Tag Archives: Caravan to Oz

Must Read Theater Books – Broadway World

Must Read Theater Books – Broadway World

caravan

We have made Broadway World’s list of “Must Read Theater Books”. Click on the link and scroll down. We are number six!!

Broadway World

To purchase click here: Caravan to Oz

 

 

 

 

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Judith Malina co-founder of The Living Theater dies at 88

Judith Malina co-founder of The Living Theater dies at 88

judith malinaJudith Malina co-founder of The Living Theater died on Friday 10 April.  She and her husband Julian Beck were on the cutting edge of experimental theater from the early ’50’s.  Her presence in the industry will be missed.

New York Times Obituary Judith Malina

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What people are saying about “Caravan to Oz” – photographer Dan Nicoletta

What people are saying about “Caravan to Oz” – photographer Dan Nicoletta

Angels of LightHibiscus aka George Harris III in “Femme Fatale -The Shocking Pink Life of Jayne Champagne” Photo by Dan Nicoletta c 1976

Talented photographer and friend Dan Nicoletta had this to say about “Caravan to Oz”

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caravan To Oz – an essential text on theatre history and LGBT history….,November 8, 2014
This review is from: Caravan to Oz: A family reinvents itself off-off-Broadway (Paperback)
This is a treasure trove of theatre and LGBT history. The legendary Harris Family are a significant vessel for understanding the turbulent social changes of the seminal off off broadway era as well as the west coast independent theatre and film and music scenes of the 60’s through the 80’s. But until now, so much about the family had remained a mystery. Those of us in the know and who appreciated the gravity of their legacy longed for a more in depth remembrance of what actually did occur and who the players were in this legendary family that swirled in and around LaMama Theatre and Cafe Cino and Hibiscus who co-founded the Cockettes as well as The Angels of Light theatre companies. (west and east coast troupes)… and now thankfully we have a definitive primary source text that is lovingly and brilliantly crafted collectively by the surviving family members. The book is chock full of meticulous archival material for the history geek in all of us, but is also a heart wrenching personal remembrance as the latter day Harris’s collectively excavate their whirlwind lives. The book and the family are GOLDEN… a joy to read… tons of amazing pictures… I am completely ferklempt about this one… been waiting a long time for something like this to come along…. Hibiscus was always so sweet to me the few times we met… no wonder… his family is lovely to get to know a little through their wonderful memoir….

 

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Two ways to order Caravan to Oz at The Drama Book Shop

Two ways to order Caravan to Oz at The Drama Book Shop

angels of light tnc

 

There are now two ways to order Caravan to Oz at The Drama Book Shop. Visit the shop in New York City at 250 West 40th. The book is in the theater history section. Or visit their website to order it online at the following link: Caravan to Oz

 

 

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Jim Bowers – Caped Wonder

Jim Bowers – Caped Wonder

Jim-Bowers

Jim Bowers is the creator and curator of  “Caped Wonder,” a website whose mission is to honor and celebrate Christopher Reeve’s legacy as an Actor, Humanitarian, Teacher and Family Man; and to honor the directors, filmmakers, writers, cast and crew of the classic Superman movie series.

The following is from his blog:

24 December 2014

Walter Michael Harris, son of George Harris II who portrayed Officer Mooney in Superman-The Movie, along with his mom and sisters, have written a book, Caravan to Oz, about their amazing acting family. Highly recommended! I had the privilege of contributing photos to their book. You can purchase your copy here. Here is their Facebook page and their official website. Be sure to check out Michael’s dedication to his dad on CapedWonder.com here.

 

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Caravan to Oz Is Now Available At The Drama Book Shop

Caravan to Oz Is Now Available At The Drama Book Shop

drama book shopOur show-biz family memoir, Caravan to Oz: A family reinvents itself off-off-Broadway is now offered at The Drama Book Shop in NYC:  

The DRAMA BOOK SHOP, Inc.
250 West 40th Street – between 7th & 8th Avenue
Tel: 212 944-0595

STORE HOURS (GMT-5)
Monday—Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursdays until 8:00 p.m.
Sundays noon until 6:00

Caravan to Oz is narrated by family members and guests including Oscar-winning actor/director Tim Robbins, theater producers Ellen Stewart, Crystal Field and Ritsaert ten Cate, playwrights Robert Patrick and Robert Heide, filmmakers Scott Morris and Mike Figgis, and educator John Bernhardt. It’s not easy raising six kids in the arts. But the outlier Harrises answer every challenge on their personal yellow brick road with courage and commitment. Their pioneering journey offers something to anyone who is driven by a dream.

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The Harris Sisters – Had an all-access pass to the greatest music scene on earth!

The Harris Sisters – Had an all-access pass to the greatest music scene on earth!

the harris sisters rock and roll

By Jayne Anne Harris, Eloise Harris and Mary Lou Harris

Photo by Dan Jansen

(L-R Jayne Anne Harris, Eloise Harris and Mary Lou Harris)

 Off-Off Broadway theater was our first home. For two decades, The Harris Sisters (Jayne Anne, Eloise and Mary Lou) and the rest of our family performed in original drama and musicals at New York City’s La Mama ETC., Caffe Cino, Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, Theater for the New City, Judson Poets Theater and more. They travelled across Europe with their brother Hibiscus and his Angels of Light Theater troupe. 
Inspired by the beat of the New York punk and rock scene of the late 1970’s, The Harris Sisters and Trouble (our band), led by brother Fred, included bassist Ray Ploutz, guitarists Bill Davis and Josh Callow and drummers Mike Pedulla and Mike Kimmel, played at CBGB, SNAFU, Great Gildersleeves, The Mudd Club, RT Firefly, Peppermint Lounge and other rock venues of the day.

