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Beer, Near and Far

Great story on the comeback of National Premium

Hey man—great story on the comeback of National Premium (“Lager of Love,” Feature, Aug. 8). Similar thing happening in St. Louis (where I am originally from) with Griesedieck Bros. and Lemp beers.

Cristopher Coats

Washington, D.C.

Black and White Card Redux

I agree with Jay Bond’s response to Ms. Butler’s incessant racially motivated comments (“The Black and White Card,” The Mail, Aug. 8), and I happen to be a person of color. Regarding her allegations against the art world, I have to be honest: Who cares what race the artist is? People look for terrific art work, period. Personally, despite the lifetime of problems I’ve faced with people from a multitude of backgrounds (usually, if not always, for trivial reasons), I don’t consider myself any better, or any worse, than anyone. Furthermore, I prefer not to play the stale “Black and White” card because it won’t get anyone anywhere.

Medina Krause

Baltimore

celebrate club-less comedy

I take umbrage with the “Best Comedy Club” category in the besties competition this year (Best of Baltimore Readers Poll, Aug. 8). Baltimore and it’s outlying counties only have but a few dedicated comedy clubs. It would be far more relevant to make the category “Best Comedy NIGHT.” I can’t even name every venue that hosts a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly comedy event right now, but I can try: Free Range Comedy at Alewife, the 42 open mike at Dionysus, Pretty Good Comedy at Pratt Street Alehouse, Golden West Cafe’s recently rebooted comedy night, Drink Til We’re Funny at Hightopp’s Cafe, Chucklestorm, one in Canton I can’t remember the name of, Sean Bolan’s in Bel Air, another in Columbia I can’t name. And there are more! Lots more!

It’s a disservice to the Baltimore comedy scene to limit the competition to Magooby’s, Sully’s, The Comedy Factory, and... what else? These underground nights are the real Baltimore comedy scene. They feature the next generation of comedians, many of whom are just beginning to cut their teeth. They, and the venues that give them crucial stage time, deserve the chance at recognition.

Matthew Casella

Baltimore

Actors & Equity

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival is a treasure—as is all Baltimore community theatre. Yes, Following Sarah was an amazing evening, and I was lucky to have secured an opening night ticket (“Off and Running,” Stage, Aug. 8).

I’m sorry you failed to mention the work of Mike Zemarel. His characters ranged from Coach Wagner to a Moth Larvae, with a High Performance Shoe embodiment tossed in along the way. Zemarel’s effort was a marvel of characterization. And in addition to Zemarel’s acting skill, this “moth larvae” also directed Death of a Salesman at Vagabond Players, only a few blocks from where he is currently “hanging by a thread.”

One point rarely mentioned (if at all) about the Baltimore theatre scene, is the unfortunate division between Equity and non-Equity houses. This information came as a surprise to me during the intermission of Following Sarah. While sipping a complimentary glass of red wine, I learned that Equity houses in Baltimore are off-limits to local actors. And this division appears to be the case all across America.

With so many young people pursuing degrees in theatre and with so much remarkable talent in our area, more discussion of the restrictive system is in order. My knowledge of theatre politics is nil, but I’d like to know why provisions can’t be made so Baltimore’s wonderful actors have some chance to work in Equity shows.

No matter how brilliant and hardworking a person may be or how many years they invested in earning a theatre degree, at the end, if that person cannot join Equity, their work on stage will be limited.

All the performers and back stage crew working in community theatre receive no pay; and unless you have an independent income of some sort, your time to perform is limited. I’m surprised this subject is never commented upon, and it should be. When I see so much ability on stage as I did during the production of Following Sarah, it saddens me to know all these great performers are up against a closed union shop, namely the Equity brick wall.

Rosalind Ellis Heid

Baltimore

Corrections: In “Lager of Love” (Feature, Aug. 8) we erroneously identified Alexander D. Mitchell IV as Alexander D. Mitchell III.

Mark Scharf, not Michael Scharf, wrote the letter headlined “He’s Baaaaaaack” (Mail, Aug. 8, 2012). We regret both errors.

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