July 31, 2012

Theater articles

Lon Clark   
Doubt: A Parable     
The Fantasticks         
Ghost In the House    
Hearst Greek Theater performances     
Jingletown Parade with the Chthonic Theater & the T-Sisters 
Jingletown Parade Two       
Lotte Lenya         
Rhythmix Cultural Center events/exhibitions             
Sankai Juku ~ UMUSUNA (Memories Before History)        
José Sarria & The Black Cat Bar    
Théâtre de Babylone 
Theatre Flamenco ~ Con Nombre y Apellido     
Theatre Flamenco ~ Con Nombre y Apellido Pt. 2    
Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett  
Green links in the articles lead to more information about the article.




Recently, a friend visiting from Switzerland very casually mentioned to me that he was going to see the play, "Marat/Sade".  After I peeled myself down from the ceiling, I screamed, "I have to see it, too!", and did just that. To understand why, read "20,000 Vinyl LPs 5: Marat/Sade".

The play (the full title of which is, "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade"), was presented at the Brava Theatre (the old York Theater on 24th Street in the Mission) by San Francisco producer Marc Huestis and Russell Blackwood with his company, Thrillpeddlers.

(click on any image to see larger size)
Thrillpeddlers ad for Marat/Sade

After listening to the recording of the play for almost fifty years I had established images in my mind of what the play should look like. The set by James Blackwood fit them perfectly as did the wild costumes by Beaver Bauer and alice cunt (?). The production more than fulfilled my mind's images. They were surreal, vivid and fantastic! I was a very happy man. 

The performances of the actors were intense, riveting and everything one could wish for.

cast and musicians

Bonnie Suval                                       Jeff Garrett
(Charlotte Corday)                   (Marquis De Sade)
and Aaron Malberg                                             ~
(Marat)                                                                ~
photos by Daniel Nicoletta

 Bonni Suval (left)               Rumi Missabu (right)
photos by Daniel Nicoletta
The instrumentation was delightful and well done featuring a trumpet (with some fancy footwork), a recorder, a horn of some kind, a drum, a tambourine, a clarinet and keyboard played by Richard "Scrumbly" Koldewyn. The refrain of the key song succinctly tells the theme of the play:

Marat we're poor and the poor stay poor
Marat don't make us wait any more

We want our rights and we don't care how
We want our revolution NOW!

Ummmmmm . . . .

There is a video of Judy Collins singing the song on YouTube.

During the intermission I kibitzed in the lobby with Tom Orr who played the role of Kokol. 

 Tom Orr
photo by Styrous®

Curtain call by the Thrillpeddlers troupe
photo by Styrous®

After the show I found Rumi Missabu (who played Jacques Roux) in front of the theater enjoying a post-performance cigarette, so, we chatted for a bit. He and the other actors had done a fantastic job of establishing the feeling of insanity/genius for the production. 

Rumi was an original member of the Cockettes and is now their archivist. Videos of him can be seen on YouTube. I remember seeing the Cockettes sometime in the seventies at the Palace Theater in North Beach. I saw a couple of their shows but the only one I remember is their last one, "Journey to the Center of Uranus". Divine was in that show. Who could forget Divine of "Pink Flamingos" fame? Or her wonderfully raspy voice belting out the disco "hit", "You Think You're a Man"? "Man" can be seen on YouTube".

Selections from the play can also be seen on YouTube.

The production ran from July 13 - 29, 2012.
Previews were on July 11 & 12, 2012.

What a once in a lifetime experience it was, literally. My thanks to all who brought this fantastic adventure to life.

Styrous® ~  July 31, 2012



July 29, 2012

20,000 Vinyl LPs 5: Marat/Sade

 photographer of cover photo unknown
    photo of album cover by Styrous®

I started the Vinyl LP series because I have over 20,000 albums I am selling; each blog entry of the series is about an album from my collection. Inquire for more info.

In the late sixties I found the album, "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade". That's quite a title!

Of course, the title piqued my interest. I read that it was the soundtrack of the film of the play, written by Peter Weiss, and featured music by Richard Peaslee, the cast of the original Royal Shakespeare Company and a very young Glenda Jackson early in her career.

