LeRoy Neiman's Lissome Galatea, the Playboy Femlin, proves a perky holiday pen pal in bidding the reader welcome to our gala Christmas Gift Issue. We think it's a splendid Santa's sack burgeoning with festive goodies, starting right off with our lead fiction, Once, in Aleppo, by estimable American expatriate Irwin Shaw, who has lived in Europe since 1951. Shaw, currently in the States researching a novel to be titled The Uncaged Man, tells us that the exotic background for Aleppo is still fresh in his mind although it is 20 years since he was there, during a World War II stint in the Middle East, where he originally conceived the idea for this rollicking, amoral and outrageously witty yarn--as a relief from the conflict around him. He's finished a new novel, Voices of a Summer's Day, whose publication will be followed by Love on a Dark Street, a collection of short stories which will include Once, in Aleppo and two other tales originally published in Playboy--Tune Every Heart and Every Voice and Noises in the City.
Playboy, December, 1964, Vol. 11, No. 12. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Company, Inc., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U.S., its Possessions, The Pan American Union and Canada, $20 for three years, $15 for two years, $8 for one year. Elsewhere add $4.60 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 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Associate Advertising Manager, 405 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10022, MU 8-3030; Joseph Fall, Advertising Manager; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 155 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, Ill. 60611, MI 2-1000. Detroit, Joseph Guenther, Manager, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard, OL 2-8790; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, YU 2-7994; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
Well, gentle readers, we've made it through another harrowing year of celebrations, fetes and galas--some of daylong duration, others of Sunday-through-Saturday length and still others which lasted the month round--all of them validated, verified and authenticated, so help us. And don't think it's been easy. Our innards were put through a trial by fire, having to survive International Kraut & Round Dog Week, Poultry Day, Spanish Green Olive Week, Asparagus Week, National Macaroni Week, Have a Bacon "Ball" Month, National Pickle Week, National Peanut Week, Honey for Breakfast Week and National Pimiento Week. We were a prime candidate for National Indigestion Week or, worse, National Hospital Week, and wished devoutly that we had avoided them all in favor of National Poison Prevention Week or Self-Denial Week, during which we could have prepared ourself for Silent Record Week. We felt the icy fingers of winter as we shivered our way through the Fur Rendezvous, National Fur Care Week, National Fireplace Week, Frozen Potato Month, Break-a-Cold Month and the Ice Worm Festival. We were torn between Humane Sunday and National Insect Electrocutor Week. Our indecision made us an unwilling celebrant of National Procrastination Week. We were further warned about our indecisiveness when Return the Borrowed Book Week rolled around, and lest we were tempted not to take that week too seriously, there was Police Week to remind us of the consequences of unreturned tomes. We would really have sunk to the depths of despair if it hadn't been for Save the Pun Week, American Comedy Week, National Smile Week, National Laugh Week and the pick-me-ups of National Tavern Month, South Pacific Beachcombers Week, and what we took to be a 24-hour period filled with Indian ecdysiasts--Cherokee Strip Day. After throwing ourself overenthusiastically into Let's All Play Ball Week, we could barely wait for Chiropractic Day. We were so busy celebrating, our work fell off and we found ourself taking more than a passing interest in National Want Ad Week. But we have since discovered a seven-day span to which we will devote our undivided attention next year; we intend to combine business and pleasure during National Rabbit Week.
