The Cute Chick popping out of the Christmas ornament on the cover of this Seventh Anniversary Playboy is pert July Playmate Teddi Smitch. Teddi's but a harbinger of a host of dandy diversions to be found in this goodie-packed December issue, however. To celebrate our Seventh Anniversary we've assembled a luminescent lineup of top talent and tempting fare to make the merry season still merrier. Joining the festivities is crack fictioneer Gerald Kersh, whose tale of art, genius and skulduggery, Oalámaóa, heads up the good reading to be found inside. A rugged fellow, British-born Kersh has been a member of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards, a professional wrestler, nightclub bouncer and collector of debts for a London bookie. This is his third story for Pplayboy; more will follow soon. Keeping Kersh company this month is Ray Bradbury, whose science fiction and fantasy have garnered world-wide awards. This time around, Ray departs from the s-f kick with Very Late in the Evening, a tightly plotted yarn about an invitation that came fifty years too late.
Playboy, December, 1960, Vol. 7, No. 12. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co., INC., Playboy Building, 232 East Ohio Street. Chicago 11, ILL. 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 Both Old and New Addresses to Playboy, 232 East Ohio Street, Chicago 11, ILL., and Allow 30 Days for Change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director, 720 Fifth Avenue, New York 19, N. Y., Cl 5-2620: Advertising Production, Playboy Building, 232 East Ohio Street, Chicago 11, ILL., Ml 2-1000; Los Angeles Representative, Blanchard-Nichols Associates, 633 South Westmoreland Avenue, Los Angeles 5, Calif., DU 8-6134; San Francisco Representative, Blanchard-Nichols Associates, Phillips and Van Orden Building, 900 Third Street, San Francisco 7, Calif., YU 6-6341; South Eastern Representative, The Hal Winter Company, 7450 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach, Florida. UN 5-2661.
We'd like to pass along to you, verbatim, a combination season's greeting and business brochure we've received from Antofagasta, Chile: "The American and French House wish a Merry Cristmas and Happy New Years ¿to you? 42 Bellavista Street. Special place to get good divertiment and fun? . . . Where two orchestra play for you every five minutes Tipic and Hot Jazz, Fox, Rumba, Tangos, alzo free dance? . . . Girls to steal your heart away? Music to take your breath away? Romance and songs to thrill you? Yf you have a girl friend bring on, you will feel on top the world? . . . Thank s Call againg."
Brendan Behan's The Hostage explodes on stage with the entire cast dancing a crazy Irish jig and shortly settles down to the comparative calm of a tipsy vaudeville show. The scene is a Dublin brothel people with whores, perverts and assorted tosspots. The plot theoretically centers on a young British soldier who is being held hostage and will be shot the next morning if the bloody English have the bad judgment to execute an I.R.A. killer in Belfast. But Behan, the lustiest and luckiest thing to happen to the Irish theatre since O'Casey, is no man for sticking to a story line. He lets his people have their say in windy gusts of words interspersed with fine cynical songs. The dialog as well as the pungent lyrics snipe at the English, the Irish and the Americans alike, at politics and religion and, in general, at the sorry state of a world living in the shadow of the H-bomb. Behan has a wild talent for writing for the theatre, and Joan Littlewood brilliantly directs her original London cast to keep pace and faith with the exuberant Irishman. The Hostage is bound to offend any number of stuffy people, but the rest of the audience will recognize this Celtic clambake as electric theatre. At the Cort, 138 West 48th Street, NYC.
There has been much talk of late concerning the alleged advent of what composer Gunther Schuller has christened a "third stream" of music, a music neither jazz nor classical but bits of both. Two recent releases bring the topic into focus, The Golden Striker: John Lewis Conducts Music for Brass (Atlantic) and Third Stream Music: The Modern Jazz Quartet and Guests (Atlantic). In this pair, the two musics are more closely and effectively inter-woven than in most of the somewhat synthetic earlier efforts along these lines, such as Rolf Liebermann's Concerto for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra, which didn't make it either classically or as jazz. Third Stream Music comprises three John Lewis works, one by Jimmy Giuffre and one by Schuller. It also includes the MJQ with Giuffre's trio on two tracks, with a small chamber group on another, and with the Beaux Arts String Quartet on two more, and the result is a successful hybrid. At times the sounds are swinging, with some of the best Lewis piano and Milt Jackson vibes on record; at other moments they're indistinguishable in texture and scoring from the work of such un-jazz-involved classicists as Bartok. Does this mean a "third stream" has begun to flow? No. The point is made more clearly in The Golden Striker, which offers superlative Lewis writing for an eleven-piece brass section. Here the instrumentation lends itself more completely to a jazz mood and the intermingling of the two forms is achieved with subtlety and skill. But to claim that by blending the two you get a third music is like saying that in assembling a necklace on which diamonds and rubies are closely strung you come up with a third precious stone. The twain shall meet, and have met in these two albums with unprecedented success; but let's not think this makes them one, for twain they shall remain.
