Tuesday, August 25, 2015

LIST OF WORKS INCLUDED


USTheater, Opera, and Performance

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(alphabetical by playwright)

John Adams and Peter Sellars (USA)

Aeschylus (Ancient Greece)

Ilse Aichinger (Austria)


Eleanor Antin (USA)
"On Credit" (on Before the Revolution) by Douglas Messerli

Julie Archer and Lee Breuer (USA)
"The Locked Windows" (on Archer's and Breuer's Peter and Wendy) by Douglas Messerli

John Arden (England/Ireland)
"Pulling Down the Roof" (on Serjeant Musgrave's Dance) by Douglas Messerli
Robert Ashley (USA)
"An American Original" (on the death of Ashley and a concert in 2015 at Redcat in Los Angeles)

Back to Back Theatre (Australia)
"Playing the Play" (on Ganesh Versus the Third Reich) by Douglas Messerli
Béla Balázs  see Béla Bartok

Joey Arias and Basil Twist (USA)
"This Is It" (on Arias with a Twist and Michael Jackson) by Douglas Messerli

Amiri Baraka (USA)
"Essential Dichotomies" (on Baraka's "The Toilet" and on his life and poetry) by Douglas Messerli 

Djuna Barnes (USA)
"Freeling Family" (on Djuna Barnes' Biography of Julie van Bartmann) by Douglas Messerli
Three from the Earth
"The Days on Jig Cook" (on George Cram Cook and the Provincetown Players)
"Djuna Barnes' Roots," (on the short plays of Djuna Barnes) by Douglas Messerli

"The Songs of Synge"
The Antiphon

J. M. Barrie (b. Scotland/England)
"The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (printed play)
"The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (radio play with the Barrymores)
"Bond of Age" (on Barrie's "Rosalind" and "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals") by Douglas Messerli
"The Locked Windows" (on Archer's and Breuer's Peter and Wendy, based on a novel by J. M. Barrie) by Douglas Messerli

Béla Bartok (Hungary)
"Locking Up Being" (on Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle) by Douglas Messerli
"What's Love Got To Do with It?" (on Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle) by Douglas Messerli
Tina Bausch (Germany)
"You Know What I Mean" (on Bausch's Ten Chi and Richard Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland) by Douglas Messerli

Samuel Beckett (Ireland/France)
"Nell's Death" (on Beckett's Endgame) by Douglas Messerli
"Talking the Tears Away" (on Beckett's Happy Days) by Douglas Messerli
"Be Again" (on Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape)
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies) (on Beckett's Waiting for Godot) by Douglas Messerli (New York Production)
"Living in the Details" (on Beckett's Waiting for Godot) by Douglas Messerli (Los Angeles Production)
Interview with and performance of Krapp's Last Tape by Harold Pinter

Belarus Free Theatre (Belarus)
"Sunday, Bloody, Sunday (2)" (on the company's Being Harold Pinter) by Douglas Messerli

David Belasco (USA)
The Return of Peter Grimm

Hans Bellmer (Germany)
"Notes on the Ball Joint"

Shelley Berc (USA)
A Girl's Guide to the Divine Comedy

Hector Berlioz (France)
"Delusion and Dream" (on Berlioz' Les troyens) by Douglas Messerli

Leonard Bernstein (USA)
"Three Bernstein New Yorks" (on Bernstein's On the Town, Wonderful Town, and West Side Story) by Douglas Messerli
"Spiritual Uplift" (on Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti)

Susan Birkenhead (USA)
see Bob Martin

Jens Bjørneboe (Norway)
The Bird Lovers
 "Cataloging Evil" (on Bjørneboe's The Bird Lovers and Semmelweis) by Douglas Messerli


Lily Blau (USA)
"Differential Equations" (on Blau's The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll) by Douglas Messerli

Jerry Bock (USA)
"On the Side of the Angels" (on the deaths of Bock, Joseph Stein, and Tom Bosley) by Douglas Messerli 
"Writing Tenderly" (on Jerry Bock's, Sheldon Harnick's and Joe Masteroff's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

Maxwell Bodenheim and Ben Hecht (USA)
The Master Poisoner

Tom Bosley (USA)
"On the Side of the Angels" (on the deaths of Bock, Joseph Stein, and Tom Bosley) by Douglas Messerli

Jane Bowles (USA)
"A Necessary Remedy" (on Bowles' In the Summer House) by Douglas Messerli

Bertolt Brecht (Germany)
"Moon of Alabama" from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Selected Audio Works

Stephan Brecht (b. Germany/USA)
"Stage and Street" (on the theater writings of Brecht) by Douglas Messerli

Lee Breuer (USA)
Porto Morco
"Barnyard Philosophers" (on Breuer's Summa Dramatica and Porco Morto) by Douglas Messerli 


Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell (USA)
"You Great Big Beautiful Doll" (on Mabou Mines Dollhouse) by Douglas Messerli
Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe (USA)
"Everybody Leaves" (on Brickman's, Elice's, Gaudio's, and Crewe's Jersey Boys) by Douglas Messerli

