Boston-area arts letters

Photos by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Too big for Boston

Thanks to Joel Brown for reporting on the smaller companies that are presenting their theatrical offerings (“Boston theater to expose its variety, all in one place,” g, Sept. 7). I wish, though, that someone could tell me what is going on with the bigger productions.

Why isn’t Boston getting the shows that other cities are? It used to be that Boston was a testing ground for pre-Broadway theater. Everything used to come here! Now it seems that I have to purchase tickets a year in advance to see a production that came out two years before. Will I have to wait years for “Matilda” and “Kinky Boots”?

And what’s up with the retreads? Why so many?


I now travel farther to see theater. Worcester and Providence offer possibilities at a lesser price.

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Portsmouth, N.H.

Really, Harvard?

To me archiving and studying hip-hop at any university, let alone one of Harvard’s stature, is ludicrous — and no, I don’t mean Ludacris (“Hip-hop is alive at Harvard,” g, Sept. 17). I have a teenage son and have listened to
Jay Z, Kanye, Drake, Kid Cudi, et al. I have yet to find any redeeming, entertainment, or edifying value. One song featured a brilliant lyric rhyming “fine a*&” and “wine glass.” Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson must be kicking themselves for missing that gem.


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We just love hmmm

I thoroughly enjoyed Geoff Edgers’s article on Arsenio Hall (“The Last Word,” SundayArts, Sept. 15). Many, many years ago my husband and I were vacationing in California and were thrilled to be offered free tickets to his show. Hall & Oates were his guests. Since we were big fans of his, being in the audience was the highlight of our trip.


One thing that wasn’t mentioned in the article was Hall’s famous phrase, “Things that make you go hmmm.” To this day we still say it whenever we’re trying to figure out the answer to something.



One determined dancer

I haven’t read Sophie Flack’s novel and have very little interest in dance, but her story (“Before ‘Bunheads,’ ” Boston Ballet special section, Sept. 15) is one of determination and courage. It proves that conviction in oneself in the face of both triumphs and setbacks means we can always overcome our challenges. I sometimes wonder whether the toughest challenges are the ones we set for ourselves or the ones that others impose on us.


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Rooted in Cambridge

I loved Nick A. Zaino III’s article on Giggles and Mike Clarke (“25 years on, the laughs keep coming at Giggles,” g, Sept. 12).


Mike and his brother Lenny are two Cambridge people who have done well for themselves and the Cambridge community. On many nights they have volunteered their time and that of other comedians to assist in different causes. Most of the time they have helped raise a great deal of money for these causes at no cost. Mike and Lenny are two true Cantabrigians who never forgot their roots.



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