View From The Throne

A look at my post-menopausal life through my eyes. From job, to friends to events, to the world at large are fair game. If you see your name here and you don't like it? Tell me, then I will write about THAT, too.

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Location: The Lovely Hudson Valley, NY, United States

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ronald Tavel, Proudly Ridiculous Writer, Dies at 72

I don't know who this writer was, but I would love a Times Obit headed like Tavel's.He sounds from the obit like a really interesting playwright:

In August 1965, two one-act plays by Mr. Tavel opened at the Coda Gallery in downtown Manhattan. The plays, “Shower” and “The Life of Juanita Castro,” were based on short screenplays that Mr. Tavel had written for Warhol films.

Mr. Tavel (pronounced ta-VEL) referred to the gallery as the Playhouse of the Ridiculous. But soon after, his work and that of other budding playwrights with a similar sense of the bizarre became a movement known as the Theater of the Ridiculous, with a string of productions at many Off Off Broadway houses.

Mr. Tavel’s manifesto for the movement was “we have passed beyond the absurd; our position is absolutely preposterous.”

The script for “The Life of Juanita Castro” exemplified that stance. It was based on a Life magazine article by Fidel Castro’s sister titled “My Brother Is a Tyrant, and He Must Go.” The Castro family used a mix of English, Spanish and Mr. Tavel’s concoction of what could be called Spanglish, and Fidel Castro was played by a woman.

I would see this, it sounds funny as hell. Well, I am sorry to see such creativity go by the wayside. Condolences to his family, and may the ridiculousness never end.


Blogger Jononyc said...

I am directing - for one night only, THIS Sunday, March 24 7pm -  Kitchenette by Ronald Tavel, one of the first “ridiculous theater” plays ever! Adapted from Tavel’s scenario for the Andy Warhol film “Kitchen”, Kitchenette hilariously spoofs the making of an avant-garde movie. Tickets available at

2:51 PM  

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