Jones’ top 10 shows list was right on
I want to thank Arnold Jones for his list of top 10 shows in 2008 ("Exit stage right," Dallas Voice, Dec 26). Beyond the shear recap of what was on stage this year, it reminds me of how valuable a role Jones plays in Dallas. With the Dallas Morning News increasingly unable or unwilling to cover regional theater, his voice and artistic criticism become ever more precious.

As someone involved in theater from the big box theaters to such local jewels at the Labyrinth theater and the Richardson Theatre Center in Richardson, and as a former member of the Arts Commission, I know that actors and theaters need critical reviews. It helps them grow. My wish for 2009 is even more of Jones’ fine work, which is the section I turn to first each week.

Carl Youngberg

Not the wisest voice
Regarding Melissa Etheridge’s recent comments about evangelical minister Rick Warren:

I like Melissa Etheridge as much as the next gay, but let’s not kid ourselves. Many more people have scars, me included, that are far more impressive than any Melissa could sport because of her advocacy as an out lesbian.

Etheridge came out in 1993, years after ACT UP, Queer Nation and many other gay rights groups had already stood up for gay rights and responsible HIV/AIDS legislation. She came out when it was politically and professionally safe. Yes, she has been an important "public" spokesperson since, and for that we owe her props.
However, Melissa is not the only voice and hardly the wisest voice for us to follow. I caution anyone against making a decision based on a few sweet exchanges, especially when those exchanges include signing autographs.

Melissa has earned her stripes but many others have earned more. Listen to those people.

Troy Mitts
Pilot Point

To send a letter
We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail ( Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 16, 2009.
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