Dear Brad Whitford,
You don't know me, but I've seen you on TV. I know! Small world, isn't it? That's not all we have in common. My kids go to Madison East, and you're an East alum, so what are the odds? Like family!
You can ask anything of family. Can we have $1.2 million for a new theater? You've donated to the school before. A thousand here, a thousand there, but c'mon. That's nothing to a Hollywood movie star. I bet you make a thousand a week just from DVD rentals of Nerds II, which, by the way, was a fabulous piece of work.
Things have changed since you left Madison. The Badger football team is good now. It's the UW Band that sucks. On the high school front, East still gets pushed around on the old gridiron, but when it comes to quality theater productions, your alma mater is in a class all its own. Except venue-wise.
They say fine art requires pain. Nobody said the pain should belong to the backsides of the audience members. Remember the Day-glo orange plastic bowling chairs in the East auditorium? They're still there! Meanwhile, Middleton High School has a new million-dollar theater. Middleton!
You don't even know where that is, do you?
I know you remember East, though. Mr. Costello, your old health teacher and cross-country coach, says you still owe the athletic department $22.90 for the jersey and shorts you never returned. "We're willing to waive that if Brad ponies up the million for a new theater," he told me.
Your fabulous success has placed us in a unique situation. Your old rival West High School doesn't have any alums as famous or rich as you. Thing is, West families themselves are fabulously wealthy, and since the state doesn't pay for education anymore, those guys just snap their fingers and voilÃ, a new football scoreboard materializes.
Not to put the pressure on or anything.
It's cool that you and your talented wife give to all kinds of important international charities. We see you on "Entertainment Tonight," sipping bottled water at fancy L.A. fund-raising events. Beachfront benefits with Ferris wheels and children's games and Tom Hanks in the dunk tank.
I'm not saying you shouldn't go to those, and I know how much I'd enjoy throwing baseballs at a dunk tank featuring Tom Hanks or Kid Rock, but just think how good it'll feel to know your hard-earned cash is going toward funding the futures of young actors on the Wash.
If you can't do a million, we understand. We think we can build the new Whitford Theater for about $750,000. I confess that I inflated the figure to a million because we need a new pool, too. That wasn't very straightforward of me, I admit, but when you're taking a one-time shot at a deep-pocket superstar, well, what the heck.
Just so you know, the Whitford Pool will have eight lanes and snazzy balcony seating.
It's important to know we're not just sitting around on our hands with this theater renovation thing. That's not how East Side Pride works! You know that. We're in full-forward fund-drive mode.
The New Theater Committee has a slate of bake sales scheduled. "Sales are brisk," reports committee chair Tony Dubinski. "We average three bake sales per week. At this pace we'll easily make our goal in early 2055 or the fall of '56."
But we'll all be in Purgolder heaven by then.
In conclusion, if an actor like yourself can emerge from a crappy auditorium like East's, just think what a slick new theater will produce.
Please make your check payable to The Brad Whitford Theater Fund, 1200 E. Washington Ave., Madison. Thanks! And don't get too down about "Studio 60." It's a lot funnier than it seems! Give Matthew Perry our best.
Bring him with you to the ribbon cutting!