The D'Oyly Carte company really shone for one brief moment last Saturday, when it did six encores of the "Love can level ranks" patter trio in "H.M.S. Pinafore", finally culminating in Sir Joseph's diving overboard to let the audience know it had all that it was going to get. This made amends for the way Sir Joseph had cheated on the encoring of his first song ("When I was a lad ...") in the preceding act, leaving out the last verse and then singing it as the encore the audience demanded. In retrospect, the brilliance of the one moment is as infuriating as it is memorable, since it shows so clearly what the D'Oyly Carte company is capable of, and what it wasn't bothering to give us.. and I wonder if we'd've gotten even those six encores if it hadn't been a sold-out house for that matinee performance?
Aside from failing to give us all of the extra goodies we'd all been hoping for, the performances of "Pinafore" on Saturday afternoon and "The Pirates of Penzance" on Monday were the best of the five that I saw. All of the company's best performers were giving faultless performances. John Reed w as at his most comic as Sir Joseph Porter, although he was also an excellent Major-General Stanley. Donald Adams, the lead baritone, was given his best role as the Pirate King; he's not on stage enough in the other operettas. Valerie Masterson, the best soprano, was shown off to her best as Mabel in "Pirates". And Philip Potter, the romantic tenor, was an excellent Frederic, although I don't think he topped his performance as Nanki-Poo in "The Mikado", which was the first of the D'Oyly Carte performances that I saw. The performance of "Pinafore" was very lively (Len Bailes, our resident expert on such matters, says that they speeded up the tempo more than usual; if so, they should do it more often), and "Pirates" suffered a bit by comparison; though since this was the first production of "Pirates" that I'd seen, I found it very interesting. The next time D'Oyly Carte comes to town, I think I'll try to see a couple of the performances that're the most likely to be sold out, to see if the company really does throw in more encores on those occasions.
I don't believe that the Pavilion itself has been described yet. Los Angeles' new music center is an imposing building, with a main floor and three floors of balconies, designated respectively upward as the orchestra pit, the founders' circle, the loges, and the balcony. The Pavilion is well-designed both acoustically and visually; sound from the stage carries perfectly throughout the theatre, and the stage is visible from every seat, though you may want opera glasses to enlarge the view a bit if you've got the cheapest seats in the topmost rows of the balcony. Since the Pavilion is brand-new (as such things go), it's still sparkling and colorful, it's very impressive to look at, and, as Len put it, it's a building to gladden the hearts of Blackie DuQuesne and Aarn Munro. The plush carpeting throughout the building is so thick that you can't take three steps and come within four inches of a piece of metal without getting an electric shock that lifts you off the floor. Elevator buttons, brass stair railings, water fountains, even some of the ushers (I worry about those ushers); everything you touch is the source of a shock. I noticed a lot of kids at the Saturday matinee scuffling across the floor and gingerly touching the brass railing to see who could build up the biggest charge; and I overheard one woman tell another that her mother wouldn't come to the Pavilion any more because she was afraid of the electricity. I noticed Don Fitch quietly touching every piece of metal he came near, while Len loudly refused to go near any bit of it. The Pavilion is a fascinating place; you should all go there at least once.
And so the D'Oyly Carte's season in Los Angeles is at an end, but our own Savoy-Artes are just about to begin their next production. Their NEWSLETTER just arrived yesterday; they will be doing "The Gondoliers" at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 & 25, and March 3 & 4 (Fri. & Sat.), at the Robert Frost Auditorium in Culver City (where we saw their "Mikado" last year), at $3.00. Is anybody interested in getting up a group?
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This is the 118th Distribution of Apa L, which means that, numerically at least, we've just passed FAPA. The current FAPA Mailing is no.117, and its no.118 won't appear until mid-February, by which time we'll be up to Dist'n no.121 or 122, and increasing the gap. I don't mean to make any qualitative comparison with any other apa or fanzine, but I wonder how many other fannish publications there've been that top Apa L's record? The only apa I can think of is the Cult, whose FANTASY ROTATOR is up to its 191st issue. In fanzines, YANDRO is up in the 150's or 160's by now, I think, and of course SCIENCE-FICTION TIMES has something like 400 issues behind it. CRY got up into the 130's, didn't it? Of course, some of the weekly apa fanzines themselves, like FIRST DRAFT, are ahead of us and riding along with us, so we're not likely to narrow the gap on them any. (How high is DEGLER! now?) Oh, well, the statistics scarcely mean anything, anyway.