Ian Fleming is gone and lamented, but the movie adventures of James Bond fortunately continue with no sign of letup. For Goldfinger, Guy Hamilton has taken over the direction from Terence Young, who did a so-so job on Doctor No and a superb one on From Russia with Love, and, if anything, moves Sean Connery through his outrageously improbable but tautly suspenseful seriocomic ordeals at an even more frenzied pace. This is tingly stuff all the way, as we pick up Bond in the Caribbean, follow him to Miami Beach (a number of The Playboy Club's own Miami Bunnies are decoratively scattered about), where he first encounters that nefarious 14-carat heel, Auric Goldfinger; next to England for weaponry outfitting, then to Switzerland and finally, for a pulsating showdown, to Fort Knox, where the biggest caper in all history is almost pulled off. There was nothing niggardly about the imagination of Fleming, and here the script and direction have matched it step by step. More, the yarn has been updated in line with advances in science and technology. The laser beam had not yet been invented when Fleming wrote Goldfinger in 1959, but we think he would have approved Bond's nearly being sliced in two by the use of the deadly beam, and his sense of luxury might well have been pleased by the Aston Martin provided Bond for tracking the murderous gold machinator and his sinister North Korean henchman, Oddjob, who uses his razor-edged bowler to cut down adversaries. The car is bulletproof, radar equipped, has hubcaps that sprout tire-slashing knives, lays down a smoke screen or an oil slick, and has concealed machine guns fore and aft. Its cornering ability is, of course, impeccable. But despite his lethal land yacht, Bond is taken captive before he can fully appreciate the charms of Shirley Eaton and Tania Mallett, both done in horribly and much too soon. However, he is eventually consoled by Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, Goldfinger's Lesbian lieutenant who decides she'd rather switch than fight when she comes to grips with Bond. Gert Frobe is hissingly villainous as Goldfinger, Harold Sakata is stoically terrifying as Oddjob, and Sean Connery remains supremely self-assured, even when warned that he might be replaced by 008, a threat which, in light of the wildly successful series, has about as much chance of being carried out as his enemies' plots.
The put-upon dairyman, Tevye, is blessed with five unmarried daughters, a nagging wife ("I have something to say to you," she announces. "Why should today be different?" he replies.), a niggling patch of land in the dirt-poor Russian village of Anatevka, and a lame horse. So he pulls his own wagon, and complains directly to God: "It's no shame to be poor, but it's no great honor either." What keeps Tevye going is Jewish tradition, for, as he says, "Without tradition, life would be as shaky as a fiddler on a roof." Fiddler on the Roof, the Sheldon Harnick--Jerry Bock musical, is not that shaky, even though the book by Joseph Stein, out of Sholom Aleichem, is predictable (one daughter gets married, then another, then another), the second act sags, and some of the music jars. But Jerome Robbins' thumping choreography is authentically ethnic, and, above all, the heart of the show is Zero Mostel--and there's no sounder heart on Broadway. In choppy beard, black cap and patchy clothes, he looks ... well, like Tevye. Mostel is a fat, funny man; but unlike most fat, funny men, he is blessed with an economy of gesture and emotion. He can--and does--stop the show with his little finger. He never lets Tevye become sentimental, yet he is powerfully affecting. He never lets him become a buffoon, yet he is hysterically funny, whether listening silently as Motel the timid tailor summons up the chutzpah to ask him for his eldest daughter (behind his back, Mostel's hands secretly pirouette, longing to reach out and throttle Motel); or dancing gracefully--he is one of the most graceful men on the stage--with his wife, for the first time; or crooning like a synagogue full of old men; or just standing still trying to make up his mind: "On the one hand!" he declares firmly, then pauses and adds hesitantly, "... on the other hand." When it comes to measuring Mostel, there is no "on the other hand." At the Imperial, 249 West 45th Street.
Observers of the beatniks, as they boastfully barged into nonrespectability with petty larceny, pot and sex, have long suspected that their noisy literary confessions bore the brand of an innocence and giggly irreverence that might be called inverted all-American. This impression is confirmed on comparing them with the real thing--Jean Genet, an authentic Dante of the inferno of our modern moral underworld. Genet is not a tourist in the realm of poverty, prison and perversion; he lives there, and sends out hotly eloquent messages from its depths, as he did in his recent Playboy Interview (April 1964). In The Thief's Journal Grove Press), he explains forthrightly that "betrayal, theft and homosexuality are the basic themes of this book. There is a relationship among them which, though not always apparent, at least recognizes a kind of vascular exchange between my taste for betrayal and theft and my loves." His loves are thieves and prisoners, beggars and pimps, and the working of his lust involves not only the flesh of other men but their behavior outside the bedroom: "If he was the splendid beast gleaming in the darkness of his ferocity, let him devote himself to sport worthy of it. I incited him to theft." No detail needed to convey the animal functions of his outlaw life is omitted, and, indeed, where the situation itself does not satisfy his desires, Genet's imagination does the rest. Yet never is there a sense that the author is shocking for the sake of schoolboy shock, or piling up outlawed language for the sake of seeing how much can be crowded onto a printed page; Genet is, rather, making myth and art of degradation and disease and lust, searching for his own morality through the very process of sinking as deeply as possible into all that society regards as morality's opposite. "This journal," he insists, "is not a mere literary diversion. The further I progress, reducing to order what my past life suggests, and the more I persist in the rigor of composition--of the chapters, of the sentences, of a book itself--the more do I feel myself hardening in my will to utilize, for virtuous ends, my former hardships. I feel their power." So does the reader, whether he likes it or not.
