Signs of the apocalypse
Enjoyed Jay Boyar's piece on the state of stand-up comedy `"Stand-ups and sit-downs," Feb. 2`. The reason Steinberg's talk show is on TV Land might be that Comedy Central already covered this ground more than 10 years ago with Inside the Comedy Mind, hosted by the late Alan King. Most guests were of the stand-up variety (Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Wright, etc.), but King also interviewed people like Norman Lear, Jack Lemmon and Keenan Ivory Wayans. Filmed without an audience, subjects were more insightful and relaxed, though some, like Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Jonathan Winters and Martin Short, simply couldn't keep their schtick from coming out.
By the way, now that Jay Boyar is writing for you and Liz Langley is writing for the Sentinel, is this yet another sign of the apocalypse?
Vincent Basilicato, Winter Park
Take it back
You need to retract your recommendation of Blue Dahlia `Dining, Jan. 5`. We entertained two couples there Jan. 21. It was a disaster. Evidently the chef quit and there was a new one there. None of the specials were available. None of the desserts listed were available. I had the "pork" you mentioned in your write-up, and it was a mere slab of pork tenderloin with some facsimile of cheese melted on the top. One of my guests did not receive his dinner until we were all done. I asked for salt and pepper, which was promptly delivered with dessert. This was our first time venturing into Sanford for a dining experience and will be our last for a while.
Madeline Jordan, Maitland
Fine art, no parking
`Jessica Bryce Young` did a great job presenting Noguchi, his relevance, and the ideas in the `University of Central Florida` show. And, well written `"Bearable lightness," Jan. 26`.
I'm glad she pointed out our problems with parking too. It's something I've been battling administration about. I'm sure the article will help my position with them. Oh, and I loved the cover! Really great!
Theo Lotz, Orlando
I read your column from time to time and find it rather interesting. In your column `"Notable Noise," Jan. 19` you correctly stated that the music industry has suffered dramatically since 1990, but you forgot to mention (as everyone does) the single biggest reason: Auto-Tune, the pitch-correcting software (circa 1996) that makes it possible for people like Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw to actually have a career in the music biz!
Now instead of picking from the talented-people pool, the music biz execs pick from the "pretty people" pool. So you have a bunch of marginally talented people who look good and have their songs written by guys like me. I hear young people make fun of bands like Journey and Styx, but at least the music and vocals are real.
I never hear music writers comment on this. Why don't you be one of the first to let the public know and mention it in your column? Don't get me wrong; there is talent out there these days. But for every Dave Matthews or Kanye West there are a thousand Ashlee Simpsons, thanks to Auto-Tune.
I just wanted to thank you for your illuminating article about the local races `"Stick it!," Jan. 19`. I find your succinct, shorthand style immensely useful and credible. You are destined for greatness in the post-PC world we anxiously await.
Mark Estrin, via the Internetletters@orlandoweekly.com