Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 15, 1974, Page 9

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette July 15, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 15, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Joseph Papp fs Disgruntled '**&**■ ■ “ -V:4& The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Mon., July IS, 1974    9Battle for Theater Reform Like Planting a Seed in Concrete By William Glaver NEW YORK (AP) - “I am not happy,” says Joe Papp. (heator militant extraordinary. Discontent centers on the quality of achievement in his first years as saviour presumptive of stagecraft at that eminent arts showcase, Lincoln ('enter “Like trying to plant a seed in concrete,’’ he sums up the feelings of a Don Quixote finding his reform lance blunted if not broken in earnest tilt against the windmills of Establishment orthodoxy. Infectious restlessness is also evident in talk about other aspects of that amazing thespic conglomerate called the New York Shakespeare Festival over which Papp has long presided with unflappable, insistent drive. The 52-year-old impresario’s constituency includes free summer drama in Central Park, a year-round maze of off-Broadway talent workshops, television specials and recurrent forays into the Broadway commercial citadel ‘‘The gratification is constant,' Papp says, keeping future options open with paradox, ‘‘and it’s also never fulfilled ‘i’ve never been more dissatisfied about the artistic work than I am now. I don’t know what direction I am going to explore. There are certain acts I’m going to take, shortly.” He doesn’t say what. Drama Dream The man who built a shoestring drama dream through 20 years of compulsive expansion into a $6-million*a-year multiple operation is eyeing his Lincoln Center fiefdom with special wariness. Like a knight in shining armor, Papp was summoned with great fanfare in March. 1973, to replace the resident repertory company which struggled for eight years to achieve fiscal equilibrium A greatly enlarged budget was instantly proclaimed, which Papp pledged to raise himself. Then in a sweeping program switch, a policy of staging new Americans works was proclaimed for the Beaumont theater, the big auditorium, while Shakespeare and other classics would be demoted to the small basement playhouse The bantam impresario collected the $5 million he had stipulated as a three-year operation cushion. He was admittedly less successful in artistic renovation ‘‘Nothing grows there." he asserts. ‘‘It’s amazing what the house itself does to a play. You can destroy a play there I’m - AP Wirephoto Producer Joseph Papp voices discontent with his first season at New York’s eminent Lincoln Center. He calls his efforts “like trying to plant a seed in concrete.” forced to deal with subscription audience needs, to compromise some of my own feelings about what plays should be done It doesn’t intimidate me as much as it frustrates me.” Of five productions done this year. Papp feels that all artistically failed except the current "Short Eyes ”, ironically the first play he has ever taken over directly from another management. It went into the schedule as replacement for a project upon which 125,000 already had been dropped. "I’d cancel something I didn t like if it cost 1100,000, ” Papp says. Broaden Audience Despite quality shortcomings of the season, the producer reports some progress in his ambition of broadening the audience to include more than the tradi- Monday Night Pitchers el Oly SI Tho Emergency Room 4650 Ut Ave. NI SERVING NIGHTLY CHOICE PRIME RIB OF BEEF tional dominant white upper classes. "I think we lost about 5.000 or 6.000 people,” he said, cataloging reaction to the eclectic menu of one classic, one earthy, two black and one Puerto Rican play offered. ‘‘and we gained 9.000 to 10,000 new people.” His conversational enthusiasm is lessened by statistics. The season box-office take was $1,655,000. That translates into HO percent of potential money gross. Actual attendance was 85 percent of capacity at the Lincoln ('enter theaters. In view of hostility about business acumen and artistic appeal that surrounded demise of the old Repertory Company, comparison with that group s final season turns up some surprises. Operating on a budget of $2.4 million — $1 million less than ‘ TUESDAY IS CONEY DAY (CHILI DOC) 19* A & W DRIVEIN Papp’s 1973-74 allotment — the Repertory Company registered $1,785,000 in ticket sales That