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When Tom O'Horgan's production of Jesus Christ Superstar opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre last October, the high and the mighty of New York theater criticism suffered what might be described as a collective fit. Their high-voltage invectives, hurled primarily at O'Horgan's direction and concept, all but charred the pages they were printed on.
The staid Walter Kerr of The New York Times, in an unusual display of verbal fireworks, minced few words: "It is a deep mystery to me how this man has been able to identify himself with a counterculture that prides itself on relavence....Mr. O'Horgan is eternally bent on cutting across what is good, severing head from body....Hollywood at its coarsest has never come up with the like....But there is a worst to be dealt with and it lies in the unbelievable vulgarity of Mr. O'Horgan's imagination."
Time Magazine of October 25 enticed its readers with a "Superstar" cover, and a luscious four-page color spread of the production, then proceeded to demolish it by printing: "Superstar's vulgarity is less in the realm of religion than in theatrical taste....O'Horgan's aim is mainly to shock the sensibilities; often, alas, that is all he manages to do....Jesus Christ Superstar is show biz with a twist: O'Horgan, who was influenced by Olsen and Johnson, has made it into a sort of 'Heavenzapoppin'" On that same date Newsweek, also allotting Superstar four pages of ravishing color, wrote of O'Horgan: "When he came uptown to direct the broadway version of Hair, he slipped somewhat into a bitchy Busby Berkeleyism that boded ill; with last season's splashy, campy "Lenny" things got still worse, and now his staging of Superstar apparently confirms him as the Petronius of our theatrical decadence, the drag-haberdasher of the lumpen-avant-guarde."
And so it went. The acerbic John Simon, writing in New York Magazine, implanted his familiar kiss of death: "The superstar of this production is not jesus, nor any of the actors or authors, but Tom O'Horgan, who 'conceived' and directed it....The entire production looks rather like a Radio City Music Hall show into whose producers' and designers' coffee cups the gofer had slipped some LSD."
In a surprising gesture of unsolidarity, "Superstar" authors, Tim Rice (lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) practically disowned their director in a recent New York Times interview. said Webber "Let's just say that we don't think this production is the definitive one."
Clearly, Tom O'Horgan is the solid-gold villain of a production that has a $1.2 million advance sale, and promises to be an unparalleled hit. There is no question but that O'Horgan's staging of "Jesus Christ Superstar" has added immeasurably to its success. For all it's outrageousness, for all its gaudy theatricality, and for all its desperate striving for effects, the production bristles with life. One can only assume that what so enraged the critics is O'Horgan's handling of a sacrosanct theme. Indeed, no particular outrage was registered when a two-disc album of "Superstar" reduced the Scriptures to a simplistic, one-dimensional rock opera describing Christ's last days on earth. The album, which has sold in the millions, allows the public to envision its own version of the drama. O'Horgan's vision, as personal as anyone's, has the temerity to question Christ's sexuality, brings on King Herod in grotesque drag, has Judas played by a black man, and turns the Crucifixion into a 3-D tour de force. And so, the critics were offended.
Loudly bewailing a dying theater, carping about directors bereft of imagination, upbraiding plays whose productions sag, limp and creak for want of vision, they were suddenly shocked and dismayed by a production alive with a brilliant, though admittedly bizarre and overwrought melange of visual and physical tricks. Obviously the critics have misunderstood O'Horgan's message altogether. Had they followed his Off-Off-Broadway career, where he ignited the tiny stages of makeshift lofts, and his work at places like the Caffe Cino, the Judson Church and, most frequently, at Ellen Stewart's Cafe La Mama, they would have instantly realized that everything in his productions of Hair, Lenny, and Jesus Christ Superstar had appeared in one form or another in such early Off-Off-Broadway theatrical experiments as Rochelle Owens's "Futz!", Paul Foster's "Tom Paine", Leonard Melfi's "Birdbath", and Jean Genet's "The Maids" (in which O'Horgan, complying with Genet's staging instructions, cast two men in the roles of the two obsessed and sinister maids).
Throughout most of the nineteen-sixties, O'Horgan devised and refined a technique which found actors going through prerehearsal sensory sessions, honing their bodies, their responses, their voices, to a point where they could ultimately function with maximum physical and vocal fluidity, producing a fully integrated orchestration of the mind and the body - and coming together as a viable unit ready and able to perform with a freedom, abandon and control that conventionally trained actors have, of late, vainly tried to emulate.
