1979

Thank you for attending the Village Playhouse production of Beyond Therapy!

While the story of Beyond Therapy still resinates today, some of the pop culture references are a bit dated. So for those of you who weren’t around in 1979, we’ve put together this helpful guide of People, Places, Entertainment, Things & Events that are referenced in the play.

People

Gary Gilmore (Faye Robert Coffman) (December 4, 1940 – January 17, 1977) was an American criminal who gained international attention for demanding the implementation of his death sentence for two murders he committed in Utah. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a new series of death penalty statutes in the 1976 decision Gregg v. Georgia, he became the first person in almost ten years to be executed in the United States.[1] These new statutes avoided the problems under the 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia, which had resulted in earlier death penalty statutes being deemed as “cruel and unusual” punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. (The Supreme Court had previously ordered all states to commute death sentences to life imprisonment after Furman v. Georgia.) Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in 1977.[2] His life and execution were the subject of the 1979 nonfiction novel The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, and 1982 TV film of the novel starring Tommy Lee Jones as Gilmore.

Kierkegaard (KEER-kə-gard) 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855)[7] was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.[8][9] 

Gustav Mahler (German: [ˈmaːlɐ]; 7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century.

Joan Didion (/ˈdɪdiən/; born December 5, 1934) is an American essayist. In the late 1960s, Didion’s reportage brought Californian subcultures to wider attention.

Shaun Cassidy (born September 27, 1958) is an American singer, actor, writer and producer. Cassidy starred in the television series The Hardy Boys Mysteries (1977–1979). His older half-brother was David Cassidy.

David Berkowitz (born Richard David Falco, June 1, 1953), also known as the Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is an American serial killer who pleaded guilty to eight separate shooting attacks that began in New York City during the summer of 1976. Using a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver, he killed six people and wounded seven others by July 1977. As the number of victims increased, Berkowitz eluded the biggest police manhunt in the history of New York City while leaving letters that mocked the police and promised further crimes, which were highly publicized by the press. The killing spree terrorized New Yorkers and achieved worldwide notoriety.

Betsy Drake (September 11, 1923 – October 27, 2015) was a French-born American actress and writer. She was the third wife of actor Cary Grant.

Cary Grant (born Archibald Alec Leach; January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986) was an English-born American actor, known as one of classic Hollywood’s definitive leading men. He was known for his transatlantic accent, debonair demeanor, light-hearted approach to acting, and sense of comic timing. 

Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen; January 4, 1937) is an American actress, director, screenwriter, producer, and editor.  On July 22, 1965, Cannon became the fourth wife of actor Cary Grant, who was 33 years her senior. They had one daughter, Jennifer (born February 26, 1966), who also is an actress. They were divorced on March 21, 1968.

Cary Grant on LDS Grant began experimenting with the drug LSD in the late 1950s,[304] before it became popular. His wife at the time, Betsy Drake, displayed a keen interest in psychotherapy, and through her Grant developed a considerable knowledge of the field of psychoanalysis. Radiologist Mortimer Hartman began treating him with LSD in the late 1950s, with Grant optimistic that the treatment could make him feel better about himself and rid of all of his inner turmoil stemming from his childhood and his failed relationships. He had an estimated 100 sessions over several years.[305] For a long time, Grant viewed the drug positively, and stated that it was the solution after many years of “searching for his peace of mind”, and that for first time in his life he was “truly, deeply and honestly happy”.[305] Cannon claimed during a court hearing that he was an “apostle of LSD”, and that he was still taking the drug in 1967 as part of a remedy to save their relationship.[306] Grant later remarked that “taking LSD was an utterly foolish thing to do but I was a self-opinionated boor, hiding all kinds of layers and defenses, hypocrisy and vanity. I had to get rid of them and wipe the slate clean.”

Betty Friedan was an American feminist writer and activist. A leading figure in the women’s movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century. In 1966, Friedan co-founded and was elected the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which aimed to bring women “into the mainstream of American society now [in] fully equal partnership with men.”