At the height of the disco era, The Harris Sisters were unable to resist our charismatic brother Hibiscus’ charms in wooing us to form the bejeweled rock and roll group, Hibiscus and the Screaming Violets. We embarked on a new tour of New York City disco clubs such as Studio 54, Xenon, The Ice Palace, Bonds, Danceteria and The Red Parrot. We performed on the same circuit with Madonna, The Weather Girls, Blondie, Nona Hendryx, Grace Jones, Michael Musto and The Must, Billy Idol and Cyndi Lauper. It seemed that we had an all access pass to the greatest musical scene on earth…. Stay tuned for more blogs from The Harris Family…
Read The Harris Sisters’ full story in their new memoir, Caravan to Oz: a family reinvents itself off-off Broadway

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Walter Michael Harris – Youngest Cast Member Of Hair on Broadway

Walter Michael Harris – Youngest Cast Member Of Hair on Broadway

Hair Walter    hair logo

By Ann Harris and Walter Michael Harris

 Ann: In autumn 1967 Walter was sixteen and attending the High School of Music and Art. A friend of his asked him to play piano for his audition for HAIR. Walter said “yes” and when the audition ended, Tom O’Horgan, the director, asked if he would like to audition too. So Walt did, and got the part. It was a happy day. Walter was the youngest member of the original Broadway cast. HAIR rehearsed at Ukrainian Hall one-half block from our Ninth Street apartment, and opened April 29 the following year.

Walter Michael: My interest in education was waning. Exhausted from so much after-school theater, I was caught between adolescence and adulthood and surrounded by a seismic cultural shift. The youth counterculture movement was forcing the country to reevaluate its values and priorities.

Although busier than ever as a working actor and musician I was unsure of my place in the world. . My year with HAIR (April 1968 – March 1969) yanked me out of my insecurity and self-doubt and thrust me into the vortex of the youth counterculture, political awareness and a cathartic theatrical experience that changed everything.

The company included the co-authors, Gerome Ragni and James Rado, in the lead roles of Berger and Claude. A handful of actors from the initial Public Theater production were held over. New faces included La MaMa players like Jon Kramer and myself; plus amateurs, pros and people off the street. The chemistry between the authors, the composer and band, the cast and designers, our courageous producer Michael Butler and La MaMa director Tom O’Horgan, produced a hit musical that connected with audiences and critics. Clive Barnes, writing for the New York Times, declared that HAIR was “the first Broadway musical in some time to have the authentic voice of today rather than the day before yesterday.”

HAIR was a smash hit. The cast enjoyed delivering and living HAIR’s powerful anti-war message eight times a week, set to Galt MacDermot’s pulsating score. Shows sold out months in advance. After opening night our company knew that HAIR was more than mere entertainment. We believed it was an experience with the potential to end the Vietnam War, unite the planet and usher in the Age of Aquarius.

From the Harris family’s new memoir, Caravan to Oz: a family reinvents itself off-off-Broadway, © 2014.

www.caravantooz.com

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

Playbill for Hair

 

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What people are saying about Caravan to Oz – Timothy Bellavia

What people are saying about Caravan to Oz – Timothy Bellavia
bookcover2A must read for theater enthusiasts, academics and emerging performance artists!,August 29, 2014
By Timothy Bellavia
This review is from: Caravan to Oz: A family reinvents itself off-off-Broadway (Paperback)
Caravan to Oz is a chronicle of one of the most unique families of the off off Broadway stage and screen. The saga begins with Ann and George Harris, Sr. (Superman, 1978), where life and art converged in a small D.I.Y. garage theater in Florida. Just like the old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney films Anne and George Sr. took themselves and their six “babes in arms” to acclaim to stages throughout New York City and Europe. The cast of this family memoir ranges from La Mama’s Ellen Stewart to Oscar winning actor / director Tim Robbins.
The candid pictures and narrations from the Harris siblings is a “how to survive guide” for any hopeful thespian or artist in this new depression era. The memoir answers every question, challenge, and tells it like it is … behind every TV, IMDB film credit or theater credit there is the day job or in the case of The Screaming Violets: Jayne, Eloise, and Mary Lou – a night job at the coat check at Studio 54.
Besides the nail-biting, high risk-taking for the sake of art making there is tragedy ranging from losing Hibiscus to HIV/ AIDS causes (the renowned performance artist and founder of the psychedelic theater troupe The Cockettes) to 9/11 and its effect on the Harris family and their own survival and need for further reinvention.
Caravan to Oz shares the highs and the “do or die” of the artist’s way (… and then some). What is refreshing is that book is full of living and not replete with backstabbing or name dropping of most memoirs. The names that are dropped however throughout the picture packed pages just happen to have graced the lives of Anne, George, Sr. Hibiscus, Walter-Michael, Frederic, Jayne, Eloise, and Mary Lou Harris. A must read for theater enthusiasts, academics or emerging D.I.Y. performers.
Timothy Bellavia is an Educator, Author,  and Owner/Founder at “We Are All The Same Inside”.
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