Maxine Munt -- what a wonderful woman! Thank you for Robin Chotzinoff's "Curtains!" last week. Although I left Denver long ago, I was still saddened to read that Maxine had died, but made glad as I remembered everything that the Changing Scene -- and Maxine and Al -- brought to a city that was so much a part of my early life.
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I rarely write letters to newspapers, even though I sometimes think about doing so. Today I thought about it and am actually doing it. I have to write and tell you how deeply touching Robin Chotzinoff's February 24 "Curtains!" was. I never thought I would read such a lengthy article all the way through (I'm sometimes guilty of scanning if the article is lengthy and doesn't keep my interest) -- but I read every single word, with tears pouring down my cheeks. I was moved by her words, and the words stirred up happy memories of times spent at the Changing Scene (its closing is a loss for Denver); over the years, I have treasured the unique charm and dedication of those two splendid thespians, Maxine Munt and Al Brooks. They never hesitated to try something new or daring or bold; the name of the game was "creative" and "let's give the new playwright a shot." Yes, new works were considered every year at the Changing Scene. While these little one-act plays were not always good, they were always in the spirit of "new" and "fresh," and every once in a while, something truly spectacular would happen.
The Changing Scene will be sadly missed by those of us who love the "little theater" scene in Denver. Thank you, Maxine and Al, wherever you are.
I cried when I read Robin's article about Al and Maxine. I was only sixteen when I first met them. My parents had separated; I felt alone, but then I found the Changing Scene. I was given a paintbrush and told to paint. I thought Maxine meant the walls, but, no -- she meant a picture. I was considered eccentric by some but talented by Maxine. I live in San Antonio, Texas, now, producing and directing films. I will never forget those two. I learned that my dreams, impossible to some, were attainable, and I owe it all to Maxine and Al. I will always cherish them.
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Just when I was ready to pack my bags and move out of this backward, disgusting, stupid-minded state for good, I read Patricia Calhoun's "A Perfect Ten." Perhaps there is hope yet for Colorado. May I suggest that Westword mail a copy of "A Perfect Ten" to ALL members of the Colorado Legislature? Better yet, since they were so intent on posting the Ten Commandments at public schools, why not post "A Perfect Ten" in each legislator's office for daily recitation?
Best regards from an avid reader.
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The writers at Westword would do well to pay attention to the commandments that Patricia Calhoun mocks -- starting with Commandment #3, which your publication breaks every week: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."
Anyone else find it ironic that scarcely a week after Fox aired (erred?) Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire, the Colorado Legislature is debating a measure that would ban the recognition of same-sex marriages in the state of Colorado? This in itself isn't ironic, but the fact that the bill's sponsor, Representative Mark Paschall, says he is trying to "preserve the sanctity of marriage" seems somehow perverse. Webster's defines sanctity as "the holiness of life and character: godliness."
I don't know Paschall, but I do know that I believe in the sacred nature of marriage, and this sounds to me like sanctimony (same root, vastly different meaning). My suspicion is that Mr. Paschall is (consciously or unconsciously) trying instead to preserve his own little comfort zone, where he can ignore the needs of and generally devalue certain people who make him feel uncomfortable. Legislation is not the way to restore the values of the general public. Homosexuals are not the problem. Maybe, though, we can learn something from their plight. Ask yourself if you would stay totally committed to your partner in the face of public ridicule, government-sponsored oppression, threats of physical violence and general dehumanizing rhetoric from people like Paschall, who can't seem to grasp the fact that not everyone on earth is like him. If you still want to marry someone through all of that, how could anyone question your devotion to the sanctity of marriage?