(click on images to see larger size)
 Glenda Jackson album credit.
photographer of back cover photos unknown
photo of album cover back detail by Styrous®

Movie still with Glenda Jackson

Movie still with Glenda Jackson
photograph: Rex Features
from the Guardian UK review by David Edgar

Movie still with Glenda Jackson

When I got home and played it for the first time, I was astounded. It is a play with music (not a musical) but a kind of music I'd heard only twice before, The Three Penny Opera coming close and The Coach with the Six Insides more like Marat (both will be covered in a future article). The music was so incredible I recorded it on tape so I could play it over and over and not wear out the record (my SOP for any music I loved, thus the lack of wear of my records; I know, retentive). A short synopsis of the plot provides the source of my astonishment.

On July 13, 1793 Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed in his bathtub by French counter-revolutionary, Charlotte Corday. The plot of the play reenacts this incident in a play being presented (a play within a play) in the Charenton Asylum for the insane. The director/writer (in the play) is none other than the Marquis de Sade. The performers are the inmates.

Any questions?

photographer of back cover photos unknown
photo of album cover detail by Styrous®

The play is an indictment of society's view of the human condition in Post-Revolutionary France, the strife between those who have and those who don't, the rich and the poor. The aristocracy represented one segment of society, the clergy a second, with the poor making up the third or 97 percent of the population (sound familiar?). It conveys the souring of the ideals of the French Revolution, and the ensuing disillusionment and despair that followed. It expresses the futility of the revolution as the people rebelling find they are back where they started, suppressed and victimized by the very people they charged to protect them. "We have routed out the old tyrants, now we have new tyrants." It is an appeal for justice for all.

Recorded in 1967, there is real irony here. The play takes place in 1808 post-Revolutionary France with it's social turmoil; the play was produced amidst the turmoil of the sixties; and today, in 2012, once again in a state of turmoil, we discover nothing has changed since 1964 except the diminishing of the middle class and the expansion of the poor one. This may account for the revival of interest in it recently.

The key song is repeated in various tempos and feelings, from defiant, to statement of fact, to sad and wistful with the following lyrics:

Marat we're poor and the poor stay poor
Marat don't make us wait any more

We want our rights and we don't care how
We want our revolution NOW!

Some things never change. 

On her album, "In My Life", Judy Collins did a cover of the song, "Marat Sade" (which can be heard on YouTube). Images from the Occupy movement protests are used for this video.

Sections of the play with Glenda Jackson can be seen on YouTube.

I have always longed to see the play and after nearly fifty years of waiting, I was grandly rewarded. How is the subject of a new blog entry (Marat/Sade).


Trivia links:

There is a photo of the cover of Esquire Magazine, September, 1967, with an article about the play on the photo site of Gloucester, A Bottled Spider.

I checked yesterday and found quite a few promotional stills from the movie production up for auction on eBay.

The article continues HERE

The entire collection is for sale. Interested? Contact Styrous®

Styrous® ~  July 29, 2012


July 26, 2012

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    July 25, 2012


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    Can you identify this urn?            
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    Fashion Focus

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    July 20, 2012

    20,000 vinyl LPs 4: The Skatt Brothers - Disco Daze

    I started the Vinyl LP series because I have over 20,000 albums I am selling; each blog entry of the series is about an album from my collection. Inquire for more info.

    At the apex of the Disco rage, late in 1979, The Skatt Brothers issued an album entitled, "Strange Spirits". The title song was my favorite but it was "Walk the Night" and "Life at the Outpost" that were their big hits. "Walk the Night" reached #9 on the Billboard chart.

     (click on any image to see larger size)
    front cover photographer: Dean Tokuno
    photo of album cover by Styrous®

    back cover photographer: Dean Tokuno
    photo of album back cover by Styrous®

    The Skatt Brothers was formed in Los Angeles by Sean Delaney. The group was similar to the Village People (remember them?) but never reached the same exposure (notoriety?). It was, however, extremely popular in Australia for some reason. The album was recorded in Toronto, Canada.

    back cover detail
    photo of album back cover detail by Styrous®

    The line-up was:
    Sean Delaney (keyboards)
    Pieter Sweval (bass)
    Richard Martin-Ross (guitar)
    Richie Fontana (drums, guitar)
    David Andez (guitar)
    Craig Krampf (drums)

    There is an animated interpretation of the song "Walk the Night" on uTube.

    The original 1980 Australian music video for "Life at the Outpost" can also be seen on YouTube. The men dancing in the video are not the real Skatt Brothers but Australian male models (for some reason they did not want to appear in the video). It's fun watching it, however, from this vantage in time (30 years later) it is a bit dated.

