Behind the Stage Door of the Hampton Playhouse - 17th Season 1965
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Dick Sobol is well known to TV viewers, and has done much regional theatre as well as movies. Kaz Garas has done TV movies and several series. Olga Morosoff become an invaluable asset to the theatre working in many capacities for a number of years.
Rue McClanahan, as I am sure you well know, has gone on to fame and great fortune with important roles on TV and in the series MAUDE with Bea Arthur and then again as one of THE GOLDEN GIRLS.
Rue McClanahan remembers... 'Vincent Gardenia suggested me to Al and John as a possible leading lady at Hampton; as a result, I played in the next twenty productions, the summers of 1965 and 1966, and got to do leads in everything from WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLF (at much too young an age) to BURLESQUE, in which I not only sang 'Come Take A Bite of My Apple,' decked out in a bikini outfit I made myself, with fig leaves here and there, but also played piano in one scene, which required much more courage. I also made another bikini outfit from leopard skin velveteen, complete with ears and tail, for A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, in which I danced as one of the courtesans, leaping at the end into the arms of Richard Kneeland as Pseudolus. Dick Kneeland also played opposite me in AFTER THE FALL, and we were both marvellous. (Well, we WERE.) He was equally adept in drama and farce, and will always be one of my favorite leading men. I met Leo Grillo at Hampton, when he was a teen-aged apprentice. He and I took in a homeless cat that immediately had a litter of kittens, and since it was the end of the season, and I was headed back to New York, Leo took over the task of finding homes for the little ones. Leo Grill is now the founder of DELTA, the highly successful animal sanctuary north of Los Angeles that rescues abandoned dogs from the national forest and abandoned cats from the seashore. I am on the boards of several animal rights groups. I am so proud to be Leo's friend, and happy that we met a Hampton. The best pecan pie I ever tasted was at one of the local restaurants there, It's been 27 years since I was in Hampton, but I still remember that unbelievable pie. It used to bring tears to my eyes. We stayed in those days at Maddie's, a simply perfect rooming house with at least three stories. While staying in the attic bedroom the summer of 1966, early one dawn, I saw my first and only ghost. The bicycling around town, the occasional cardboard set (for LADIES NIGHT IN A TURKISH BATH, I think) the glorious golden weather, the cast parties after openings, the talented people I got to work with, the excitement and demands of weekly stock -- all the memories of Hampton will stay with me all my life."
Despite the fact that this was the third production of LADIES NIGHT, audiences never seem to tire of the wild antics ... through the years it has become one of Hampton's most requested shows.
This season included company members and apprentices Olga Morosoff, Tom Bahring, Bradley Soloman, Charlotte Costello. Sarah Christie, Anita Cigna, and Reua-Nell McClanahan (Rue's mother). This season marked the first for Rue McClanahan, Dick Sabol, Tony Palmer, De French, and Kazimer Garas.
Dick Sabol remembers ... "Rue McClanahan sang 'Come Take A Bite of My Apple' ... so rosy and red ... and I will appease your hunger! Nice strip, too. The beautiful Blythe Danner was the ingenue. Marie Wallace did a great strip popping balloons that were attached to all the right places. I had such stage fright on my way to the theatre opening night, that when I saw a four leaf clover on the side of the road - I ate it!"