A scandalous performance at the MechanicI have attended...

the Forum

March 09, 1994

A scandalous performance at the Mechanic

I have attended productions at the Morris Mechanic Theater for many years, and for the past three years I have been a season subscriber. While realizing that I would not be enthralled by every production, I at least thought I would be exposed to high quality performances.

On Feb. 27, I attended the anniversary presentation of "Hair." Never have I witnessed such a revolting, insulting, obscene performance. I sat mortified in my chair with averted eyes for an hour and 20 minutes because I was too embarrassed to look at the disgusting, degrading actions taking place on stage.

This was not art. It was a cheap display of obscenities, bordering on the pornographic. My friends and I left after the first act, which ended with a frontal display of the cast members' nudity. Our only mistake was that we did not leave after the first five minutes.

The selection committee of the Baltimore Center for the Performing Arts made a gross error in selecting this play as part of the subscription package. It is a sad commentary that this was the best that Baltimore had to offer to its theater patrons.

Joan Rudis

Baltimore

Grantsmanship

Your editorial "Sitting on scholarship reform" (Feb. 21) praised a bill introduced by state Sen. Paula Hollinger, D-Baltimore County, to end legislative scholarships but failed to point out that Senator Hollinger has defended legislative scholarships for 15 years and continues to award them herself. Her average award is $324.

Last year Senator Hollinger was quoted in The Baltimore Sun as supporting senatorial scholarships but voting to abolish them solely because of public pressure.

Several senators had turned their scholarship funds over to the State Scholarship Administration long before this bill was introduced. They did voluntarily what such legislation would mandate.

Sen. Janice Piccinini, D-Baltimore County, for example, has established how her scholarships should be awarded by the State Scholarship Administration. Among the criteria is that each recipient would receive no less than $2,000. Her criteria also favor community college and part-time students.

That Senator Hollinger has introduced a bill in 1994 to disband legislative scholarships is a clear attempt to neutralize a major difference between her and Senator Piccinini, who will be her opponent in the next election.

If Senator Hollinger does not support legislative scholarships she should give them up, not grandstand as a hero while doling out the dough.

Robin Glick

Owings Mills

Light rail thugs

Since its inception, I have been a booster in the light rail system because I believe that mass transportation is an important part of solving our pollution problems. Now, however I can no longer support a system that is dangerous.

Last week, one of our friends was brutally assaulted on the train. The attack occurred near the North Avenue stop, but my friend had to stay on the train, bleeding profusely and with the attacker and his friends laughing and jeering, until the Falls Road station, where his car was parked.

He could not move to another car, since there is no way to move between cars, and there is no security on the train. He was unable even to contact the driver of the train.

It is most unfortunate that the planners of the light rail did not take the passenger's safety in mind, since many riders will not risk being beaten up by the thugs that take advantage of lax security.

To add insult to injury, the thugs ride for free, since usually no one is aboard to take the tickets.

What should be an advantage for the whole city has become a playground for pugilistic youths. This is just another example of a relatively small segment of society ruining progress for the majority.

I hope that our new police commissioner will be able to deal effectively with these rotten apples before the whole barrel falls apart.

Mary H. Brown

Baltimore

Killer weed

All cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a drug. There is a campaign to make the public aware of the hazards of drugs, but it doesn't extend to smoking cigarettes. I have had several relatives who have passed away from the habit.

It has been proven that cigarettes cause cancer of the lungs, heart disease, emphysema, etc. It is a shame that something so addictive and often fatal can be put on the market.

It is time to take action to get this horrible killer off the market.

Lil Sacks

Baltimore

Teachers aren't whiners

Sharon Condon's letter on "whining teachers" (Feb. 28) once again illustrates that some vocal critics have not spoken to many teachers.

Granted, as in any business there are those who complain. But they are not the majority.

Teachers certainly know the date school is supposed to end and they realize the potential for extended days.

What teachers do not understand is why in some jurisdictions the community will not let the school year begin before the Labor Day holiday.

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