Time was, and not too long ago, when a hamburger, soggy pizza or some Senator's favorite recipe for succotash was standard fare atop Washington's Capitol Hill. Now, at last, the Hill has a restaurant making a supreme effort to achieve elegance and superb cuisine. It is The Rotunda (30 Ivy Street, S. E.), claimed to be a million-dollar investment, and well it may be. Once an old warehouse, it is now the refuge for weary legislators and knowledgeable Washingtonians who seek relaxed dining away from the omnipresent camera-toting tourists. Once past the heavy, inlaid door, one can either descend a winding staircase to the main dining room and taproom or step up to the lushly furnished, low-ceilinged La Scala Room. Seating only 80, La Scala is paneled in Philippine mahogany with rich tapestries and colorful crested shields adding tone to the dark wood. Downstairs, one enters a Renaissance world. There are alcoves along the walls, stained-glass windows and richly carved banisters and railings. The furnishings are heavy and ornate but comfortable. Walled off from the dining area, the taproom is dark and its decor, as in the other rooms, is rich but not overpowering. The brothers Ermanno and Henry Prati, also proprietors of the popular Aldo's and Channel House elsewhere in Washington, are involved in this venture with Robert J. D. Johnson. Ermanno explains the brief Continental menu quite logically: "A few dishes, well prepared, is our aim." Some of the French cuisine understandably shows a fine Italian hand, but the Roman specialties are choice. For our visit, the appetizers were Shrimp Provençal and Escargots Bourguignonne. The Long Island Duckling à l'Orange offered its sauce in a carved peel boat alongside, not over, the fowl. Before serving, the duckling was seared over flaming Cointreau. Our companion chose butter-tender Tournedos Rossini whose flavor was immensely enhanced by the sauce and mushrooms. Coffee and flaming desserts--Cherries Jubilee and Brandied Peach Flambé--capped the repast. The Rotunda's wine list is extensive. There is dancing from 9:30 to 1:30 weekdays, 8 to 12 on Saturdays. Open six days a week from 11:30 A.M. until 2 A.M. (until midnight on Saturdays), the Rotunda is closed on Sundays.
A highly pleasurable aural experience awaits on Nancy Wilson / How Glad I Am (Capitol). The girl with the golden voice tees off the LP with her hit title ballad and goes on to cover such delights as a brace from Funny Girl--People and Don't Rain on My Parade; a pair of Antonio Carlos Jobim melodies, The Boy from Ipanema and Quiet Nights (Corcovado) and a half-dozen other goodies. Nancy is ultrafancy throughout.
Any self-respecting sybarite learns early to seek out the spectator pleasures of nonparticipant sports, thus acquiring outdoor enjoyment without undue exertion. While others labor on ski slopes, the truly sincere sloth will be relaxing back at the lodge or attending the February Deep Freeze Little Le Mans which pits sports cars at speeds that hit 125 around the two-and-one-half-mile ice course on frozen Stillwater Lake in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.
In any serious analysis of the sexual ills of society, it is necessary to consider the historical link between sex and religion. For, as the late Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey observed, "There is nothing in the English-American social structure which has had more influence upon present-day patterns of sexual behavior than the religious backgrounds of that culture."
Since Edgar Allan Poe invented the modern detective story with "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," expert practitioners of the form have known huge audiences and heavy material rewards. In this procession, the late Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, secret agent nonpareil, will long hold a prominent place. His publishers have sold 30,000,000 copies of his 12 books in 12 years--give or take a couple of million. There are few literate communities in the world, from Hong Kong to Helsinki, in which he is not being read today. Even those who read only Yiddish or Siamese need not be deprived of the pleasure of his literary company--though Fleming himself, at the age of 56, died of a heart attack late last summer, not the first he had had. He had known for some time that he had little prospect of a long life. Yet even in the four hours between the onset of the attack and his death in a Canterbury hospital, he managed to maintain the image of urbanity that distinguished him: En route to the emergency ward, he told the ambulance attendants that he was sorry to have had to trouble them. It was something that most Englishmen of his class would have said, almost pro forma, but it was also very James Bond. There is no doubt that his own character, and the one he had created, were intricately interleaved in Fleming's mind.
