Saturday, March 13, 2021

498. STAG MOVIE. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975

Adrienne Barbeau, Tod Miller, Stan Wiest.
STAG MOVIE [Musical/Films/Homosexuality/Sex] B/LY: David Newburge; M: Jacques Urbont; D: Bernard Barrow; CH: Doug Rodgers; S/L: David Chapman; C: David Toser; P: Robert L. Steele; T: Gate Theatre (OB); 1/3/71-3/21/71 (88)

A distasteful attempt to cash in on the early 70s fad for onstage sex and nudity, Stag Movie featured young Adrienne Barbeau before she became a TV and film star. She played a buxom actress filming a porno musical in a motel near JFK. The plot had various silly ingredients, including a gay actor, Mafia gangsters, and a dishonest producer.

Barbeau’s ample proportions, on frequent display, were not sufficient distraction to keep the audience’s mind off the inane score. The simulated sex was accompanied by songs that had “the dubious distinction of having set the orgasm, troilism, and oral intercourse to words and music,” smirked John Simon.

“I cannot imagine a more dispiriting and dismal evening in the theater,” chafed Clive Barnes. “It is as appetizing and as erotic as cold mulligawney soup laced with frozen porridge.”

Cast members included Moose Matthews (a pseudonym for a college classmate of mine who probably wishes not to be identified), Hy Anzell, Stan Wiest, and Tod Miller, among others.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that the director, Bernard Barrow, who later played Johnny Ryan in the long-running soap opera “Ryan’s Hope,” was my former professor and then professorial colleague and friend. The producer, Robert L. Steele, who went on to a dangerous career in intelligence and security, was my former classmate and, for a time, teaching colleague. Bernie and Bob: R.I.P.