lundi 24 mai 2010

McClure, The Beard

Here's 10-year old news item on a 1999-2000 performance of The Beard. During the 1960s Lenny Bruce rage over rights of artistic free speech, poet/playwright Michael McClure's  controversial play "The Beard" premiered on December 18, 1965, at the Actor's Workshop of San Francisco. It starred Richard as Billy the Kid and Billie Dixon as 'Jean Harlow'. The next few performances of the play took place at The Committee, a San Francisco theater nightclub. The play was secretly tape-recorded by the San Francisco Police Department, Billie and Richard were arrested backstage one night after a performance allegedly for using "blue" language. The actors were charged with "obscenity", then "conspiracy to commit a felony," and ultimately with "lewd and dissolute conduct in a public place." The American Civil Liberties Union took on the case, and the charges were eventually dismissed in what was considered a precedent for artistic expression rights. "The Beard" was originally agreed by McClure to be made into a film by Andy Warhol but he withdrew permission on the advice of attorneys. Warhol made the film anyway in 1966 starring two of his actor/groupies, Mary Woronov and Gerard Malanga, and gave the only print to McClure as a gift. The movie was never released.

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