A brief commentary on this article. THEODORE had a great cult following in the 1950s in Greenwich Village with his midnight shows at the, then, Circle In The Square. Yes---I was part of that cult. Not having ever forgotten this brilliant "performance artist" (before that term was coined) I was delighted to have once again seen him in performance many years later---he was then called Brother Theodore for reasons explained later--at the 12th St. Rep in NYC. Age==92
He was his usual brilliant self then and it was a delight to see the hall, albeit a small one, filled to capacity with families that wanted their next generation to see him in performance. THEODORE said that the place is packed but, surely, a far cry from the large halls he had filled. Or, as he might say, "...these are people of taste and have a thirst for the knowledge that only I can impart in the metaphysical realm and also the the realm of podiatry".
TO MY GREAT CHAGRIN will be having its premier showings at MoMa in NYC in February of 2008 and I am delighted and honored to announce on this site, well in advance of that, JEFF SUMEREL the producer, writer, and guiding light behind this project will be my guest on TABLETALK in the very near future. Updates on that will follow.
Earlier the story of how THEODORE became BROTHER THEODORE was promised. He explained that in our interview. That interview took place shortly after his 92d birthday at his humble apartment in NYC and was aired on TRADITIONS some time in the late 1990s---around 1997 if I am correct. While, admittedly, it is not something for a folk program his story telling is on a par or better than most "cracker barrel" "front porch chatterers". If it is requested I would be happy to re-air this interview on TABLETALK near the time the film premieres.
I have digressed---a condition for which I am seeking medical attention. BROTHER THEODORE and why that name. He explained in our interview that on the Merv Griffin program and all that TV exposure he was recognized in the street but people could not place him. He always wore black and many said are you not Father So and So---he finally replied to all---BROTHER THEODORE.
THEODORE was, in fact, a tragic figure of great intellectuality (did I make my own word). Theodore Gottlieb came from Vienna and was born to a wealthy and influential publishing family. The Nazis arrived and changed that equation. It gets even more interesting---which you will find if you request the interview re-airing or---better yet---see the documentary and find out all about his career, his failed marriage (and the reason), chess hustling, and, finally performance art. As to his young lady friend---well, that you will only hear about in our interview. I believe---who knows. With THEODORE surprises always awaited.
For you afficianados---have you taken your Oleum Canus for the day? Best you should.