Offstage Whispers

From the January 1976 Playbill of Pacific Overtures, I found this amusing featurette written by Walter Vatter and wanted to give you a glimpse into the theatre of the period.

Clive Barnes on Carol Channing: “Who wouldn’t like her? It’s the only time in your life you enjoy being hit by a car with its headlights on!”

Elizabeth Ashley on Tennessee Williams: “Usually an actress looks at a script and thinks, how am I going to wrap my mouth around this junk. Not so with Tennessee.”

Rita Moreno on the matinee ladies: “Those blue-haired ladies have the dirtiest laughs in town.”

Nicholas Dante (author of A Chorus Line) on Michael Bennett (director): “He wanted to illustrate the humanism among the dancers in the gypsy community as well as the brutalism.”

Julie Harris on the 30th anniversary of her career in the theatre – “It feels like it doesn’t belong to me.”

Morton Gottlieb (producer of Same Time, Next Year) on the city of Boston: “The Colonial is one of the most beautiful theatres in the world. I love the restaurants in Boston and Elliot Norton (Boston Record American) is a very fair critic – someone whose criticism is a big help.”

Geraldine Page on playwright (The Norman Conquests) Alan Ayckbourn: “The similarity between Ayckbourn and Neil Simon is that they both write a lot of plays and sometimes have two shows on the same street at the same time. And both of them have the same message – They want us to straighten out fast.”

Tom Stoppard (author of Travesties): on the theatre: “Theatre is a series of small or large ambushes.”

Clive Barnes on Clive Barnes: “God wanted me to become a critic because He wanted me to go to the theatre almost every night of my life, but He did not want me to buy tickets.”