The Cloister in Hollywood (8588 Sunset) is a haven, done up in Movieland Modern, for such au courant aural delights as Diahann Carroll, Della Reese and Sarah Vaughan. This king-size music conservatory was, less than two years ago, the shuttered ghost of the once-famous Mocambo. Credit for the spot's rehabilitation goes to a quartet of former Chicagoans, owners Joe Miklos, Al Loeb, Shelly Kasten and Skip Krask, who renamed and reworked the room (now painted an intimate black) into a swinging (the sound system is fi of the highest) operation. Although primarily known as a boîte featuring the best singers in town, the club in the past has presented comics Buddy Hackett, Joey Bishop, Shecky Green and Jack E. Leonard, who have helped attract an extensive clientele of showbiz luminaries. The regulars have their own gold-labeled bottles on display in the lobby, which is fun if you enjoy looking at gold-labeled bottles; we got more kicks, however, from casing the cocktail waitresses in those ever-so-tight toreador pants. The club percolates all week, with two shows a night (10:30, 12:30), three Friday and Saturday (9:30, 11:00, 12:30). Tabs vary with the cost of the entertainment; some shows have a $2.50 cover, others $3.50; occasionally, a two- or three-drink minimum will be imposed. None of the aforementioned tariffs applies in the lounge where the regularly-ensconced celebs are a show unto themselves. Manuel is the maître de, and food is available, but as we said before, the sound's the thing at The Cloister.
Spartacus is the gory story of the Roman slave by that name and of the rebellion that he led. It is also the spectacle of the year, in budget three million behind Ben-Hur's fifteen, but in blood several hundred gallons ahead. May we say that in the matter of gratuitous violence, we hope that this is the end. Some of the gore includes Kirk Douglas' nearly severing the tendon of a guard's leg with his teeth (the opening scene), the branding of human flesh, strangulation involving a bursting eyeball, drowning in boiling soup, stabbing in the neck, burning alive, an arm whacked off with the stump staring at us, a blade sticking out the back of one of the heroes, a vast closeup panorama of a battlefield piled high with stabbed and scorched bodies, on to the sight of six hundred massed crucifixions. Spartacus also involves the ultimate in beefcake competition; in fact, the proceedings often look like Muscle Beach in masquerade. In between these Great Moments the story is told of the recalcitrant slave, Kirk, who came near to toppling the Roman Empire. The rebellion is plotted at Peter Ustinov's gladiatorial school after Kirk's opponent in a fight to the death, staged for the titillation of some patricians, refuses to kill his fellow slave and instead tosses his trident at, and just misses, Laurence Olivier. On Mt. Vesuvius, Douglas builds an army from a nucleus of gladiators; this is supplemented by other slaves and the booty he picks up en route to freedom outside Italy. Meanwhile, back in the Roman Senate, cynic Charles Laugh-ton vies with megalomaniacal Olivier for control of the army. Olivier gets it, and Douglas, tricked out of the ships in which his army hopes to escape, is forced to face certain defeat in an Alexander Necsky-like battle. Olivier fails, however, in his ultimate objective, which is to kill the legend of Spartacus, and Kirk's triumph, on his cross, is to see his wife, Jean Simmons, and her new-born son, both free. Thirty-one-year-old Stanley (Paths of Glory) Kubrick has directed Dalton Trumbo's script from the Howard Fast novel with great style and impact. Particularly well conceived are the love scenes, one of them in a tunic built for two, though they would matter more if played by a better actor than Douglas. Like Douglas, Tony Curtis (as a "singer of songs; I also juggle") is hopelessly outclassed by English actors of the calibre of Olivier, Laughton and Ustinov. As usual in this kind of epic, the spectator requires a strong stomach, eardrums not easily shattered, and buttocks not easily numbed. Bad news: Kirk is off to clobber Montezuma next; good news: Kubrick moves on to Lolita.