Before making his presents known, the gift-wise guy seeking to earn laurels as a Santa extraordinaire will observe the golden yule of giving: Know thy lady fair. For every Christmas belle worth ringing is cast of a different precious mettle and has her own striking timbre of individuality: She'll be ecstatic over any trifle that could only be hers. But she'll think more of the gift than of the giver, no matter how extravagant it is, if it doesn't combine imagination, creativity and understanding.
This is a Story of the old Days, the days between Prohibition and Alcoholics Anonymous, the days when it still took weeks to get anyplace, the days before jets reached everywhere in time for dinner, the days when you were rather surprised to hear that a friend had been in Arles or Siberia or Djibouti, the days when Colonialism was the White Man's Burden and not a dirty word, when we thought it was our duty to bring the Word to the Heathen and before the Heathen started pushing the Word back down our throats.
Sheer Numbers aren't in themselves a guarantee that a party will be a howling hit. But for mounting a year-end saturnalia, a crowd of upwards of a dozen or more well-matched pairs is just about big enough to be unbridled in a civilized way. However, it should be kept in mind by the host who wants to have as good a time as his guests that there's a certain point beyond which party planning should be turned over to the pros. The caveat is a very simple one: If the party's guest list goes above a score of people, call a caterer.
I'm Involved in something rather dangerous; I think it's always dangerous for a writer to talk about his work. I don't mean to be coy or modest; I simply mean that there is so much about his work that he doesn't really understand and can't understand--because it comes out of certain depths concerning which, no matter what we think we know these days, we know very, very little. It comes out of the same depths that love comes or murder or disaster. It comes out of things which are almost impossible to articulate. That's the writer's effort. Every writer knows that he may work 24 hours a day, and for several years; without that he wouldn't be a writer; but without something that happens out of that effort, some freedom which arrives from way down in the depths, something which touches the page and brings the scene alive, he wouldn't be a writer.
Flamboyant film impresario Joe Levine is said to have known at their initial meeting that blonde, headline-grabbing Carroll Baker was perfect for the part of the Harlowesque Rina in his movie version of Harold Robbins' passionate potboiler The Carpetbaggers. Its staggering box-office receipts are a tribute to Levine's acumen and the somewhat more elusive qualities that have made Miss Baker first in the running for the title of U.S. sexpot queen. Neither the most amply endowed physically nor the most gifted dramatically of the current crop of distaff film stars, Carroll is nevertheless being touted by moviedom's drumbeaters as the American girl most likely to succeed Marilyn Monroe as flicksville's sex symbol supreme. It is a role in which she has been inextricably entwined since she played the pre-Lolita nymphet in Elia Kazan's lensing of Tennessee Williams' Baby Doll. It won her an Oscar nomination and a sudden, unexpected reputation as a living synonym for sensuality. At first, Carroll tried to fight her projected image; she bought back her Warner Brothers contract when the studio kept coming up with facsimile Baby Doll roles. It wasn't till four years after playing the thumb-sucking seductress that she accepted the facts of filmic life, did an abrupt about-face and became a studio publicityman's dream. Her dress, or lack of it--on and off screen--has turned the onetime Actors Studio hopeful into a "hot property." In her recently released Station Six--Sahara, Carroll is once more the sensuous child of nature bringing out the animal in her male co-stars. Upcoming is Sylvia, in which she plays a well-to-do authoress who has made her way in the world as a prostitute. When showman Levine staged a gala wingding at the Beverly Hills Hotel to reveal his plans with Paramount for the filming of Irving Shulman's Confidential-styled biography, Harlow, he coupled it with an announcement that Carroll Baker had been cast in the title role. Miss Baker, true to her current fashion, was chauffeured on stage at the luncheon in a block-long 1932 Isotta Fraschini limousine and emerged from its luxurious depths clad in a skintight, plunged-to-the-navel satin gown modeled after one of Harlow's, her eyebrows penciled à la Harlow's, and wearing under her gown exactly what had been under Harlow's--a sunny disposition.
