, this is customized health care at its finest, and you'd do it.

For those not versed in business, Dr. Schrader is still going to have to pay overhead, all his medical malpractice insurance, salaries, AMA fees, practice fees, hospital fees and who knows what else. We all know insurance doesn't pay a quarter of what is actually billed, and if you don't, you do now. It costs an unimaginable amount of money to run a practice. Give the man a break.

Michael Higgins
San Antonio

 
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