O'Horgan does not so much direct actors as "tune" them. For him, the concept of a theatrical moment belongs as much to the actor as it does to him. Actors are free to make choices and react within them. O'Horgan's role is to edit, or, as he puts it, "orchestrate". Mostly, he insists on what might be termed a kind of "passionate discipline" in which actors (as well as stage designers and lighting men) coalesce into units producing highly stylized theatrical events - but stylized only in the sense of effecting a supra realism that aims for the essentials of any given theme, or play.
This is in no way to be confused with the disciplinary methods practiced by men like Jerzy Grotowski or even Peter Brook. The Polish Grotowski, for example, treats theater as a laboratory in which actors are vessels of research, masterminded by a director intent on drawing out the extremes of body-mind relationships, producing ensemble work that explores the collective unconscious of his actors to a point of rarefied, not to say terrifying, self-involvement. O'Horgan had not heard of Grotowski when he began developing his directorial style. When Grotowski came to New York with his company, O'Horgan found his work totally amazing, but totally uninvolving. "I find Grotowski's work entirely too rigid." he says. "Despite the unbelievable energy there is always something empty for me. It always adds up to a gigantic Excedrin headache. I've never worked with him, because what he does is completely different from what I'm interested in. The groups that have tried to emulate him have really not been successful at it. The sensibilities are totally different. I don't believe in directors wielding total control - and Grotowski wields it. I mean, there is a certain freedom in what they do, but ultimately, I don't like to see a dozen people reproducing somebody else's mind."
Tom O'Horgan is a soft-spoken man of 45. he presents the image of an aging hippie: dark-brown hair falling loosely below his shoulders, a heavy mustache speckled with gray, a portly 5-foot-8-inch body in a perennially relaxed and cool slouch. By the same token, O'Horgan's odd looks suggest a portrait of a Frans Hals peasant - burly, roughhewn, disheveled and, somewhere, boisterously good-humored.
On a recent evening, I was invited to accompany O'Horgan as he made the rounds of his various Broadway productions. The action went something like this:
BACKSTAGE AT THE BILTMORE THEATRE, 47TH STREET, WEST OF BROADWAY: TOM O'HORGAN'S PRODUCTION OF HAIR.
"Oh Tom, Tom...baby...daddy-Tom...I've baked you a cake, and man, you better eat it too, or I'll go out and buy me a great big gun, and won't you be sorry then!" A lusty black girl in the cast of hair stands in the wings waiting to go on. She's laughing and talking and joking with her director, hugging him, kissing him there in the wings while the show is in progress. In a moment, another black cast member rushes off stage, sees O'Horgan, stops short, then sort of swishes up to him and says, "I've auditioned for your new show Inner City. I did it in drag, baby, and sang my poor little heart out, but they weren't looking for drag queens, so I didn't get the part and I went home and just cried and cried..." He shrieks with laughter, hugs Tom O'Horgan, gives him a little peck on the cheek, then flies back on stage to do his thing in the "first American tribal love rock musical."
O'Horgan, in a blue-denim suit, stands watching his production, watching to see if the show still hangs together - perhaps finding it a little flabby, a little tired - making mental notes.
When Hair breaks for intermission, which is the moment when most of the cast stands naked facing the by now blasé audience in a gesture of defiance and "naked truth", O'Horgan is again besieged by a rush of kids running off stage. They surround him, some not even bothering to put their clothes back on. They pat him, hug him, crack jokes. It's all wildly familial. Tom O'Horgan, their daddy-director-liberator, just smiles and lets it all happen. In a while, the cast disperses and O'Horgan confers with the stage manager. he next turns to me and suggests we walk across the street to look in on "Lenny".
BACKSTAGE AT THE BROOKS ATKINSON THEATER, 47TH STREET, WEST OF BROADWAY: TOM O'HORGAN'S PRODUCTION OF LENNY:
Total alertness on everybody's part the moment O'Horgan walks backstage. The atmosphere is a bit tense here. The informality far less apparent. It's a different kind of show. Actors standing in the wings merely wave or nod or smile as O'Horgan walks by. There are no spontaneous embraces. (Earlier on I had attempted to speak with Cliff Gorman, who plays Lenny Bruce, but was told Gorman did not wish to speak about O'Horgan. One close associate of Gorman's intimated that the two were no longer on speaking terms - a question of Gorman's feeling that the show had "one star too many". O'Horgan himself seemed edgy on the subject of Gorman, although he was unstinting in his praise of Gorman's portrayal of Bruce.)
