There is a magazine called The Sondheim Review.
It comes out quarterly.
It is about all things Sondheim.
I used to subscribe to this magazine, but stopped several years ago, when I realized that they were telling me far more about Stephen Sondheim than any human being could possibly want to know.
A typical article is them interviewing the surviving Oriental actors from the original production of "Pacific Overtures".
Who would want to read that?
Their relatives, I guess.
There was one, at best two, articles an issue that could possibly hold my interest.
So I cancelled my subscription years ago.
The Sondheim Review has a very limited circulation.
As well it should.
I think next month, they're planning a three part article entitled "Sondheim: Boxers or Briefs?"
So why am I choosing this time to write about this unnecessary waste of paper?
A couple of months ago, the people at the Sondheim Review were kind enough to offer me a complementary issue of their upcoming edition.
They were trying to lure me back into the fold.
That's the last time the word "kind" will be used.
I looked it over and it looked like the same old tedious stuff.
Until I stumbled upon a Variety Cryptic Puzzle in the back of the issue.
I've mentioned previously about my love for Variety Cryptic Puzzles.
I checked the Website.
It seems that the last ten issues or so had Variety Cryptic Puzzles.
My first move was to go to my local library in Detroit.
I was told that the nearest library that had these puzzles on line was in Lansing.
Almost an hour there, and an hour back.
Not particularly cost efficient.
Plan B---I called the Sondheim Review.
On the website, they offered back issues for eight dollars a pop.
I didn't want to spend no eight dollars a pop.
That's eighty bucks.
For ten puzzles.
Games Magazine, Games World of Puzzles, and Harpers each have one of these puzzles per issue.
The average cost for the first two is three dollars a pop.
Harpers can be gotten for a buck and a quarter a pop.
As they used to say in the old burlesque sketch, "It's not the money, it's the principle".
I wasn't asking for complete back issues.
Just for someone to copy the ten puzzles in question for three bucks a pop, put 'em in an envelope, and I'll gladly pay for the postage.
I even offered to renew my subscription.
That would have caused me to spend five bucks a pop.
I needed it like I needed a hole in the head.
But I offered.
I thought three bucks a pop was a very fair price for what I was asking.
The Sondheim Review guy, the publisher no less, couldn't wait to get me off the phone.
He said he'd get back to me.
After two weeks, he never did.
So I was looking around for Plan C.
Only none was staring me in the face.
This is as expansive as I feel like getting today.
But we're a long way from home.
For more, manana will have to be good enough for all of us.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."