A Playboy House Party at a glossy and glamorous Miami mansion fills a full 10 pages of this May issue -- and those who remember the femmes and fun of our July '57 Yacht Party know just how enjoyable a Playboy party can be. Fetching, frolicsome young ladies are no small element in the success of this shindig, and the Playboy camera has recorded all their merriest moments. One of the charmers, Cindy Fuller, puts in an extra appearance as this month's Playmate.
Playboy, May, 1959, Vol. 6, No. 5. Published monthly by HMH Publishing Co., Inc., Playboy building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Ill. second class Postage paid at Chicago, Illinois. printed in U.S.A. Contents copyrighted (c) 1959 by HMH Publishing Co., Inc. Subscriptions: In the U.S., Its possessions, the Pan American Union and Canada, $14 for three years, $11 for two years, $6 for one year, Elsewhere add $3 per year for foreign Postage. allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. change of address: send doth old and new addresses and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Main advertising office, Howard Lederer, Eastern Manager, 720 fifth Ave., New York, New York, CL 5-2620; Western advertising office, 232 E. Ohio Street, Chicago 11, Illinois, MI 2-1000; Los Angeles representative, fred E. Crawford, 612 S. Serrano Avenue, Los Angeles, California, DU 4-7352; San Francisco repre. sentative, blanchard-nichols associates, 33 post Street, San Francisco 4, California, YU 6-6341; Southeastern representative, Southeast advertising sales, chamber of commerce building, Miami 32, Florida, FR 1-2103.
We gather you liked our male's-eye-view of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Dear Ann and Abby, December 1958), so from time to time, like right now, we'll present more in these columns. Here again are verbatim letters to Ann and Abby and their answers (as released by the Chicago Sun-Times and McNaught Syndicate), followed by our italicized comments from the masculine viewpoint.
From the Hecht's Bad Boy of The Front Page era to the Angry Old Man of recent years, Ben Hecht has been a kind of madman-of-letters, never doing the predictable. In The Sensualists (Messner, $3), he runs true to form, combining a serious study of psychopathia sexualis with a mystery plot. He himself calls it "a sort of 19th Century novel minus the asterisks." The characters he has assembled to illustrate his lecture include: a whore-chasing Manhattan publisher; his once-frigid wife (whom he's successfully defrosted); a disenchanted chanteuse whose life is an open book -- by Krafft-Ebing; her ex-husband, an impotent junkie; and her ex-lover, a sadistic cop with a stripe on his sleeve and a monkey on his back. It all begins when the junkie is found dead, the husband is charged, and the betrayed wife teams up with the doxy (who later seduces her) to save him from the flatfoot-hophead. With these ingredients, Hecht whips up a bitches' brew, but being basically an artist, he has infused the passion with compassion to a point where you really feel for these people and dread the dark denouement. Two things are certain: (1) once opened, this will not quickly be closed and (2) Hecht's seminar is not for seminarians.
Al Capone is a semi-documentary, un-hysterical and somewhat one-dimensional reminiscence of gangsterism in the grand style. As the Naples-born, Brooklyn-raised hood imported to Chicago to bodyguard a member of thugdom brass only to become kingpin himself, Rod Steiger is a kind of whimsical Scarface, touchy about his rights as an American citizen and the way his name is pronounced. Working from a screenplay that names a few names and overlooks others, director Richard Wilson has taken time to develop character shadings (they're pretty shady) and has delineated the casual manner in which the public and public officials reacted to killings at the time. Storywise, the picture glosses over the true viciousness of Capone, his thugs and his procurers, the misery they brought, the terror they inspired. He's seen mainly through the eyes of gangster rivals, a woman (Fay Spain) whom he marries after rubbing out her husband, and an honest cop (James Gregory). Steiger brings an earnestness and a naïveté to the portrayal that take it way out of the stereotype, but when all's done you don't feel you know who Capone was, or why he happened.
Across the street from Chicago's Pump Room, in a location hitherto noted for a series of ill-starred occupants, now flourishes the new French restaurant, Maison Lafite (1255 N. State Pkwy.). Freshly redecorated, the Lafite offers an outsize menu full of Gallic dishes at rational prices. We cleaned up an entree of Tournedos de Boeuf à la Française sautéed in a wine-and-garlic sauce, accompanied by wild rice; annihilated a Château Lafite Pauillac '26 (expressly selected and imported for them, they say, by vinophile Alexis Lichine); and, in a mood for fireworks, allowed ourself to be dazzled by a display of crêpes suzette, which tasted good too. A pianist, sensibly ensconced outside the dining room, unobtrusively furnishes a background of Chopin and other Romantics (jazz would jar in that setting). The maître de, Jerry Engel, presides over all with a steady eye and a firm hand, while his assistant, urbane Maurice Merlin, makes like a bespectacled synthesis of Chevalier and Claude Dauphin -- igniting a spectacular suzette between exclamations of Eh voilà!, flattering the gentlemen, charming the ladies, and generally providing evidence that blarney is not purveyed exclusively by sons of the auld sod. There's a bar to wait at but a better idea is to make reservations. Open 5 P.M. till midnight every day except Monday.