Bruce Pelz -- For the record, I missed the Tournament last week because I got to talking with Al Lewis and forgot to keep track of the time. Al has been interesting me in his model airplanes recently, and I've been dithering around trying to decide whether or not to get involved in a new hobby. I don't really think that I'm cut out for model building, based on my experiences in putting antique auto models together when I was around ten or so. I could get all of the parts together without much trouble, but when it came to painting the model, I invariably made a mess of things. However, I believe I'll invest a dollar or so in a simple airplane kit and see what I can come up with. Some of those detailed 1/32 scale models are really beautiful, though I'd need a lot of practice before I'd be ready to try putting one of those things together. (The current MAD to the contrary.) It's not so much the amount of work as it is the time it takes to turn out a good product that scares me off. ## Speaking of allied hobbies, the annual stamp & coin show at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium is coming along this February 2-5, which is Thursday through Sunday. It's been months since I was in Long Beach for any reason at all; I think I'll make a grand tour of it on Sat. the 4th, taking in the stamp & coin show, Acres of Books, and any other good bookstores in the area. Is there anybody else interested in stamps or coins who'd like to help make it a big fannish outing? The show is a big one, with dealers from all over the country; you can find my writeup of last year's show in the appropriate Apa L Dist'n. Helen? you're interested in stamps.
Dave Van Arnam -- I can't imagine being without a telephone. Possibly things are a bit different in New York -- less spread out, so it's easier to see people in person. But fandom in L.A. is so spread out that you just about have to put up with a 15-minute or a half-hour drive (from my house, anyway) to get to see anyone, and under this condition, it's hardly worth the trip unless you can phone the person first to make sure he's home. Tom Gilbert is the only L.A. fan I know of who steadfastly refuses to get a phone, and Tom misses out on all sorts of social functions. And this is for a fannish social life alone, not to speak of other purposes. How could you have existed for three or four years without a phone? ## I've never been particularly bothered by people phoning me while I'm listening to classical music, but maybe that's just because I'm not *Popular* enough. If I were Ed Baker, I'd spend about 1/2 my time at home on the phone; people are always calling him. He's never home, either.
Tom Digby -- I like the idea of Xeroxing the LASFS signup sheet directly, and I hope you'll continue it. There are always lots of cartoons and whatnot on it that never get reproduced, and it's a shame for them to go otherwise unseen. Xeroxing the sheet might also have a stronger effect in getting everyone present at a Meeting to sign in, then simply typing a transcription of the sheet -- I feel that it would have such an effect on me, though I sign in anyway. I wonder what effect this Xeroxing of the sheet will have in the manner in which various people sign in, though? I hope it doesn't increase the number of gag signatures.
Fred Hollander -- Offhand, I can't seem to think of any subject matter for LASFS programs that seem especially good. I like movies, but the abominable acoustics at the Silverlake Playground make showing movies there a waste of time. I can't think of any audience participation ideas that seem inspiring, either. We used to have a lot of fun for several weeks with stfnal charades back when we were meeting at the Fan Hillton, but nobody seems to have enough interest to try reviving the games now, including myself. There hasn't been any really grabbing stf out recently, to make setting up a discussion night worthwhile. I dunno; I guess I'm just jaded at the moment. I'm sure the club will continue to exist, with or without formal programs. ## A subject that interests me somewhat more is that of weekend fannish outings. We're currently in the Age of the Weekend Party, and those plus the bi-weekly Blackguard Miniature Golf Tournament have cut into the number of LASFS weekend functions (such as picnics) that we used to have. How do people feel about this? If a LASFS outing to the new City Zoo, or another LASFS picnic were announced, how many people would be interested in showing up? Are there any other places that people would like to see, or things they'd like to do? The Blackguards are providing for some of the weekend entertainment in their Tournaments, but for those who aren't interested in a long program of playing golf, or bowling, but would prefer some one-shot affairs such as a trip to the Universal City studio tours, something more limited might be in order. Suggestions?
