Good for Otto, by David
Rabe, is a production of the New Group. It
is an overlong play (over three hours) about
two doctors at a mental health clinic,
interviewing a variety of patients and their
families. If you are interested in watching
actors talking about their mental problems
while sitting in chairs, you may enjoy this
undramatic stage production.
Three Wise Guys,
by Scott Alan
Evans & Jeffrey
Couchman, is a TACT production at Theatre
Row. It opens on Sunday, March 11. My review
will appear in the next column.
Jean Shafiroff (photo below) was
the Master of Ceremonies at the 66th Annual
New York Junior League Winter Ball at the Pierre
Hotel. The theme was Riviera
It was a lovely affair, beginning with a
cocktail reception, a silent auction, dinner. a
live auction and an awards ceremony, followed
by dancing and dessert. The ladies looked
elegant in their gorgeous gowns, especially Jean
Shafiroff, and the men wore black tie. It was a
MoMA is presenting El Indio: The
films of Emilio Fernandez, March 1-13. I married
my first wife, who was Mexican, in Mexico City in
1956. We were classmates at the National University.
We spent every other summer in Mexico for the next
39 years. Seeing these films for me is nostalgia for
the happy life we shared until her death in 1995. I
saw the following four films.
Victimas del pecado (Victims of Sin),
Fernandez, Mexico, 1950, is a melodrama which
takes place mainly in two different cabarets, and
featured a dance called rumbera to Afro-Caribbean
music. The heroine dances in both clubs and is
treated badly by men. It is a grim tale of the seamy
side of life. However, the music recalls the
pleasant period of the times with singers like Pedro
Montaner and the orchestra conducted by Perez
Prado. There are also mariachis.
The second film was El rincon de las virgenes (Nest
of Virgins), by Alberto Isaac, Mexico,
1972, starring Emilio Fernandez as a fraudulent healer.
This is the only film in color. His adventures with
credulous villagers is occasionally funny, and really
quite silly. It is, however, fairly entertaining.
by Emilio Fernandez, Mexico,
1943, stars Dolores
del Rio as a native Indian girl, shunned by her
community for her mother's transgressions. Her lover is
another Indian played by Pedro
Armendariz. It is a melodramatic love story, a
tearjerker, which ends in tragedy. Dolores del Rio gives
a lovely, tender performance. She was a famous film
actress in Mexico, and was a star in Hollywood.
by Emilio Fernandez,
Mexico, 1947, stars Maria
Felix. She was also a famous film actress in Mexico,
and in the film she plays a teacher sent to a rural
village. The mayor is a tyrannical brute, who treats his
community badly. She is the heroine, who kills the
mayor, and then dies, but her memory lives on. It is
another grim, depressing melodrama.
All four films show
the horrible treatment of the Indian population, that
has suffered since the conquest of Mexico by Cortes in
1519. Their poverty is appalling, and today with the
drug cartels running rampant, it is one of the most
crime ridden and violent countries in the world.
MoMA also presenting Modern Matinees:
Delmer Davies and H.C. Potter, March 1-April 27. The
Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, by H.
C. Potter, USA, 1939, stars Ginger
Rogers and Fred
Astaire as the dancing couple, who rose to fame
throughout Europe and America before World War I. It is
a delightful film, and it is a joy to watch the two
Lillo Brancato, Jr,
is starring in a documentary entitled Wasted
I attended an after party for the film at Tuscany
Steakhouse, 117 West 58th St. I photographed him
who produced the film, ((photo
and enjoyed delicious Italian hors d'oeuvres and
fine wine, while chatting with members of the film's
creative team and actors from the cast.