ELLIOT NORTON REVIEWS: "LENNY" {MARY SMALL, JON YATES, MARTY BRILL} (TV)

Summary

One in this series of irregularly scheduled interview programs hosted by Boston drama critic Elliot Norton. This program features a discussion among cast members from the revival of Julian Berry's play "Lenny" at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, which focuses on the life and tragic end of nightclub entertainer/comedian Lenny Bruce (1927-1966). Marty Brill, who plays Lenny, Mary Small, who plays Bruce's mother, and the director, Jon Yates, discuss aspects of the production, including the effect of the Watergate scandal on the timeliness of the revival as compared with the 1971 Broadway production; Brill's sympathetic portrayal of Bruce; audience reactions; and the decision to change the ending from the original production. Brill -- a personal friend of Bruce's -- and the others share anecdotes about, and offer insight into, Bruce as a person and as a performer. Among the topics discussed are Bruce's choice of language and the effect of obscenity in his act; his inflammatory style of comedy, as compared with the gentler style of Will Rogers; Bruce's relationship with his audiences and his choice of subject matter; and his problems with the law, which led to his financial ruin, poor health, and finally, his death.

Acquisition and cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Details

  • NETWORK: PBS WGBH Boston, MA
  • DATE: November 12, 1974 Tuesday
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:40
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T91:0241
  • GENRE: Talk/Interviews
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: WGBH (Boston, MA) - TV series, 1967-1982
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Pauline Mercer … Producer
    • Howard Lowe … Director
    • Elliot Norton … Host
    • Julian Berry
    • Marty Brill
    • Lenny Bruce
    • Will Rogers
    • Mary Small
    • Jon Yates