Appropriately enough, at this time each year publishers exert themselves to produce art books for the gift-giving season – books to have, that is, as opposed to books to read. This year's efforts, happily, include several that are worth at least glancing through yourself before you present them to a friend. Andre Malraux' The Metamorphosis of the Gods (Doubleday, $20) is a sumptuous companion volume to his celebrated The Voices of Silence. Malraux ranges the world of culture from the Egyptians to the Renaissance, analyzing brilliantly the special place occupied by the religion-inspired art of all ages. A quite different, but equally fascinating exploration of the. nature of beauty is to be found in Kenneth Clark's Looking at Pictures (Holt, $10). The lucid British critic shares his special insights into sixteen great paintings by Raphael, Rembrandt and Goya, among others. The History of Surrealist Painting (Grove, $17.50) by Marcel Jean is, claim the publishers, the first definitive such history in book form. Assisted by 386 plates, it covers the development of surrealism from Picasso through Dali. Picasso in Antibes (Pantheon, $20) by Dor de la Souchere is a magnificently illustrated study of six bountiful months in the artist's life. And finally, so fruitful is the holiday season, thirty-seven of the great man's paintings and drawings, mainly from his Cubist period, are elegantly reproduced in Picasso, The Early Years (Tudor, $7.95).
Marcel Marceau, at thirty-seven, is the peerless pantomimist. This was made apparent to us again when we were mesmerized by his fluid artistry at Chicago's Blackstone Theatre, during the Frenchman's latest American tour. On a stage devoid of scenery, Marceau – in a baggy sailor suit and ballet slippers – performs eight solo exercises, flowing into the roles of a billposter, carnival characters, strollers in a public garden, a china salesman, a seasick voyager, a street musician and a mask maker whose comedy mask clings stubbornly to his face despite his anguished efforts to remove it. In all of these roles, Marceau reflects his confessed concern for the lost art of Chaplin – a concern that brings to mind Aldous Huxley's comment: "Everyone's a walking farce and a walking tragedy at the same time." After more than an hour of solo effort, Marceau is joined by his Compagnie de Mime – five men and three women – for a mimodramatic version of Nikolai Gogol's short novel, The Overcoat. In an astonishing assertion of the power of pantomime (what Marceau terms "the universal language of gesture"), the trope weaves the tale of the impoverished Russian clerk who yearns for a fur coat, works desperately to buy it, then loses it to thieves. The death of man's dreams and the frailties of man are the crux of Marceau's powerful appeal in the Gogol adaptation. His gaunt frame, his mobile face and his expressive hands are indispensable to the performance – as are the contributions of his troupe – but most vital to his success are a mind rich with knowing and a heart that is touched by the struggles of everyday existence.
The Trick at Christmas is to receive for gifts the things you would choose for yourself. Somehow, someone ought to set up somewhere some sort of a registry where a man could list his name and his gift preferences so that he doesn't get what he doesn't want, or need, or perhaps even comprehend. There are few more challenging moments in a relationship than when you are forced to unwrap a gift in the presence of the giver, who is smiling in expectation of your rapture, and then, holding it in your hand, you have to all too obviously wonder what the hell it is.
I've been seeing a girl fairly regularly who has all kinds of money. She's always giving me expensive gifts – gold cuff links, diamond studs, etc. The clincher was when she turned her Austin-Healey over to me. I've told her that her actions embarrass me and make me feel like a kept man. I've got a good job with an ad agency but it's still at the junior executive level and I can't reciprocate in kind just yet. She says doing these things makes her happy. I want to keep her happy but I don't know how long I can stay on the receiving end and still maintain my self-respect. What do you suggest? – N. K., Miami Beach, Florida.
In any circumstances my friend Karmesin is rather better than life-size, but when the weather turns chilly and he puts on his winter overcoat, passers-by sometimes run around the block simply for the wonder of seeing him a second time, advancing in all his outrageous majesty. For in this coat, which is of some moth-eaten blackish-gray fur, with his great red face and his mustache which, like the philosopher Nietzsche's, hangs down in corkscrew curls, he has something of the air of a hard-up Jove wrapped in his last leaky thundercloud.
