To the editor: When I read Kristian Lin’s pan of Hydrogen Jukebox (“Hot Air,” June 1, 2011), I was puzzled until I got to the fourth (!) paragraph. “My problem with Hydrogen Jukebox is simple: I don’t like Philip Glass.” You should have led with that. So I will lead with this: I like Philip Glass. And I love Allen Ginsberg, whose voice has been overlooked far too long.

My wife and I have attended the Fort Worth Opera as season subscribers for eight years now, and I am usually the one who prefers the grandiose classics to the minimalist, modern monotone so prevalent in new works. But from the time we walked through the set to get to our front-row general-admission seats, I knew we were in for something extraordinary. The intimacy of the space immediately raised my already high expectations. Although I was unfamiliar with this particular work, my respect for Ginsberg and Glass piqued my interest immediately when the opera announced its 2011 festival schedule last year.


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From the first notes  following  almost subliminal rumblings of a bass drum, I was enthralled. That initial impression, which so effectively encapsulated the lonely, hollow despair of travel by train in this country, was sustained throughout. Among productions of the past eight years, it was surpassed only by the perfection of Turandot. And now that I have had an additional week to reflect, it may have beaten that one as well.

Once again, the intimacy of this production, with the performers literally two feet from us at times, was thrilling. And the young cast clearly embraced its vision, their voices and physical beauty almost dreamlike in their cohesion.

It was a great show. I’m sorry you missed it.

Bruce Payne

Fort Worth



To the editor: A pollster just called, asking me what issues I wanted leathe people running for mayor in Fort Worth to address (“Leading Molly,” April 20, 2011).

I declined to help them. They could say they support public nudity only to recant after they get elected. And I would have wasted all that money on sunscreen.

Matt Sacks

Fort Worth

Say It Ain’t So, Joe

(More goodbyes from fans to Christy Goldfinch, who has bowed out from the Chow, Baby cast, though the column goes on.)

How I have loved reading your columns in Fort Worth Weekly! Amusing, informative, often laugh-out-loud funny. It helped that my daughter, freelance writer Laurie Barker James, often shared that page with you. (I sometimes read you first after taking in her byline as a doting mom.) We took your advice seriously, often going to places you recommended and ordering the dishes that won your praise. Dancing ponies will never replace you. (“So Long and Thanks for All the Chicken-Fried,” May 25, 2011). May you and The Beloved be truly happy in the next chapter of your lives and do it all with zest and gusto. I hope to read all about it elsewhere.

Ciao, dear Christy.

Ronnie Barker



Farewell! I shall miss you. Best of luck on your next adventure!

Lauren Kwedar

Fort Worth

I feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach and given an award at the same time. Thanks to Christy Goldfinch for the wonderful mention in your last column. It was kind and totally unexpected.

Pillows propped, clean sheets, my Weekly, a beer, and I was ready to roll. My routine: I turn to your column, and I start to laugh. Today, I began to cry. Don’t go. Say it isn’t so, Joe. You are the most witty, clever writer I have known. “Funny” is hard to write, and you have the gift.

What next? Join a PR firm? Will you continue to review restaurants somewhere, somehow? I need to know.

Your number-one fan,

Maribeth Ashley

Fort Worth

Thanks for 10 years of fun columns and reviews. Good luck in what’s next!

Ernest P. Johnson

Fort Worth


Oh, no! We’re losing a wonderful Chow, Baby. Best wishes for a happy future and good eats.

With a smile,

Paulette Wagner