Re: Mamet’s November

I saw the opening night performance of David Mamet’s November at Theatre in the Park (reviewed June 16). This production removed all of the strong language in the script. The word “fuck” was replaced with “frick,” I guess to protect the audience from being offended.

This was my first opportunity to see the play, as this was the regional premiere of Mamet’s latest work. Being such a fan of Mamet’s work, I felt betrayed when what was offered was an edited and censored version of the play. If the issue of strong language was too much for the director and theater to handle, then they should have picked another work. To put on a censored version of November like this, without making clear beforehand the extensive liberties taken with the script, was irresponsible.

I strongly believe that theaters that do edited versions of plays must make that clear in their publicity and in the program. Had I known this wasn’t actually the play as written, I would have saved my money. I have no idea of the reasoning behind the choice to rewrite one of the most distinguished playwrights of our day, but I can’t help but wonder if the director, who is apparently a playwright himself, would have been happy if another group put on one of his plays and took such liberties. Putting on a butchered version of this play was insulting to area audiences.

The addition of extra dialogue, especially an entirely new line added to be the very last line of the play, concerning Al and Tipper Gore’s divorce, makes me think that this company doesn’t respect playwrights or Triangle audiences. The public should be warned about this. A “clean” version of Mamet is just wrong on so many levels.

I think Theatre in the Park really fucked, that is, fricked up!

Roger Patterson

Re: Greenbridge

Could Joe Schwartz have written a fluffier piece about Greenbridge finishing its building (cover story, June 16)? I think not.

I live across the street from the construction site and have spoken with most of the people interviewed. Admittedly, the history of the conflict is now a mess of opposing viewpoints, but surely Schwartz could have been a little more skeptical about Greenbridge casting itself as the representative of enlightened progress and its detractors as yearning for a Mayberry-esque community where no building has more than three stories.

The surrounding businesses, for example, have had their livelihoods threatened during the construction and have not received much sympathy for their plight. If this were a tonier area, many suspect Greenbridge would not have been able to secure permission for the one-way streets or for 50-some noisy concrete pours from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. last year. From the beginning, town officials seemed bedazzled by the idea of having spiffy condos arise from the ashes of where a welfare motel had once stood and perhaps downplayed the disruption the construction would cause area residents.

Surprisingly, Frank Phoenix was considered the best person to handle citizen complaints, despite his obvious conflict of interest as a Greenbridge partner, and predictably, he had few qualms about lying to town officials about the opposition to the one-way streets in order to get the plan speedily approved.

Perhaps one lesson to take away from this bitter controversy is that future development projects should not be considered an unqualified boon for the community. But instead, the inevitable adverse effects to surrounding businesses and residents should be carefully weighed and resolved in a transparent and equitable fashion.

Dave Prout
Chapel Hill

Re: “Eat Less”

WAY TO GO! to the brave women you featured who took a stand protesting outside Urban Outfitters. As a person who was hospitalized with an eating disorder many years ago, I am very thankful for articles like “Eat less, die young” (June 9). It is so important that attention is brought to companies who are sending horrendously mixed messages regarding body image ideals to impressionable youth.

If anyone is interested in continuing a dialogue about eating disorders/ body image issue awareness, please mark your calendar for the Art and Eating Disorders silent art auction Aug. 12 at the West End Wine Bar in Durham. Proceeds from the auction will help the Duke Center for Eating Disorders fund the development of a Web-based treatment program for families that have an individual struggling with an eating disorder.

Katie Seiz