Cruel and low: Regarding your review of Sara Shelby-Martin in Anything Goes ("It's De-Lovely," by Elaine Liner, April 3), I cannot believe that you would dedicate an entire paragraph to bashing a person's physical appearance. There is absolutely no reason to serve such personal blows to Dallas actors who are doing their best just to find work in this town. Most of the talent in our area comes from people who have non-performance, full-time jobs and give their time freely to support the cause of live theater in Dallas.

As actors, we have to accept both good and bad reviews for what they are worth. We know that we have no way to defend ourselves against the reviewer's opinion of our work printed in a paper for the world to read. As a reviewer you can say that we are wrong for the role, say that we don't sing well, say that you don't like us in the show. But don't blame us for anything other than the talent we bring to the performance. We don't cast ourselves, we don't have a say in our costumes, and we did not choose to have a certain face or body type.

To have the nerve to attack performers on things other than their performance in a particular role and/or talent is cruel and low. And there is a nice way to say that someone is not sexy...simply say that they are not sexy.

Jamie Pringle & Greg Dulcie

Barrage of insults: Elaine, you poor thing. Once again you decide to divert from an objective review of the theater into an unnecessary barrage of insults directed solely at the physical qualities of individuals. Do you consider your comments directed at my wife (Mrs. Shelby-Martin) as amusing? Your readers should feel differently. Your personal attacks are simply without merit and come across as downright cruel. Take my advice. Do your job, and leave the Joan Rivers bit to those who are funnier and much more qualified. And by the way, my wife is about a foot taller than Ms. Lupone and is better-looking to boot!

Tony Martin

Actors have feelings, too: I just read Elaine Liner's review of Anything Goes. It was the most revolting review I've read in a long time. The attacks on the lead actress' physical appearance were extremely cruel. Does the writer not realize that these actors and actresses are human beings with feelings? Why focus on physical appearance at all? Would Elaine like people to judge her work on her physical appearance? Stick to the performance and lay off the attacks on personal appearance. Have a little class.

Alayne Irons

The Blame Game

Mary, Mary, quite contrary: In response to Mary Hasan's "Mary for Mayor" letter (Letters, April 3), just who is "sucking up" to whom? Mary calls Mayor Miller a liar but doesn't provide us with one reason--just innuendo.

If she is "talking" about Mayor Miller's promise to the police and firemen that she would support a 15 percent pay raise, she kept it. Unfortunately, she couldn't accomplish it alone; a majority of 14 other council members also was involved, and the mayor's vote is 1/15th of the total. So stop blaming Mayor Miller. Unfortunately, too, the pay raise came up when the entire country was experiencing money/budget problems. And, unfortunately, Dallas is a part of the country with money problems of its own.

Mayor Miller doesn't represent a district of Dallas anymore; she represents all of the citizens. Her financial concerns don't stop with the police and the firemen; they include the financial concerns of all the taxpayers in Dallas. To give the police and firemen the 15 percent raise in one year meant raising the tax rate on all the taxpayers. She thought it was the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. A majority of the city council obviously felt the same way, because a majority of them passed the raise to be paid at 5 percent a year over three years. So stop blaming Mayor Miller.

The police and firemen didn't like that; they wanted that 15 percent raise immediately and to hell with the taxpayers. And a tax increase wasn't going to affect all the police and firemen who resided outside Dallas. They wouldn't feel any tax pain. So they filed a petition forcing a citywide vote on their referendum. And what happened, Mary/Mary? A wide majority of the citizens turned the referendum down. So stop blaming Mayor Miller.

As for Jim Schutze ("Catfight!" March 27), I don't know when the hell he finds time to sleep. Almost every week, the Dallas Observer runs an article under his byline tearing someone or something up that needs exposure. The Observer doesn't "suck up" to anyone...and neither does Mayor Miller.

Dr. Sydney K. Kay


Relevant after all: Wow! Absolutely the best sports column I have ever read ("War Torn," by John Gonzalez, April 3). Thank you for such a great piece. To be honest, I never was a big fan, but what you wrote took guts. Keep it up!

Via e-mail

Ears of millions: I find John Gonzalez's assertion that athletes and movie stars should simply be quiet and disappear in times of crisis to be offensive. Steve Nash and David Robinson (to take two of Gonzalez's targets) have as much credibility on Iraq as network talking heads or Observer columnists. Nash graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in sociology. David Robinson graduated from the United States Naval Academy--allegedly not the easiest institution in the land.

Whether you like what they're saying or not, celebrities have the right to say it. Some might say they have a duty to make their position known. Athletes--unlike myself or John Gonzalez--can have the ears of millions in the right situation.

Matthew Powell

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