represented 76 percent of possible gross and HO percent of audience capacity at Lincoln Center. The higher percentages for this year, despite a somewhat smaller box-office take, can be explained simply. Elaborate renovation cut the Beaumont’s seating capacity 6 percent, just about offsetting apparent statistical improvement Also casting doubt on whether attendance increased is the fact the small Forum theater, now renamed the Mitzi Newhouse in honor of a lady who gave Papp $1 million, was open only three months, versus a full season this year Remarkable Inauguration Corporate Lincoln Center — host also to the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet Company — voices high satisfaction with the new tenant. "It has been a remarkable inaugural season — a season for many tastes," says John Mazzola, the corporation's managing director ‘‘The excitement-, which Joseph Papp has brought through new playwrights and new audiences should be an inspiration and a stimulus to the theater everywhere.” Although unaware of that particular laud, realist Papp has his own explanation for the salutary environment in which he has functioned all season ‘‘They need me,” he says of the landlord management. "Cm paying for everything I'm a constituent and I pay rent I’m there on a lease. We virtually own the place We can even sell it to the city.” Because he feels "I don’t grow there,” Papp rarely goe* to Lincoln Center from the downtown Public theater where he happily nurture* writers and directors in long range projects. Q. Do you have any escape hatches on your 25-year agreement at Lincoln Center, or do you want to stay despite your restiveness’* A. ‘‘Well. I can leave.” Appearing At The Keyboard MARY PIKE Nightly except Fri. FANTAS TICO! Every TUES. THURS. K ( Mexican 5 b,    food    / ' ‘2”    £ RANCH § SUPPER CLUB J On Highway 218 Midway <r Between Cedar Rapids ^ ond Iowa City 857-2641    > 310 THIRD AVENUE SC. DOWNTOWN TELEPHONE 362 8679 Kfntiurky fried ^kidceit » 143$ Ut Av*. SE    •    4640    Ut    «»*.    NE • 1334 Edgewood IM. SW TUESDAY SPECIAL REGULAR DINNER! ROOSEVELT MOTOR HOTEL The Good FOOD BUFFETS now every night in the Grant Wood Kitchen Sun. thru Fri. 5:30 p.m. ta 8 p.m. *2.76 Children under 10 *1.84 ROOSEVELT Downtown Cedar Rapids MOTOR HOTEL Cmmciimi free Pi***. Q You want lo stay, obviously** A ‘ I’m considering it, let us say.” Q. Beyond the second season now being planned0 A "There \s no reason tit stay in any place where there s no growth There s no question the action is important, and that it is an important institution in the sense that it has world viewers and it’s prestigious. But for me, unless I am making something grow. I lose — I may as well put my energies elsewhere.” At another point in thr* conversation, he remarks: “You know I thought the first season. I’m going to make that into what we arc down here. You can’t. And there’s no reason to do it.” Next Year s Schedule Of next year’s schedule, Papp so far has announced the opener Mort and Phil", a new script he will direct starring Estelle Parsons and Charles Durning, who is becoming the Theater Time Schedule for Monday PARAMOUNT — "Uptown Saturday Night” — 2:10, 4:05 H 7 99 I iii IOWA — "Thunderbolt and Llghtfoot” — 1:30, 3 35. 5:45, 7.55, 9:50. WORLD — ‘‘Sugarland Express" - 1:30. 3:40, 5:30, 7:40, 9:55; shorts - 3:20, 7:20, 9:35. TIMES — ‘‘The Sound of Music” — 2. 8 PLAZA — "Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World" — 2, 4, 5:50. 7 40. 9 30. STAGE I — "The Sting" — 7.35. IO. STAGE 2 — “Chinatown" — 7:30, 9:55. STAGE 3 — 'Our Time" — 7:45. 9.30 STAGE 4 - “Claudine” - 8, 9:58. EASTOWN I - “Billy Jack” - 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30. 9:30. * TONITi ★ THE BANK EASTOWN Rides Again" 7 IO. 9 2 — ‘‘Herbie - I 40, 3:30. 5 20. MARION — Features at ll. I. 3, 5. 