Benjamin Britten (England)
"Celebrating Liberation" (on Eric Crozier's and Britten's Albert Herring) by Douglas Messerli
"The Darkness Understands and Suffer" (on E. M. Forster, Eric Crozier, and Britton's Billy Budd) by Douglas Messerli
"The Piper's Son" (on Myfanwy Piper's and Britten's The Turn of the Screw) by Douglas Messerli

Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert, and Frank Loesser (USA)
"The Company Way" (on How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying) by Douglas Messerli

Jez Butterworth (England)
"Sunday, Blood Sunday" (on Butterworth's Jerusalem) by Douglas Messerli

John Cage (USA)
"Nothing on a Lecture (on Robert Wilson's performance of Cage's Lecture on Nothing) by Douglas Messerli

Karel Čapek (Czechoslavakia/now Czech Republic)
R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

Al Carmines (based on Gertrude Stein) (USA)
In Circles
Promenade (with Maria Irene Fornes)

Aimé Césaire (Martinique)
"Trying to Be Everything" (on Césaire's Une Saison Au Congo) by Douglas Messerli

Anton Chekhov (Russia)
"The Dogs Howl" (on Chekhov's The Seagull) by Douglas Messerli
Moose Charlap (music) (with Irene Mecchi (teleplay, based on the play by J. M. Barrie), Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green (lyrics, with additional lyrics by Amanda Green) and Jule Styne (music) (USA)
"Walkin' the Plank (on Peter Pan Live! [TV production, 2014]) by Douglas Messrli

Marissa Chibas (with Erik Ehn and Travis Preston) (USA)
Listening (on Chibas', Ehns', and Preston's Brewsie and Willie) by Douglas Messerli

Lucinda Childs (USA)
"Unaltered Images of Movement" (on Childs', Adams', and Gehry's Available Light) by Douglas Messerli
Julia Cho (USA)
"Dead Languagaes" (on Cho's The Language Archive) by Douglas Messerli

Jean Cocteau (France)
Complete recordings of theater, performances and other works (link with UBUWeb)
Barbara Cook (USA)
"Getting to Know Her" (on Cook singing at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre) by Douglas Messerli

George Cram Cook (USA)
"The Days of Jig Cook" (on Cook and the Provincetown Players) by Djuna Barnes

George Cram Cook and Susan Glaspell (USA)
Suppressed Desires
"Celebration of Suppression" (on Cook's and Glaspell's Suppressed Desires) by Douglas Messerli

Noël Coward (England)
"Breaking Away" (on Coward's Blithe Spirit) by Douglas Messerli

Eric Crosier (England) see Benjamin Britten
Bob Crewe see Marshall Brickman

Tim Crouch (England)
"The Miracle of Art" (on Crouch's An Oak Tree) by Douglas Messerli
Stan Daniels (USA) see Joseph Stein

Shelagh Delaney (England)
"Thieves of Love" (on Delaney's A Taste of Honey) by Douglas Messerli

Gaetano Donizetti (Italy)
"Battling Divas" (on Giuseppe Bardari's and Gaetano Donizetti's Maria Stuarda) by Douglas Messerli
Elevator Repair Service (USA)
"Problems with the Text" (on Elevator Repair Services' Arguendo) by Douglas Messerli

Rick Elice (USA)
"Wasted on Youth" (on Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher) by Douglas Messerli
see also Marshall Brickman
Everly Brothers (USA)
"Bye Bye Love" (on the Everly Brothers and Phil Everly's death) by Douglas Messerli

Cy Feuer (USA)
"The Brotherhood" (on Cy Feuer and his death) by Douglas Messerli

William Finn and James Lapine (USA)
"Something Bad Is Happening" (on Finn's and Lapine's Falsettos) by Douglas Messerli
Ronald Firbank (England)
"The Princess Zoubaroff"

Richard Foreman (USA)
Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland
"The Unfortunate Truth of My Situtation" (on Foremlan's Old-Fashioned Prostitutes) by Douglas
Messerli 
"You Know What I Mean" (on Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland and Tina Bausch's
Ten Chi) by Douglas Messerli

Maria Irene Fornes (b. Cuba/USA)
"The Power of Desperation" (on The Conduct of Life) by Douglas Messerli
"A Very Long Walk" (on Promenade) by Douglas Messerli
"Rain of Summons" (on Fefu on and Her Friends) by Douglas Messerli

Scott Frankel (USA) see Doug Wright

Max Frisch (Switzerland)
"The Conflagration" (on Frisch's The Arsonists) by Douglas Messerli

George Furth (USA) see Stephen Sondheim

Armand Gatti (Monaco/France)
Two Plays: The 7 Possibilities from Train 713 Departing from Auschwitz and
Public Song Before Two Electric Chairs


Susan Glaspell (USA)
Trifles
see also George Cook Cram

Betty Garrett (USA)
"I'm Still Here: Two Valentines" (on performances by Garrett and Eliane Stritch) by Douglas Messerli
Bob Gaudio see Marshall Brickman

