Though it seems unimaginable today, back in the 1950's and 60's the major television networks actually devoted some of their programming time to genuine 'kulchur'. The NBC Opera Theatre (note swanky spelling) aired 50 operas between 1950 and 1964. One of the more interesting airings was a production of Richard Strauss' Salome from 1954 -- notably so for its inclusion of non-opera stars in two of the main roles.
"In an effort to bring dramatic intensity to the production," John Cassavetes and Sal Mineo were brought in to act out the roles of John the Baptist and The Page to Herodias while professionals sang the parts off-camera. Sounds like something that simply has to be seen to be believed. Well, thanks to our friends at the Museum of Television & Radio, we all (at least those of us in NYC) have a chance to check out this rarely seen performance. There will be an anniversary screening on Saturday, May 8 @ 3:00 PM as well as daily screenings (Tuesday through Sunday) from May 9 through May 23. (See press release for details.)
Filmbrain imagines that Cassavetes will make a great J the B -- certainly at least the toughest, and the coolest. But mousey Sal Mineo? What the....??? (Filmbrain's never been much of a fan.)
This is a must-see for any Cassavetes completist, and a rare opportunity to catch him and Mineo together a full two years before appearing in Don Siegel's Crime in the Streets. Link to the press release.