Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

This book has been deferring its accomplishment for quite some time. As a foreplay of sort, the pleasure of doing research, thinking, and writing this book has accompanied me over the last seven years, along with a certain resistance, on my part and on the part of the material itself, to reach its final form. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-24

The changing room of a theater, in downtown New York. An actress is getting into costume, preparing the elaborate appearance of her character on stage. She has finished arranging her hair, her dress, her earrings, rings, and bracelets. ...

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Interlude I. Paying Homage to the “Underground”: Foreplay and What Came After

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pp. 25-36

From early in my investigation, I referred habitually to the object of my study as the “1960s New York underground scene,” adopting a term—“underground”—long understood as the signifier of a set of artistic practices taking place outside of mainstream cultural circuits. ...

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Chapter 1. There Is No Idleness Like Show-Idleness: On Preliminaries, Amateurism, and Work in the 1960s

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pp. 37-74

There is a woman who every payday, after finishing work, takes a train to Coney Island, reaches the amusement park, and positions herself on a breeze-hole, in the fun-wax house. She wears a skirt, which fans out around her legs as it is blown by the air coming from below. ...

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Chapter 2. A Coney Island of the Mind: Toward a Genealogy of Leisure Performance

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pp. 75-104

I was not surprised to hear John Vaccaro, when asked which was his favorite play among the many he directed for the Play-House of the Ridiculous, answering me with Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit. Written by Jackie Curtis and presented for the first time in New York in autumn 1969 at the Gotham Arts Center (45 W. 43rd Street), and later at La MaMa in February 1970, ...

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Interlude II. Longing Lasts Longer: Penny Arcade and the Radical Value of Pleasure

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pp. 105-112

In 2014 at Joe’s Pub in New York Penny Arcade presented her latest piece, entitled Longing Lasts Longer, a solo performance realized in collaboration with her longtime friend Steve Zehentner, who co-directed and designed the show.1 The piece is both an act of mourning and a political claim of resistance: ...

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Chapter 3. The Bride, the Mother, and the Star: Queer Kinship and Memorability in Jackie Curtis’s and Ellen Stewart’s Life and Legend

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pp. 113-150

(1) According to the legend, the origins of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club rest on the image of a pushcart belonging to a man called Abraham Diamond. Ellen Stewart moved to New York in the 1950s, planning to attend fashion school, an opportunity she was denied as a black woman in Chicago, where she grew up. ...

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Chapter 4. Larger Than Life: Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, and the Distracted Potentiality of Performance

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pp. 151-176

On the screen, in black and white, there is the image of a woman’s head. She stands still, her dark long hair framing her face, which is pale, almost the same color as the wall behind her head. Her image persists in its contours, in its stillness. The face becomes familiar after the first minute one endures in watching it, during the first minute which it endures in being exposed. ...

Notes

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pp. 177-206

Works Cited

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pp. 207-218

Index

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pp. 219-226

Gallery

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