Wednesday, April 29, 2020

64. BROTHER GORSKI. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975

"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For background on how this previously unpublished series—introducing all mainstream New York shows between 1970 and 1975—came to be and its relationship to my three The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage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.

BROTHER GORSKI [Comedy-Drama/Labor/Marriage/Race/Sex] A: Emanuel Fried; D: Salem Ludwig; S: Don Jensen; C: Sonia Lowenstein; L: Bob Brand; P: Brother Gorski Company; T: Astor Place Theatre (OB); 3/15/73-3/73 (6)

A hard-to-swallow pill of a play about a genial Polish-American steel worker, Stanley Gorski (Ken Chapin), who hosts a stag party for his fellow union members with porno movies and a stripper. The shindig is interrupted by his wife (Jean Alexander), her policewoman sister (Iris Claire Braun), and a priest (Robert Riesel), who rail against the atheists and commies in the powerful union.

The priest persuades Stanley to run for union president and drive out the undesirables. Meanwhile, Stanley’s wife keeps after him about his constant philandering. He is elected to office and soon faces major labor problems when he learns of a management plan to phase out senior workers, many of them black. He plunges into action to seek a solution to the threat.

Poorly constructed, flatly written, unconvincing, and with weakly drawn characters, it failed to impress. Clive Barnes said “It was well0meaning but excessively heavy-going,” while Douglas Watt felt it wore “the hangdog look of failure.” “I thought it missed out completely,” added Richard Watts.

Among the better-known cast members were Paul Barry and Elaine Sulka.

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
A Breeze from the Gulf