Jack Gelber (USA)
"Eye to Eye" (on Gelber's Square in the Eye and Arnold Weinstein's Red Eye of Love) by Douglas Messerli

Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and Christopher Knowles (USA)
"This One Is Being Very America" (on Glass, Wilson, and Child's Einstein on the Beach) by Douglas Messerli

James Goldman (USA)
"Slightly Sour" (on Goldman's and Sondheim's Follies) by Douglas Messerli

Allen Graubard (USA)
"Comment on Gellu Naum's The Taus Watch Repair Shop"

Alice Goodman, Peter Sellars, and John Adams (USA)
"Six Degrees of Insanity" (on Goodman's, Sellars', and Adams' Nixon in China) by Douglas Messerli

David Greenspan (USA)
Son of an Engineer

John Guare (USA)
"On Red Eye of Love"

Dan Guerrero (USA)
"Mariachi to Merman" (on ¡Gaytino! ) by Douglas Messerli

George Frideric Handel (England)
"Tears and Hope" (on Giulio Cesare) by Douglas Messerli

Lorraine Hansbery (USA)
"Survivors" (on A Raisin in the Sun) by Douglas Messerli

Sheldon Harnick (USA)
"Writing Tenderly" (on Harnick's, Bock's and Masteroff's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

John Hawkes (USA)
"The Empty Pool" (on Hawkes' The Innocent Party) by Douglas Messerli


Jake Heggie (USA)
"The Face of God" (On Heggie's and Terrence MacNally's Dead Man Walking) by Douglas Messerli

Matthew S. Hinton (USA)
Drake Disappears
Billie Holliday (USA)
"Stormy Weather" sung by Billie Holliday (1952) [link]
Hotel Modern (and Arthur Sauer)
"Toy Soldiers" (on their production of The Great War) by Douglas Messerli

Henrik Ibsen (Norway)
"The Man Who Stands Alone" (on Ibsen's An Enemy of the People) by Douglas Messerli
When We Dead Awaken
"When We Dead Awaken" (on Ibsen's play) by C. H. A. Bjerregaard
Hedda Gabler 
"Burned Up" (on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler) by Douglas Messerli
"Ibsen's New Drama" by James Joyce

Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (Italy) see Giacomo Puccini

Eugène Ionesco (Romania/France)
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies" (on Ionesco's Exit the King, Waiting for Godot and West Side Story) by Douglas Messerli
"Growing Horns" (on Ionesco's Rhinoceros) by Douglas Messerli

Michael Jackson (USA)
"This Is It" (on Jackson's filmed rehearsals and Joey Arias and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist) by Douglas Messerli

Henry James (USA)
Summersolft

Alfred Jarry (France)
Early chansons, lectures about Jarry, and a film version of Ubu Roi (link to Ubuweb)
Ubu Roi (film version by Jean-Christophe Averty)

Len Jenkin (USA)
"Heart of Darkness" (on Jenkin's Dark Ride) by Douglas Messerli
Dream Express (link with Jenkin's site)

Rajiv Joseph (USA)
"Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright" (on Joseph's Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo) by Douglas Messerli

James Joyce (Ireland)
"Ibsen's New Drama"

Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin (England)
"Loud and Quiet" (on Kelly's and Minchin's Matilda) by Douglas Messerli

Robert Kelly (USA)
"Monologues for Orpheus: A Dance Play"

Adrienne Kennedy (USA)
"Herselves: A Chamber Piece" (on Kennedy's Funnyhhouse of a Negro) by Douglas Messerli
B. B. King (USA)
"The Thrill" (on a performance and King's death) by Douglas Messerli

Oscar Kokoschka (Austria)
Murderer the Women's Hope

Bernard-Marie Koltès (France)
"Men in the Streets" (on the Zeromski Theatre's production of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) by Douglas Messerli

Michael Korie (USA) see Doug Wright

Alfred Kreymborg (USA)
Jack's House (A Cubic-Play)
Lima Beans
"Food for Love" (on Kreymborg's Lima Beans) by Douglas Messerli


Tony Kushner (USA)
"Crashing Through the Ceiling of Despair" (on Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches) by Douglas Messerli

Tom La Farge (USA)
Talking While Shaving

Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek (USA)
"No One's Home" (on Lane's and Yazbek's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) by Douglas Messerli
James Lapine (USA)
"Out of the Woods" (on Lapine's and Sondheim's Into the Woods) by Douglas Messerli

Miklos Laszlo (Hungary/USA)
"Working Against Love" (on Laszlo's Parfumerie) by Douglas Messerli 

Arthur Laurents (USA)
"Three Bernstein New Yorks" (on West Side Story and two other Bernstein musicals) by Douglas Messerli
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies" (on West Side Story and plays by Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco) by Douglas Messerli
"The Coward's Hand" (on Laurents' Home of the Brave) by Douglas Messerli
"A Necessary Vacuum" (on Laurents' Gypsy) by Douglas Messerli