7, 9 COLLINS - ‘ The Three Muleteers" — 9 13; “The Last American Hero” — ll 20 TWIXT TOWN — Magnum Force” - 9:20; "Cahill: U.S. Marshall” — 11:35 TWIN WEST - "The Swinging Cheerleaders" — 9:20; “The Bee Girls” -- 11:10. TWIN EAST — "The Girls of 42nd Street” — 9:20; "What a Way To Die” — 10:55. AT THI COLLINS ROAD WHVI-IN THI ATRI Beaumont house star; and later, Ibsen's “A Doll s House” with Liv Ullman of Sweden For the summer of 1975, Papp is considering a free admission policy at the Beaumont as substitute for open air performances in Central Park's Delacorte amphitheater After more than a decade of use. that arena needs extensive repairs Papp hopes to per suade city hall to underwrite much of the estimated $2.5 million to $3 million reconstruction Although no major successes have emerged during the last 18 months from the Public theater workshops, where Papp puts on a dozen or more exhibits annually, he is undismayed He hasn’t given up on Broadway either, even though only one of four shows he moved there got out of the red. His greatest recent personal satisfaction was directing "Wedding Band", the first television special on the ABC network contract which replaced Papp’s falling out with the moguls of CBS. Two more video projects are slated within 12 months. He also is set for feature film /FUST RUN STARTS WEDNESDAY ^ WHO WILL SURVIVE? SWAMP REMM) HEU AHEAD! PLAYMATE OF THE YEAR presents debut as director of a revised version of "Boom Boom Room”, the drama by favorite author David Rabe which initiated the Lincoln Center tenure in faltering fashion When Papp first soared into cross-country eminence a couple of seasons ago, he talked a lot about organizing a national theater company. Now he's put the nlan aside “I’m sort of doing it.” he declares. "But any kind of structure, no. If there had been a big response in a positive way I would have. A lot of competitive feeling developed about it and I didn t want to be part of that "People got worried I was trying to establish a standard of excellence for everybody. Maybe there should be two or three companies. If ever it comes up again. I’m always interested in the idea "i'm bringing it more into myself. I feel there must be new ways, new forms to involve people. I want something beautifully done.” DRAPORT INN on Old Hwy. 218 ? Ufo South al Kirkwood Co*top Still Open For BusinessI Turn loft at Detour on grovel road, thwn right, thon right ogain to Draport TUESDAY SPECIAL $**73 CLUB STEAK DINNER a* I ta to i Music and Kntrrtainmrnt Friday, July 19 Dick & Zelda Saturday, July 20 The Clan Bar-B-Q Ribs Fri. A Sat. PHONE 848-4143 ii SLAUGHTER HOUSE" -TONITE-NO CO VE COLLINS ROAD GATOR BAIT CLAUDIA JENNINGS “Michele Micheal.” 1st Apparance— Dir act from Hollywood    34 6 Different Shows! | FREE 5:30 MATINEE J Dee to A Ave. Cees! I Tafct lith Street torn left ■ UNIQUE MOTEL £ Only 2 Minute* Downtown flf _    852    A    Ave.    NI    I lim 363-006. SHOWS— 1:30 3:30 5:30-7 30-9:30 LAST -4- DAYS Tuesday Dinner at the OPEN •ti} I SHOW 9:00 ♦ HON.-TVS, * FIRST RUN “GIRLS OF 42ND STREET” A SIZZLER IN (R) COLOR! * BONUS SIZZLER * ROOM (JUST A LITTLE IIT lent*! THIRD AVE. S.E. DOWNTOWN 362-8679 Filet Mignon Served with crisp, green Salad, Choice of salad dressing, Baked Idaho Potato, Butter and Cheese Sauce, French Bread, Butter BILLY JACK OPEN— I OO- SHOWS— I 40 3:30-5:20-7: 10-9.00 WMwwrtrrMtiTT-™1***--*)). THERE S A (LOVE) BUG GOING AROUND.. UIRIjT OISIiEU PROOUCTIOnS “WHAT A WAY TO DIE” (R) COLOR OPEN •tis SHOW ^-“BEE GIRLS’^ Bi' EVERY TUESDAY YOU GET: ♦ 3 PIECES OF KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN ORIGINAL RECIPE or EXTRA CRISPY \ ♦ MASHED POTATOES / GRAVY ♦ COLE SLAW mamIadult TSS . lOfb St. THEATRE 177-1482^ THE FIRST LETTER IN... WORLD 363-83*' PLAZA 393.8439 PARAMOUNT TIMES 364-8613 •w.v.w.v.v.v H Haets The big Sc"’*n CLINT EASTWOOD ^ “THUNDERBOLT AN LIGHTFOOT” -R- goldie    ben haWN . JOHNSON “CiiftiRLANP EXPRESS Vo Ma^>°;;i66fsroofi “UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHTS RJOfiS/iqqhA TECHNICOLOR    "    |G ASSONATE ER VER TED ORNOGRAPHIC WITH SCENES THAT HAVE NEVER BEFORE BEEN PUT ON FILM , j rtpvy, * HOT ROU / THE PICTURE THAT ALL OF CEDAR RAPIDS HAS BEEN WAITING FOR —PLUS       — VISIT THE COLONEL Try our sp*    tialtutoring price. G MANIA ll LATI SHOWS FRI.- SAT. 11:00 P.M. rated! xxx xxx OPEN |7:00 P.AA- TH ROBERT REDFORD PAUL NEWMAN “THE STING” -PO ,N J955 THERE WERE A FEW THINGS A ems SCHOO: won t TEACH “OUR TIME” .po- PLINTY OF FUSI parking JACK NICHOLSON FAYE DUNAWAY ‘CHINMO0N COLOR ->* A ttoort So.' » CLAUDINE" with JAMES LARI JONES DIAHANN CARROLL — PO— ■v.v.v.v.v/.v.v.v.v.vl IkA/ujLiAbumuMMMiMi ;

  • Charles Durning
  • Claudia Jennings
  • Clint Eastwood
  • David Rabe
  • Don Quixote
  • Estelle Parsons
  • Jack Nicholson Faye Dunaway
  • James Lari Jones Diahann Carroll
  • Joe Papp
  • John Mazzola
  • Joseph Papp
  • Liv Ullman
  • Michele Micheal
  • Mitzi Newhouse
  • Robert Redford Paul Newman
  • William Glaver

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: July 15, 1974

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