The Masters and Johnson research team, composed of William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunctions from 1957 until the 1990s.

They jointly wrote two classic texts in the field, Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy, published in 1966 and 1970, respectively. Both of these books were best-sellers and were translated into more than thirty languages.

Marie of Romania (Marie Alexandra Victoria; 29 October 1875 – 18 July 1938[note 1]), also known as Marie of Edinburgh, was the last Queen of Romania as the wife of King Ferdinand I.

Joyce DeWitt (born April 23, 1949) is an American actress known for playing Janet Wood on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company from 1977 to 1984.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics.[3][4] Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre.

Kate Millett was an American feminist writer, educator, artist, and activist. She attended Oxford University and was the first American woman to be awarded a degree with first-class honors after studying at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She has been described as “a seminal influence on second-wave feminism”, and is best known for her book Sexual Politics (1970),which was based on her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University. Journalist Liza Featherstone attributes the attainment of previously unimaginable “legal abortion, greater professional equality between the sexes, and a sexual freedom” in part due to Millett’s efforts.

Places

Plato’s Retreat was a swingers’ club in Manhattan, New York, NY, USA, operating from 1977 until 1985

Entertainment

An Unmarried Woman is a 1978 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Jill Clayburgh and Alan Bates. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Clayburgh was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. 

The perfect life of wealthy New York City wife Erica Benton (Jill Clayburgh) is shattered when her stockbroker husband Martin (Michael Murphy) leaves her for a younger woman. The film documents Erica’s attempts at being single again, where she suffers confusion, sadness, and rage.

As her life progresses, she begins to bond with several friends and finds herself inspired and even happier by her renewed liberation. The story also touches on the overall sexual liberation of the 1970s. Erica eventually finds love with a rugged, yet sensitive British artist (Alan Bates).

Equus is a drama play by Peter Shaffer written in 1973, telling the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses.[1]

Shaffer was inspired to write Equus when he heard of a crime involving a 17-year-old who blinded six horses in a small town in Suffolk.[2] He set out to construct a fictional account of what might have caused the incident, without knowing any of the details of the crime. The play’s action is something of a detective story, involving the attempts of the child psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart to understand the cause of the boy’s (Alan Strang) actions while wrestling with his own sense of purpose.[3]

Shaffer adapted the play for a 1977 film starring Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Eileen Atkins, Colin Blakely, Joan Plowright, and Jenny Agutter, directed by Sidney Lumet.

The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Italian: L’Albero degli zoccoli) is a 1978 Italian film written and directed by Ermanno Olmi. The film concerns Lombard peasant life in a cascina (farmhouse) of the late 19th century. It has some similarities with the earlier Italian neorealist movement, in that it focuses on the lives of the poor, and the parts were played by real farmers and locals, rather than professional actors.

It won fourteen awards including the Palme d’or at Cannes[1] and the César Award for Best Foreign Film. The original version of the movie is spoken in Lombard (the Bergamasque variety, an Eastern Lombard dialect).

National Velvet is an American drama series that originally aired from 1960 to 1962 on NBC. Based on the novel and film of the same name, the series ran for a total of fifty-eight episodes.

National Velvet stars Lori Martin as Velvet Brown, a girl who lives on a dairy farm with her parents, Martha (Ann Doran) and Herbert Brown (Arthur Space), an ex-jockey Mi Taylor, played by Scottish actor James McCallion (1918-1991), her brother, Donald (Joey Scott), and sister, Edwina (Carole Wells). Velvet owned a thoroughbred stallion

“Reach Out and Touch Someone”  — AT&T long distance commercial aired April 1979

Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld, is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Notes is considered by many to be one of the first existentialist novels. It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man), who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the underground man’s diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky’s What Is to Be Done?. The second part of the book is called “Apropos of the Wet Snow” and describes certain events that appear to be destroying and sometimes renewing the underground man, who acts as a first person, unreliable narrator and anti-hero.

