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#3947: The "Haitian" MacBeth of the 1930s -Reply from Koughan
From: Frank Koughan <FMK@cbsnews.com>
I just happen to be reading "Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles" by
David Thomson (Vintage, 1996) which has a very short chapter on it --
the first I ever heard of this. Essentially, it was the first Big Thing Welles
ever did. It was WPA theater project, staged by Welles and John
Houseman. It opened April 14, 1935 at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem,
with the set built to resemble a jungle and music provided by actual
Haitian drummers. The reviews were ecstatic -- except for Percy
Hammond in the NY Herald Tribune. The voodooists in the troupe
promptly put a curse on him, and he was dead in a week!
Regrettably, according to the book, nothing remains but a few still
Almost forgot -- ran for 64 sold-out performances, then moved
downtown for a few more months.