Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Mary Hamill, Arthur Sellers, Fred Grandy, Jordan Charney.
 "In Lieu of Reviews"


For background on how this previously unpublished series—introducing all mainstream New York shows between 1970 and 1975—came to be and its relationship to my three The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage volumes (covering every New York play, musical, revue, and revival between 1920 and 1950), please check the prefaces to any of the earlier entries beginning with the letter “A.” See the list at the end of the current entry.

THE BOY WHO CAME TO LEAVE [Drama/Friendship/Journalism/Literature/Music] A: Lee Kalcheim; D: William E. Hunt; S/L: William Strom; P: Lymehouse Productions; T: Astor Place Theatre (OB); 6/6/73 (1)

Two young men occupy a Greenwich Village loft apartment. Paul (Fred Grandy), the legal tenant, is a would-be opera librettist who works as a rock critic. He is the neat and finicky one. Jonathan (Jordan Charney), his old college chum, is a heavy-drinking, hopeful poet, crashing at his friend’s pad until he can get things going in his career. He is the slovenly, unkempt half of this odd couple.

These characters are abetted by two friends, a kooky, introverted girlfriend of Jonathan’s named Sidney (Mary Hamill), and a wealthy young man named Peter (Arthur Sellers) who chases skirts and cracks wise. When Jonathan announces that one of his poems is to be printed in a local church’s quarterly, and he prepares to leave the flat, Peter shows Paul up as a hypocrite whose fragile ego was bolstered by having his failure of a friend around. At the end, Paul remains on stage alone.

This was a promising but unfulfilled drama, stated Arthur Sainer, but Douglas Watt termed it “terribly uninteresting and annoying.” Martin Gottfried saw it as a superficial TV script, Richard Watts “didn’t think it had anything of much interest to tell us,” and Mel Gussow found the “insufferable” characters “less and less welcome.” He called the acting arch—despite the presence of the reliable Jordan Charney--and thought that all of it was pervaded by “a disconcerting air of unreality.” With reviews like this, it is obvious why the show opened and closed the same night.

Previous entries:

Abelard and Heloise
Absurd Person Singular
“Acrobats” and “Line”
The Advertisement/
All My Sons
All Over
All Over Town
All the Girls Came Out to Play
Alpha Beta
L’Amante Anglais         
American Gothics
And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little       
And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers
And Whose Little Boy Are You?
Anna K.
Anne of Green Gables
Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead
As You Like It
The Au Pair Man

Baba Goya [Nourish the Beast]
The Ballad of Johnny Pot
Barbary Shore
The Bar that Never Closes
The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel
The Beauty Part
The Beggar’s Opera
Behold! Cometh the Vanderkellens
Be Kind to People Week
Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill
Bette Midler’s Clams on a Half-Shell Revue
Black Girl
Black Light Theatre of Prague
Black Picture Show
Black Sunlight
The Black Terror
Black Visions
Les Blancs
Blasts and Bravos: An Evening with H,L. Mencken
Blue Boys
Bob and Ray—The Two and Only
Boesman and Lena
The Boy Who Came to Leave