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (USA)
"The Gang's Still Here" (on Lawrence's and Lee's The Gang's All Here) by Douglas Messerli
"My Broadway Hit" (on a celebration for Jerome Lawrence) by Douglas Messerli


Stacey Levine (USA)
"The Good House" (in Levine's Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small) by Douglas Messerli
Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small: A Ten Minute Play

Kirk Lynn (USA)
"Approaching the Real" (on Lynn's The Method Gun) by Douglas Messerli

Tracy Letts (USA)
"Muddy Boots" (on Letts' August: Osage County) by Douglas Messerli

Joshua Logan (USA) see Oscar Hammerstein II

Terrence MacNally (USA) see Jake Heggie

Maurice Maeterlinck (Belgium)
The Intruder

Claudio Magris (Italy)
To Have Been
Voices: Three Plays

F. T. Marinetti (and others) (Italy)
"The Futurist Synthetic Theater"

Bob Martin (USA)
"Warm Up" (on Martin's, Charles Strouse's, and Susan Birkenhead's Minsky's) by Douglas Messerli
Jules Massenet (France)
"Between Duty and the Devil" (on Massenet's Werther) by Douglas Messerli

Joe Masteroff (USA)
'Writing Tenderly" (on Masteroff's, Harnick's and Bock's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

Vladimir Mayakovsky (Russia)
Vladimir Mayakovsky: Tragedy in Two Acts with a Prologue and an Epilogue
The Bathtub (adapted by Paul Schmidt)

Arthur Miller (USA)
"Whatever Happend to Willy Loman?" (on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman) by Douglas Messerli

Tim Miller (USA)
"Tokyo Tim"
Jelly Roll Morton (USA)
"An American Epic" (on Poor Dog Group's production of The Murder Ballad [1938]) by Douglas Messerli

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Germany)
Douglas Messerli Bad Day on the Seville Streets (on Lorenzo da Ponte's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts's Don Giovanni)
Douglas Messerli Terrifying Twists (on Lorenzo da Ponte's and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro)
Douglas Messerli Emblems of Love (on Emanuel Schikaneder's and Mozart's The Magic Flute)

Gellu Naum (Romania)
The Taus Watch Repair Shop
Jacques Offenbach (Germany/France) (with Jules Barbier and Michael Carre. based on E.T.A.Hoffmann)
"Love and Tears" (on Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann) by Douglas Messerli

 John O'Keefe (USA)
Reapers
"What Have We Reaped?" (on O'Keefe's Reapers)


Eugene O'Neill (USA)
The Hairy Ape
"In Control" (on O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night) by Douglas Messerli
"The Endless Voyage" (on O'Neill's Glencairn Plays) by Douglas Messerli
The Moon of the Caribees

The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (USA)
"Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails and Hoots" (on Luigi Rusolo and The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners) by Douglas Messerli
Joe Orton (England)
"Identity in Dashes" (on Orton's What the Butler Saw) by Douglas Messerli

Eric Overmyer (USA)
"The Fire Within" (on Overmyer's Dark Rapture) by Douglas Messerli
"Past Present Future Tense" (on Overymer's On the Verge) by Douglas Messerli

Kier Peters (Douglas Messerli) (USA)
A Dog Tries to Kiss the Sky
The Rumble
The Confirmation
"Confirming Reality" (on Peters' The Confirmation) by Douglas Messerli
"Kier's Secret German Audience" (on Peters' The Confirmation) by Douglas Messerli
The Wonder

Francesco Mari Piave (Italy) see Giuseppe Verdi

Harold Pinter (England)
"The Homecoming Gift" (on Pinter's The Homecoming) by Douglas Messerli
"Talk" (on Pinter's The Collection) by Douglas Messerli
"The Wasps" (on Pinter's A Slight Ache) by Douglas Messerli

"Service" (on Pinter's The Dumb Waiter) by Douglas Messerli
Interview with and performance of Krapp's Last Tape

Cole Porter (USA) [with P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, Russell Crouse, Timothy Crouse and John Weidman
"Pure Poetry" (on Porter's Anything Goes) by Douglas Messerli

Francis Poulenc (France)
"Fanatical Martyrs" (on Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites) by Douglas Messerli

Giacomo Puccini (music), Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (Italy)
"Facing the Cold" (on La Boheme) by Douglas Messerli
"The Blindfold" (on Madama Butterfly, MET production) by Douglas Messerli
"Fin de siecle" (on Madama Butterfly, LAOpera production) by Douglas Messerli
Henry Purcell (England)
"Hello, I Must Be Going" (on Purcell and Nahum Tate's Dido and Aeneas) by Douglas Messerli

Peter Quilter (England)
"An Incautious Overdose of Life" (on Quilter's End of the Rainbow) by Douglas Messerli

Nina Raines (England)
"Moonlight" (on Raines' Tribes) by Douglas Messerli

Maurice Ravel (composer) and Colette (libretto)
"Bad Manners" (on Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges (The Child and the Sorceries) by Douglas Messerli