Facing the fact that the superiority of Parisian restaurants and their various specialties has become, to a degree, a gastronomic cliché, we're just back from having spent a few happy weeks touring less-well-known but equally laudable edifices of gourmandise in other parts of the Continent – with the thought that certain of their pièces de résistance might make welcome and unique additions to your culinary repertory, as well as proving a welcome change from the mystique of French haute cuisine.
You won't believe it when I tell you I waited more than sixty years for a murder, hoped as only a woman can hope that it might happen, and didn't move a finger to stop it when it finally drew near. Anna Marie, I thought, you can't stand guard forever. Murder, when ten thousand days have passed, is more than a surprise, it is a miracle.
Every Generation has its sweetheart, its dream girl, its Love Goddess, and ours is particularly blessed. What good fortune to be alive in a time when prigs and prudes have met their comeuppance and have been properly put down. The sensual charms of Marilyn, tastefully displayed, have crisped and spiced the air, and reduced unseemly modesty to an absurdity. Our Marilyn is the Compleat Goddess, delightful to behold and fascinating to ponder. Her story is a scenario rich in clichés dear to Hollywood, yet demonstrably true: a tale of a child shunted from home to home in her tender years, seeking affection and love; then bursting forth in the full bloom of womanhood to become our primary Sex Symbol, and on to further glories as the top female box-office attraction and ultimate distinction as an actress and comedienne of highest merit. Even her few critics agree she has earned the right to fits of feminine pique and artistic temper with the startling talent she displays in two current money makers, Some Like It Hot and the more recent Let's Make Love. We have Marilyn to thank, believes comic Lenny Bruce, for the increasingly accepted notion that it's in proper good taste for a girl to pose in the nude for photographs of the Playmate type. Since she appeared as our very first Playmate, Marilyn has achieved truly tremendous success. Her marriage to Joe Di Maggio proved she was acceptable to the All American male, and the merger of these champions of both of America's favorite pastimes was properly celebrated. Marilyn's next marriage to the distinguished author Arthur Miller and a baptism by immersion in the world of letters gave her a new status and appreciation among the literati. Now her name is a household word, bandied about on TV's "family shows," and she suffers the unconscious indignity of a million grotesque imitations, essayed by upstarts who wiggle and sigh, and thus profane a golden one, our Marilyn Monroe.
The Last I Heard, Phil Botkin Went Back to City College to work on his law degree, which is just as well because no one in the Village trusts him any more. They don't put him down, I mean, they just don't trust him. But it's always that way when a cat tries to swing with the political bit. He gets to be a Big Liberal and that means trouble every time.
Whither this Winter? Whether you take the salubrious air of Palm Springs or Palm Beach, the South Pacific or South America, bet on a batik dinner jacket to focus the right kind of attention on your formal wear. The batik cotton jacket is a blend of tones that creates the cool, elegant look so right under a tropical moon, for cruise or resort wear. The new batiks are subtle enough for the right-thinking chap who eschews anything gaudy, yet unique enough to set him apart from the black-for-fall - and - winter, white - for - spring -and -summer tradition. Teamed with tropical-weight black trousers and complemented by classic black tie, cummerbund and pleated white shirt, the batik jacket is impressively contemporary. Once you're inside one, you'll dig mightily the easy drape of the shawl collar, the convenience and casual look of the single-button closure, the natural shoulders and the center vent in the back – all combining to create a silhouette that's correct wherever the trade winds blow. Our guy wears an American natural-cotton batik formal jacket, with flap pockets, by Lord West, $42.50. His lightweight Dacron and cotton shirt, with medium-spread collar, French cuffs, is by Excello, $13. The silk cummerbund, three-pleated, with inside pockets, is by George W. Heller, $13.50; the tie, also by Heller, is $3. The pearl shell cuff-link and stud set, 12k gold filled, are by Ralph Destino, $22.50.
It is news to nobody that the editors of this journal are dedicated indoor men, especially when the winds of winter blow. Save for some skiing, we're frankly loath to poke about in the cold, feeling firmly that ice in all its forms belongs only in a drink. It took a blonde, bubbly, blue-eyed bundle by the name of Carol Eden to set up some doubts in our mind. Carol's an unabashedly outdoor miss who loves to frolic in the white, flaky stuff, and even got us to thinking that building a snowman might be fun, maybe even tossing a snowball or two – as long as she would play too. But we finally snapped out of it and realized that our predilection for the great indoors was the correct one after all. So we invited Carol to step inside and become our Playmate for the Yuletide, get all warm and cuddly by the fire, hang up her Christmas stocking and wait for Santa.
