Swans Commentary: Letters to the Editor - letter183



Letters to the Editor

(January 25, 2010)


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Hilarious Treatise on flying a year from now: Jan Baughman's Check Your Underwear

To the Editor:

If we combat WW2 fliers had to go through a fifth of the pain in the assism Jan describes, we'd have never made it aloft -- average mission length being 4 hours. Had we not bombed Deutschland there'd have been no need to rebuild it, and GM would never have had to suffer the indignity of bombing by BMW and VW... We coulda used the money for abortions or Medicare. Or body building gear so that our kids could grow up to become governors of states like Calleyfornear.

With admiration for such good seerage,

Art Shay
Deerfield, Illinois, USA - January 11, 2010


Isidor Saslav's Shaw In Chicago Again

To the Editor:

I recently read Isidor Saslav's fascinating essay "Shaw in Chicago Again" (August 2009), and would very much like to ask him one question, in particular, arising from his article: who adapted Shaw's The Shewing Up of Blanco Posnet into the two-act musical Blanco? He mentions attending a performance of the work in the 1970s.

Many thanks

Derek McGovern
Palmerston North, New Zealand - January 19, 2010
Isidor Saslav responds:

Dear Derek: Thanks for your inquiry. The names of the actual composer and lyricist are not on the tip of my tongue (but I could look them up), but the musical was commissioned by Vincent Dowling who was a former actor at the Abbey theater and then the Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival at the time in Cleveland. Movie star Tom Hanks got his start with that company. However, disputes between Dowling and his two collaborators have prevented the work from ever reaching the stage again. It's buried in a certain archive at a university (Google up Dowling Blanco and it will appear) where Dowling's papers are. Vincent also gave me a copy of the piano score for my Shaw collection which I still treasure. The show was quite successful I thought. It was as if Brecht and Weill had composed "Oklahoma."

Dowling later moved to California and now heads up a theater company in Connecticut. I tried to contact him again but got no reply.

You might know that I served as concertmaster of the NZ Symphony Orchestra 1986-92 and still consider NZ as the most beautiful country on earth. Do you know the lawyer Bill Sheat in Lower Hutt? He is a good Shavian friend and if you are interested in Shaw you should try to contact him. He once toyed with the idea of creating a film about Shaw's visit to NZ in 1934. Another Shavian friend is George Austin, of Wellington I believe.

All the best. Isidor Saslav


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Published January 25, 2010
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