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The Beard; [a Play] Paperback – Apr 1967

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
an old friend 25 Aug. 2011
By John S. Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to revisit this play that I read so many years ago. It is quite wonderful, even better than I had thought. With our present level of frankness on the web it is interesting to look back at the seminal works that forged our rights to free speech, freer than our parents wanted us to have.

This play is no longer in print. Publishing is driven by marketing people, bean counters as I think of them. What can we do, the bean counter asks, to make this product more marketable? This is not a literary question. Management by MBAs is not very satisfactory to the needs of art and free speech. Popular mediocrity is the standard of the present. A bare breast may boost sales, but not a bare thought.

The Beard broke ground in its day and it is still a refreshing read. I regret it is not widely performed and read in college classes.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
well...better than Hair 21 Mar. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback


This couldn't be anything but a product of the `60s--no other decade could possibly claim it, in the same way that no other decade could have claimed Hair, and in that sense The Beard is comparable to Hair, minus all the contrived horsedookie--surprising considering the author Michael McClure is the only poet who I ever felt went out of his way to piss me off by trying too hard--and that, I suspect, is why it's been left behind with most everything else from the sixties.

It's not really good, but there's just...something there that draws you to it, the repetitive nature of it, and the fact that all the ideas McClure is trying to get across would fit in two short sentences, so it's not exactly a complicated play. Actress Jean Harlow and outlaw Billy the Kid are sitting together, wearing beards of paper scraps, passing the time in eternity and saying the same things over and over and over, slowly leading up to a very sexy ending that aggravated so many popo and Hollywood figures back in 1965 San Fran. About the only celebrity not closely connected to the Beats or the San Francisco Renaissance or the Black Mountain poets that did like it was Rip Torn, who took it upon himself to direct a number of early performances, which, coupled with his own performance in the Beastmaster, puts him in the running for the title of ballsiest actor.


"Before you can pry any secrets from me, you must first find the real me! Which one will you pursue?"
"F--- YOU!"

[Written November 2009 for LibraryThing.]
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Beard by Michael McClure 9 Jun. 1998
By jeunelion@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a really fantastic play - from what I've read of it. I did a scene from The Beard a few weeks ago in English class & it was just fantastic. The two characters in the play are Billy the Kid - fabled outlaw of American folklore - & Jean Harlow - cinema star & uber-Marilyn Monroe. The entire play I gather is a meeting between these two in the blue velvet Eternity. Eternity like where Jack & Rose meet in the end of Titanic (& the boat sinks for those who haven't seen it). This play is just sort of conversation like & not to pretentious like you might imagine the blue velvet Eternity to be. There is a little bit of swearing so all you prudes keep away etc etc. The sexual tension is great. I like it.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
great 28 Mar. 2013
By jerry brandt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
love it ohhhhhhhhhh soooooooooooooooooooooo boho so be so be so be so beso be so be si be so be so be
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Spiritual and Sexual, what a combo! 16 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Loved it
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