By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
It was recently made known to me that City Pages is reducing its coverage of local theater to biweekly. I found this very distressing for several reasons.
First of all, as a loyal reader I depend on City Pages to provide me with insight into which local productions are worth attending. The Twin Cities is proud to have one of the most vibrant and thriving theater communities in the nation, and City Pages is the lone major media source that provides balanced coverage between giant theater companies such as the Guthrie and the small, lesser-known independent companies. By reducing coverage you not only limit theater audiences' options, you also drastically limit up-and-coming theater artists' opportunities. Without coverage, the many fledgling theater companies that are or would become the gems of the local theater community will dry up and die due to lack of support.
Also, as a local playwright and the founder of an independent theater company, I have to say that out of all reviewers in the area there is no opinion I respect more than Quinton Skinner's. His reviews of my work in particular have helped me to gain perspective and grow extensively as writer. In my opinion, reducing the number of reviews Quinton does a year will subsequently reduce the quality of theater in the area. I understand that times are very hard, particularly for newspapers. I know that many papers are in the process of completely reinventing themselves just to survive. It is my hope, though, that when the dust settles and City Pages has found solid ground once again, that reinstating full theater coverage, one of the Twin Cities' most cherished art forms, will be at the top of your list.
What's black and white and completely over? I woke up on Friday to read about the Star Tribune's bankruptcy filing on my iPhone. Then I logged in to my laptop to read more. Later that day, I visited some of my favorite national and regional media sites and blogs. I posted on a few. Not once did I even consider picking up a dead tree—it's not where I get my information. Is it any wonder American print newspapers are the walking dead? Yet the Strib unions remain blindly defiant, refusing to compromise or agree to painful but necessary cuts or concessions. It's the equivalent of ordering room service on the Titanic immediately after it hits the iceberg.
Lorin Drake, former Strib employee
I think the author of your article on CHOF got it right with the last paragraph ("Church of the Deadbeat Dad," 1/14/09). Even though the state has ordered the church to pay the ex-Mrs. Rooney, its leaders refuse to. Simple as that. They have the money—millionaire status at that! I would suggest that anyone out there who is struggling with their faith or finances to give CHOF the opportunity to bless them. Go to 355 Marshall Avenue in St. Paul, right down the street from the Cathedral, and I know that they will consider you sent by God.
Your latest food review perfectly exemplifies the problem with your decision to fire Jim and eliminate the under-$20 food reviews section ("Dinner and a No-Show," 1/14/09). So your story is about a fine-dining restaurant that is completely empty? No joke?! In this economy? You are a free "alternative" paper; the vast majority of your readers may appreciate knowing which fine-dining establishments to go to for special occasions. But we subsist on inexpensive ethnic food, diner grub, and bar food. Here's what I need to know: what to order and what to avoid at the 7,500 Southeast Asian restaurants on University, where I can get good tacos on Lake Street, which Indian restaurants have the best vegetarian options. When I have worked 12 hours and need to find dinner for under $10 at 9 p.m. in St. Paul I want to know where to go. And so on. You've decided to keep the food writer who starts each column talking about the restaurant's decor? She's at least 500 words in before I read word one about the food. Put the poor woman on arts reviews or something. She obviously doesn't really like food. That's fine! Just not in a food columnist, y'know? Bring Jim back. Please. Or at least have your current writer go somewhere without valet parking.
In reviewing the recent film The Wrestler ("The Comeback," 12/31/08), your man writes that professional wrestling is not a "competitive sport." Apparently neither is professional football, at least not the way the Vikings play it. If the Boston Strangler had a near-death experience, the amount of choking to pass before his eyes would be nothing compared to what Vikings fans were subjected to in the post-season. In conclusion: LET'S WRESTLE!!