The French Myth is as Old as France's great civilization, as indestructible as the beautiful French landscape, as enticing as the lovely women of Paris. The myth has been cherished by generations of tough, strong Americans who become soft and sentimental at the mere mention of France.
We Dips (said Antrobus, employing the sobriquet of the diplomatic lower echelons) are brought up to be resourceful, to play almost any part in life, to be equal to any emergency almost--how else could one face all those foreigners? But the only thing for which we are not prepared, old man, is blood.
In that Bitter Cold, water turns to dry dust for the lightest breath of air to play with. There is no landscape and there are no landmarks. A hillock of powdered snow ripples and flattens; the ripples coil and convolute, and all in half an hour you have a head of hair, a brain, the helix of a freakish ear, a diagram of unearthly trajectories, and at last a pure valley virginally ridged.
It would be easy to mistake December Playmate Jo Collins for an aspiring film starlet, since she has all the attributes needed to play the role: classic features, a disarming smile, talent, ambition--and a recently acquired Hollywood address less than a block from one of the major studios. But there the similarity ends, for our 19-year-old Miss December refuses to be typecast as just another Hollywood hopeful. Instead, she's determined to earn credits on the legitimate stage, and hopes to be Broadway bound before long. "Hollywood is just the first step--a sort of temporary stopover--in a long-range career plan of mine," raven-haired Jo reports. "Since I graduated from high school in Seattle last year, things have been progressing much more smoothly than I had anticipated. I managed to get in a full season of summer stock up North, including two leading roles at Portland's Civic Theatre; then worked my way through modeling school in Los Angeles as a part-time secretary, and landed a terrific TV contract for a series of new car commercials--which I nearly lost when I let it slip that I used to be a drag racer." With a few more video spots, Jo figures she'll have enough in residuals to finance a trip East, with a little left over for drama lessons. As she told us: "I belong to a small acting group here in Hollywood, and we try to get together at least three times a week--but I've really got my heart set on studying with a more professional unit, such as Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio in New York." In her off-hours, when she's not decorating her new studio apartment or spinning her stockpile of Dinah Washington records, this 36-24-36 package of holiday cheer prefers an aquatic setting. "Sailboats--and the fellows who own them--are my weakness," Jo confesses. "But I'll settle for something less fancy, like surfing at Malibu; just as long as I'm near the water." For a more revealing study of Jo's aquabatic accomplishments, this month's centerfold takes you poolside.
When the bitter winds of winter howl out of the frozen north, making the ice-coated telephone wires creak and sigh like suffering live things, many an ex--B-flat-sousaphone player feels that old familiar dull ache in his muscle-bound left shoulder--a pain never quite lost as the years spin on. Ancient numbnesses of the lips permanently implanted by frozen German silver mouthpieces of the past. There is an instinctive hunching forward into the wind, tacking obliquely to keep that giant burnished Conn bell heading always into the waves. A singular man carrying unsharable wounds and memories to his grave, the butt of low, ribald humor, of gaucheries beyond description, unapplauded by music lovers, the sousaphone player is among the loneliest of men. His dedication is almost monklike in its fanaticism and solitude.
The Lido, famed for its spectacularly extravagant performances featuring spectacularly undressed performers, has long been a mecca for pleasure seekers in Paris. In a city whose music-hall and cabaret fare is unrivaled anywhere in the world, the Lido--like the statuesque mannequins who add breath-taking background to les spectacles--is head and shoulders above the competition. Artist LeRoy Neiman, Playboy's roving ambassador with portfolio (and himself something of a Parisian--since his career as itinerant impressionist has led him to complement his New York and London studios with another in Paris) had long regarded the Lido an eminently paletteable subject. Recently he gathered pad and charcoals to spend a Parisian week (seven nights and one day) in the Lido's huge Champs élysées quarters, sketching a behind-the-scenes kaleidoscope of plumes, sequins, bosoms and bottoms. He reports: "Backstage at the Lido is pure mayhem--but, somehow, perfectly coordinated mayhem. All is business. The show--which runs nightly from 11:15 to 2:30, with only a half-hour break--is a genuinely tony production, whose split-second timing leaves no room for sloppiness. The management believes in its performers' artistry--and rightfully so. The mannequins are tall, leggy, personable and proud of their figures; their nudity is enhanced by creative costumes which are treated lovingly by the girls and their wardrobe mistresses. English is almost the universal language backstage, since many of the girls--such as the Bluebells--are British, and many others American. The Bluebells, incidentally, are fully clad--in costumes ranging from Indian headdresses to Gains-borough hats. Only the mannequins, who don't dance, are nude. The Lido is one of those rare places frequented by crowned heads and workingmen alike--all seeking, and finding, the very best in music-hall entertainment and, of course, the most beautiful girls in Paris. For the artist, backstage is even more interesting than out front. It's more active and more colorful than the audience area--and the girls are closer as well."