This one time there was no agonizing watt for patrol cars to filter through jammed midtown traffic. And no one in the crowd had cause to remark, "Just try to get a cop when you need one." In fact, there wasn't any crowd. The police got there before one had time to gather, and within seven minutes after the young man had taken his place on the sixteenth-story hotel-room ledge, a patrolman named Goldman with warm eyes and curly hair was out on the ledge with him, just four feet away.
Offering gladsome gifties to fill your Christmas stocking as engagingly as she fills her own, our saucy femlin stands atop a Seeger carryall in natural tanned cowhide, $115. Clockwise from the carryall: the companion over-nighter, with portfolio, $120. Swank's electric putt returns your golf ball to you after you've holed out, $14.95. Presentation putter boasts a head of solid silver, from Tiffany's, $140. In the leather case that can be hung from your belt is a miraculous collapsible fishing rod, Austrian made for Country Loft, $80. Edward Hyams' The Wine Country of France, Lippincott, $4.50, John S. Potter's The Treasure Diver's Guide, Doubleday, $9.95, and Cary Middlecoff's Master Guide to Golf, Prentice-Hall, $10, make first-rate reading and gifting. The robe is kimono style, of imported silk, from Countess Mara, $45. And, lastly, the hefty Kabul door knocker is handmade from hollow cast brass, by Beemak, and is yours for $51.
The love of one newspaper columnist for another is well known; it is one of the glories of the profession. Therefore, when Herb Caen, columnist for the "San Francisco Chronicle," went to Paris recently, he could hardly wait to see his old friend, Art Buchwald, Paris columnist for the "New York Herald Tribune." What they said to each other – and what they were thinking in their secret thoughts – went approximately as follows:
For your Yuletide delectation, we can think of few offerings as enticing as this fivesome of favorite December Playmates herewith unwrapped. Miss Ellen Stratton, who reads 35-20-35 from either direction, was a legal secretary on the Coast when she was first discovered by Playboy photog, and remains so today.
Money is undoubtedly the most popular of all ancient conveniences. Whether we consider it to be the root of all evil, or the source of all that is jolly and good, there's no denying the advantages that money has over earlier systems of swap and barter. Anyone can readily imagine the difficulties that might arise in trying to get a cab driver to make change for an ox – to say nothing of having to compute a tip in terms of broccoli and rhubarb.
Author's Note: One does not write on theatre without receiving letters from playwrights. There is the playwright who tells me I have all the right ideas about drama and he has put all these ideas into a play – will I read it? There is the playwright who gets his attorney to write me demanding that every copy of my review of his play be removed forthwith from the market or he will sue me. Most ingratiating of all is the playwright who hasn't yet written a play and wants to know how to write one. I always feel that, if I really knew the answer, I would myself be the author of a list of plays at least as good as "Oedipus Rex," "King Lear" and "Phèdre." But one such "playwright" recently raised questions I can at least begin to answer – as follows.
In a TV World Mired in Mediocrity, one large blessing counted by audiences and critics alike has been the work of two happy voyagers on the Hollywood cartoon treadmill, Bill Hanna (above, right) and Joe Barbera. From their first series, Ruff 'n Reddy, angled at the oatmeal set, through the cartoon hoss-opera, Quick Draw McGraw, on through the fabulously successful and extremely hip Huckleberry Hound, their recently launched company, Hanna-Barbera Productions, has prospered. Its newest and most adult-pitched effort to date, a stone-age situation comedy called The Flintstones, has been unique in a field not particularly noted for stimulating entertainment. Damon Hanna and Pythias Barbera have been together for twenty-three years, a score of them in the purlieus of MGM animation. During that prolonged tour of duty they managed to turn out some two hundred Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM, accumulating seven Oscars in the process. Western-born, ex-engineer Hanna and New York City – boy, ex-accountant Barbera, who happily abandoned slide rules and tax forms for the animation biz, are well on their way to becoming cartoon colossi. In three whirlwind years since H-B severed the silver cord from the Metro lion, it has grown from a staff of two to a crew of 130. H-B's main preoccupation these days (aside from planning a whole new series of cartoons under a five-year contract from Columbia Pictures) is exploring the potent satiric possibilities inherent in The Flintstones. One slated for use: a tough, hard-boozing prehistoric private eye named Peter Gunnite who drinks rocks on the rocks until, of course, he gets stoned.
