To the Editor

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This column was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 15, 1999. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Who says the performing arts are dead? Lots of people,

actually, including people in the know who work in cities across the

country where live theater, classical music, dance, and opera are

wilting under the competition from sports, dining, video games, cable

television and VCRs, thrill-filled movie multiplexes, and the whole

new world of the Internet.

It’s a demanding public these days. Even the creators of the high

drama special effects for the movies report that their most astonishing

and innovative efforts today get treated with a ho-hum and a yawn


As Jeff Kleiser of Kleiser-Walczak Construction Co. — a cutting-edge

computer animation company whose clients include movie studios and

theme parks — told U.S. 1 earlier this year, "There’s been

an explosion of computer animation in the ’90s, but the bar has been

raised every year in terms of visual complexity; the public quickly

becomes jaded."

Yet here in central New Jersey, arts venues continue to play to large

houses, and this newspaper devotes 12 pages — beginning on page

25 — to its annual Fall Arts Preview. Here apparently we are still

susceptible to the unique thrills of a new staging of a Greek epic

drama such as "Electra," a Mozart opera interpreted by fresh

new faces, Baroque music on period instruments, and the wonders of

19th-century ballet. Add to this the contemporary arts — a return

visit from Pilobolus, the Kronos Quartet, or the George Antheil music

festival coming to area this season — and you will still find

a lively following for the lively arts.

And who knows what the future holds? The renaissance of Trenton, with

the renovated War Memorial and the soon-to-open Sovereign Bank Arena,

already has added a new dimension to the performing arts scene. We

have all heard about the minor league basketball and ice hockey and

indoor soccer coming to the arena, but pop musicians John Mellencamp,

Sugar Ray, and LFO are lead-off musicians already booked, with more

big-draw acts waiting in the wings.

While some may argue that these shows do not represent inventive programming,

the mere presence of a venue with a capacity of up to 10,000 for concerts,

could change the travel patterns of music fans for the entire region.

It’s a far cry from two seasons back, when the New Jersey Symphony

Orchestra canceled its Trenton season during the War Memorial renovation

because its subscriber base did not follow the NJSO to its temporary

home at the Crescent Temple.

Now the spotlight is on creative artists and producers, for whom that

jaded public should represent an opportunity, not a problem.

Top Of Page
To the Editor

IN YOUR ARTICLE "Open Wide, High Tech Dentistry" (U.S. 1,

September 1), you wrote that the air abrasion and other new methods

have "a great impact on patients in need of dental service . .

. and it is all a part of taking the mystery out of health care."

One other thing helps a lot: It is having articles like yours written

to help people understand dentistry. Keep up the good work.

Charles Ortegon DMD


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