Thank you for the article about my father, Joe O’Donnell (“American Witness,” Aug. 16). I found it online, and it was refreshing to read something that wasn’t just another reprint of his obituary. I live in Las Vegas but was fortunate enough to visit Dad on his last day. I left with happiness in my heart knowing he would soon be going home to his wife, Kimiko. That did not happen, but we were all glad we got to see Dad in all his awareness on that last day. I hope you can make his memorial exhibit at The Arts Factory in October.JEFFREY TYGE O’DONNELLtygeod@gmail.com (Las Vegas)Eyewitness to his story
One of my last writing projects in Nashville before I got married and moved in 2000 was to work with Joe O’Donnell on his memoirs as a photographer. As John Pitcher has indicated in his fine article (“American Witness,” Aug. 16), Joe’s photographs of Nagasaki—hidden in a trunk for 50 years and published by Vanderbilt in 2005—haunted him for the rest of his life. At my behest, we submitted a portion of his reminiscences to American Heritage Magazine as part of their “Eyewitness to History” series. Though the article was accepted in 2000, it was not published until 2005 to coincide with Joe’s book. I was quite humbled to work with him, and I am pleased that, in his last years, he received the recognition due him.BOB HOLLADAYsenor100@earthlink.net (Tallahassee, Fla.)No more sedatives
Martin Brady must be tired of his job (“Potty Play,” Aug. 16). I read another review of Cuckoo’s Nest as well, and, as one person is truly different from another, we all have differing opinions on what we see. This, I understand.
But I hope that Ms. Street is not too discouraged by the review of her brilliant show, which actually brought out some profound moments that were refreshingly different from the movie. But a sad reality is that a lot of people in Nashville decide what shows to see based on Mr. Brady’s views.
It seems to me that even though he is a seasoned reviewer, he was expecting the movie and expecting performances equaling Nicholson and Fletcher, something a trained reviewer should never do, especially in this theater venue.
He seems hard to please. I was so impressed by Cuckoo, I told everyone I know to see it. But this note isn’t about Cuckoo; it is about Martin Brady. Maybe it is time to retire. Even his better reviews seem tired.FRITZ ELLINGTONfritz.firstname.lastname@example.org (Nashville)He must be crazy
Does Martin Brady have any experience or background in theatrical review (“Potty Play,” Aug. 16)? I’ve noticed a few times before that some of the things he’s said have seemed a bit...odd...to say the least. But his latest review of Street Theatre Company’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is really out there from the point of view of a longtime theatergoer, -participator and -lover. Please don’t misjudge—I have nothing to do with the show myself and no reason to stick up for it other than the simple fact that it was brilliant. Nearly everything he criticized was noticeably good, and the one thing I probably would have noted as a shortcoming was not even mentioned. I thought the cast was wonderful on the whole, beautifully capturing the subtleties that are so very important (and so ingeniously planted in the beautiful script). Shane Bridges’ McMurphy was his own character—a very charismatic, passionate and believable one at that.
And might I add, how embarrassing for a theater critic to compare any production to a movie. This was not intended to be Milos Forman’s film, as good as it may be, and the characters were not intended to be playing Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, et al.—a very wise choice on the part of director Cathy Street (one of many wise and brilliant choices).
Overall, I can’t believe that Brady had any intention of giving this production his open mind, or perhaps he had no intention of allowing it the possibility to even be good. But no matter what, he’s dead wrong on this show. It was a beautiful, truthful, enticing and enlightening evening of important, powerful, maybe even prophetic theatrical entertainment.
I implore you—no, dare you—to find someone with a passion for good theater to write your reviews rather than a closed-minded, prejudicial or perhaps just plain ignorant writer like Martin Brady.JEFF WILLIAMSjeffrey.email@example.com (Nashville)Whatever
Enough is enough. Please relocate the rock you found Jeff Woods under and put him back there (“Election 2007,” July 19). I have never in my life seen a more sophomoric and adolescent attempt at election coverage. It would be well worth a cover story in itself cataloging his misrepresentations, foolish analysis and lack of professionalism that I have to say is usually found only in the domain of high school newspapers.
I guess Jeff is befuddled by the fact that no candidate has leapt off the screen like a PlayStation character, bedazzling would-be voters. Instead poor Jeff is faced with candidates saying real things about real problems and leaving all of us faced with the unthinkable—paying attention. Sorry, it’s not the candidates’ fault. It’s our fault. What we all need from you is a good healthy reality check, and instead what we get is moronic navel gazing and pouting. Instead of lighting a fire under our collective arse, you lead the pack in making a mockery of this extremely important election, and Jeff Woods is the poster child of a narcissistic and apathetic youth. Your lovely cover featuring a giant pile of dung says it all: there’s nothing important here.RICHARD MCLAURINrichardmclaurin@comcast.net (Nashville)
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