Elmer Rice (USA)
The Adding Machine
"More Than Zero?" (on the musical version of Rice's The Adding Machine) by Douglas Messerli


Jack Richardson (USA)
"Locked Up" (on Richardson's Gallows Humor) by Douglas Messerli

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (USA)
"Confused by Paradise" (on Rodgers' and Hammerstein's South Pacific) by Douglas Messerli
Gioachino Rossini (Italy)
"Hidden in Plain Sight" (on Rossini's La donna del lago) by Douglas Messerli

Lugi Russolo (Italy)
The Art of Noises
"Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails and Hoots" (on Lugi Russolo and The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners) by Douglas Messerli 

Aram Saroyan (USA)
Gertrude and Lew: A Double Bill
Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik [USA] [see Frank Wedekind]

Roland Schimmelpfennig (Germany)
"Telling the Story As It Is Being Told" (on Schimmelpfennig's The Arabian Night and Woman from the Past)

Arthur Schnitzler (Austria)
Hands Around or La Ronde
"An Endless Dance" (on Schnitzler's La Ronde) by Douglas Messerli

Peter Sellars and John Adams (USA)
"A Body Transfixed by the Noonday Sun" (on Sellars' and Adams' The Gosepl According to the Other Mary) by Douglas Messerli
"Six Degrees of Insanity" (on Goodmans', Sellars' and Adams' Nixon in China) by Douglas Messerli
William Shakespeare (England)
"Even the Fool Is Hung" (on Shakespeare's King Lear) by Douglas Messerli

George Bernard Shaw (England)
Heartbreak House
"Keeping the Homefires Burning" (on Shaw's Heartbreak House) by Douglas Messerli

Wallace Shawn (USA)
"Even the Thought" (on Shawn's A Thought in Three Parts) by Douglas Messerli
Martin Sherman (USA)
"Talking Sex" (on Sherman's Bent) by Douglas Messerli

Dmitri Shostakovich (USSR)
"Shrill Charm" (on Shostakovich's Nos (The Nose) by Douglas Messerli

Stephen Sondheim (USA)
"Convincing the Soloist to Join the Band" (on Furth's and Sondheim's Company) by Douglas Messerli
"Into the Woods" (on Lapine's and Sondheim's Into the Woods) by Douglas Messerli
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragic-Comedies" (on West Side Story, Waiting for Godot and Exit the King) by Douglas Messerli
"A Necessary Vacuum" (on Laurents' and Sondheim's Gypsy) by Douglas Messerli
 "Slightly Sour" (on Goldman's and Sondheim's Follies) by Douglas Messerli

Sam Shepard (USA)
"Unburying the Dead" (on Shepard's Buried Child) by Douglas Messerli

James Strah (USA)
"Shadowing the Shadows" (on Strah's and the Wooster Group's North Atlantic) by Douglas Messerli

Gertrude Stein (USA)
Brewsie and Willie (see Marissa Chibis)
Do Let Us Go Away
a short documentary with original photographs of Stein's and Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts
In Circles (music by Al Carmines)
a recording from the Santa Fe Opera of Stein's and Virgil Thomson's opera The Mother of Us All
(UBUweb link)
What Happened: A Five Act Play
Mexico

Joseph Stein (USA)
"Moving on Down" (on Stein and Stan Rice's Enter Laughing) by Douglas Messerli
"On the Side of the Angels" (on Stein, Jerry Bock, and Tom Bosley and their deaths) by Douglas Messerli

John Steppling (USA)
Sea of Cortez
"The Verge of Possibility" (on Steppling's Sea of Cortez) by Douglas Messerli


Richard Strauss (Germany)
"A Dance of Death" (on Strauss' Salome)

August Strindberg (Sweden)
Creditors
"Adam and Snake" (on Stridberg's Creditors) by Douglas Messerli 
Miss Julie
"The Crazy Lady" (on Strindberg's Miss Julie) by Douglas Messerli 
"Strindberg As Absurdist" (on Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata) by Douglas Messerli 

Elaine Stritch (USA)
"I'm Still Here: Two Valentines" (on performances by Stritch and Betty Garrett) by Douglas Messerli

Charles Strouse (USA) see Bob Martin

Jule Styne (USA) see Arthur Laurents or Stephen Sondheim
Jule Styne (USA) see Moose Charlap and others

John Millington Synge (Ireland)
Riders to the Sea
"The Songs of Synge" (on Synge's plays) by Djuna Barnes

Bill Talen and Savitri D (USA)
"Tigers Got to Hunt" (on Talen's and Savitri D's Reverend Bill and the Life After Shopping Gospel Choir: The Earth-a-Llujah Earth-a-Llujah Revival!) by Douglas Messerli

Booth Tarkington (USA)
Clarence
Nahum Tate  see Henry Purcell

Ronald Tavel (USA)
Andy Warhol's Horse
Lives and Loves of Hedy Lamar
Modest Tchaikovsky (see Peter Tchaikovsky)
Peter Tchaikovsky
"What's Love Got To Do with It?" (on Tchaikovsky's Iolanta) by Douglas Messerli