Redhead, the happy-go-lustiest musical in town, is a valentine, lovingly inscribed in song and dance, to a redheaded refreshment named Gwen Verdon, currently the first lady of Broadway musical comedy. She is equally adept at both prat-falls and pathos. She can sing, she can act, she can dance. It is only fair to say that there is an element of whodunit in the whacky plot, but there is no mystery about what happens to our heroine when she gets herself a job in a music hall and starts dancing. Given a dozen changes of costume in Ter-Arutunian's Hogarthian sets, Gwen dances everything from Swan Lake to Yankee Doodle Dandy. Richard Kiley does fine as a hero and the Dorothy Fields-Albert Hague score gives Kiley a chance to discover that Verdon's "posterior is so superior." Director-choreographer Bob Fosse awards the redhead the best of everything and, because incredibly and indefatigably she is on stage almost all the livelong time, you won't mind the divagations in the plot. For posterity, let us say that Miss Verdon's superiority is not limited to her posteriority. At the 46th Street Theatre, 226 West 46th, NYC.
It's puzzle time, kiddies. The Australian Jazz Quintet in Free Style (Bethlehem 6029) might seem to be the old A. J. Quartet augmented by one, but announces in its liner notes that it presents, in fact, the Quintet plus a sixth man, drummer Osie Johnson, yet lists seven men under the heading "Personnel." Best you forget the arithmetic, though, and listen: this is modern, mood jazz, unhard and unfancy, with just enough swing and just enough improvisation to make it pleasing to sophisticated ears. Second side features a 10-minute job called Take Three Parts Jazz, an ambitious original which is the fine, unpretentious showpiece of the set.
In a City Saturated with theatrical activity, professional and amateur, on Broadway and off, a New York entrepreneur named Julius Monk has produced four consecutive revues, each more successful than the last. He's done this with a minimum of scenery, costume, or other theatrical apparatus, at an unprepossessing little supper club he calls the Upstairs at the Downstairs (there's also a Downstairs at the Upstairs, which features a singer and pianist). Yet, despite these evident drawbacks, the revues have been different enough, and popular enough, to constitute a minor local phenomenon; virtually every night, a happy doorman at the entrance on West 56th Street hangs out a sign reading, "This Performance Sold Out."
Even though he doesn't go around singing O Sole Mio all day long, a Neapolitan is usually an amiable person. His capacity for enduring irritation is high, but when he finally reaches the point of rage, he is liable to clench his fists and shout Ti faccio la testa come una pizza! (I'll flatten your head like a pizza!) Now the question this raises is: which particular pizza does the angry Neapolitan have in mind? It certainly isn't the great tender pizza rustica with its top and bottom crust filled with cheese and egg; nor is it the delicate calzone, folded like a pocketbook and fried in oil; nor is it the plump kind of pizza served in d'Angelo's restaurant in Naples, lush with mussels, onions or black olives. Nor could it be the kind which Italians prepare for the special hour when the church bells are untied right before the Easter celebration, good enough to eat cold as well as hot, or the rich mushroom pizza which Caruso loved -- these still represent the genuine poetry of the Italian cucina. One can only assume that the angry Neapolitan is referring to a flat and unsuccessful pizza which he will go to especial pains to make and show you, solely for (continued on page 70) Viva Pizza! (continued from page 29) the purpose of demonstrating the way in which he intends to treat your head.
There is an inner circle reserved for those talented few who perform the art of travel with special ease and grace. To be sapient, to belong, to know your way around wherever you may go, is indeed an art worth cultivating -- and the process of cultivation is full of fun in itself. We propose to tell you here not all ye need to know, but a goodly portion of the unwritten rules for eliminating that needless cry: Why Didn't Somebody Tell Me?
With the Coming of Spring, a trio of transplanted Britons composed of comedienne Hermione Gingold, Schweppesseller Commander Whitehead and actor-playwright Peter Ustinov rode in state to Yankee Stadium in the Commander's Rolls-Royce to watch a contest between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. Some hours later they departed, and their grasp of what they had seen may be ascertained by certain remarks they made to us in a conversation after the game. They seem to have come away with the understanding that homer was a Greek poet, strike is a labor agitation, and double-header is an unfortunate result of atomic fallout. Ballpark concessionaires can safely refrain from adding tea to the list of refreshments.
