Info and pics on "Gulp!"...
review from GPU News (Milwaukee), September 1977...
Below, article from The Advocate, 1977
and, one of my site visitors submitted this retelling of his own"Gulp" experience...
It was the spring of 1978 I was living in the upper west side of NYC and had just received some bad news from my opera coach, Gabor Corelli, Metropolitan Opera tenor and AGMA President. He informed that my voice would not be "big" enough for the opera. Mr. Corelli said he no longer wished to teach me. As he was saying his good-byes with a kiss on each of my cheeks, he said, "Caro, as he always referred to me, (I guess he assumed I was gay) while your voice is not big enough for the opera it does have a very nice tone, why don't you tryout for a show? I was never long to dwell on bad news so I walked right out of the rehearsal studio and picked up my first issue of Backstage and there it was, The Glines Theatre (totally unknown at the time) was looking for an eighteen-year-old actor to play the part of Chris, the romantic lead, in Gulp. It said the actor was to play a gay part where singing was required. Sounds perfect! Little did I know, since I was in NYC to pursue a career in Opera, that playing a gay role was strictly taboo, a dead end. Ignorance, I would find, was bliss.
At the audition I noted that most of the panel found me uninteresting during my eight bars of the song allowed. The director, Bill Koch, said, "thank you that will be all." As I was walking out of the studio, some man, whom I would later find out was John Glines, asked me to sing the entire song! I was elated, howsoever, the director looked perturbed. After finishing the whole song Mr. Koch once again said thank you, then John Glines said I would like to hear him read the part of Chris. Now Bill Koch voiced his objection, "I have no interest in hearing this young man read for any part!" John overruled the director and sent Larry Lane up to read opposite me. I was given a script and the scene commenced. As soon as I began reading my lines I noticed John Glines was laughing (in a good way) quite heartedly, I remember thinking there was nothing at all funny about what I was saying but John continued to laugh and laugh as the scene progressed. When I was done John was wiping the tears from his eyes he was laughing so hard, I could not believe it. Later the great gay comedian, Casey Wayne who would play Teddy in the production taught me the best way to get laughs was not too think in anyway the lines were funny. Fate seemed to be getting me this part, I hoped.
There were a series of callbacks with more encouragement from John and more evil looks from the director, finally I was asked to come to John and Larry's town house in Brooklyn Heights complete with a view of downtown Manhattan. This was the final audition and they had narrowed it down to two choices. Again I sang, I read, I was thinking, how long is this going to take and then it happened, John Glines offered me the role. I accepted and left his home. On the way to the subway I learned what the song from My Fair Lady truly meant. To quote, " I have often walked down this street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath me feet before!"
I had just received my first part in NYC and not only that but this had been my first audition!
above, Andrew Lustig
Below, cast member/star Ben Cassara found my site and sent these clippings & shots: