Friday, May 1, 2020

70. BUTTON, BUTTON. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE,1970-1975

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For background on how this previously unpublished series—introducing all mainstream New York shows between 1970 and 1975—came to be and its relationship to my three The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage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

BUTTON, BUTTON [Comedy/Czech Language/Czechoslovakian/Mime] D: Josef Faita; P: Hunter College Concert Bureau; T: Hunter College Playhouse i/a/w Theatre of the Balustrade (OB); 10/19/70-10/24/70 (7)

A 12-episode mime play presented by Theatre of the Balustrade (a.k.a. Balustrade Theater of Prague), a visiting company from Prague, which had done it in several foreign cities before it came to New York. A slapstick romp centering on a conventional Chaplinesque clown, played by Ladislav Fialka its theme was the search for a lost gold button, suggesting a parable about the search for meaning in a world gone mad.

The actors used their bodies to create the impression of various props and set pieces, such as an automobile composed of five actors, with a sixth doing the driving. Extensive use was made of special sound effects as well.

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
Brief Lives
Brother Gorski
Bullshot Crummond
The Burnt Flower Bed