Caffe Cino Pictures

Icons and Influences

Posted in Uncategorized by Robert on January 1, 1914

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See “Rockettes” item at top of Year By Year page.

(If a large picture is blank, there are smaller thumbnails at the bottom of the page.)

FIZZ! WHIZ! SHOW-BIZ!!Whether in Original Cast Albums or Special Appearances on TV, musical comedy stars like (1) Ethel Merman and Mary Martin and (2) Noel Coward and Judy Garland taught us the sophistication of Cole Porter and Gershwin, and, of course, of Coward. In addition, the frontal, presentational style of musical comedy stood us in good stead in small theatres where we had nothing but the word and the actor to take audiences into our dreamworlds. (3) The Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts did the same thing for many among us. (4) Records like this famous one of Christopher Fry’s The Lady’s Not For Burning or Shaw’s even more popular Don Juan in Hell brought theatre where there was virtually none, while (5) rare televised Broadway plays (here Julie Harris in the Jean Anouilh/Lillian Hellman The Lark, one of the first) gave to us stage-struck but stage-starved outworlders the headiest whiff of all.

STAGE-RAGE AGE!

An atmosphere for experimental theatre was fostered by commercial New York City productions such as these, seen by many of us who stumbled out of “artless, heartless” Amerika in the late 1950s and early 1960s. What all these productions had in common was minimal production and maximal imagination, which became the watchwords of Off-Off Broadway.

FANTASY FANS

Exactly who were (or as a Lanford Wilson character might put it, exactly who the f___ were) Tallulah Bankhead, Lynn Fontanne, Katharine Cornell, Helen Hayes, and/or George Jean Nathan? We learned all about them in dusty library stacks–and believe me, we looked up back issues. So suffused were we by the paper media that we would endlessly argue the relative merits of productions and performances none of us had been around or alive to witness.

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  1. Robert Patrick said, on April 6, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Please include an e-mail address when you make a Comment. Thank you.


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