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Stages of change

October 13, 2002

As an avid theater fan since the early 1960s who has seen more than 450 performances of small and large theater, I can tell you a lot of things have changed besides ticket prices ("Getting Steeper All the Time," Oct. 6).

First, forget about choice seating unless you buy an entire season series or pay premium ticket-broker prices. Most seats available to the general public after season ticket-holders get theirs are simply lousy.

Second, hardly a serious drama can make it to the stage no matter how skilled the writer. Consider Albee's plays, which barely make it in New York even after great publicity and promotion. The majority of the public still just needs and wants song and dance.

Finally, theater is supposed to be a respectful dialogue between audience and actor. Shorts and tank tops should be banned, as well as talking during performances, when you are paying $50 to $100 per ticket.

Arthur Auerbach

Newport Beach

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