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Really a generational question.
Well, what we would try to do is we tried to present
programming that was relevant to members' lives. So that if we did a -
- Howard Roberts could do some thumping stuff with real, you know,
he had some singers there who sounded like they ran store-front
churches. You would have an audience shouting and stomping. I have
letters from hospital people -- from doctors, from administration --
saying that this has improved morale, that after a show people feel
good the rest of the day. So that that kind of culture is good. Labor
theatre, “I Just Wanted Someone To Know”, was pretty indigenous
kind of stuff about working people. Sam Levenson went to certain
nursing homes, where there were Blacks and Whites -- Sam
Levenson's stuff works with everybody. It works more with Whites
than with Black, but it works pretty much.
Ossie and Ruby. Ossie and Ruby worked with everybody. So that then
when you got to “Take Care,” and those shows -- because some of the
music in that was good pop music. In “Take Care, Take Care,” the one
guy we had to bring in because someone didn't work out with the
numbers. I forget who -- oh! Eve Merriam at the last minute said that
she couldn't be involved in “Take Care, Take Care” and we were
counting on her. So we brought in a guy named Alan Menken. Alan
Menken is the guy who wrote the music and lyrics for Little Shop of
Horrors, and Alan is now a big wheel. He's very talented -- fast, he
knocked out three numbers -- that kind of thing. We had great
musicians. The people who Howard would get -- the three people in
the band -- were terrific musicians! But anyway, so it was good. It
wasn't Bruce Springsteen's stuff. Not Springsteen -- that is, Belafonte.
But remember we have a membership that's old and young. Belafonte
can appeal to everybody. So the kind of stuff worked -- it worked. I
can explain a little bit as we go in to it.
We did many many things that were moving people up. Well, let me
cite simple things. Like we had a exhibition, the second exhibition --
it'll throw my story out because there are certain points I'll make, but
I'll make it now. The second exhibition in the month of February -- the
exhibitions were to be every six weeks, or four weeks, I forget -- was
Earl Dotter's Southern Textile Workers. Right?
I was at that.
Were you at it that Friday night then?
The opening, yes.
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