Fiona Templeton (b. Scotland/USA)
"The Poet's Theater of Fiona Templeton: An Enviornmental View" (on Templeton's You, the City) by James Sherry 

David Thompson, John Kander and Fred Ebb (USA)
"On the Cusp" (on Thompson's, Kander, and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys) by Douglas Messerli

Virgil Thomson (USA) see Gertrude Stein

Aristides Vargas (Argentina)
"The Traveling Table" (on Vargas' La Razón Blindada (Armored Reason) by Douglas Messerli

Giuseppe Verdi (Italy)
"Buried Alive" (on AntonioGhislanzoni's and Giuseppe Verdi's Aida) by Douglas Messerli
"Hold My Hand" (on Joseph Méry's, Camille du Locle's and Verdi's Don Carlo)  by Douglas Meserli
"Count Down" (on Piave's and Verdi's La Traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas' La Dame aux Camelias) by Douglas Messerli
"Everybody's Fooled) (on Bioto's and Verdi's  Falstaff, based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor and King Henry IV) by Douglas Messerli

Gore Vidal (USA)
"The Compromise" (on Vidal's The Best Man) by Douglas Messerli

Richard Wagner (Germany)
"The Devil Meets His Angel" (on Wagner's The Flying Dutchman) by Douglas Messerli
"The Sacred and the Profane" (on Wagner's Parsifal) by Douglas Messerli
"Casting Out the Self" (on Wagner's Die Walküre) by Douglas Messerli

Enda Walsh (England)
"Keeping to the Script" (on Walsh's The Walworth Farce) by Douglas Messerli
"Pool of Survivors" (on Walsh's Penelope) by Douglas Messerli
Ethel Waters (USA)
"Stormy Weather" sung by Ethel Waters (1933) [link]
Frank Wedekind (Germany) [see also Steven Sater and Duncan Shiek (USA)]
"An Audience of the Deaf and Blind" (on Spring Awakening, the musical)
Kurt Weill (Germany/USA)
Recording of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) Berlin, 1930 [link]

Arnold Weinstein (USA)
Red Eye of Love
"Eye to Eye" (on Weinstein's Red Eye of Love and Jack Gelber's Square in the Eye) by Douglas Messerli

Mac Wellman (USA)
Bad Penny
The Hidden Part of the US Constitution
The Offending Gesture
"Apropos of The Offending Gesture"
"Tails/Tales" (on Wellman's Bad Penny) by Douglas Messerli
"What American Abandons Abandons America" (on Wellman's Two September) by Douglas
Messerli
"Harm's Other Way: Some Notes on Mac Wellman's Theater" by Marjorie Perloff
"A Linguistic Fantasia" (on Wellman's A Murder of Crows) by Douglas Messerli
"Music from Another World" (on Wellman's The Hyacinth Macaw) by Douglas Messerli
"You Can't Go Home Again" (on Wellman's Second-Hand Smoke) by Douglas Messerli
"There Are No Such Things as Crows" (on Wellman's The Lesser Magoo) by Douglas Messerli
"Mac Wellman" (interview) by Linda Yablonsky [link]

Oscar Wilde (Ireland)
The Importance of Being Earnest
"Nothing But the Truth" (on Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest) by Douglas Messerli

Thornton Wilder (USA)
"Archetypal America" (on Thornton Wilder's Our Town) by Douglas Messerli

Tennessee Williams (USA)
"Dependent Independents" (on Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire) by Douglas Messerli
"Rise and Shine" (on Williams' The Glass Menagerie) by Douglas Messerli
"Bow Down and Be Dim" (on Williams' Vieux Carre) by Douglas Messerli
"End of the Road" (on Williams' Camino Real) by Douglas Messerli
"Medea's Last Dance" (on Williams' In Masks Outrageous and Austere) by Douglas Messerli
"The Making of Blanche DuBois (on Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale) by Douglas
Messerli

Robert Wilson (USA)
"Nothing on a Lecture (on Robert Wilson's performance of Cage's Lecture on Nothing) by Douglas Messerli

Ermano Wolf-Ferrari (composter) and Enrico Goslisciani (libretto) (Italy)
"Bad Manners" (on Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di susanna (Susanna's Secret) by Douglas Messerli

The Wooster Group (USA)

Elizabeth Wray (USA)

Doug Wright (USA)
"Winter in a Summer Town" (on Wright's, Scott Frankel's and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens) by Douglas Messerli 

Grzegorz Wróblewski (Poland/Denmark)
Turning Point
Miwa Yanagi (Japan)
"Can You Hear My Voice?" (on Miwa Yanagi's Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose's Last Tape) by Douglas Messerli

William Butler Yeats (Ireland)
Love and Death (manuscript version)

Stefan Zeromski Theatre (Poland)
"Men in the Streets" (on the Zeromski Theatre's production of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) by Douglas Messerli








Douglas Messerli | "Talking Sex" (on Martin Sherman's play Bent)


talking sex
by Douglas Messerli

Martin Sherman Bent / Los Angeles, Mark Taper Forum / the performance I saw with Howard Fox was the August 23, 2015 matinee
 

Martin Sherman’s 1979 play, Bent, revived recently by Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum begins almost as any gay work of the late 1960s and 1970s, particularly Mort Crowley’s The Boys in the Band (1968), but also like Doric Wilson’s A Perfect Relationship (1978) and Robert Patrick’s T-Shirts (1979, works described aptly by Eric Marcus in his Out in All Directions as being about issues concerning “the loneliness that caused older men to turn to hustlers, the debauchery of innocents by urban gay life, the insularity of the gay ghetto, and the neurotic entanglements and complicated sexual victimizations that occurred among friends, partners, and frustrated would-be lovers.”