Million Dollar Movie (1955 – 1966) This series began in NYC, on local station WOR TV 9, in 1955, and ran for over a decade. It featured top-tier movies, where each feature would run for an entire week, airing twice nightly. This format, that simulated the local neighborhood movie house, was also adopted by other local stations, realizing that this was one way to reach the most viewers, considering the competition from the networks. The first 3 features were “Magic Town” staring James Stewart, “Body And SouL” staring John Garfield”, and “A Double Life”staring Ronald Coleman. Much of the 1930s and 40s library from RKO were featured. As the station was a subsidiary of “RKO General Tire”, many of those films were rental free, to the station. Those RKO films included “King Kong”,”Gunga Din”,”Citizen Kane” and the “Fred Astaire”- “Ginger Rogers” RKO musicals. In the summer of 1957, a few of those RKO films such as “King Kong” and “Top Hat” were aired, one time only, on ABC Network TV, on Saturday nights, after which they returned to be rerun on “Million Dollar Movie”. Today, those RKO films as well as thousands of others are part of ” The Turner Classic Movies” vault

Every Girl Should Be Married is a 1948 American romantic comedy film directed by Don Hartman and starring Cary Grant, Betsy Drake and Franchot Tone. Grant and Drake married a year after the film’s release.

Department store salesclerk Anabel Sims (Betsy Drake) is very enamored with the idea of getting married. So when handsome pediatrician Dr. Madison Brown (Cary Grant) asks for her help in making a purchase, she decides that he is the one for her.

“Someone to Watch Over Me” is a 1926 song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was written for singer Gertrude Lawrence in the musical Oh, Kay! (1926).[1] 

The song was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1946, for his first album The Voice Of Frank Sinatra, and again by him in 1954 for the film Young At Heart. It was later covered by several hundred artists, among others: Ella Fitzgerald (1951); Chet Baker (1955); Dakota Staton (1960); Barbra Streisand (1965); Ray Charles (1969); Willie Nelson (1978); Linda Rondstadt (1983); and Rickie Lee Jones (2000). [3]

Sunday Bloody Sunday is a 1971 British drama film written by Penelope Gilliatt, directed by John Schlesinger and starring Murray Head, Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch and Peggy Ashcroft. It tells the story of a free-spirited young bisexual artist (played by Head) and his simultaneous relationships with a divorced female recruitment job consultant (Jackson) and a gay male Jewish doctor (Finch)

Three’s Company is an American sitcom that aired for eight seasons on ABC from March 15, 1977, to September 18, 1984. It is based on the British sitcom Man About the House.

The story revolves around three single roommates: Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt), Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers), and Jack Tripper (John Ritter), who all platonically live together in a Santa Monica, California

Auntie Mame is a 1958 American Technicolor comedy film based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Patrick Dennis and its theatrical adaptation by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee.[2] This film version stars Rosalind Russell and was directed by Morton DaCosta.[2] Mame, a musical version of the story, appeared on Broadway in 1966, and was later made into a 1974 film Mame starring Lucille Ball as the title character.

Mame Dennis (Rosalind Russell), a progressive and independent woman of the 1920s, is left to care for her nephew Patrick (Jan Handzlik/Roger Smith) after his wealthy father dies. Mr. Babcock (Fred Clark), Patrick’s assigned executor, objects to Mame’s unconventional way of living and tries to force her to send Patrick to prep school. As Mame and Patrick grow closer, Mr. Babcock tries to discipline Patrick and threatens to separate the two if Mame does not comply with his wishes.

Mame is a flamboyant, exuberant woman, who hosts frequent parties with eclectic, bohemian guests. Patrick is quickly introduced to his aunt’s free-spirited and eccentric lifestyle, including Vera Charles (Coral Browne), a Broadway actress, who spends many of her nights passed out drunk in Mame’s guest room, and Lindsay Woolsey (Patric Knowles), a book publisher. Mame’s frequently repeated motto is “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American black and white romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The film was produced without approval from the Motion Picture Production Code because it plays with the idea of homosexuality and features cross dressing. The code had been gradually weakening in its scope during the early 1950s, due to greater social tolerance for previously taboo topics in film, but it was still officially enforced until the mid-1960s. The overwhelming success of Some Like It Hot is considered one of the final nails in the coffin for the Hays Code

Gypsy is a 1959 musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. Gypsy is loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.” It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.