At the moment, Cliff Gorman is center-stage, racing through Lenny's shticks - unleashing Lenny's awful truths with an almost breathless concentration. Huge papier-mache puppets rise ominously behind Gorman. Actors on stilts walk weirdly and clumsily in front of him, bringing to visual life Lenny's mocking, aching tirades. The action gets swifter, the scenes move and change with the fluid pace of speeding cinematic passages. Lenny's jokes come fast and furious. The audience reacts with loud, nervous laughter, often stopping short so as not to miss the next lines - so as not to miss a moment of the action O'Horgan has so frenetically devised. A small band is on stage. It plays some tinny, night-club music, its rhythms jazzy, lemony, crude - and very ninteen-fifties. The music is by Tom O'Horgan, composed especially for the play. It's the music he remembered hearing when he and Lenny Bruce were friends, when the two played their separate acts in seedy night-clubs throughout the country - Lenny at his mike, and O'Horgan at his harp. But those were the crazy years....
From the wings, O'Horgan watches intently. His face is very calm - serene almost. His gaze is steady and secure. His pale blue eyes focus on the action. He seems pleased enough. O'Horgan is presently approached by Robin Wagner, who has designed the sets for Hair, Lenny, Jesus Christ Superstar. Wagner tells O'Horgan he has some new design ideas for O'Horgan's latest musical, Inner City, based on "The Inner City Mother Goose" a book of poems by Eve Merriam.
O'Horgan invited him to join us, as we leave the theater and walk up broadway.
BACKSTAGE: THE MARK HELLINGER THEATRE, 51ST STREET, WEST OF BROADWAY: TOM O'HORGAN'S PRODUCTION OF JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR:
jesus Christ Superstar is playing to standing room only. From backstage, the music blares loud and raucously. The activity on and off stage is frantic. At the moment, Herod sings his campy drag-queen number. The audience is heard screaming with laughter. All evening, a complex shifting of scenery and props has kept stagehands, lightmen, and actors incredibly busy. Split-second timing is the order of the evening. Actors in fantastic costumes have been carried aloft on the vast Hellinger stage, precariously balancing on movable platforms that rise and descend with unnerving regularity. A barrage of machinery activates everything from scenery to stage floor.
O'Horgan walks in, and the atmosphere is on a par with that of Hair - much informal banter between the crew and the actors. O'Horgan's presence once more elicits embraces, smiles, and jokes. He is told the chief propman is drunk, but seems to operate everything with amazing coordination. O'Horgan laughs, but makes several fast inquiries, checking to see if all is running smoothly. Satisfied that no mishaps are in the offing, he motions Wagner and me into a small office. Ever cool, ever collected, O'Horgan sits down and is shown a series of sketches. He studies them carefully, and listens to Robin Wagner's ideas. The talk is about simplicity, economy, clarity. "Inner City" has only nine characters, and the staging and decor will be extremely intimate - a decided departure for late O'Horgan. (The play, which opened on December 19, received undeservedly harsh reviews, and O'Horgan's direction was once again severely taken to task by most of the daily critics. Only Clive Barnes of The Times deemed O'Horgan's staging an "excellent job.")
"Go ahead with these" O'Horgan tells Wagner. "I like the stark Edward Hopper atmosphere. It'll work." A knock at the door. It's Harvey Milk, a longtime friend of O'Horgan's, and a general aide on all of his productions. About O'Horgan's age, Harvey Milk is a sad-eyed man - another aging hippie with long, long hair, wearing faded jeans and pretty beads; he seems to be instinctively attuned to all of O'Horgan's needs. He's come to pick us up. It was time to go to O'Horgan's loft, where I would interview him.
TOM O'HORGAN'S LOFT ON EAST 13TH STREET:
A vast place. Renovations are clearly in progress. A long bookcase with a secret panel (leading into the bedroom) is in the process of being installed. Near the center of the enormous loft stands a huge 350-year-old Japanese gong. I am invited to strike it. The sound is overwhelming. There are many other instruments around: A celesta, a bass drum, a whole family of smaller Oriental gongs, dozens upon dozens of medieval and Renaissance instruments of every size and description.
