Thursday, May 5, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part LVIII

Bob's photo of Diane von Furstenberg.
Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

Bob and Elisa Stone
had moved to New York. Bob, a photographer, my closest friend and fraternity brother, had given me my first sketchbook as a going away moving-to-New York-gift in 1960 and would become a regular photographic contributor to Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and many advertising campaigns.

Elisa became a designer for Tiffany and designed the first paper dress; her colored clear plastic dress was on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. After it appeared, she told me, "you'd expect a big bag of money outside your door after that — but I looked and it wasn't there!"

I invited Bob and Elisa to the Duplex for an evening of cabaret. We had dinner before at Le Marmiton and then continued downtown.
It started with JoAnne Worley who'd been Carol Channing's understudy in "Hello Dolly." This was after Lainie Kazan had been fired as Barbra's understudy from "Funny Girl"; Barbra was coming down with a cold so she called in sick and Lainie had gone on — first, calling reviewers to come to review her performance in the show.

She got fired and some people blamed Barbra.

But Barbra told me that she had nothing to do with it and that people were turning in their tickets, thinking Barbra had left the show. It put Lainie on the map and Worley was wishing for something similar to happen for her.
Then it was a bit of a UCLA reunion as Barre followed Worley with his comedy-partner, June Squibb.*
*June, recently nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the film, "Nebraska."
Then Barre did his hilarious interpretation of the mechanical Gypsy Lady amusement park attraction, the routine written by our longtime friend, Johnny Meyer.
Then came Joan Rivers ...
Bob and Elisa were not disappointed!
Two nights later, Carole Gister and I went downtown to see Barre and June — and everyone else. Carole was so beautiful and so smart and funny that she never realized how gorgeous she was! We had dinner at La Fonda del Sol in the Time Life Building and then headed to the Duplex.
More Joan ...
Then Rodney Dangerfield, who still had his day-job selling aluminum siding ...
June and Barre ...
JoAnne Worley being "chalant" as opposed to "nonchalant" and being also "plussed."
Jane, whose last name I never knew, worked with Jan Wallman who was in charge of the Upstairs at the Duplex. Jan had an engaging coquettish way of introducing each act and applauding them after — sometimes holding her very small black dog.
A month earlier I'd been to the Duplex and enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with everyone. I was aware that it was the beginning of a lot of new big careers!

I had gone with Johnny Meyer and that night Linda Lavin was singing; it seemed to me that she had appropriated some of Barbra's expressive and characteristic hand gestures. After she left the stage she sat with us and so as to not embarrass her (or myself), I closed the sketchbook until she moved on.
Marshall Brickman did his comedy routine. Years later he'd give up the idea of doing standup comedy and stick to writing.
Then there was Barre and June ...
I came again the next night.

There was Linda ...
And Marshall ...
Barre's "Gypsy Lady" ...
And June with the routine of "The Electric Hat" that was only chic and fashionable when it was plugged in or battery charged!
Where else in the world could so much fun be had for the price of a beer?

Then back uptown to reality.
New York: so full of creativity and new ideas!
Contact Bob here.
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