Ray Charles Belongs to the Blues and vice versa. At twenty-eight, the moaning, moving singer-pianist has a firm lock on what has come to be called "soul jazz" – a fervent, gospelish rendering of the blues according to St. Charles. Blind since the age of six ("I don't need to see to play or sing the way I feel") and an orphan since the age of fifteen, Charles has hewn his own path to the top, starting with his first professional stint as the leader of a trio in 1949. During that time, he chose to imitate the pretty piping style of Nat "King" Cole, then chucked it to concentrate on the grunts, shrieks and foot-stompin' earthiness that are his current trademarks. By 1957 he made it to Carnegie Hall, and his personal appearances have kicked up wild audience response ever since (Charles broke the house record at Hollywood's Palladium, drew over seven thousand fans at three dollars a head). His records – LPs and singles – are invariably top sellers, and he is a composer as well as a performer: his I Got a Woman, A Fool for You, Hallelujah I Love Her So and What'd I Say, among others, have been recorded by such as Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Harry Belafonte. Charles' current troupe is made up of a seven-piece band plus a foursome of female chirpers known as the Raylettes, all devoted to the gospel of funk and frenzy, though Charles himself can croon a ballad with untutored tenderness when he wants to. "I try to put all of me into what I'm singing or playing, no matter what it is," Charles says. "If I don't believe it myself, I can't make anyone believe it." To that his legion of believers shouts "Amen."
There is in new york city a young man who owns and operates a three-thousand-vote icon smasher. His name is Paul Krassner, and his icon smasher is a lively, witty and mordant little newspaper called The Realist, with a subscription list of three thousand. Its masthead proclaims its dedication to free thought, criticism and satire, and it lives up to its promises with frontpage articles like Let's Hate Veterans and Inside Norman Vincent Pollyanna. The Realist also conducts Impolite Interviews with people like sick comic Lenny Bruce and psychotherapist Dr. Albert Ellis (who, among other things, plumps for the correct use of the most unprintable four-letter epithet in the English language); features irreverent definitions ("Yom Kippur: Instant Lent"); runs sardonic announcements ("Report obscene mail to your postmaster – he thrives on it"); and flays humorless, supersensitive Madison Avenue with, as an example, a ringing Krassner editorial urging readers to write letters to TV's innocuous Masquerade Party complaining about a non-existent "offensive" incident on one of the shows. (The result was all that could have been hoped for: puzzled, frightened producers and sponsors called letter writers long distance, begging for details of the supposed outrage.) Twenty-eight-year-old Editor Krassner, who is writing a novel and compiling Realist articles for a book (its dedication: "To Modess . . . because"), runs a one-man shop. His credo: "The Realist is unbiased by dogma or authority and is unafraid of what people might think, but hopeful that they will think for themselves."
It is related that a certain king was mad for beautiful women and that this was his only failing. One day as he was gazing from the palace roof, he saw in a nearby garden a woman bathing. She was so beautiful that the king instantly fell in love with her and sent a message asking her to receive him that night in her house.
Anyone can be impractical, no matter how practical he was born and brought up. As a child I was trained to save string and horseshoe nails, shut the windows when it rained, keep the crusts for bread pudding, turn off all the faucets tightly, and tell the bus driver I was under twelve when I wasn't. Yet with the passing years I have succeeded, after a hard struggle, in becoming impractical.
When The Leaves of the neem tree turn yellow and the warm night breeze carries the fragrance of yasmin and mool-sari, then it's spring in India, time for the festivals of Basant and Holi in late February while the weather's still a sunny delight. This is the time, also, when the old, exotic culture of India is showcased in the main cities. The storytelling Kathakali Dancers of Kerala offer classic dance-drama in Bombay, and Vilayat Khan offers recitals on the classical sitar. Delhi, too, puts on festivals of music and dance, a month-long polo tournament (the game was created in India by the Moghul princes) and the annual Army Horse Show that draws the most elegant women from India's high society to the greensward beyond the moat of historic Red Fort.