    The album was released by Casablanca Records; Casablanca was a major label for disco music in the late 70's. 

    Standard record sleeve
    used by Casablanca records.
    photo of record sleeve by Styrous®

    Casablanca launched the careers of KISS*, Donna Summer*†, Parliament, The Funkadelics*†, Angel and the Village People but also recorded Cher, The Sylvers, Buddy Miles, Giorgio Moroder*†, Santa Esmeralda*† and many others. The Casablanca film division produced the films, "The Deep", "Midnight Express"*†, "Foxes" and "The Hollywood Knights". Casablanca Records was purchased by PolyGram after which the label went into decline. Visit the Casablanca website to see more Casablanca Records videos. Be warned, however, it takes forever to get the pages to open.

    The Skatt Brothers vinyl LP label detail, side 1 
    photo by Styrous®

    Sean Delaney would go on to work with members of the hard rock band, Kiss, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss. David Andez would work with The Village People.   

    When I recently found the videos on YouTube, I wrote to a friend, "I just came across this song [Walk the Night] on YouTube. Although it was played in every gay bar in existence, it was the anthem of the leather crowd in 1979/80. I remember being totally ripped out of my mind with a friend in a bar somewhere and fiercely dancing to it like there was no tomorrow. It [the video] brings back wonderful memories of a new, free and exotic world that seemed to have no end; or so we thought at the time."   
    *† Another blog entry for this album may come in the future.   

    The Skatt Brothers vinyl LP label detail, side 1 
    photo by Styrous®


    Side 1:

    A1 - Dancin' For The Man, written by Sean Delaney* - 3:46
    A2 - Fear Of Flying, written by W. Morrison* - 3:44
    A3 - Midnight Companion, written by Pieter Sweval, Sean Delaney - 3:25
    A4 - Walk The Night, written by D. Andez*, Richie Fontana - 3:53

    Side 2:

    B1 - Strange Spirits, written by Pieter Sweval - 4:21
    B2 - Someone's Taken My Baby, written by Pieter Sweval, R. Martin-Ross*, Sean Delaney - 4:29
    B3 - Life At The Outpost, written by Pieter Sweval, Sean Delaney - 4:56
    B4 - Old Enough, written by Pieter Sweval, Sean Delaney - 5:43

    Companies, etc.

        Recorded At – Phase One Studios
        Mastered At – Sterling Sound
        Manufactured By – Casablanca Record and Filmworks, Inc.
        Distributed By – Casablanca Record and Filmworks, Inc.
        Phonographic Copyright (p) – Casablanca Record and Filmworks, Inc.
        Copyright (c) – Casablanca Record and Filmworks, Inc.
        Published By – Skattsongs
        Published By – Ample Parking Publications
        Produced For – Three Hats Productions


        Arranged By [All Arrangements, Vocals Arrangements] – Pete Pedersen, The Skatt Bros.*
        Art Direction – Phyllis Chotin
        Bass – Pieter Sweval
        Design – Gribbitt!
        Drums – Craig Krampf, Richie Fontana
        Engineer [First] – George Semkiw
        Guitar – Richard Martin-Ross
        Guitar [Lead] – David Andez
        Keyboards – Sean Delaney
        Mastered By – George Marino
        Performer [Auxialiary Musicians] – Barry Keane, Brian Russell, Carl Marsh (2), Errol Thomas, Michael Toles
        Photography By – Dean Tokuno
        Producer – Ian Guenther - Willi Morrison*
        Producer [Produced With] – The Skatt Bros.*

    Barcode and Other Identifiers

        Other (Pressing Plant ID): 26
        Rights Society (A1, A3 to B4): ASCAP
        Rights Society (A2): CAPAC
        Matrix / Runout (A-Side Label): NBLP 7192 AS
        Matrix / Runout (B-Side Label): NBLP 7192 BS
        Matrix / Runout (A-Side Runout Etching): NBLP-7192-A3-PRC-C-3RE 1-11 MUSIC FOR MISS THING STERLING
        Matrix / Runout (B-Side Runout Etching): NBLP-7192-BS-PRC-C-3RE 1-1 I LOVE PAUL STERLING

    Skatt Bros. ‎– Strange Spirits
    Label: Casablanca ‎– NBLP 7192
    Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
    Country: US
    Released: 1979
    Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul
    Style: Pop Rock, Disco

    The entire collection is for sale. Interested? Contact Styrous®

    Enjoy, Styrous® July 20, 2012