Caffe Cino Pictures

FIRST ORIGINAL CINO PLAY: ROWLAND SCHERMAN’S PHOTOS OF REHEARSAL OF JAMES HOWARD’S “FLYSPRAY,” 1960.

Posted in Uncategorized by Robert on February 21, 2012

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Author JAMES HOWARD (mustached), JOE DAVIES (bearded), and JEREMY JOHNSON (in the nightgown), probably directed by EARL SENNETT, in rehearsal for Howard’s “Flyspray,” generally regarded as the Cino’s first original play. Photographer Scherman says it was “..an anti war, anti-arms buildup play, inspired I suppose, by Eisenhower’s speech. …It was brilliantly directed. Produced on a shoestring but who cared? It was very funny in a horrific kind of way.. a satire of the arms race…Russia and America…one had flyspray and the other didn’t.”

                                      Wendell Stone in his Caffe Cino book says:
“Howard satirized Capitalism and military proliferation: ‘The play is set in a desolate bombed out area of the world; James Howard played a man who sold fly spray after the devastation….He gave a pep talk…encouraging them to buy this fly spray and everything would be all right.’ The production ended with the detonation of an atomic bomb so realistic that passresby sometimes would file a report of the explosion with the police. After Flyspray‘s run at the Cino, it played at different socialist events and radical rallies around New York City. Despite the play’s success, however, Howard left New York to enter graduate school.”

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The above shot of the front of the room shows the giant coffee-grinder smack in the doorway, as it is in the  1961 BEN MARTIN photo below. The “Caffe Cino” sign by the grinder seems to be in KENNY BURGESS’ handwriting.

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