The Jets are Jazzy. No trick whatever, these days, to plan a swinging weekend on the Continent -- hitting Paris and London -- and still be back in the office, refreshed and glowing, Monday morn. There is an excitement about it all that hits even the most sophisticated and experienced air traveler, for the planes you'll use are magnificent. Inside and out, the Boeing 707 doesn't resemble anything you've ever flown in. As you enter the loading door, the purser, in white dinner jacket and cummerbund, greets you like a maître de. Soft music from special tapes floods the compartments through the plane's loudspeaker system. Decor is contemporary, in pastel grays and blues against whites. Lighting is gentle and indirect, and a small but effective cocktail lounge takes care of your thirst. Dinner is served to you by the purser and four stewardesses, and the fare is sumptuous -- a (continued on page 81)Jet Weekend(continued from page 38) choice of seven entrees prepared at Maxim's, including pheasant and lobster. The seven-hour air time from New York to Paris is a breeze in a plane like this -- there's almost a complete absence of vibration -- and your New York to Paris round-trip ticket allows you a stopover in London on the way back.
Sinuous Cindy Fuller was, until quite recently, a secretary in a quiet, Dickensian little law office in Boston, Massachusetts. We see her in these photographs in Miami, Florida, whither she was drawn by her pet passion, swimming. Miami offers much to the swimming enthusiasts, plenty of brother and sister enthusiasts, plenty of sun, plenty of water sports, plenty of water. It was in the hope of becoming a professional swimmer that Cindy left the bastion of the Brahmins for the balmy, baskable Florida clime. Her aquatic talent, plus her stunning looks, make her a natural, and just before putting this issue to press, we learned that Cindy had won an assignment with the Water Follies. Her stunning looks make her a natural for this month's Playmate, too, and her aquatic talent has nothing whatever to do with it. Elsewhere in this issue, you'll find 10 pages devoted to a lively Miami party attended by Cindy and four other lively ladies.
Most Urban Fellows Dream of owning their own handsome haven, like Playboy's Weekend Hideaway featured in last month's issue; bachelor Harold Chaskin actually built such a dream house and this picture story of a housewarming party gives some indication of the fun that is to be had in such surroundings.
Oaxe II was a small, dusty, backward planet out near Orion. Its people were of Earth stock, and still adhered to Earth customs. Judge Abner Low was the sole source of justice upon the little planet. Most of his cases involved property lines and the ownership of pigs and geese, for the citizens of Oaxe II had little flair for crime.
Stashing the long green, business and credit cards, driver's license, etc., becomes noticeably more convenient if you choose a cannily compartmentalized carrier like those shown here. Whether you dig a coat wallet or a pocket billfold depends on how much paraphernalia you want to tote -- the billfold suffices for most guys in the city, but when you travel abroad you'll want a coat wallet or, better yet, a passport case, with adequate space for everything from currency converter to road maps, stowable without bulk. Leathers are rich and elegant, colors run to tans, blacks and dark greens, prices range from farcical to phenomenal.
Last November Playboy did a word profile on Frank Sinatra, man and voice; in December we did a picture profile on Miami Playmate Joyce Nizzari. The subject of our November scribbling was sufficiently taken with our Miss December that he signed her, forthwith, for a bit in his new film, A Hole in the Head, the tale of a Miami Beach hotel owner, which he is co-producing with director Frank Capra, and in which he stars along with Eleanor Parker, Edward G. Robinson and Keenan Wynn. Joyce, who has since been picked by Playboy readers as their favorite Playmate of the Year, plays Keenan Wynn's secretary in the picture. Sinatra personally helped her with her few lines, and took her dining and drinking at the fancy Fontainebleau Hotel where much of the film was shot.
Henri Métulet, a wholesale wine dealer, had the most charming wife in Paris. When she walked down the Champs-Élysées women stared in obvious envy at her face and figure. In social gatherings people enjoyed her sparkling wit. Monsieur Métulet watched his wife closely, and when he saw her even talk to another man there were angry scenes in which he accused her of infidelity. "If that's the way he is going to be," she said to herself, "I'll try to act in such a way as to merit his accusation."
All the biggest names in jazzdom will be blowing at festivals around the country come the summer months. George Wein -- who operates Boston's top jazz club, Storyville -- has already booked Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan and the Four Freshmen not only for his Newport Festival (July 2-5), but also for Toronto (July 22-25), French Lick (July 30-August 2) and Boston (August 21-23). And, of course, there'll be still more stars on the festival bills at each of these places. Afternoon sessions will be free; evenings, the tab runs from $2 to $5 per swinging head. You can partake of the pleasures of the French Lick-Sheraton, jazz included, for around $20-$30 a single, with grub. Still another spot jumping in July is the Berkshire Music Barn at Music Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts, where folk music as well as contemporary jazz will mix it up. The Berkshire Music Festival, which gets under way July 1, also offers plenty in the way of longhair fare. For those who dig both types -- plus some theatre thrown in too -- the second Vancouver International Festival (July 11-August 15), out in British Columbia, is under the expert aegis of some of the world's top conductors.