Best of the Best
Hey, Bohemian staff. Thanks a lot—you really delivered on the "Hidden Gems" promise ("Best of the North Bay," Mar. 23), making your Best Of issue the best ever. I've lived in Sonoma County since '72 and consider myself well-informed on happenings and local sights, but you dug deep and came up with some fabulous possibilities new to me and described them with first-rate skill. Thanks.
Your "Best of the North Bay" issue should win a prize for Best Issue! I always read it every year, but this one blew away my expectations. I didn't even see the QR code on the cover until I read the directions inside, but we downloaded the app and scanned all the codes. The links to videos all through the paper were a really smart touch! We loved the Bollywood dancers and Jeremiah's Photo Corner. Keep up the good work.
Joe Leonard is the best! He's tattooed everyone I know. That's cool he did the art on your cover.
In Defense of the Phone Book
Wow, a lot of interesting information, some of it factual ("Yellow Fever," Mar. 16). Seven out of 10 U.S. adults still use the Yellow Pages (this is valid third-party research, not opinion or personal observation), and as advertisers who turned out for a rally last Monday have been telling the S.F. Board of Supervisors, it isn't the city's job to tell them how to reach customers. Yellow Pages publishers don't want to deliver books to consumers who don't use them, so if you'd like to opt out, just go to www.yellowpagesoptout.org. It's fast and easy. It seems odd that with unemployment in California at an all-time high, the supervisors would put thousands of jobs in jeopardy.
Full disclosure, I work for the Yellow Pages Association.
Phone books are certainly not dead. Many small businesses rely on them for customers and much-needed revenue. They are more reliable than the internet. We live in a free country where freedom of speech is guaranteed. This includes advertising from companies to your doorsteps. Furthermore, asking something like "Why do we need more than one phone book?" is akin to asking "Why do we need more than one pizza place?" Most people don't like monopolies. They create high prices and bad service.
Play's the Thing
I felt the same dismay in reading David Templeton's review of The Final Scene that I did while watching the play. The play kept losing its tension for me—blowing apart like the expanding universe—because the direction is fitful, lacking its anchors in time (cadence). Maybe it is hard to direct a play that juxtaposes loss (mortality) and the amusements with which we distract ourselves. The very broad direction is similar in function to a laugh track—as if the director doesn't trust how good the words are, and they are very good indeed.
I love the witty exchanges. They get one through life and through the play. I think the play is at its best when it is focused and more subtle, particularly when the actors reveal so much of themselves when describing Gretchen, and during the scenes when Gretchen stops acting (arch and demanding) and begins to say goodbye to the set and her role (the physical world and her idea of herself).
Directing the play as outright farce sacrifices nuance and poignancy, diminishing dimension, meaning and the potential of the play itself.
There are so many sensibilities: Tom Stoppard couldn't have written The Glass Menagerie; Tennessee Williams couldn't have written The Caucasian Chalk Circle; Bertolt Brecht couldn't have written South Pacific; and Hammerstein and Logan could not have written The Final Scene. There's no doubt the director is very talented, but this play is perhaps not suited to his particular sensibility.