Willard Maas and Marie Menken were poets and filmmakers famous in avant-garde circles. Marie became somewhat more famous for her performance in The Chelsea Girls
Andy Warhol’s 3 1/2 hour epic talkfest that in 1966 went from screenings at New York’s “Filmmakers’ Cinematheque” to nationwide “Art House” release. Quite unprecedented. But there was a precedent for Menken and Warhol, for the year before Andy had filmed Willard and Marie — 70 minutes worth of hanging out with the two of them. Andy decided not to release it “because it would upset Edward.”
The “Edward” he was referring to was Albee whose phenomenally famous play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was quite directly “inspired” by Willard Maas and Marie Menken.
This was of course not mentioned at the time. The Blood Libel making the rounds of “The TheaTAH!” was that Albee, being a Big Ol’ Gay Homosexual had disguised a play about a gay male couple as a play about a straight male-female one. A slander Albee spent the better part of his just-ended life opposing
Far be it from me to “complicate matters” but Willard and Marie were gay — just like Paul and Jane Bowles. And they were utterly devoted to one another. When he died, she followed the very next day.
This is of course little concern to the noxious likes of William (“Nobody knows anything”) Goldman whose book The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway (Harcourt Brace and World 1969) is to homophobes what The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is to anti-semites. Of Everything in the Garden, a minor but entertaining Albee play, Goldman sez
The play makes three central statements:
1. All wives are whores.
2. All husbands are panderers
3. The only wisdom lies with bachelors and young boys.
In other words, Everything in the Garden is as clear a statement of the homosexual mystique as one could hope to find.
Why or what homosexuals are is not to be taken up here. Is their problem — if problem it be — biological or purely mental or something else? This is something beyond any knowledge of mine, and, I think, everyone’s”
To put it as simply as possible, FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON!
As we all know, Edward loved the movies — though alas he never wrote any original material for them
And now to sing us out, Little Miss Alice Faye