      A slightly “monogamish” couple, Max (Patrick Heusinger) and Rudy (Will Taylor in the production I saw) awaken past noon after a long wild night, Rudy somewhat peeved by his partner’s behavior of the night before while pretending nonchalance. Max can remember nothing, until a well-endowed, naked male (Tom Berklund) appears from a back bedroom (how Max has missed his obvious bedmate is unexplained), as Rudy gradually explains how Max, completely drunk, first invited all the waiters of the gay club run by the drag-queen, Greta to come home with him, before falling to the floor upon a black leathered young man, Wolf, whom we soon discover is one of Ernst Rohm’s Sturmabeilung troop members. But it is only gradually that we discover this fact, and, at first, we might well as be in a Manhattan apartment, with the two occupants arguing about their messy lives. If Max is a wild drunken cocaine uses, Rudy is a naïve dancer at the local cabaret, no more responsible, and even less able to find money to pay the rent, than his would-be lover. 
      Wolf, for his part, is eager to join the two young men at the home in the country which the drunken and drugged Max (describing himself as the Baron) has promised him a drive in his shiny new car. Max, in shot, is clever con-man, capable, as he admits, of convincing people of things that lie outside reality.
      In short, the whole first scene plays like a light-hearted, slightly camp presentation of just what Marcus describes, and Sherman’s drama, accordingly, reads as a light-hearted comedy. And surely, when the play first premiered, when few (according to the program notes of this play*) seemed to know about the Nazi incarceration of homosexuals, the play must have read even more normative. 
     Today, at least, when most of know more about that era—the moment we recognize that this scene is played out in Berlin in 1934—we perceive that the play is soon to shift in a very different direction—although the folks sitting behind Howard and I seemed to have no idea as they guffawed straight through the next few moments, when Nazi soldiers break down the door and slit the throat of Wolf in continuation of the Night of the Long Knives (which I describe in the essay above), part of Hitler’s purge of Rohm and his Brownshirts, a political act which his government obscured as a crackdown of gay perversion. In terror Max (dressed only in his bathrobe) and Rudy skitter off to the club.

      Suddenly the play shifts again, presenting us with a scene that might have been in the musical Cabaret, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s successful musical of 1966; indeed the song the club’s performers, led by Greta (Jake Shears), sing, “Goodbye to Berlin,” is also the title of one of Christopher Isherwood’s Weimar-based novels, upon which Cabaret was based. All right, we get it, this is the razzle-dazzle sex-crazed Berlin. Although Sherman’s cabaret number is not nearly so tawdry and convincing as the songs sung originally by Joel Gray. 
      As if realizing the play has again come again to a standstill, Sherman offers up his clueless heroes who have gone into hiding as they attempt to find shelter from the mean-spirited Greta, who has actually sent the Nazi’s searching out Wolf to their apartment. Although he (as Greta makes clear, he is safe, since offstage he is a married man) gives them a bit a cash, he is not convinced that they will be able to escape the new Nazi purge.
     Finally, Sherman’s play begins to settle into its real subject matter; but it’s already a bit too late. Although the couple have forced into the forest, camped out in tents, they continue their gay-life patter, arguing over their limited choices of food, the condition of living quarters, and complaining about their inability to even touch one another—appearing as if somehow they still have not completely assimilated the complete horror of their situation. Rudy is particularly dense, it appears to me, although I couldn’t be sure that his absurd innocence was due, in part, to with understudy Taylor’s almost amateurish performance (playing Rudy as a kind Midwestern American) or whether Sherman simply couldn’t quite create figures that were convincingly of European birth.
      Max, apparently, is the son of a wealthy Amsterdam button manufacturing family, who is upbraided by his gay uncle for embarrassing his family by his extravagant behavior. And Max, skewered throughout most of the play as a spoiled, selfish being, is even willing to marry the window of another button manufacturer if Uncle Freddie (Ray Baker) will only get him two sets and new papers and tickets to Amsterdam instead of the one he offers. Yet it is hard to believe that Max in either of Dutch birth or might possibly be so unselfish as to put himself in such endangerment for Rudy’s sake. If he is willing to “ditch” Rudy once they reach Amsterdam, why, we have to ask, is he so protective of him now?