Rose’s Turn

Pacific Overtures is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by John Weidman.

The show is set in Japan beginning in 1853 and follows the difficult westernization of Japan, told from the point of view of the Japanese. In particular, the story focuses on the lives of two friends caught in the change.

Given its unusual casting and production demands, Pacific Overtures remains one of Stephen Sondheim’s least-performed musicals. The show is occasionally staged by opera companies. The cast requires an abundance of gifted male Asian actors who must play male and female parts. Women join the ensemble for only half of the last song; during the finale, after the lyric: “more surprises next,” 20 women actors join the cast and sing the remaining 1:42 of the show. This creates expensive and challenging casting and thus most regional and community theaters, universities and schools are unable to produce it.

Welcome to Kanagawa

Coming of Age in Samoa is a book by American anthropologist Margaret Mead based upon her research and study of youth – primarily adolescent girls – on the island of Ta’u in the Samoan Islands. The book details the sexual life of teenagers in Samoan society in the early 20th century, and theorizes that culture has a leading influence on psychosexual development.

The Towering Inferno is a 1974 American drama disaster film. It was adapted by Stirling Silliphant[4] from a pair of novels, The Tower by Richard Martin Stern[9][10][11][12][13] and The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia.

Architect Doug Roberts (Paul Newman) returns to San Francisco for the dedication of the Glass Tower, which he designed for developer James Duncan (William Holden). The Tower, 1,688 feet (515 m) tall and 138 stories, is the world’s tallest building. During pre-dedication testing, an electrical short starts an undetected fire on the 81st floor.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (Japanese: トラ・トラ・トラ) is a 1970 Japanese-American biographical war drama film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Someday My Prince Will Come” is a song from Walt Disney’s 1937 animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was written by Larry Morey (lyrics) & Frank Churchill (music), and performed by Adriana Caselotti (Snow White’s voice in the movie). It was also featured in the 1979 stage adaptation of the 1937 animated musical movie. In AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs, it was ranked the 19th greatest film song of all time.

Someday My Prince Will Come (1979 live version)

The Seagull (Russian: Чайка, Romanized: Chayka) is a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. The Seagull is generally considered to be the first of his four major plays. It dramatizes the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, and her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Tréplev.

Things

Brut is the brand name for a line of men’s grooming and fragrance products first launched in 1964 by Fabergé, and now owned by the British-Dutch company Unilever. The Brut line would grow to include aftershave, balms, and deodorant. Packaged in a green glass bottle with a silver-coloured medallion, it is still sold as of 2019.

Perrier (/ˈpɛrieɪ/ PERR-ee-ay, also US: /ˌpɛriˈeɪ/ -⁠AY, French: [pɛʁje]) is a French brand of natural bottled mineral water captured at the source in Vergèze, located in the Gard département. Perrier is best known for its naturally occurring carbonation, distinctive green bottle, and higher levels of carbonation than its peers.

Poland Spring is a brand of bottled water, produced in Poland, Maine, named after the original natural spring in the town of Poland, Maine it was drawn from.

Drinking bottled water became more common in the late 1970’s due to an advertising campaign for Perrier.  Prior to that few people were willing to pay for what they could get from the tap.

Events

Skylab was the first United States space station, launched by NASA,[3] occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974. It was operated by three separate three-man crews during that time, and major operations included an orbital workshop, a solar observatory, Earth observation, and hundreds of experiments.

Unable to be re-boosted by the Space Shuttle, which was not ready until the early 1980s, Skylab burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere in 1979, over the Pacific Ocean