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Return to the Caffe Cino Paperback – November 6, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Return to the Caffe Cino + Caffe Cino: The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway (Theater in the Americas) + Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement (Theater: Theory/Text/Performance)
Price for all three: $73.31

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Moving Finger Press; 1st edition (November 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977421406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977421404
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

RETURN TO THE CAFFE CINO gratifies the reader with many original plays, some of which have never before seen formal publication. What a fantastic service the editors have provided to American Theatre by producing this handsome volume! --Prof. Stephen J. Bottoms, author of PLAYING UNDERGROUND: A CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE 1960s OFF-OFF BROADWAY MOVEMENT<br /><br />Obviously a labor of love... Highly recommended for all theatre collections and any library that is used by students of the theatre. --Richard M. Buck, reviewed in BROADSIDE, the Newsletter of the Theatre Library Association, Vol. 34, Spring 2007

RETURN TO THE CAFFE CINO gratifies the reader with many original plays, some of which have never before seen formal publication. What a fantastic service the editors have provided to American Theatre by producing this handsome volume! --Prof. Stephen J. Bottoms, author of PLAYING UNDERGROUND: A CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE 1960s OFF-OFF BROADWAY MOVEMENT

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Sagan on January 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What a treasure trove: a comprehensive and compulsively readable overview of exactly what went on in the Caffe Cino. It stands apart for its ingenious structure: first a series of personal histories from writers, actors, directors, and others who were there, illustrated with rare and wonderful documentary photographs; and following, a wide-ranging anthology of plays that premiered at the Cino, many previously unavailable. From the postage-stamp stage to the twinkling Christmas lights on the walls, the hissing of Joe's espresso machine - even the Cino's hand-drawn menu is in this book! It's a brilliant portrait of the birthplace of modern American drama.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on December 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There are times in the theater when as Joe Cino announced: 'Ladies and Gentlemen, it's Magic Time!'

Sometimes it happens in one night when everything just comes together to create something that never existed before. At the Caffe Cino it didn't happen every night, it happened over years. It happened on a little eight foot by eight foot stage that was illegal to have in a restaurant. It happened when a group of young people began to explore what could be done with theater. For ten years it was 'Magic Time.' To get on stage in New York is all but impossible. To get on stage at the Caffe Cino you needed a play and actors. No script approval, no auditions, no fees. Build your own set, wear your own clothes, pass the hat at the end.

This book is a tribute to the place and the times. The authors managed to track down a surprising number of the playwrights, performers and associated people to talk about their times there. And they've included 22 plays that were first presented there. Sometimes that was the only presentation, sometimes the play and the actors went on to bigger (not better) things.

It's a marvelous book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Estler on December 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was an exciting find for me. I was already a fan of many of the playwrights anthologized here, Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Robert Patrick, and I had even known of their early work from other small downtown NY theaters . But I had never heard of the Caffe Cino--perhaps the first theater to be called an off-off Broadway theater--where many of these playwrights first got their start.

RETURN TO THE CAFFE CINO gives a fresh, exciting portrait of the non-commercial NY theater scene in the 1960's. The scene is painted here by a score of short essays by the artists that were a part of the creative fission that flared so brightly there and that still influences so much of today's theater. The eyewitness stories are usually hysterically funny, filled with that sense of freedom that ignited a movement that continues today in small independent theaters. And the editors of the anthology have filled the pages with vintage pictures, including one of a fifteen-year-old Bernadette Peters getting her start at the Caffe Cino!

The plays anthologized here include a shockingly wide range of genres, from commercial to experimental, from musicals to verse plays. I was excited to discover an early play by the writer of DREAMGIRLS, Tom Eyen, and also an play I'd never read of Lansford Wilson's, SEX IS BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE. There are screaminly funny and original voices in these plays, as in Robert Patrick's HAUNTED HOSTS; and some playwrights that I'd never heard of...for instance, Jeff Weiss, who wrote a staggeringly accomplished experimental play called A FUNNY WALK HOME, that in itself is worth the price of this marvelous book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Stuart on January 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book richly presents a time of great experimentation in theater. I

was not part of that scene and came later to an appreciation of its

innovation and contribution. It is a great service for those in theater now,

and readers of the book, to see the Caffe Cino through what has been brought

together from primary sources including photos and texts from its plays.

A time to remember but, with the book, a time to re-present and applaud,

as on a current stage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phoebe Wray on February 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Reading "Return to the Caffe Cino" makes me homesick... for the twinkling lights, the startling ideas, the madness of putting a brand new play on overnight, the love and appreciation for the freedom to express the glory and idiocy of life lived full-tilt. And, especially for Joe Cino's beautiful face and his bear hugs. It was a splendid time when we loved the theatre and ideas and each other and the sheer joy of creating something out of nothing. This is a splendid reflection of those days and a beautifully realized book.
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