        
     This soon becomes an even more profound question which the author is never able to answer, as both Max and Rudy are captured, and, in transport to Dachau, Rudy is tortured before the Nazi commando demands that Max, to prove he is not Rudy’s friend, beat him. In order to save his life, Max not only complies but almost seems to get a strange sadistic pleasure in the act; and, soon after, when asked to prove that he is not gay (worthy only of the lowest of the emblems sown upon the prisoners’ uniforms, the pink triangle) demands he have sexual intercourse with a 13-year old girl, recently murdered, as the other Nazi’s voyeuristically stand in watch. In reward of his sexual virility, Max is awarded, ironically, the Jewish yellow star, which, oddly enough puts him at the top of the Dachau totem post, garnering him a better chance of surviving the ordeal.
     In other words, Sherman has chosen a nearly impossible monster as his hero, whose redemption—in this case by a scrawny pink-triangulated Horst (Charlie Hofheimer), whose major sin is that he signed a petition in support of the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld—appears nearly impossible for the play’s start. 
     Mysteriously—and this is a continual problem with Sherman’s seemingly naturalistic tropes—Max gets Horst transferred to from the brutal tasks of breaking down rocks with a pick-axe, to the nearly existential task of moving a pile of stones from one place to another before returning them back to the other, again and again, ad infinitum—a job which, Max.suggests, is intended to make him mad. Although, I would like to know whether or not Sherman had any evidence that such a task was really given to prisoners at Dachau, it seems a kind of perfect metaphor for the madness of the camps themselves. 
     Yet Sherman is not a writer of someone like Beckett’s stature, and in the first of what are far too many scenes in which the actors are forced to heft stones back and forth across the stage, returns us to the kind of catty gay couple arguments of the “comedy” that Bent begin as. And later, as his character’s conversations increasingly become infused with talk of sex, the author does not share Beckett’s abilities to transform the inane into a poetically rich language. 
     There is something almost thrilling, particularly the first time through, when this odd couple attempts to make love while standing next to but apart from one another through the art of speech. It reminded me, a little, of those early network chatrooms wherein participants talk about sex in order to actually experience it. But in front of a primarily heterosexual audience, which I assure you the elderly Taper patrons mostly consist of, the scene seemed at once more prurient and tamed-down than any actual sexual act performed on stage might have been perceived. Later, when the freezing and sickly Horst lamely refuses to go through the same verbally sexual encounter, Sherman reaches to the bottom of his often jokey quips—“I have a headache”—in response, turning what might have been a someone creative dramatic trope—particularly for a basically voyeuristic audience—into a sit-com situation. 
     Again, some of the audience members, chirruping at this and other cheap quips, laughed half-way into the final scene where the Nazi guard commanded Horst (whose cough proves that the medicine Max had obtained from him through the present of a blow-job to the Nazi guard was actually intended for his co-worker) to throw his hat at the nearby high-voltage electric fence. We have already been told that such a command doomed whomever it was directed, for if the individual chose not to retrieve the hat, which would surely cause his death by electrocution, he would be shot. So we are not surprised when the events are inevitably played out.
      What we are surprised about is that Max—whom we have finally come believe has truly begun to understand love as something different from mere sex—once more stands by without being compelled to aid his friend. That he is forced to bury him and, at the very moment of the pieta like enactment wherein he begins to carry his dead lover to his grave, he is forced to stand still while looking forward (a ritual described as “rest time” dictated by the timed screeches of a whistle) while holding Horst’s body before him, gives evidence to the fact that this is the first time in this play (except perhaps for the cabaret dance—but even if you look at the photo above, it does appear the directly Moisés Kaufman forced his figures keep to keep their hands off one another) where anyone has actually touched anyone else. When the whistle signals a resumption of action, he seemingly puts Horst into the ditch with the voiceless howl of Brecht’s Mother Courage. Just as with Rudy, Max has in large part, once again, in this man’s death.
      We must conjecture that he will no longer to be able to live with himself, so that, accordingly when after moving a few rocks, he returns to the ditch to remove Horst’s shirt with the pink triangle, and, removing his own yellow starred garment, puts it on—although it is a truly moving moment, an acceptance not only of his sexuality but of his recognition of love—there is something empty in the act. A small group of the audience members could not resist this symbolic transformation of character and applauded the event.
      But for the others of us in the audience, I believe, that symbolic expression comes simply too late. No matter how Max has been transformed, his recognition—in part because of the author’s literary devices—has simply come too late. And even his rush into the wall of electrified death at play’s end, seems to be a melodramatic aftermath. Perhaps if he had really dared death earlier on, had actually reached out to touch the other instead of simply imagining him, we might have truly been able to celebrate what Sherman’s play certainly intended to convey: W. H. Auden’s contention that “We must love one another or die.”

*Although I may be mistaken, I am almost certain that I had long before 1979 known that homosexuals were imprisoned and killed in the Nazi camps. Surely, I and others, might have known the details, but I can’t believe that Sherman’s play was the first to actually brooch this subject. Perhaps in the popular theater, yes, but not if one read one’s history.

Los Angeles, August 25, 2015