Thursday, March 3, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part XLIX

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

New York, 1965. I was back in New York and was not disappointed.

There was a lot going on downtown. I was happy to be enjoying it so as often as I could I took the subway downtown to the Village.
Some friends had put together a revue called "The Third World War Songbook" at Upstairs at the Duplex. Ruth Buzzi had been performing with Dom DeLuise as her comedy partner before I'd gone to Paris so it was good to see her performing again. Later, of course, Ruth became a regular on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh In" on TV.
"Laugh In" was also the breakthrough for Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Alan Sues [for whom I'd designed a revue in LA while at UCLA], Jo Anne Worley, and so many others.
And below, Ruth with Jo Anne Worley, who'd also started her career at The Duplex.
Earlier, June Squibb had been Barre Dennen's comedy partner. June was nominated in 2013 for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film, "Nebraska."
This was drawn during a performance.
Virgil Curry had been in "Another Evening With Harry Stoones" as had Dom DeLuise (and that was Barbra's first appearance in an off Broadway show). Unfortunately, the opening night was also the closing night.
Barbra, Dom DeLuise, and Sheila Copelan in "Stoones."
Dick Cavett came on during the open mic period after the "Songbook." His material was primarily focused on being a waspy Yale graduate moving to New York and dealing with exotic new Manhattan experiences like bagels and knishes.
He was amusing but hadn't yet found his focus and around this time was doing radio commercials for beer with Mel Brooks as the 2500 year old brewmeister!

One time Mel said unexpectedly (they were improvised), "You wanna watch me do my Crazy Dance?" which, on air, broke up Cavett, the straight man. It was a very funny campaign.
The "Songbook" was performed another night but, just like "Stoones," didn't continue with a regular run.
My hopes were being confirmed. Barbra was a huge success on Broadway with "Funny Girl" and so many friends and acquaintances were on their way to achieving real national fame with most of them starting out here in the Village!

In Paris, fame was mostly localized and at best, centered in french-speaking Europe. Many household names in England also are little known elsewhere but New York was the pinnacle!

I was dreaming of becoming at least somewhat well known in New York!
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