But the most startling area of the loft is the one O'Horgan refers to as the "swamp". It is a veritable forest of indoor plants. The area, located near the several wide windows, measures some 5 feet by 10 feet. Every conceivable variety of vegetation, from pines to cacti, some rising to the ceiling, form a surreal indoor garden. There are rocks, moss and sandy paths which one can climb and follow. O'Horgan insists I penetrate his "swamp". I move into the thick greenery, and soon hear the soft gurgling of a small waterfall, there for irrigation and decor. As I proceed further, bending low, avoiding branches that cross my path I come to a meditation nook. A small platform, covered with pillows and holding a single candle, is hidden within the recess of this miniature forest. "That's where I do my meditating." O'Horgan informs me with a laugh.
There are very few chairs in Tom O'Horgan's loft. He prefers sitting on enormous pillows, dozens of which are strewn across the floor. "There is nothing to drink and nothing to eat." O'Horgan tells me. Harvey Milk volunteers to run out for coffee, Cokes and Danish. In a few minutes he reappears with the food, and we all settle down for our talk.
"I was born in Chicago, on May 3, 1926" O'Horgan begins. "My father was a very talented singer, and he deeply loved the theater, but his family wouldn't let him pursue it, and so he went into the printing business. I was an only child, and my parents spoiled me rotten. When I went to grade school, the teacher asked me what i wanted to do when I grew up. I told her I wanted to be a stage manager, because that's what I thought a director was. I remember on my first day at school, I insisted on inspecting the stage. I found it dismal, and went home and told my father that the school ought to install some footlights. Anyway, at one point, my father made a puppet theater for me. I loved it because it had movable sets and had dimmers for the lighting.
"The following year, I became interested in marionettes, and my ambition (I was now in third grade) was to create a marionette show of Wagner's "Ring". Of course, I never got very far with that. But you see, my earliest recollections as a child were of the theater. I remember a production number - I'm sure I saw it at the Chicago Theatre, which was a motion picture house - that was very blue, and very elaborate, and contained a large sink and a lot of young ladies dressed in some kind of strange costumes, all going down the drain! I really remember that. I know I didn't imagine it. So, some crazy person was staging a number that deeply affected my life.
"My mother, by the way, was not at all interested in the theater. She put up with it - suffered through it.. She indulged me in every possible way. I mean, if ever a child had encouragement in the theater it was me. There was never any struggle about it. My parents are both dead now. They would have gotten such a charge out of my present success.
"At any rate, when I reached fourth grade, I had a teacher by the name of Robert Sheehan. He seemed very old to me - he was 21. Well, he was the first person who found out I could sing. One day he put on a version of Humperdinck's opera "Hansel and Gretel" and I sang Hansel. That teacher (who, incidentally, came to the opening of Superstar) turned me on completely to music, and from that time on I could never separate the two big aspects of theater: music and drama. I mean, dancing and singing and acting - they were all one thing to me.
"Eventually, I went to DePaul University. I studied music - composition, mainly. I wrote a couple of operas. I formed my own opera group and toured with a staging i did of Mozart's "Bastien and Bastienne". On the basis of that, the school offered me the run of an experimental workshop. I got my M.A. and started work on a doctorate. It was very important for me to go to college, but once I was there I was sort of disappointed, so I went ahead and got my degrees very quickly, then took off for New York.
"Actually, I only established a beachhead in New York, because I kept running back to Chicago. In New York I formed a quintet of male voices. We sang very rousing, very commercial things. I took the group to Chicago and we stayed one year. When we disbanded, I began working at Second City, which was then called the Playwrights Theatre Club. It was run by Paul Sills, and there were Barbara Harris, Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Zohra Lampert and others, all acting in very classical plays. I wrote about two dozen scores for these productions. Later, Second City became an improvisational theater, and I was part of that too.
"It was during this time that i worked up an act with my harp. Once, I went on the Arthur Godfrey talent show, and became an Arthur Godfrey winner. Another Godfrey winner was Lenny Bruce. Did you know that? Anyway, my harp act was really quite serious. There was a period in the fifties when people were doing a lot of esoteric night-club acts. Mine was very successful and very strange. I sang everything from folk songs to German lieder to French chansons to Jerome Kern. I played in countless night-clubs around the country, and on many occasions Lenny Bruce and I would be performing on the same bill. That's how we got to know each other. It was a crazy time.
