The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Treading the Boards #25

steve and vivien

Steve and vivien and harry guardino

Steve McQueen and Vivian Blaine in the 1955 Broadway production A Hatful of Rain.

Below, McQueen and Blaine are joined by Harry Guardino.


mister muleboy said...

My greatest performance as a youthful actor was in an off-Broadway revival of Hatful of Rain During one performance, I threw up -- not from fear, but from my withdrawal.

I didn't know from Method, but . . . .

pH said...

daniel craig looks an awful lot like mcqueen!

H. P. L. said...

You can't beat a Steve McQueen-themed update!

MichaelRyerson said...

There's something deeply unsettling about seeing McQueen, on his knees, wussing it up with a bunch of stage actors. Damnit man! You're the King of Cool! Stand up!

Tommy O'C said...

Biographer Marshall Terrill says competition for the part was "fierce," and McQueen beat out George Peppard and John Cassavettes, among others. A Hatful of Rain was considered a pretty hardcore depiction of drug addiction, at the time. McQueen hung out with real junkies to prepare. He replaced Tony-nominated Ben Gazzara, whose run was up. The play was a major hit. Although McQueen rehearsed hard for the part, he was fired after six weeks because he kept clowning around onstage and didn't mix with the cast and crew.