Comments from people who attended the Detroit performances:

"The material below is what I sent by email to various friends, spontaneously after the performance:

Oh, you've got to see "Forgotten," should you ever get the chance. . .

. . .the small theater at Marygrove College was SRO with union activists. Made me feel like I was actually part of a labor movement, and gave me renewed respect for our ancestors in the struggle. . .

I'm so glad I got to see "Forgotten." What a show! I was on the bus chartered by the Clerical Technical Union of MSU, along with members of UAW Locals 652 and 602. People couldn't say enough about the play afterward. The bus was just buzzing.

I abhor most standing ovations because they've become pro forma, de rigueur, and all that. So I usually stay seated. But I knew, before "Forgotten" was done, that I'd be standing for it. That was a well-deserved ovation. Thanks for bringing this story to life for us.

It was refreshing to see a performance with social impact, something about working-class history. I knew some of the history, but the story of the Bradfords was new to me. One of the things we talked about on the bus was that this is not ancient history; people are still dying in the union struggle around the world."

-Tim Bogar
Lansing Labor News
Member, GCIU Local 2/289
Lansing, Michigan

"We were so very fortunate to have been able to see the wonderful production the 'Forgotten' this past Saturday. It was so very moving, and held true to history. It was one of the very best productions I've ever seen! The audience contained many that give their lives today to support the common worker, as well as some of the Bradford family and Mr. and Mrs. David Bonair.

Organizing is still no piece of cake. I truly would hope that this musical could be shown to the vast majority, hoping they could realize what our union brothers and sisters did for us not so very long ago."

-Terri Riffee
Flat Rock, Michigan

"I just wanted to thank each of you for joining me on Sunday. I know there were several of us who where convinced that our departed spouses were also there in spirit. . . And we KNOW they were smiling, because their stories were being told. "Forgotten" is such a fine, fine gift to their memories, to the working people of Detroit and to those of us who still believe that struggling for a better world is the greatest of vocations. And how better to celebrate such aspirations than with truly fine music which lyrically and rhythmically tells an heroic and true story. Oh my, how it captured my heart. And didn't you just feel proud that Detroit has so many talented folks - from our dear friend Kae in that wonderful chorus, to Bill (he was the music director who was also on keyboards) to Elyse (the powerhouse in red and black who introduced the performance)."

-Marti Alston
Member UAW Loc 1981 - National Writers Union
Detroit, MI

(Marti Alston writes: "My late husband, Christopher Alston, was a Ford Hunger Marcher, a founding member of the UAW and a leader in the effort to organize African American workers at the Rouge Plant in the early 1940's. As part of that organizing drive, he wrote a pamphlet titled, "Henry Ford and the Negro People," to show how it was a lie that Henry Ford was a friend to Black people in particular and workers in general. After our marriage in 1973, we did community organizing in a near eastside community in Detroit, called Forest Park, an area that the newspapers had once labeled as "Detroit's Worst Slum." It now has low and moderate income housing for families and seniors.")

"The story line lovingly and tenderly presents Ella and Lewis's undying love reinforced by their common faith, their love and concern for their family, their visions, but stressed Lewis's unfettered commitment to Peace, God and human potential set against Ella's maternal responsibilities like rent and food and her anxiety for Lewis's safety. On the global scale the story is an epic describing the genius we have for invention, for organization, for improving the lives of everyone - but inevitably diminished by the evil of greed, lust for power, hatred and corruption (portrayed by images of Henry Ford, Father Coughlin, and Harry Bennett). Bound together by hunger, illness, misery, contempt and murder, the repressed move unsteadily toward a better society. Each of the three performances was sold out, standing room only. The music, the lyric, the portrayals were emotional; Ella Bradford had many of the audience wiping tears from their eyes.

It was a grand weekend and I'm thrilled to have been part of it. . .to be in a community of generally unself-centered, informed believers in the interconnectedness of mankind."

-Bob Loftfield
Son-in-law of Lewis and Ella Bradford
Albuquerque, New Mexico

"I apologize that it's taken me so long to tell you in writing how fabulous and ground-breaking your show was in Detroit. Wowy zowy! Yes, I had no socks by the time I left!! Such good, good work and so wonderfully creative. Really inspiring and it also really spoke to the heart. One of my favorite moments was the song about guns, religion and money. . .Brilliant! Anyway, what a beautiful integration of music and politics."

-Jeanne Mackey
Ann Arbor, Michigan


Comments posted with permission of the authors.

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