"When Paul Sills brought his Second City to New York, I quit my harp act and joined him. I stayed with Second City for nearly two years, writing plays and operas and a lot of music for the improvisations. In my spare time - we are now in the late fifties - I began to do things for the Caffe Cino down in the Village. I did a show called "Love (word missing) Variations" which had a (word missing) peculiar form to it and embodied some of the things I'm involved with now. Then I did something at the Judson Church called "Garden of earthly Faucets" which was a large piece with some 70 people in it. We did it for one night only. I called it a "chance masque" and it dealt with hardware. the text came from hardware literature - you know, instructions on how to put up brackets, and the like. There was a "chance" orchestra of about 20 people playing on hardware gadgets, and there was a real orchestra up in the balcony. Harvey Milk was in it, and also Robert Downey. The apotheosis of the piece came when a nude young man stepped out of a large box and did a long recitative out of a hardware catalogue. It was an interesting piece.
"I also did what was probably the first pop musical. I called it "Big Me", and it was a parody of a book called "Little Me". It was done at Frankie's Tropical Bar on 8th Street - a kind of sleazy, marvelous place which no longer exists. Anyway, I had eight people playing a zillion parts and wearing a zillion different costumes, including an 8-foot gorilla suit which I made myself. The work followed the book rather closely, except that all of the characters had a sex-change. There was a movie going with it, and all sorts of other things as well. It was quite mad, and I wish I could resee it.
"Then I did an all male production of Genet's The Maids, which was first done in a loft I was living in on 3rd Street. I turned the loft into a little theater, and when everybody went home, I used to sleep in the set. Anyway, Jimmy Wigfall was in it - he's the boy who now plays the bishop in "Lenny" - and one night he brought Ellen Stewart to see it, and she became completely enamored of it. That's how I met Ellen, and that's how i came to work at Cafe La Mama, because Ellen told me to come to her theater and put on "The Maids" which I did at least five or six times, throughout the years.
"My life at Cafe La Mama spanned a period of eight years - from 1961 to 1968. I directed an awful lot of plays there. I acted in them, composed music for them and did just about everything a theater person could hope for. I mean, Ellen would say to me 'Listen honey, I've got this play, and i want you to direct it' and I'd direct it. I must have staged something like 30 plays at La Mama. The impetus, of course, was Ellen Stewart. She created work for everybody. She could not abide any kind of idleness. She called it 'stirring up the pots'. She knew if she got enough movement going, something would happen. It was an absolutely unbeatable formula.
"At one point, I moved out of my loft, and moved in with Ellen - as a lot of other people have done. You see, there came a moment when I decided not to have any kind of regular home. It was necessary for me to detach myself from owning things, or having a place of my own. Of course, during those years I managed to collect a lot of junk, keeping it in various places - mainly in Ellen's closets. This was all really part of a movement. The whole materialistic thing seemed ridiculous to a lot of us.
"So I was living this life, putting on what seemed endless plays, and one day the Hair thing happened. I had, of course, known Gerome Ragni and James Rado all along. They were part of Joseph Chaikin's Open Theatre group, which was putting on some very interesting experimental things of its own. Well, one day, Ragni ran up to me on the street and said "I've written a musical with Jimmy rado and Galt MacDermot, and I want you to direct it." I said "Fine". Then I asked him what the musical was about, and he told me it was a big secret, but he'd let me in on it soon.
"In the meantime, Ellen Stewart decided to send several La Mama companies to Europe. I took one of them to Stockholm, and other places. I was gone for several months. When I returned, I was told that Hair was being done at Joseph Papp's place - The Public Theater. Ragni asked me to come and see it and told me he wasn't too happy with it. So I went, and I loved it, although the room it was done in made it seem almost invisible. I couldn't really remember it afterwards - I mean, I remembered some of the music - some moments - but that was all. So, again, ragni said "I want you to direct it." Then he added "And, by the way, we're going to do it on Broadway." Well, doing a musical like Hair on Broadway seemed really very groovy to me...and I guess, the rest is history."
Tom O'Horgan smiles, sips some coffee, bites into his danish and chews thoughtfully. He has been talking nonstop in a calm, even-timbered voice. More than ever, he looks like some burly 17th-century burgher, with his long disheveled hair, his workmen's clothes. There is a slight air of fatigue about him just now - a weariness around the eyes. A distracted look crosses his face. All along, Harvey Milk has been lying sleepily outstretched on an immense pillow, and, during O'Horgan's talk, a young man, whom I recognize as the stage manager of "Lenny", and who apparently shares O'Horgan's loft, has come in, gone to the rear, changed his clothes, and quietly joined us.
I ask O'Horgan whether the barrage of negative criticism he's come in for lately has in any way affected him or his work. How does he like critics calling him cheap, decadent, sensationalistic, gimmicky, vulgar, overinflated, megalomaniacal?
"I don't read reviews very much" he says. "Oh, I guess I do read some of them. One critic called me the Busby Berkeley of the underground. I happen to consider that extremely flattering. I've always loved Berkeley's work. I think he is one of America's greatest sculptors. The fact that he used beautiful girls to construct a whole new art form - predating op-art - well, that's fantastic! I've seen all his movies. There's an energy there - a quality - that's absolutely dazzling. Frankly, I don't think any American director comes out of the theater. He really comes out of film, because that's the only exposure he's had when he was young and impressionable. cinematic fluidity is always something I wanted to bring to the stage. I was always extremely bored with going to the theater and having to wait for them to change the scenery, for actors to come on and go off - you know, all those dreary formalities. that's why my shows look the way they do.
"I've never stinted on my avant-garde notions. But let's face it, there is no more avant-guarde, there is no more underground. Everything has surfaced. There just isn't any point going into some loft now, and putting on some crazy play. We did all that at a time when you couldn't do crazy things anywhere else. I'm probably more outrageous on Broadway than I ever was downtown. I mean, in "Lenny", I make the President's mouth into a corpse-bearing toilet, and it doesn't really shock anyone.
"But as far as the critics are concerned, they never seem to review plays any more. They're busy reviewing subject matter. In the case of "Lenny" and "Superstar" they were reviewing Lenny, the man, and - so help me - Jesus Christ! They were saying things like 'How dare they tamper with jesus Christ!' or 'How dare they make a lot of money out of Jesus Christ!' - when people have been making money out of J.C. forever!
"Look, the point is, no one is more critical of me than I am. If you think that when you direct a show you have divine inspiration - that it all comes to you in a flash - well, that's not the way it goes at all. It's because you've tried everything else, and it didn't work. Directing is not a haphazard thing. It's a very complex series of challenges and compromises. Now, if you are so inexperienced in the theater that you don't know that - and you deign to write reviews about it - I don't know why I should be concerned about them. Walter Kerr has never given me a good review. Clive Barnes gave "Superstar" a good review, although it was a strange half-and-half affair. Actually Barnes has been very good to me. As for John Simon...well, I'm a little bored with his bitchy closet-sex jokes. I can't get excited about that sort of thing.
"I'm going to go on doing what I've been doing all along, and that is creating some sort of magic, because that's what theater is all about. I believe in transformations. Right now, I'm busy thinking about my new project, and that is the possibility of going to Moscow and doing a Russian version of Paul Foster's play "Tom Paine". This is part of a new U.S.S.R. exchange program in which a Russian director will come and direct a play in New York, and an American one will do the same in Moscow. If it all works out it will be a fantastic experience for me.
"Of course, my dream is to direct an opera. There is a possibility that this may happen soon. I don't think opera has ever really come off. It has missed its point. In the Renaissance, people invented opera not knowing that that's what they were inventing. The point is, they were trying to recreate Greek drama, in all its totality, with song, dance, musical instruments and the sculpture of the Greek theater itself. Of course, I think the music is king in opera - there's no dispute there. And the man who runs that is the conductor. Anyway, I can't wait to stage an opera - preferably at the Met, with that enormous stage of theirs!"
Tom O'Horgan pauses. It has gotten very late. The loft has suddenly assumed a weird, other-worldly look. The silence that now envelopes us abets this strange, surreal atmosphere. Harvey Milk looks bizarre, lying on his huge pillow. The young man, sitting some distance away, suggests a silent, ominous presence. O'Horgan himself appears strangely inert - oddly distant and removed. The four of us sit like characters out of some menacing, sinister play. Breaking this silence and mood, I ask O'Horgan to describe what he's feeling at this very moment. Very quietly he answers, "I feel calm and crazy - agonized and ecstatic."
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