The USS Arizona Should be Shown Proper Respect

I have no problem with your paper or Rand Carlson, but the May 13 "Random Shots" has a picture of a boat that is sinking. I don't wish to be hypercritical, but as a retired Navy chief who several times passed by in honor of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and considering the lives that were lost that day and the people entombed aboard that ship, I wish Carlson would have used any other name for the boat.

Whenever that name is used, it should be in total reverence.

Philip McLaughlin


From Sherilyn Forrester, regarding "A Quirky Clinic," Performing Arts, May 13:

In my review of Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw, being presented by Live Theatre Workshop, I expressed my disturbance at seeing a very different ending than the one I read in Orton's script. Sabian Trout, who directed the show, left a message for me expressing her disturbance, because they had done "word for word" the ending dictated by their contract with Samuel French, the group which handles arrangements between playwrights and theaters.

So I grabbed the script I had read, in Joe Orton: The Complete Plays. There was the ending I remembered.

What's up with that? Orton died two years before the play was even produced. How could he have changed his ending?

Turns out the version I had read was Orton's original script. So, indeed, the Samuel French version, which LTW diligently reproduced, is different from Orton's original. Apparently, the Samuel French version is the version sanctioned by Orton's estate.

Actually, this disturbs me even more, because this official version sanitizes Orton's kick-ass ending. The ending he wrote underscores his send-up of the institutions and cultural mores that have done such a remarkable job of totally screwing us up.

Live Theatre Workshop absolutely played by the rules in reproducing the ending called for in the official performance version. And that ending works well enough in their very entertaining production.

Still, it's not really Orton's.


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