The Village Trip

An archive of past events

Magic Times

Caffe Cino and the Birth of
Off-Off Broadway

Celebrating the marriage of social justice and theater in Greenwich Village

The Village Trip is delighted to share photos and a report on Magic Times: Caffe Cino and the Birth of Off-Off Broadway, which took place at the equally legendary Cornelia Street Café, next door to the old Cino. It’s from Westview News and written by Robert Heide, one of the participants. A Cino “grad”, his plays include The Bed, which was premiered at the Caffe and later filmed by Andy Warhol, his first split-screen movie.

The evening was introduced by the inimitable and indefatigable Robin Hirsch – “Minister of Culture, Wine Czar, Dean of Faculty”  – who left London on a Fulbright scholarship to study avant-garde theatre and established the Cornelia Street Café and Theatre in Greenwich Village in 1976. It is now a culinary as well as a literary landmark.

Robin Hirsch

Robin Hirsch opens the proceedings

All photos ©Liz Thomson

Charles Isherwood (moderator, left) and John Gilman

Charles Isherwood (moderator, left) and John Gilman

Robert Heide (right) and John Guare

Robert Heide (right) and John Guare

Magie Dominic and Jean-Claude Van Itallie

Magie Dominic and Jean-Claude Van Itallie

Magic Times group picture

From left: Charles Isherwood, John Gilman, John Guare, Robert Heide, Jean-Claude van Itallie and Magie Dominic

John Guare

John Guare

In words and music, Magic Times celebrated the contribution of Caffe Cino to theater and to gay rights. The event was chaired by theater critic Charles Isherwood, and featured discussion and music from writers and performers whose careers began on Cino’s hallowed stage, among them John Guare, the multi-award-winning author of The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Celebration; Robert Heide, whose plays include West of the Moon and The Bed, which was filmed by Andy Warhol, his first split-screen movie; Magie Dominic, poet, author, and curator of Caffe Cino - History of Off-Off Broadway at Lincoln Center; and Jean-Claude van Itallie, best-known for America Hurrah and The Serpent.


Lounge Event 2017

Washington Square Hotel logoIn May 2017, friends of The Village Trip gathered for a celebratory evening at which plans for a Greenwich Village festival were unveiled. The party brought together artists from across New York City, including the Village itself, as well as Dublin and London.

An Evening of Words and Music with Maeve Brennan and Friends took place in the Lounge at the Washington Square Hotel, a boutique family business in the heart of Greenwich Village. Featuring Kelly Letourneau, Emilie Conway with Darragh Hennessy and Marcos Varela, Angela Bourke and Richard Barone.

The evening itself was ajudged a success, raising both money and profile, and the response to the Village Trip has been positive indeed. Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey sent goodwill messages, and local business and cultural alliances have stated their wish to be involved with the project. NYC&Company is aboard and we will shortly reveal a significant partnership.

Watch highlights from the Washington Square Hotel Lounge event:



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