IF YOU DON'T DANCE THEY BEAT YOU by Jose Quintero

IF YOU DON'T DANCE THEY BEAT YOU

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Quintero is renowned as an interpreter of O'Neill, but his autobiography is unrevealing and conventional. He writes of his home and family in Panama, his years of apprenticeship in Wood-stock and New York, his founding of the Circle in the Square Theater and its successes with Geraldine Page, Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst, Dame Judith Anderson, Peter Falk and George C. Scott. He discusses his productions of Moon for the Misbegotten, The Iceman Cometh, and Long Day's Journey into Night, and his friendship with Carlotta Monterey O'Neill (including her eventual madness). Spice is provided by his amusing relationship with a black whore he calls ""Mother."" As a director Quintero feels the Muse so intensely that he can cast on impulse, before audition; he can manipulate his actors (kissing an actress to demonstrate to her what ""sensuality"" means, thereby earning the ambivalent response, ""You're a bastard. But I like you""). Curiously, his comments on O'Neill are fulsome: "". . . I knew that the ceiling of Harry Hope's crummy, bum-inhabited bar was that of the Sistine Chapel."" Indications of any sort of intimacy or self-perspective are conspicuously absent. In short, the mask of aesthete hides the director's face.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1974
Publisher: Little, Brown