Dian Pelz -- I'm under the impression that it was Bruce who supplied us with the old Project Art Show advertisements that were credited to Bĵo. At least, he said to credit it to Bĵo since he already had something else in the Dist'n, when I asked him if he knew who'd brought it. ## This does bring up a good point, though, about old material being rerun through Apa L simply to "have something in" the Dist'n or to boost the pagecount with what is in effect waste paper. Such things as this old Art Show announcement o r outdated "Hugo" nomination ballots aren't the worst of it, either; they are at least complete entities and of some historical interest. I think the worst we're currently getting is the reprint material from NIEKAS, at the rate of a page or two a week, out of sequential order, and virtually meaningless to anybody who tries to read it due to its jumping around, beginning and ending in the middle of sentences, etc. We had this same sort of problem some time back when Barry wanted to rerun THE INCOMPLEAT BURBEE through Apa L in a disjointed manner, and we let him know that we didn't like the idea. Either all or nothing. I hope we don't go through all that again. ## This is not to speak out against such reprints as DEGLER! and the like that are of general fannish interest, and are readily intelligible. ## Sorry to use you as a springboard for recommending Apa L policy. The rest of your zine was enjoyed, though I didn't find any comment hooks.
Don Fitch -- Yes, I think Milt Stevens would have to give us about six pages per week to cover everything that we all want: Apa L comments, plus long articles about his Navy experiences, plus travelog material. ## It's interesting about that Philippine lily still sending up new shoots all year. Of course, Southern California is famous for the climate that allows this sort of thing; I wonder what would happen if you took the plant into still more Northerly latitudes? We're lucky to have both tropical and semi-tropical flowers flourish in this area. There are Australian bottle-brush and eucalyptus trees all around (the neighborhood in which I grew up had its street curbs lined with a wild assortment of palms, bottle-brush, magnolias, eucalyptus, jacaranda, fir trees of some sort, and three or four others of which I'm not sure). The bird-of-paradise, which was made the City Flower of Los Angeles in 1952, is from South Africa; it was chosen because it's in bloom all year long. As a matter of fact, I wonder just how many of the common decorative flowers grown in Southern California are native to this area? Darn few, I'd imagine, considering that this part of the country wasn't really wet enough for decorative plants until irrigation was introduced in the last hundred years or so. (I personally think that a field full of wild mustard-flower is real pretty, but it's not what most people have in mind when they talk about decorative flowers.) ## As to the dues situation, I'm in favor of keeping the LASFS Constitution more or less as it is; it seems to be liberal enough to work satisfactorily. I don't think non-payers should be Held Up to Public Scorn except in extreme instances; for one thing, if it's used too often, it'll lose its impact through familiarity. ## I haven't the slightest idea why anyone wouldn't want to come to a party at my house. (See elsewhere in this Dist'n.)
Sally Crayne -- I hadn't noticed that Sir Despard and Mad Meg get much better characterization than the other leads in "Ruddigore". I was amused by the way Gilbert shows Rose Maybud to really be a rather shallow character, giving her "true love" to whoever is the best matrimonial catch of the moment. I think that Robin (or Sir Ruthven) emerges as the most likable character in the operetta. Incidentally, one flaw in logic (that I think of as Gilbert's, rather than as any of his characters') continues to annoy me: Despard, while he is Bart. of Ruddigore, must perform an evil deed every day out of self-preservation, even though he doesn't want to. After Ruthven takes the curse and title off his back, he becomes very moral & upright, and in the 2nd Act he reappears to piously urge Ruthven to abjure the evil deeds that he must now do, even if this will mean his death -- in other words, he's being hypocritically scornful of Ruthven for lacking the moral fibre to do what he himself didn't do either, when he was in the same position. The flaw is that, if Ruthven should have been foolhardy enough to follow Despard's advice, the title and curse would've been passed right back to Despard again, who didn't want them for anything; and Despard is presented as being intelligent enough that he would be expected to see this and therefore not make the plea in the first place. Gilbert, of course, wasn't overly concerned with logic; he was just interested in poking satire in what was, after all, a comic fantasy. I wish he could've resolved the point, though. It would've made the operetta just that much better, and "Ruddigore" is already his best work in regard to the plot line, I think.
Chuck Crayne -- Would that story you were looking for some time back, about a criminal hopping from planet to planet through matter transmitters, be Damon Knight's "Ticket to Anywhere"?