In my Heyday (which was the Twenties), most of my contemporaries took the Declaration of Independence seriously--especially that phrase in it which declares that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. Among all too many of today's intellectuals this is no longer a respectable opinion. According to them every thinking man must be, and every decent man should be, thoroughly miserable--the decent man because the world is unjust, the thinking man because the whole universe is, and must remain, "absurd."
Talleyrand said, "Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts." This was the remark of a clever man. For men of less intelligence, it would be truer to say, "Speech was given to man to prevent thought." Language has been performing this disastrous function throughout all the controversies of the Cold War. How well it has done this is my theme in the present article.
There I lay, wet and quick-breathing from the swim, and she sat next to me, moist and glistening. The world was 19 because I was 19, and the world was 18 because she had said she was 18 though I suspected she was less. Brooklyn's Brighton Beach boiled with teeming proletarian Sunday. About us moved a forest of red-burned legs. Ball-catching children whirred. The whine of mothers sounded, admonishing not to drink while overheated. The air was crowded even with smells: the smells of egg-salad sandwiches, suntan oil, sweat seasoned with salt water, the mustard tang from hot-dog stands. The hurried traffic of bathers kicked up pieces of orange peel along with sand; requests chorused from all sides to please watch people's stuff while they went in for a dip for just a minute.
Last December, we chose ten favorite Playmates from among the more than one hundred who have adorned our centerfold during Playboy's first decade of publication, and graphically announced our selections in a feature called Editors' Choice. We invited Playboy readers similarly to select their all-time top ten, and gave them a chance to review their favorites, from December 1953 through December 1963, in the monthly feature Playmates Revisited. Proving that tastes in beauty are more universal than most connoisseurs might want to admit, Playboy readers and editors, batting a spectacular .700, agreed on seven out of ten girls--Connie Mason, Janet Pilgrim, Christa Speck, Joyce Nizzari, Lisa Winters, Heidi Becker and Donna Michelle--with three new faces, Laura Young, June Cochran and Toni Ann Thomas, filling out the figure ten. Here they are, the choicest Playmates of the Decade, as chosen by you, our readers.
Herewith, to celebrate the close of the Bard's 400th anniversary year, another Playboy service to the Broadway theater, which has so far contented itself with converting only Shakespeare's lighter efforts to major musicals such as Kiss Me, Kate and The Boys from Syracuse. Our first such effort (Playboy, November 1962) was a musical-comedy version of Hamlet, which we called Come to Me, My Melancholy Dane. This time, it's that benighted and bedeviled thane, Macbeth, who gets the portentous-drama-to-happy-musical treatment. Although there have been countless stage productions of Macbeth, plus a couple of film versions starring Orson Welles and Toshiro Mifune, to say nothing of Hallmark's stately TV airing and Verdi's all-too-Italian opera, there has never been a Broadway hit on the subject--until now. As before, we supply the words and you supply the music, bellowing the appropriate tune that fits the meter; you're trusted to recognize the right melody from your own extensive repertory. Clear your throat now ... sing a few scales to warm up ... the overture has started and the curtain is about to rise.
