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Caffe Cino: The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway (Theater in the Americas) Paperback – June 8, 2005

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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“This remarkable, informative, and entertaining book is essential reading for anyone interested in the theatre of the twentieth century. Joe Cino and his ‘magical’ Caffe Cino were at the epicenter of the breakthrough revolutionary spirit of the 1960s in terms of the important theatre movement that came to be known as Off-Off-Broadway. A good read. Go for it.”—Robert Heide, playwright and author of The Bed and Moon


“It is very unnerving to read a book about a phenomenon central to your creative life only to discover the author knows more about it than you can remember yourself. Wendell Stone’s book is breathtaking in its perfect depiction of a special place and a magic time. I am tempted to walk down to Cornelia Street to see if, like Brigadoon, the Caffe Cino lives again.”—Doric Wilson, playwright and author of Street Theater, Forever After, Now She Dances! and A Perfect Relationship


“Wendell Stone has gathered the facts and fictions, the lies and legends, the elusive chronology and the effusive mythology of the most wonderful place of all time and arranged them with precision and perspective. I learned a throng of things I never knew about the Caffe Cino from this bountiful book.”—Robert Patrick, playwright and author of Kennedy’s Children, Temple Slave, and Film Moi: Narcissus in the Dark

 

“Stone’s definitive history provides not only a detailed chronological production history of Joseph Cino’s café theatre, but also broaches the subtle social, economic, political, and theoretical contexts that gave rise to the Off-Off-Broadway world of coffeehouse theatres. This study will delight scholars of American theatre and also serves as inspiration for emerging playwrights, directors, and actors who are searching for a historical context for their own careers.”—David A. Crespy, author of Off-Off-Broadway Explosion

About the Author

Wendell C. Stone teaches in the Department of Mass Communication and Theatre Arts at the State University of West Georgia. His articles have appeared in Twentieth-Century American Dramatists, Text and Presentation, and Notable Gays and Lesbians in American Theater History.
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Product Details

  • Series: Theater in the Americas
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (June 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809326450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809326457
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,750,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Never heard of Caffe Cino? Try Bernadette Peters, Sam Shepard . . . Al Pacino? Yes, all got stage time in their fledgling careers at the legendary Greenwich Village cafe/theatre known as Caffe Cino. It was the seminal womb of Off-Off-Broadway theatre in New York. This space, inhabited by founder Joe Cino and a host of practically mythic characters, was a non-judgemental---and magical---laboratory for a generation of new theatre artists, many but not all gay. It was a place where they could risk, and often fail, but also create groundbreaking successes.

Scholar Wendell Stone has done a masterly job of snatching important historical interviews, first-hand accounts, and documentary artifacts from the precipice of obscurity. We are all richer for it. Moreover, he does so with such grace and obvious affection for the subject that the factual read turns out to be a most pleasant ride. Woven through the saga of the location is the elegant tragedy of the man, Joseph Cino, a figure practically unknown, but a determined soul who literally sacrificed himself for his small corner of artistic influence. Stone has redeemed that sacrifice with this simple but illuminating snapshot of a "magic time" and place---New York's Greenwich Village in the 1960s---and the merry band of genderbenders who presided over Caffe Cino. New Yorkers (wherever you may live); theatre lovers; gay historians; students of life, love, and loss---this book is for you.

I have to end this review with a disclaimer: I know Wendell Stone very well. He is a most respected colleague and friend. We did PhD work concurrently and I watched this material develop from an idea to an important and exciting work. I've loved this topic for a long time now and am pleased to see that Wendell's treatment of it has been so appreciated. It's a good book by a good guy. Read and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a treasure for theatre students and enthusiasts, a valuable resource for everyone interested in the pieces of history that are in danger of being lost to future generations.

Steve Susoyev, author of People Farm
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