I was hired to adapt an East Indian script into a screenplay for a Hollywood-Bollywood crossover romantic comedy, INDIAN BEAUTY, that was later taken out of my hands by Dot Com Productions and Trinity International Entertainment.  The title, that was theirs to begin with, changed to ON THE OTHER SIDE.






Acting with John Mookey Suarez and my favorite children's party clown, Magical Marion Covit, in my political screwball comedy, The Assassination that Saved John's Pizzeria, at the Bank Street Theatre, in 1995.  I was never actually that heavy, it was just an illusion I created in order to authentically portray the proprietor of a pizza place.  






Catherine Russell and Robert Zaleski, in my existential political drama, I'LL SEE YOU IN HELL, also presented at the Bank Street Theatre, in 1995.  Robert's one of those reliable actors who you could always count on to return your call a half hour after you make it, and to show up where you want him to be, a half hour after that.  And Cathy, of course, defines the term New York Institution.  In the fifteen years that she's been both starring in and general managing New York's longest running play, PERFECT CRIME, Cathy has only missed four of the show's more than fifty five hundred performances.  She truly has a busier schedule than anyone I've ever met, and I felt honored that this creative dynamo found the time, and the enthusiastic energy, to shine in my play. 





Contrary to popular consensus, the definitive title SUPERSTAR does not apply to a biopic about Andy Warhol,  it isn't a film depiction of the antics of Molly Shannon's sacred SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE character, and it's not even the layman's way of referring a rock musical about  the father of Christianity.   SUPERSTAR is actually the name of a screenplay that I was commissioned to write, or should I say to adapt, from a West Indian film, into a story about American rural black people.  The basic plot deals with a popular singer who can't deal with the fact that his wife suddenly succeeds and knocks him out of the spotlight, in the forever fickle entertainment industry.  I was paid a flat rate to write this script, I signed the rights away, but I have every reason to believe that the film got made, and that one day, when I'm watching Cinemax at four in the morning, I'll hear dialogue that  sounds oddly familiar.  

I'm also guessing that they changed the title.  SUPERSTAR wasn't my idea, that's what the producer insisted that I call it.  I might have come up with something more original and creative, like A STAR IS BORN.  Since I don't have the actual film, I've substituted pictures of my good friends, Sunda Croonquist and Mike Butler, performing in a show that I wrote and produced, called PERCEPTIONS, DREAMS & MYSTIFYING THEMES.   If you want to know more about Mike and Sunda, dig around this website and they'll turn up.





My first one act  to be publicly performed started as a project for an NYU video class.   One of the cameramen actually owned a rather nice little theatre in Mount Vernon, New York, and he immediately offered us a small bit of money  to put the play on, there.  The piece was called THE HOOKER CHOPPER, it was my first and only theatrical thriller, and that's me, acting with Pam Ervin.  Where are you now, darling, it's been years?  I'm talking, of course about all that beautiful hair that I once had; Pam, if you're out there, I'd love to hear from you, too.  The glasses were a prop, though I think I need them after doing this website. 




Another one act from my NYU days, BACK FROM VIETNAM was what I called my soap opera with social significance. I didn't keep up with Marion Videtti or Vinny Erato, but Bob Fucaloro stills lends his talents to my projects, now and again.  Yes, they did have color film back in the early eighties, and they even had modern lighting.  I guess I anticipated that having my early work recorded in somber black and white would someday give me a sense of continuity and progression. 





Yvonne Vernay, Daria Natalia and I perform a couple of my lost pieces in SUMMER APERITIFS, a production of short plays, presented at the American Theatre of Actors, in 1985.  Yvonne, I've heard your name associated with some major projects, and I've wondered if you're still performing the monologue that you asked me for exclusive rights to.




  HOUSING (Read THE NEW YORK TIMES article) is the social comedy drama for the stage that has a bit of everything, and is explained in much greater detail on the Active Projects page of this site.  If nothing else, I'll bet Florenz Ziegfeld never put together such an interesting and diverse cast for what was essentially a series of rather elaborate professional staged readings, at the Elston Fine Arts Center, in 1992.  From left to right, top window first, there's Ginni McMath, one of the best theatrical performers I've ever met, who's played every role from Annie Oakley to Gypsy Rose Lee in regional and touring productions of many major musicals, and was recently featured on an episode of FRIENDS.   Besides writing, directing, producing, acting and collecting lizards, Marc Coppola, The Cope, has been one the leading disc jockeys on New York's classic rock stations, for over twenty years, he can currently be heard on 104.3 WAXQ FM, and he'll be starring in the upcoming feature film, BEL AIR.   Maggie Cullen is a very talented writer and comic actress, who's rarely gone a day without working in one intriguing project or another.  As you read this, it's likely that Sunda Croonquist is up on a stage somewhere, in a top comedy club in New York or Los Angeles, hosting her self created, now legendary show, Femme Fatales of Comedy, or on a nationally televised talk show or comedy special, performing her hilarious and original stand up.  Claire Carter has emceed numerous nationally syndicated radio and television talk shows, she was the co-anchor on INN Midday on CNBC, and she spent four years as co-host of PERSONAL EFX, on the Fox Cable News Network.  She regularly writes for PARADE magazine, and she was a featured actress in the film BLOW OUT, as well as on THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE.  Felicia Young is the founder and leader of Earth Celebrations, a foundation that has been making semi-annual parades to save the gardens on the lower east side of Manhattan, for the last ten years.  I've known Jessica Calabrese since she was born, and she's now a very beautiful and angelic teenager, attending La Guardia Performing Arts High School, for dance.  Her mother, Tricia Calabrese, in the next window over, teaches and performs piano, dabbles in serious acting and singing, and has offered me invaluable assistance on numerous projects, over the years.  The late Larry Watson was a very talented stage and screen actor, who I truly feel privileged to have known and worked with.  Sunda Croonquist, pictured once again in a different role, was recently nominated for a Mac Award as Outstanding Female Comedy Performer, and will be featured in the upcoming film, A CURE FOR BOREDOM.   Mike Mattasa's had a contract on him since he was four years old, when he played the little boy who instigated The Godfather's death, in the vegetable garden.  And Tyrus would stand out in a crowd of transsexual gladiators, he could add new depth and dimension to any role from Hamlet to Joan of Arc, and he is absolutely a completely different person from anyone else who isn't him.


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