At one point in his night-club act, baritone Jack Jones says that he's going to do a bedtime lullaby his famous father, Allan, used to sing to him, and then belts out an uptempo version of The Donkey Serenade. It is his only concession to cashing in on his filial ties with the pearly-toothed, wavy-haired tenor who starred in movie musicals of the Thirties. The Jones boy has come a long way on his own since he broke into show business as the teenaged half of a short-lived son-and-dad nightery act. A diffident Ivy League-cut 26-year-old, he has won a Grammy (the Oscar of the record biz) twice in the last three years: first for Lollipops and Roses (the hit that moved his career into high gear) and this past year for Wives and Lovers. During the 1963--1964 TV season he made an unprecedented number of guest appearances (26) on such prestigious shows as those presided over by Judy Garland, Ed Sullivan, Joey Bishop, Bob Hope and Jack Paar, is scheduled to star in the plush precincts of the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room this month. Joe Levine, for whom he did the title song behind Where Love Has Gone, has high expectations for his proposed launching of Jack in films. The repertoire of tall, dark, refreshingly quiet-mannered Jones leans heavily on the romantic ballad and the standard; his delivery is ungimmicked; he eschews both onstage hip twitching and recording-studio echo chambers. He has proved that the shortest distance to success can be a straight melodic line, and an authority no less estimable than Frank Sinatra has predicted that Jack Jones will be "the next major singing star in show business."
A 30-year-old Ex-actor with the playful look of an overgrown teddy bear and a shy demeanor that belies his acerbic wit, Godfrey Cambridge has bypassed the ranks of stand-up comicdom to reach the profession's upper echelons in record time. Since his first nationwide appearance on the Jack Paar show earlier this year, the versatile thespian-turned-comic has cut a best-selling LP, played a series of S.R.O. night-club engagements (New York's Blue Angel and Village Vanguard, San Francisco's hungry i, Los Angeles' Crescendo) and signed to do a cross-country tour of college one-nighters. His material is racially oriented, but pleasantly devoid of homilies: "The main thing I'm after is laughs," says Cambridge. "If I can leave them something to think about, so much the better." As an accomplished actor, Cambridge, who received The Village Voice's 1961 Obie Award for his first major role in Genet's The Blacks and later was nominated for a Tony Award for his home-folks portrayal of Gitlow in Purlie Victorious, uses his theatrical training to maximum advantage in his new role as a full-time jester. His delivery is forceful, his timing sharp, as he waxes comedic on such topics as black nationalism ("My wife stopped pressing her hair, and now she looks just like Jomo Kenyatta") and integrated parties ("Eastern liberals are wild about my Rent-a-Negro Plan"). Unaffected by overnight success, he admonishes his fans not to call Cary Grant "the white Godfrey Cambridge."
With the Notable Exception of his 1963 award-winning Kennedy memorial drawing, a sensitive full-page portrayal of a sobbing Lincoln, Bill Mauldin has spent his entire cartooning career skewering every major politico in sight. A liberal by instinct, and a gut-fighter by disposition, the 43-year-old Chicago Sun-Times cartoonist refuses to be hampered by personal allegiances--"I have lots of acquaintances and few friends"--as his critical eye searches for feet of clay on political idols. Unlike most of his colleagues, "Muldoon"--as he is nicknamed by his journalistic cronies--always attacks, never defends: "It's a cartoonist's job to buck power. In South America, I would be a leftist; in Yugoslavia, a right-winger." Cartoon stereotypes like Lady Luck and Uncle Sam are editorial anathema to Mauldin, who relies on caricature to make his satirical point. Always wary of things too cerebral, he aims his humor at the funny bone as well as the brain. "The difference between a cartoon and an editorial," says Mauldin, "is the difference between a sergeant's whistle and a Brahms symphony." Twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Mauldin's icon-smashing career includes early fame as the GI cartoon creator of "Willie and Joe," several books, an unsuccessful campaign for Congress, a stint as a film actor, and his emergence as a top-paid caricature assassin for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1958--1962) before landing his current assignment at the Sun-Times. "My life has been backwards," he says. "Big success, retirement, and now I'm making an honest living."
The Myna, in black pomposity of feathers, with chief justice's leveling eyes, worked at its chuffy song, gurrah, gurree, gruh-greeg. Walter Jack Commice ticked out the beat on the surface of his free-shape pale-lemon Formica desk, bop, bop, bop-bop.
At this season of the year, tradition gathers kith and kin around the hearth to exchange gifts, burn the Yule Log, Hang the Mistletoe and get Blotto on Hot Toddies. But this adventure finds hearth and home about as far as you can get ... In a capsule, Seemingly stranded beyond the Stratosphere. And how did our Heroine come, with fellow Astronaut Arty O'Kaye, to outer space? Just come with us, dear reader, and find out. It's that easy ...