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Here's “Windy City,” a Brand New Cause for Playgoing, Vivid, Racy and Poignant
Here's “Windy City,” a Brand New Cause for Playgoing, Vivid, Racy and Poignant
TitleHere's "Windy City, " a Brand New Cause for Playgoing, Vivid, Racy and Poignant
CreatorCassidy, Claudia
DescriptionCassidy was very pleased with this opening night production as a whole. She describes it as "handsome" and "eloquent" and claims it almost makes it to the level of a "smash hit". She then examines what she calls its "book trouble" i.e. the issue of converting what it is a complex book storyline into play form. She is critical of the way the tragic ending of the play is handled with the addition of a new epilogue. But she feels that the play could and should be fixed. Of Dunham's choreography, Cassidy writes that it "points to the joys and confusions of love" and calls some of the dancers "brilliant".
CollectionSCRC Text (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
SubcollectionKatherine Dunham Papers
Original Publication SourceChicago Tribune
Place WrittenChicago, IL
Subjects -titlesWindy City
Subjects -peopleKollmar, Richard ; Dunham, Katherine ; Mielziner, Jo ; Conte, John ; Miller, Susan ; Berry, Robert ; Faye, Joey ; Diamond, Jack ; Smith, Loring ; Shean, Al
Other topicsGreat Northern Theater
Collection ID/Box#FP20_7_F1DUNHAM_B102_F14_06
Rights StatementFor permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email:
TranscriptON THE AISLE
_By Claudia Cossidy.
\Here's "Windy Cify, " a Brand New Cause for^j Playgoing, Vivid, Racy and Poignant
When "Windy City" rang down its Great Northern curtain last, night Chicago's own play with! music was something less than a! month old and so close to a smash! hit I was on the side of the angelsi and the audience, hoping Richardj Kollmar, the producer, has what iti takes to go the rest of the distance.' For this is a vivid reason for play| going, racy and poignant, with the imagination, the resources, andl much of the skill to dare to be dif' ferent. At its best it is a handsome, ! curiously eloquent musical with a core of bitter honesty, sometimesi swirled in veils of fantasy thru which what it has to say emerges as sharply focused as remembered detail In a disturbing dream. It has pace and rhythm and a sultry s of style. But it still has to some book trouble.
I It would be something of a miracle if that weren't true, for this is m commonplace book and it won't re spond to conventional doctoring. It' about Danny O'Brien, whose father is a cheaper gambler than his grand father, and who almost gets his girl when he goes to " Cramps'" funeral and under a cathedral pillar straight out of "Faust" finds himself a patron saint who isn't even as con ventionai as Dismas, , being the smil ing ghost of that honest gambler Jimmy Casino. With Jimmy's per suasive hunch on the Red, he ''uns his race track $2 up to the ¥1, 800 he needs to buy the drug store, being an O'Brien, he tries to double that, too. So all he has left is gun—set off by the nightmare glimpse of hi^girl's macabre wed " , as well have
held his peace, being that saddest of specters, a man trying to talk back to the dead ghosts of his dreams
The echo of that gun I' Windw Citj s pioblem In the first veH sion It meant a dead hero now, with the clumsy appendage of a make'Jhift and mawkish epilog it means a dead audience A bettei so¬ lution has to bp found to do so absorbing a show justice and while the\ are about it. the\ m ght weave the plaj o\er the hole now stuffed Kith Joey Faies mildh funny but theatricallj intrusn e skirmish in which he massacres four Poles, committing suicide with each homi-
But what IS wrong can be fixed, and ray majoi concern, is with what IS right This how has some of the raciness ol Pal Joev some of the tentacle pull of The Glass Menagerie The best of its music blows smoke m your ears and may sting youi eyts a little too The dialog and ijiics are far abo\e av¬ erage and KatheiinelDuiJi£mis dances point U^Tffl^B^^ffll^Ton- fusions of ]o\e e\en to the warea of the leefer man whose marijuana burns dieams to bitter a'hes Theie isn t a poor darcer on that stage) and bome of them aie brilliant
The S. State St. locale is the dregs of any city translated in tawdry carnival terms by Jo Mielziner's rara gift for heightening reality with tha glaze of nostalgia. CaUing tho County hospital "that butcher shop on Harrison st." was about the only line the most ardent city father could wince at and even that came in the afterthought epilog. A good deal more important is the hand picked cast, from John Conte, who makes you believe Danny every step of the way—he really sews the show up with "It's Time I Had a Break" —to Jack Diamond and Joey Faye, whose way with denizens of bur¬ lesque goes deeper than their Olsen and Johnson regalia. Susan Miller of the gleaming white skin is right the girl with the torch whose future hung on the Red; Robert Berry is easy as old shoes as a char¬ acter straight out of Saroyan, and, while Frances Williams knows hef way with honkytonk songs, benign Al Shean and his fourflusher son, played by Loring Smith, get along best with "Gambler's Lullaby, " an engaging tune with obeisance to Gilbert and Sullivan. Altogether, I'd go if I were you and if you don't like the epilog what's to keep you j from leaving early— ' "
Original Formatreview
Original dimensions (cm.)37 x 11
Digital Object TypeImage
Digital File Format.tif
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
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